Since the beginning of time, youth and beauty have always been associated with full lips for women of all races and ethnicity. Therefore, lip enhancement and augmentation are considered some of the most demanded aesthetic procedures in any cosmetic clinic. With the improvement of hyaluronic acid fillers, the lip augmentation procedure is more palpable than ever.
Here is a brief description of this protocol: Hyaluronic acid fillers, such as Juvederm and Restylane, have many advantages in cosmetic injectables. First, they are available in different grades of cross-linking. This means that they come in different viscosity. Lower viscosity correlates with softer fillers, and the opposite is correct. The fact that the different grades and the same filler are available gives both the client and the injector more freedom in choosing the right filler to shape the lips according to the client’s liking. One more important advantage of HA fillers is that they are reversible. They can be dissolved at any time for any reason by the injection of an enzyme to reverse their effect. There is no perfect “spell” or “one size fit all” for perfect lips, but we can achieve great client satisfaction by following a systemic 5-step protocol.
communication: it is important to establish a clear, frank dialogue between the client and the injector before preformation lip fillers. The client is the one who looks at herself in the mirror daily, so it is essential to have a mutual understanding of the end results before starting the injection of the fillers. This will help the injector choose the right filler and the client has reasonable expectations of the lip shape after the lip augmentation procedure.
Understanding the golden ratio: Some people attribute a 1.6:1 golden ratio to Da Vinci himself in his masterpiece “Joconda Lisa” or “Mona Lisa.” When it comes to the perfect lips, the lower lip volume should be 1.6 from the upper lips. Some women with a strong facial features, can defy the golden ratio. We can see a 1:1 ratio with lots of African American celebrities; this is a special case and should be fit other facial ratios.
understand different lip’s planes and areas:
The line of the lips:
- define the Philtrum Columns, which are light columns at the center of the upper lip. The trend today is to have well-defined and sculpted Philtrum Columns. The question is to what extent we should boost these two lines. This mainly depends on the style of the lips and the age of the client. With a younger client, the injector can boost the columns significantly without negatively affecting the look of the lips and the face negatively.
- The fashion today is to have a pouty Cupid bow. This is the U shape line in the central upper lip. Injection of a tiny amount of filler in this area will support the outward projection of the upper lip, which is considered sexy nowadays.
- Enhance the Vermillion borders of the upper lips. This is the line between the red and the white lip. The injector should enhance this fine line only in the “medial” central part of the lip and avoid the lateral parts near the corner of the mouth.
For these lines, it is recommended to use a soft filler such as Juvederm Volbela and Restylane refine. Using a higher-grade filler could result in bulges as the filler is placed in a very shallow place.
The pillow of the lips:
The injector may choose a thicker filler to augment these parts of the lip. The injection plane is deeper, and we need a more prominent augmentation.
- Enhance the upper lips tubercles “pillows.” A study shows that women with natural prominent upper lips tubercles have a better orgasm than others! Even from the cosmetic point of view, having a prominent upper lips pillow goes side by side with defined lips lines. It would not be cosmetically right to boost the pillow to the extent that overshadows the lines, and the opposite is correct. The three points for the upper lips pillows correlate with the abovementioned lines. There are three pillows in the upper lips, the central one under the Cupid bow and two side ones under the Philtrum columns. If you look at a newborn baby, you will see these three pillows, mainly the central one.
- The lower lip has two pillows as well, and they are located inferior and lateral (down and to the sides) to the upper-lip central lower lip pillow. It is very sexy to crease a shallow groove or channel in the center of the lower lip between the two pillows. The central pillow of the upper lip and the lower lip’s central groove is like a sword and its cover.
filling the nasolabial folds: These are the creases between the cheek and the nose. Even though these are not part of the lips, filling them may help to evert upper lips, which is highly demanded by today’s fashion.
supporting the oral commissures: The oral commissures are located at the mouth corners, where the upper and lower lips connect. Injecting fillers at both corners provide upward support to the lower lips. The injector may augment the effect by injecting some Botox in the targeted muscle “Anguli Oris,” which works as a depressor muscle and pulls the mouth side downwards. Relaxing this muscle with Botox will give the client a naturally smiley face.
The main limitation of this protocol is the financial issue, and there are no single fillers in the market that would perfectly fit all the injection mentioned above areas. Most of the clients want to have invested in only one syringe of filler, which is understandable as HA fillers are very expensive (the average price of 1 cc syringe of fillers in Edmonton is $600). Therefore, the injector would have to compromise on choosing one filler for all the injection sites. The choice of the fillers depends mainly on what is needed to be done; if a client has a defined vermilion border, then we need to use most of the filler syringe in enhancing the lips pillows. Vice versa, if a client is mainly concerned about enhancing the lip lines since they have nice volume, then we need to go with softer fillers.
My clients ask me what my favorite fillers are, and I always say, “my favorite fillers are the one that gives you the best results and sexiest lips.”
In Albany Cosmetic and Laser Centre in Edmonton, we do not limit ourselves to one brand or grade of fillers, but we try our best to get various fillers to choose the best results for all our clients with different lip shapes and different expectations. The main two brands that we use are Juvederm with all different grades (Volbela, Vollit, and Voluma) and Restylane in all its grades (kysse, Refyne, Defyne, and Volyme)