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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Pretty pouts with fillers, injectors & plumpers

A lot of people ask me about the lip injections I get, why I do/did it, the pain factor, the best kind to get is, etc. So I'm going to talk about my experience and as much as I personally know overall about the whole thing.

This is the short and simple story as to why I even entertained the idea. I work in an office building and there's a dermatology, cosmetic & laser surgery center in our building and over the years I've become very friendly with the doctors, nurses and the estheticians who work there. About 3 years ago I was offered to do a study on a new product called "Restylane." (I don't think it was FDA approved at the time as a lip filler, but it's been used as a line and wrinkle filler in the face for years.) I honestly never even thought about getting lip injections before, because my natural lips are actually pretty full to be honest.

But before I get into all that, here's a little background information on everything. Lip injections, in general, give you a more sensuous and fuller mouth, more pronounced lips or just a soft subtle pout. Also, like in my case (we'll get to that later lol) correct the overall structure, and even out your lips. They're typically done in two steps. You either want to only alter the "pout" to acheieve the desired shape of the lip, or the volume, where the injections are done slightly more inward to give you the desired amount of fullness. Some people opt for one or the other while others go the whole nine yards. I'm more of a "go hard or go home" kind of girl, so clearly we know the route I chose lol.

Today the most common types people use are "dermal fillers" which are also used in the face. (More commonly known as "Botox" even though Botox is actually the BRAND, not the actual act of injecting the face. Which a lot of people don't know) Anyway, there are tons of different types but you want to be cautious and know exactly what is being injected into your face. First you want a filler that contains a substance called "hyaluronic acid" which is a natural substance we already have in our bodies. That also explains why the results only last a certain period of time, because it eventually dissolves. There are permanent alternatives such as implants and fat injections, but the risks are higher and the results vary. So even though the upkeep is most costly in the long run, it's safer and the better way to go.

side note: how amazing are Lana's lips?!

So I decided what the heck. Restylane is generally used for reshaping and volumizing. I had no idea at the time about any of this stuff. The study was on Restylane so that's what they used on me, I didn't have a choice. So I went and did it the first day, and I'm not even exaggerating when I say it was one of the most painful experiences I've ever endured. Right up there with a Brazilian wax! And I have a pretty high pain tolerance, I think at least. This was no joke lol. The doctor who gave me the injections is a very well known doctor who's been featured in Cosmo and a bunch of other magazines numerous times.

Since Restylane doesn't have any sort of Novocaine in it, they injected me about 2-3 times in each side of both lips with Novocaine. Then once my lips were pretty numb they injected me 4-5 times on the left and right side of my top and bottom lip. (I still felt it) The worst part was when after they injected the product, they have to smush it all around your lips to even it out. Ow!!!! It hurt like a bitch! For lack of a better phrase haha. I couldn't talk, drink or eat anything the entire day and the swelling went down after a few days. After about a week my lips were fine and I was happy with the results. I had to keep a daily "journal" on my results. And then I went back 6 months later for a little more. Overall, I was happy with how they came out, the downside was that I felt like it didn't last that long at all. Maybe a month or 2. I knew it wasn't permanent, but I was told like 6 months. Or maybe I was just in denial haha.

About a year later I decided I wanted to do it again, because I felt like my lips were uneven lol. So in March of 2011 I went back and this time I used Juvéderm. A-maze-ing! I had an esthetician do the injections and I anticipated the same pain I felt last time. And they weren't giving me Novocaine! I honestly barely felt A THING. Obviously I felt a little pinching but it was not NEARLY anything close to what I felt the first two times I did it. I don't know if it was the product, or that maybe the woman who did it was a little more gentle with me, but it was a great experience. I had swelling, but I could still talk perfectly fine. Drinking was still hard, even with a straw, but I managed lol. And I felt like the Juvéderm lasted for MONTHS- even a year later I still noticed. I don't have any pictures from the first time I did it in 2009, but I do from the time I did last year.

Literally right after, March 2011

This is about a month later around April 2011
3 months later in July and still looking plump! :-D

These were around December 2011/January 2012 not quite sure exactly

Around May/June 2012. A little over a year later!

Even when I went back last week to get more, they told me I still had a little left in there. (it gradually fades over time, it's not permanent) So it'd been exactly a year and a half since I had last gone and I went for a little touch up. And I finally discovered why I felt like my lips were uneven. Because apparently when I smile, (when I do haha) I smile slightly to the left side of my face, I was told. 5 days later and the swelling has almost gone completely down, I still feel a little in my bottom lip.

I know this looks scary haha but this was immediately after lol. And it's really close up, they really weren't THAT big 8/31/12

These were taken like an hour later! 8/31/12

Later that night :-) 8/31/12

So the question is......

And from my experience definitely the Juvéderm. The experience was less painful and all around better. And I definitely felt like it lasted a lot longer!

Also, if you want fuller lips and you can't get past the idea of a needle shooting through your lip lol, obviously there are alternatives. I was never really into the lip plumping glosses because I could literally put on Aquaphor or regular chapstick and it'd make my lips look bigger. The only one that I've ever tried was "Lip Venom" by DuWop. I got it at Sephora years ago, I'm sure you still can.

I've also heard of a product called the "Lip Pump." It's like this suction looking thing that you hold up to your lips and evidently it's supposed to do the trick! Lol. I've never personally tried it but I've heard reviews that it does work, and it's even been featured on the Rachael Ray show, The View and QVC!

Progress update...

Left: I believe was sometime in Nov 2013 & Right: almost 7 months later! (from the initial day) 3/18/13

May 2013