What You Need To Know Before Getting Lip Fillers

Thanks to a little-known celebrity named Kylie Jenner, getting lip fillers has become almost normalized in today’s society. Which, for small-lipped girls like myself, is kind of annoying because everyone is walking around with plumped pouts and here I am with a totally non-existent upper lip just wishing I had a nice set of DSLs. But we’re not here to talk about my issues right now.

So if you’re anything like me and you’ve been curious about what getting lip fillers really entails, I talked to Dr. Lara Devgan, New York-based plastic surgeon to the stars (literally, she’s Kim Kardashian’s plastic surgeon), to give you a breakdown of everything you’ve likely thought about if getting lip fillers has ever crossed your mind. Because after all, even though fillers aren’t permanent, they do last for a while (on your face, no less), and are definitely more of an investment than the other quick-fix lip plumping products on the market.

What Should You Know Going Into A Lip Filler Appointment?

In addition to doing extensive research on the dermatologist or plastic surgeon that will be doing your lip fillers, there are also a few things you should avoid in the days leading up to your appointment. “We recommend that you avoid alcohol and blood thinners a day or two beforehand, as this can increase your chance of bruising or swelling,” advises Dr. Devgan.

Should You Bring Reference Pictures Of What You Want Your Lips To Look Like?

If you’ve ever gotten a major haircut before, then you’ve likely brought a reference picture into your stylist as an example of how you want your locks to look, but should you do that when it comes to your pout? According to Dr. Devgan, you can, but just know that you need to be realistic with your expectations. “A patient is more than welcome to bring in pictures of their desired results,” says the doctor. “During the consultation we will discuss the images as well as the patient’s facial anatomy and together come up with a realistic desired result. For very voluptuous looks, sometimes more than one session of lip augmentation is needed.”

Meaning, your facial structure really helps to determine your results. For example, if you bring in a picture of a celebrity that has a cupid’s bow that is much more defined then yours, just know your end results will look a little different.

What Size Should You Get?

It’s probably common to think the bigger the better, but don’t forget that what may be considered a small amount of fillers for one person, can make the next person look like Big Ang (RIP). “The biggest myth about lip fillers is that you have to look ducky or overdone,” says Dr. Devgan. “The best lip augmentations look like lips you could have been born with.”

According to the doctor, the amount of fillers used is different for everyone and whoever you are seeing for your appointment will likely customize the amount of fillers used based on your desired results and face structure. “The size or amount of fillers is something that is unique to each patient,” shares Dr. Devgan. “I always want my patients to feel their best and that is why I customize the amount of filler I put in for that individual.”

What Does The Procedure Entail?

“At my office you will come in and have an in-depth consultation and full facial analysis to come up with a procedural plan that meets your goals, says Dr. Devgan. “Afterwards you will sign consent forms and we will apply a topical numbing cream to your lips. We let this sit for about 10-15 minutes to make sure you are comfortable during the procedure.”

The doctor will then remove the numbing cream, mark where the injections will go, and get to injecting. “The lip augmentation itself involves microdroplet precise placement of filler, which is a jelly-like sugar molecule related to the body’s collagen, says the doctor. “After the filler has been injected, I apply an antibiotic ointment to the lips and give you a cold pack to apply to the lips for comfort.”

What Will Your Lips Look Like Immediately After?

“Immediately afterwards, the lips are slightly swollen,” shares Dr. Devgan, which is why it’s important to not get fillers right before a big event (instead, get them two or so weeks in advance). “[The swelling] will go down in about a week or two. Icing helps reduce swelling.”

When Will They Look “Normal”?

According to the doctor, you’ll see the “real” results about 2-3 weeks after getting the fillers. “With all dermal fillers you will see the final results in about 2-3 weeks after the procedure,” she says. “If there is any swelling or bruising it would have gone down by then and the lips will look pretty and optimized.”

How Long Do Fillers Last?

Like the actual procedure itself, the duration of the fillers also depends on the individual. Dr. Devgan says that lip fillers typically last anywhere from 3-6 months depending on a number of things, like your metabolic rate, how much you move your lips, and how much product you apply to the lips. Meaning? If you’re someone who can’t shut up, drunkenly makes out with everyone in sight, and applies lip gloss constantly, then your fillers won’t last as long as someone who…well, doesn’t.

What Is The Maintenance Involved?

“Most patients will come back every 6 months, but it’s not required,” says Dr. Devgan. “You can definitely try lip fillers once and never do it again.”

What Are The Risks Involved?

According to Dr. Devgan, lip augmentation is generally a pretty safe procedure, with the main concerns being bruising and swelling; however, there are some more serious risks involved. “There are theoretical risks of infection, tissue injury, or necrosis, and this is why you absolutely must trust your face to an expert in facial anatomy. Don’t Groupon your face!” she warns.

So if you’ve been considering plumping your pout, just know that some swelling should be expected and that you should trust your doctor so that they can properly customize the correct lip size for you—you know, so people don’t start confusing you for a member of the Zolciak-Biermann family.

Images: Ian Dooley / Unsplash

The Mane Betch
The Mane Betch
Kelsi is a New York City girl who loves hair products, vintage fur coats and any drink that contains both vodka and champagne. In addition to Betches, you may have seen some of her work on, Teen and Mane, among other sites! See what your girl is up to on Instagram @Keke_andthecity.