An Honest Look At Lip Fillers
How time flies, huh? Back in July I posted my very first blog post about my lip filler experience, and now, here we are in March, and I’m filling you in on everything that’s happened since. I’ll confess early on that if you’re looking for a horror story, you’re certainly not going to find one here. Taking the plunge and booking my first ever appointment with Dr. Rachel Tallent at Tallent Medical was a classic moment of CP spontaneity, but I don’t regret getting lip fillers one iota.
“What is your history with lip fillers?”
In this post I’ll be sharing every experience since the very first appointments, from any top ups since, any problems and how I’ll be caring for my lips going forward. Before I delve any deeper, it might be useful for those who are new to lip fillers to understand a little about my previous background. As I mentioned, my first ever appointment with Rachel was in July. I’d done a bit of research on Google and found the Tallent Medical website, thought Rachel looked extremely professional and got in touch to book a consultation. There was no pressure to go ahead with the procedure if I decided I didn’t want to, and the consultation was completely free.
If you’re interested in lip fillers or any kind of aesthetic treatment, this should always be the case. Do your research online first - finding reviews if you can - and make sure you engage in a consultation (these should never cost!). Unless you feel 100% comfortable and sure you want to go ahead, don’t. As always, it’s your body, and your choice. Rachel’s background is as a GP which instantly put me at ease, and when I met her she was cool, calm and collected and her clinic room was extremely clean. All of these factors combined made me feel comfortable, and that’s exactly how you should feel in your chosen clinic environment.
“Why did you get top up lip filler treatments?”
Since July, I’ve had two top-up appointments. Rather than these being necessary, I think once I had dipped my toe into the lip filler pool and found it to be perfectly fine, I knew I wanted to achieve a certain size and shape and also to be able to maintain this over time. The filler I have is called Juvederm Volift, and this typically lasts 6-12 months; the reason I opted to have 3-4 monthly top ups is so the filler will hopefully last longer because it has been built up, as opposed to applied all in one go. During my latest top up a few weeks ago I went for an extra 0.5ml, concentrating the filler in the centre third and more so in my bottom lip, which I prefer to be bigger. Top tip: you can choose where you would like the filler to be distributed, meaning that if you have a dream shape in mind or a certain reality star *cough* that you’re longing to emulate, then your doctor can help you achieve this.
“So how long will the lip filler last?”
This will vary depending on the filler that you choose or the options that your doctor has available, but as I mentioned, Juvederm Volift typically lasts 6-12 months. Typically is a frustrating word, right? Considering that the gap between that time-frame is double the minimum expectation, here’s why your lip filler will begin to wear off: filler naturally breaks down due to muscle movement, which is more prevalent in the lips simply because you use your lips almost all day, every day. It’s impossible to estimate how much an individual is going to move their lips and how well the filler will stay, hence why the estimate is so broad. However, Volift has a more stable structure than certain other cheaper options, which means it doesn’t break down as quickly. Ultimately it just comes down to your own preference in terms of when you get them topped up - for me, I’ll probably see how they look and feel in about 4/5 months time and go from there.
“I’ve read a lot of lip filler horror stories and I’m worried - should I be?”
No; it would be irresponsible of me to say that there aren’t any risks involved, because there are, but these are very, very low. If performed correctly, the only major things that can go wrong are allergic reactions (which, if you have any known ones you can avoid and if you don’t, unfortunately you can’t) and skin death. Yep, skin death - sounds terrifying right? Again, extremely, extremely unlikely, this happens when bloody supply is cut off to the lips and basically the skin dies. I’ve done a little research on this and it only tends to happen when somebody gets too much filler, too fast. A good doctor will never let you do that. In my opinion, a good doctor should never let you inject more than 1ml in one sitting, and you need to be responsible with what you’re asking for and accept that the more drastic the change, the greater the risk.
Other than that, lumps tend to be the biggest concern for lip fillers. FYI, these are totally normal, although your doctor should routinely check that the filler is evenly distributed throughout the procedure and massage out any bumps as they go along. If any bumps are visible post-treatment you can gently massage these out yourself or go back to your doctor, but if they aren’t visible and they’re not bothering you, just leave them - they’ll go of their own accord as the filler naturally breaks down.
“I want lip fillers but I’m afraid I will be judged. How has your experience been?”
I’m hardly the shy and retiring type when it comes to personal choices, so I was never going to be swayed by negative misconceptions of aesthetics or people judging me as a result. My body = my choice, and as long as I enjoy the way lip fillers make me look and feel, then I will continue to get them. Some people do harbour stereotypical prejudices about aesthetic treatments (lip fillers and Botox especially, I feel), thinking that as soon as you have a bit of filler you’re “fake” or “plastic”. These people are dicks (excuse my French), and they also don’t get to control the way you feel about yourself or the decisions you make about your body. And let’s be real, if we’re going down the “fake” route, I better start stripping my hair, scrubbing my skin and binning my make-up. Where do the boundaries begin? At which point do I materialise IRL because I’ve achieved a certain level of “naturalness”? If you want it, get it - that’s the be all and end all of it.
Since having lip fillers, the worst I’ve experienced is shock if I reveal I’ve had them done, sometimes coupled with a “but you’re so young though!” expression of some sort. I experienced a lot of apprehension and negativity before, and a few giggles and raised eyebrows during the one day of post-treatment swelling, but once everything is settled down, it’s really just a person’s own stigma and misconceptions that would make them think negatively of me rather than anything to do with the way that the fillers look. If anybody ever judges you for having aesthetics treatments - or any kind of procedure done, in fact, whether that’s lip fillers, tattoos or breast augmentations - then that is more telling of them as a person, than of you. Ultimately if you do the proper research, are sure in yourself and happy with the results, then you.do.you.