I could easily over line my lips with liner and even out my mouth but recently I was getting bored of that and decided to look into lip fillers once again.
I got them done at Destination Skin where I'd originally gone into to ask about the Obagi Blue Radiance Peel and saw that they had lip enhancement on the treatment menu.
I absolutely knew I wanted Juvaderm as it feels more natural, the other option was Restylane which is "harder" and more noticeable.
Disclaimer - Why I Got Them Done
There's always a stigma behind getting any cosmetic procedure done to your face and while I'm not against it I'm not for it either if it's done for the wrong reasons or it gets out of hand and you don't know when to stop.
Don't get lip fillers or any other cosmetic procedure done if your doing it to please other people, because it's a trend or because you think you're ugly without them.
Do it for a confidence boost by all means but if you aren't happy with yourself getting your lips done isn't the answer.
I'm a pretty confident person when it comes to the way I look and have no problem going out in public with a bare face my hair scraped in a bun and wearing my gym gear.
Having plumper lips won't change than and neither will it give me a confidence boost because my natural lips are not something that make me self conscious, now give me a nice bit of adult acne and it's a whole different story...
I'm naturally quite a lazy person when it comes to beauty maintenance and in the same way that I have my keratin hair smoothing treatments done so that I can wash my hair without the need to blow dry it, epilate my legs, arms and underarms once a week so that I don't have to shave every day I decided to give lip injections a try so that I don't have to line my lips on a daily basis, it's that simple!
I explained to the nurse how I feel like the sides of my top lip flip inwards and that I usually end up over lining my lips to give more symmetry and to even out the fullness so that it matches my bottom lip.
She explained straight away that someones natural lip shape is all to do with the teeth and natural bone structure of the face and that can have an effect on how your lips look.
I have both open bite and a slight overbite which I know is the reason why my top lip isn't even so this wasn't a surprise to me.
She explained how she can just even out the sides to give a more symmetrical look and that luckily I have a defined edges and cupids bow so it's an easy "fix" so to speak.
She also explained how most people go in with a certain expectation of how their lips will look like right from the get go and on some it will take more than one sitting to achieve that.
She then when through all the things that could go wrong and that it's not a pretty procedure and that swelling, bruising and the general feeling of being slapped in the face is to be expected.
Once you've had the consultation you are then given the option of either mulling it over for a few days or going ahead right there and then which is what I did.
I decided on the later because I knew that if I walked out there without getting my lips done I would have talked myself out of it. Not so much out of fear but more because for me it's not essential to me, I can change the shape of my mouth with lip liner and lip fillers for me are more of a "time saver" if the shape is always there then I don't have to create a new one when I do my makeup in the morning.
Once I'd confirmed that I was okay to proceed she slapped on a nice generous coat of numbing cream all over my lips and surrounding mouth area and left it on for about 20 minutes while we filled out paperwork. The numbing cream is lethal and you can feel it work almost straight away and all I could think about the whole time was "don't get any in your mouth or you'll have a numb tongue" and who wants that?
To be honest the whole numbing process is enough for me to know that the chances of me having this procedure done again are slim to none, I know that sound wimpy or whatever but it's just not pleasant.
The Actual Procedure
I braced myself for the first injection and felt absolutely nothing, okay let me re-phrase that, I felt the tiniest of nicks but on a scale of 1 to 10 it's about a two.
Then you feel the Juvaderm go in and without a doubt it's the weirdest part of the procedure by far, it's not painful or un-comfortable just very odd.
Now here's the worst part of the treatment, when the lidocaine sets in you lips go completely numb (the numbing cream is nothing in comparison) and you don't feel a thing which you'll be thinking "great, I don't want to feel a thing" but for me it was a big massive negative and one of the things that would put me off having it done again.
I couldn't feel the nurse touching my lip and I could no longer feel the product going in, I felt completely alien, as if one or more of my senses had been switched off and I didn't like it one bit!
Six to eight injections later and I could already see a couple of bruises forming and my lips where swollen but that is completely normal and something you need to be prepared for, this is not a lunchtime procedure and there will be some downtime required.
My lips bled a fair amount but not as much as I would have thought they would and I could tell straight away that I'm a "bruiser" good job I had the week of work!
What Did She Use On Me?
The nurse used 1ml of Juvaderm 3 which is an hyaluronic acid based gel that is naturally broken down by your body over the course of 3-6 months.
Fun Fact: hyaluronic acid is naturally present in our bodies and works as a moisture magnet to retain up to a 1000 times it's weight in water. It's also present in most high tech serums and moisturisers and is the quickest and most effective way of saying goodbye to dehydrated skins.
Before pic: just goes to show how good I am with lip liner!
The right side of my mouth completely slopes down so I have to over line to even it out.
After pic: don't be fooled, the bruising and swelling was way worse in person!
I could have given Donal Duck a run for is money!
My lips look super swollen and I can see a couple of little bruises appearing on either side but I can see that the shape is evened out, I can't wait to see how much worse they look the next day which is when most of the bruising makes an appearance.
I know that this isn't the final look and that they will de-puff a fair bit over the next two weeks but at the same time it's quite hard to visualise what your gonna look like when at the minute you looked like you've been punched in the mouth!
They feel kinda numb the whole day which again is quite normal but they aren't particularly painful unless I pucker my lips and surprisingly eating and drinking is okay even though I feel like I'm being overly cautious.
I woke up to cartoon lips, they where that swollen! It can be quite alarming but I was told to expect this, they also felt quite hard and the left side of my lip is bruised. I'm surprised that I've had no pain, uncomfortable definitely but pain wise I've had nothing.
Because I have no shame I went out in public, in broad daylight looking like this and without a shadow of a doubt people either think "she's had her lips done" or "she got in a fight on the weekend" because my mouth does not look normal at the moment.
I can move my lips as normal eating, drinking and talking is fine but I find when I'm brushing my teeth I'm being so overly cautious as to not catch the inside of my mouth.
This is also piss take day where my sister as done nothing but make quack sounds and tell me I look like a duck, thanks!
Day 2I'm definitely less swollen today than I was yesterday and my lips feel a lot softer and more pliable, I can roll my lips together and they don't feel "normal" in the slightest!
The bruise is still there and is probably going to be there for the next few days but I can cover it quite easily with lipstick. Speaking of lipstick, I tried my usual lip liner on today and my lips looked indecent, like we are talking pornstar mouth! So it's safe to say that I will be opting for the less is more approach until the swelling as gone down completely.
I'm also having to apply lip balm far more than I did before but I think its because my lips are just extremely dry from the trauma cause by the procedure.
Day3Swelling is definitely slowly going down but I still look like I've been slapped in the face and the bruising is still there but now fading from purple to a nice shade of red raw.
The most concerning thing at this point as that they still feel "hard" I think this is the part that I wasn't prepared for, they feel kinda rubbery and I'm hoping that this feeling will go away.
Look wise I just can't make my mind up, when I look in the mirror I feel like I look so different and not like myself, but at the same time I don't dislike them. One thing I do love is how smooth my lips look, I have always had the kind of lips that look wrinkled even when they are not but this procedure as completely changed that.
Day 7They are starting to look somewhat normal but still feel kinda numb and very rubbery.
There still some swelling but most of it as gone down but the still look rather ridiculous when I wear lipstick.
Without lipstick, I personally think they don't look bad but my mom and sister hate them!
With lipstick they still look huge but not completely ridiculous like they did at the beginning of the week, Jenna Jameson job is safe, lol.
People I know can quite clearly tell that I've had my lips done but wont actually ask me about them which is quite funny, they just stare.
It's fine people, ask away, it's not like I'm gonna lie about having them done!
Two weeksIt's taken a full two week for them to feel normal and all of the swelling as now gone leaving me with a noticeably plumper pout that does not look fake or over the top, or at least to me it doesn't.
Obviously if you look at before and after pictures there's a difference but then again who would have them done for them to look exactly like they looked before?
I most definitely do not need to over line my lips any longer but the best part is that they look symmetrical without me having to do anything to them!
I suppose the first thing I should address is would I have them done again?
Honestly, as of right now, I don't know! I do really love the way they look, especially when I'm not wearing any lip products, I would never have not worn liner and lipstick for work before this procedure whereas now I'm quite happy with just balm or a clear gloss.
However I am not sure if the cost and the downtime is really worth it for me. Despite being warned I really struggled with the first two week of having them done, I was expecting them to go down and feel normal so much quicker than they actually did.
The deal breaker here will be how long they last, the first time you get them done they supposed to last 3-6 months depending on how quickly your body breaks the hyaluronic acid. The second time you have them done they should last 4-8 months, third 9-12 months because your lips will have a slight build up of product as it can actually take up to 18 months for all of the product to go.
I feel like if I can get a good 6 months out of this set then I might just get them topped up but anything less than that and I don't think I can psyche myself up for another two weeks of discomfort, what can I say I'm a baby!
Would I recommend them to you? Yes, but only if you are getting them for the right reason and know your limits!
If your getting them for a confidence boost, great! Maybe you love lipstick and you just want bigger lips, cool! You have an un-even lip line that you want to fix, brilliant!
But if you are completely un-happy with yourself and your image then this isn't the answer.
Also be prepared that they might not look like you thought they would and that it may take more than one session to get the lips you want.