When I first decided to get lip fillers, I wasn’t necessarily sure what I wanted, but I definitely knew what I wanted. did not do will have. If you’ve scrolled your FYP on TikTok recently, you’ve probably witnessed reviews of some of the your favorite celebs and their less than ideal filler results – that was exactly what I intended to avoid.

Fortunately, I was able to do that. But only thanks to my incredible dermatologist Dr. Michelle Henry, MD. I pressed her and Los Angeles’ favorite, Dr. Kimberly Lee, Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeonto dish on the biggest mistakes made while getting lip fillers – and most importantly, how to avoid them.

Ask yourself, are you an ideal candidate?

“The biggest mistake people make is bringing in a picture of a celebrity and hoping their lips will look the same,” says Dr. says Lee. “Everyone’s lip anatomy is different, and lips need to be balanced with the rest of their faces.” That is why Dr. Henrik always leads with a conservative approach. “The nose, the lips, the chin, they all work together,” she insists.

The lip itself also acts as a guide. “If someone has a really, really, really thin lip, there’s only so much you can do,” says Dr. Henry repeats. “If the lips are really tied down, they can’t hold that much filler—at least not quickly. We’re going to have to go really slow.” In addition, a fuller lip can often accommodate more filler and actual need more fuller to result in a visual difference. “A really small lip, I can get away with half a squirt to see a change,” she continues. “But in a fuller lip, if they want to see a difference, sometimes I need a full syringe and have them come back in two weeks to layer it. The body accommodates it better and more naturally when we are doing it slowly.”

Choose the “right” look

According to Dr. Lee, the lower lip should always be larger than the upper lip, so it is important to maintain this proportion to avoid scrutiny from prying eyes – a point that Dr. Henry drives home. “If I look at someone and the first thing I think of is lips, it disrupts the harmony of the face,” says Dr. says Henry. “You should say, ‘Look at this beautiful.’ face.’ You should say, ‘Oh, beautiful lips, beautiful eyes, beautiful lips.’ If you’re like, ‘Oh my god, there are some, they’re really, really big or like hypersculpted lips,’ then it doesn’t look natural.”

But size isn’t the only way to tell that lips may be full. Dr. Henry says the lips shouldn’t be so full that you can’t see some of the lines in the skin. “Sometimes the lips can get so full that they just shine, and you can’t see the natural variation in the skin because it’s like a full balloon—you can’t see any of the natural folds,” she says.

We don’t want really puckered lips, do we? But when a lip is really overfilled, it can take on an uncannily smooth appearance that we don’t see on natural, unfilled lips.

blake newby before and after

Courtesy of Blake Newby

Think outside of aesthetics

A hard duck lip isn’t the only risk you run when you overcrowd – it can also come with negative health effects.

“The biggest danger in overfilling the lip is that we can compromise the vasculature (accidentally injecting into blood vessels and causing necrosis), a vascular occlusion,” says Dr. says Henry. “We can actually block it because we add so much filler that it compresses these vessels and can lead to compromised blood flow. That’s the worst outcome.”

A buzzy term currently taking over social media is filler migration. “Filler migration can sometimes happen because the fillers are malleable for about 14 days, sometimes longer, after the injection,” adds Dr. Lee. And while she insists that sometimes a little tweaking is a good thing, it also means the filler can migrate unintentionally.

“For example, if you have a facial right after the injection, the filler will migrate to other unintended places and settle there after 2-3 weeks,” she says. “But sometimes the migration isn’t always obvious because there’s swelling after the injections are done. Remember, fillers are hydrophilic—which means they attract water, which means you see swelling.”

Know how (and when) to dissolve

The good news is: dissolving lip fillers if you’re unhappy is a fairly straightforward process…but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will solve all your problems.

“If a hyaluronic acid-based filler is used, the solvent is injected [in]to the area and the filler dissolves within 24-48 hours,” shares Dr. Lee. to dissolve it.”

She explains that another challenge is that doctors cannot control how much filler has to be dissolved, so Dr. Lee always prepares patients to expect that all the filler may disappear. “Most patients are not aware that the solvent is more but more expensive than the filler,” she explains further. “However, if a non-hyaluronic acid filler is used, you are out of luck as the solvent is specific for this and other options need to be discussed.”

Embrace your new look

In the days following your fillers, you can expect a little bit of swelling and bruising – but make no mistake, it’s not a little shine (like my favorite of Amy Cole) and ice cream (try this smart cryo-freezing tool) cannot correct. Note, this is why experts suggest giving yourself a two-week grace period after filling Before any major event.

Additionally, I was sure to increase my water intake to improve blood flow, something I have found incredibly helpful in speeding up the healing process. In short, don’t be alarmed if your pout is a little juicier than expected at first. When everything works out, hopefully you’ll be as obsessed with your results as I am.

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