Kylie Jenner, Charlotte Crosby, Sharon from around the block. It seems that lip fillers are becoming more and more popular among beauty upkeeping. They used to be something only seen on social media or on the big screens, however, now they can be seen on the majority of people’s faces. A study by VICE UK says that in 2019, 7% of 60,000 (4,200) people had “beauty treatments”.
What are lip fillers?
The main ingredient in lip fillers is hyaluronic acid, a substance that is naturally produced in the human body. This can be injected into other areas of the face as well as the lips, such as the cheeks.
The main purpose for lip fillers is to make them plumper and voluminous. However, the size of them do not last forever and the person getting them done can generally return from 6 – 18 months.
The recipient is given either numbing cream to put on their lips or they can have dental block injections. The numbing cream is a nicer alternative to the injections for those who don’t like injections in their mouth. Recipients are usually left for 20-40 minutes to let the cream or dental block numb the area.
Once the area is numb, the beautician will begin the procedure usually at the cupids bow as that area can be sensitive, even with cream or dental block. After that part is out the way, the beautician will continue adding the rest of the filler to the lips, making sure the recipients lips are equal. The beautician may stop every now and then to let the recipient see what their lips look like, if they are happy with them and if there is anything that they would like the beautician to do.
The fillers should be done around 30 – 45 minutes, depending on the amount being injected. The numbness may take two hours to wear off if the recipient has used dental block. Any aftercare will be explained by the person carrying out the injections.
Reading the above may prepare people for what they are going to experience physically, but it won’t prepare them for the emotional or mental experience. Hence why some people have decided to share their experience with lip fillers and the impact it had on them.
“I have never seen myself as pretty or beautiful and one reason why was because of my lips. It wasn’t like I had no lips at all, but I felt like the size of my nose made my lips looks smaller. So, one month after I turned 18, in 2018, I went and got lip fillers.
“The first time I got them done, there was a massive difference. Of course, the swelling makes them much bigger than they are going to be, so I had to wait a week to see the final results. It was a real shock to see my lips that big as I had spent 18 years seeing myself one way and now I felt like a completely different person. Nevertheless, I was happy with the results and did not regret having them done. For the first time, I genuinely felt prettier and smiled at myself when I looked in the mirror.
“However, they got slightly smaller as the months went on and I realised that I much preferred how my lips looked when they were swelled. I class that as my first addiction, every time I looked in the mirror I would say to myself, “I wish they looked like they did when they were swelled”. You don’t realise how much you actually miss them until you are booking your next appointment six months later.
“Do I think I could stop having them done? No, getting them done once a year makes me feel good about myself. They have changed my life as I feel a lot happier about how I look when I am in public or on my social media.“
Hope, 20, Sheffield Hallam University
“When I had fillers I was 18, and I didn’t have much confidence. I’d just come out of a long-term relationship and I wanted to really find myself and recreate myself, so getting fillers was part of that journey. I was quite shy and my self-confidence was very low at that point, I just wanted to feel happy. I felt my appearance almost wasn’t good enough compared to all these other girls on social media.
“Emotionally it was a bit draining. Of course you want to look your best but it’s about how you get to that place and then thinking will getting fillers make me happy or not? For me it was the best thing I did and I don’t regret it at all, I get them done every year and it feels incredible
“Mentally, I was so so happy when I first saw the results. I felt like it had instantly changed my appearance, my smile was different, my side profile was different, it was everything I’d wanted; the confidence I needed. Although, the actually procedure is a bit painful, it was well worth it. I think sometimes the media blow up the idea that cosmetics and surgery is so bad for mental health and it looks fake etc, but I think if someone wants to change a feature of their appearance who are you to stop them doing that? We’re all struggling with our own insecurities and that could be just what the person needs to feel happy. I did it for me and I’m so glad I did.
“To some degree, social media does play a part in how young girls see themselves and compare each other, but I think you’ve got to remember it’s not real.“
Sophie, 20, University of Huddersfield
“I decided to get filler because I was bored and wanted a change. The size or shape of my lips were not something that bothered me and I thought that it would be fun. I chose lip fillers as changing my lips seemed like something fun to change. It was cheap, it is not permanent so if I didn’t like them then I could just not go again. It also seemed like the most exciting thing to change.
“Before having them done, I was anxious about them going wrong and looking a fool, but it was something I wanted doing.
“I did not feel any different after I had the filler. It was not amazing and I felt a little anxious that I would be judged for having them, but I did feel a little good about myself. I do not believe that you should just love yourself and not change things, do it if you can. If you can afford it then do it, try it. Yes there are risks, but just try it and see.
“I don’t really need to keep having them done as some of the filler has stayed in the outline of my lips and I do not see them as a necessity. For me, the procedure hurt and I was not expecting it to hurt that much for my first procedure. If it did not hurt as much as it did then I would definitely have them done again.”
Julia, 44, from Plymouth