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The Ultimate Guide to Cosmetic Lip Enhancement: Lip Injections, Plumpers & More

Along with the eyes and nose, the lips are one of the face’s most prominent focal points. They frame our smiles and add character to the way we look with unique colors, sizes, and shapes. Because of this, they’re also one of the most popular features to enhance through cosmetic procedures. If you want to achieve more symmetrical, proportional, and youthful lips, you have options from topical products to surgery to lip injections, a favorite at our Calgary practice.

This blog post is your ultimate guide to everything you need to know about cosmetic lip enhancement. We’ll cover what it achieves, which approaches work best, and what to expect from your treatment experience.

How Does Lip Enhancement Change for Different Genders, Ages, and Races?

What does it mean to have attractive, ideal lips? While some standards of beauty change depending on gender, age, or race, many features are universally desired across all demographics.

Male and female model posing

Gender

For women, standards of beauty include plenty of volume in the lips and a round, pouty shape that brings out the face’s youthfulness and femininity. The standard for men is proportional volume: not too thin, but not exceptionally plump.

People of all genders seek symmetry, definition of the lips’ borders, and a smooth, soft skin surface. Another commonality is a natural-looking result that flatters each person’s unique features and doesn’t look fake, overdone, or “worked on.”

Older woman model

Age

As we lose collagen throughout the aging process, our lips thin and develop vertical lines. The goal of lip enhancement for this age group is primarily to restore balanced proportions and replace any volume that has been lost over time.

Young people who have naturally thin lips choose lip enhancement to improve their lip size and shape and perfect their lip appearance. It’s not uncommon for people to start exploring lip enhancement options as early as their late teens or early 20s.

Female model in tank top

Race

Some racial groups tend to have naturally larger or smaller lips. They may choose to enhance their natural lip shape or correct for symmetry, size, and definition. It’s important to work with an aesthetic provider who has experience creating customized and attractive results for people of all races and lip shapes.

What Does Lip Enhancement Correct?

Lip enhancement procedures are designed to address a number of different concerns, including:

  • Thin Lips: Adds fullness to thin lips to rejuvenate and refine proportions of the upper and lower lips.
  • Asymmetry: Improves symmetry between the left and right sides of the lips.
  • Definition: Sharpens the definition of the vermillion border (the line that surrounds the pink part of the lip).
  • Lip Lines: Smooths vertical lines on and around the lips. Learn more about those dreaded lip lines and the best treatments for them in this related blog post.

At your cosmetic consultation, your aesthetic provider will talk with you in-depth about your goals for your look and focus the treatments on bringing those goals to life.

What Are My Options for Lip Enhancement?

Options for lip enhancement include everything from topical cosmetic products to surgical procedures. Here’s a closer look at each of them.

Models lips

Topical Plumping Products

These products include lip glosses or balms formulated with ingredients that draw blood into the lips for a temporary plumping effect.

  • Discomfort: Mild tingling
  • Recovery: None
  • Reversal: Not necessary as results are short-lived
  • Durability: Very temporary, typically only lasting a few hours
Models lips being injected

Lip Injections

A top choice for lip enhancement, injections of dermal fillers, typically formulated with hyaluronic acid, add precise volume just below the skin.

  • Discomfort: Mild discomfort easily managed with a topical anesthetic and numbing medication formulated into the filler
  • Recovery: Little to none, mild swelling and bruising for a few days
  • Reversal: Hyaluronic acid fillers are dissolvable at any time
  • Durability: Results last for 6 to 12 months and gradually dissolve
Model touching lips

Lip Implants

This surgical procedure places a silicone implant in the upper or lower lip or both.

  • Discomfort: Little to none with local anesthesia
  • Recovery: Soreness in the lips, healing incisions on the sides of the mouth for several days, 1 to 2 weeks for scar tissue to hold the implant in place
  • Reversal: Lip implants can be removed with an additional surgery
  • Durability: Long-lasting results
Model puckering lips

Lip Lift

This surgical procedure shortens the distance between the nose and upper lip and creates a more lifted shape in the upper lip.

  • Discomfort: Little to none with local anesthesia
  • Recovery: A week to 10 days
  • Reversal: Cannot be reversed but may be revised with an additional surgery
  • Durability: Long-lasting results

Each option offers its benefits and drawbacks in terms of invasiveness, recovery time, and results. You can learn more about each option’s tradeoffs in the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ related blog post.

All About Lip Injections

Before and after lip injections
Most people at ReNue choose lip injections for augmentation because they offer the best mix of limited recovery time, reversibility, and customizable results that last for months. Curious about what’s involved? Here is an overview of everything you need to know.

Types of Fillers

JUVÉDERM® is a favorite filler for lip injections at ReNue. It contains hyaluronic acid, a sugar found naturally in the body that attracts and holds water. Injected as a gel consistency, this substance both adds immediate volume and maintains moisture and hydration in the lips over time before gradually dissolving.

How To Prepare for Lip Injections

Start by researching potential providers to make sure they hold the necessary credentials to perform injections and have great reviews from former patients. The day before your appointment, avoid alcohol and blood-thinning medications to reduce your chance of bleeding or bruising.

What to Expect

Lip injection appointments consist of a short series of injections with minimal discomfort. Through these injections, your provider carefully places the filler just under your skin. You’ll notice a difference in your look right away.

Enhancement Options

Customize your look with additional enhancers, such as:

  • Lip Flips: Wrinkle-reducing injections into the lips stop the upper lip from curling inward, especially when smiling. If you feel like your top lip disappears when you smile, this may be worth adding to your treatment.
  • Keyholes: This shaping technique creates a small keyhole-shaped opening between the upper and lower lip to accentuate fullness.

Recovery

After lip injections, you can return to work and your other daily activities right away. You may notice minor swelling and bruising for a few days, but this is typically easy to manage and dissipates within a week or so.

Cost

Lip fillers are priced per syringe, so the overall cost depends on how many syringes you need to achieve your desired look. You will receive a detailed quote after your provider assesses your concerns at your consultation.

Ready to enjoy full, symmetrical, flattering lips? We would love to talk more with you about your options for achieving a look you love. To get in touch, please contact us online or call (403) 454-1244 (Calgary) or (403) 945-0350 (Airdrie) or (403) 523-1091 (Seton). We look forward to hearing from you!