Lip fillers: What are they and what do they feel like?

Lip fillers: What are they and what do they feel like?


Lip fillers are having a bit of a moment – but how much do you really know about them, and what should you expect from the results?

Lip fillers video

Lip fillers; they’re not everyone’s cup of tea but they are one of the most Googled beauty search terms in the UK. A safe bet that a lot of you are at the very least a little curious.

Yes, lip fillers have a bit of a bad rep, but that’s mostly down to a handful of celebrity plastic surgery incidents. In 2002, Men Behaving Badly star Lesley Ash suffered an incident that left her barely recognisable and a reluctant poster girl for lip fillers gone bad. Even now, more than 15 years on, her lips are still affected. But, to put this into perspective, Ash’s lips were injected with liquid silicone by the mother of a friend, a Venezuelan plastic surgeon. Thankfully, permanent silicone lip fillers are a thing of the past in the UK.

Everyone has their own opinion on aesthetic treatments. What’s OK, what’s not, what justifies a treatment, what doesn’t. Sadly people are quick to criticise and label women who do indulge in a little ‘work’. Worse still, this judgement is usually dished out by other women.

Case in point – Kylie Jenner was so terrified of the inevitable judgey comments that she lied for months about her lip fillers. When she revealed she uses lip fillers on Keeping Up With The Kardashians she said: ‘I’m just not ready to talk to reporters about my lips yet, because everyone always picks us apart. People are so quick to judge me on everything.’ The reality TV star has since removed them.

Lip Fillers Kylie Jenner

Kylie Jenner lip fillers before and after

But, lets be clear, choosing to have a filler here-and-there doesn’t mean you can’t be a feminist, nor does it mean that you’re overly vain. And it certainly doesn’t mean that you’re suffering from any underlying emotional issues.

Got a few questions? We spoke to Dr Terry Loong, Lead Medical Director at W1 Knightsbridge, to get the low-down on lip fillers. Not convinved? Read our guide to the best lip plumpers instead.

What are lip fillers?

Today’s sophisticated fillers are made of Hyaluronic Acid (or HA), a substance that’s found naturally in the body. It’s a pretty useful beauty ingredient because it’s able to hold up to 1,000 times its own weight in water. This is the reason why you’ll find it up front and centre on the back of your skincare products. In a cream, it can only do so much because it can’t penetrate the outer layers of your skin to reach a depth where it can have an instant and noticeable impact. Some brands are using low molecular weight HA, to try and force it deeper into the skin, but even that can only do so much. That’s where the needle comes in.

Because HA is something that our body produces – albeit it in lesser quantities as we age – it’s happily accepted, and once injected into the skin it’s easily broken down over a period of months. It’s far from permanent; which in itself is reassuring. And it’s not only used in the lips; it can plump out wrinkles, restore volume to cheeks and eradicate those vertical lines at the side of your mouth. So if you’re thinking about facial fillers, here’s what you need to know.

The risks with HA over, say, silicone injections are incomparable. But, if something were to go wrong there’s an antidote. Your aesthetician will use another injection that effectively dissolves it and reverse the mistake. Handy.

Are lip fillers safe?

Lip fillers are an aesthetic treatment so there’s always a chance that something could go wrong.  This is why it’s incredibly important to only allow a qualified, reputable professional to do it. Don’t ever be tempted to have your lip fillers at a spa or a beauty salon. A beautician hasn’t had the training that a cosmetic doctor has and they are most definitively not able to prescribe medication or treatment if something were to go wrong.

UK legislation for injectables is practically non-existent. In fact, it’s pretty embarrassing compared to the strict regulation that’s enforced throughout the most of Europe.

Research with your doctor and ask to see the before and after shots for their patients. Some doctors will even show a video of them performing the treatment on someone so you can see the results. Very reassuring. What’s more, if you’re unhappy with the results, your doctor is able to dissolve the HA instantly with another injection. Again, this is something a beautician can’t do. If you’re tempted by an offer at a salon, just don’t risk it.

Make sure you see the product you’re being injected with too. During your treatment the product should be taken from the box. Everything should be transparent. You should be able to see exactly what is going on and what is being used.

If you want to see a full list of possible complications, check out The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons’ website.

Are lip fillers painful? 

You might not believe it, but treatment is not painful. There are so many horror stories where people have had to stop proceedings before the treatment can even be completed because the process was too painful. But if the person administering the treatment is good, you won’t be in pain.

Of course, the discomfort level will mostly depend on your doctor’s technique. To put it into perspective; if your practitioner is good, it shouldn’t be any more uncomfortable than getting your eyebrows threaded. Seriously.

‘A local anaesthetic is provided, so speak to your physician before this to see where and how they are going to inject it,’ advises Dr Loong. ‘But don’t book your appointment a week before or the week of your period, as your pain sensitivity is heightened during this time.’

Where should I get lip fillers done?

If you know someone who has had their lips done ask them about their doctor. Would they recommend them? If that’s not an option get onto Google. Find reputable clinics in your area, read their testimonials, check out their before and after pictures. Copy and paste the doctor’s name into Google and see what other people think of their work. If your hair dresser or facialist offers you a little filler, politely decline.

‘Having an understanding of human anatomy is an absolute must, as physicians are able to identify any complications or issues that may arise during the appointment,’ says Dr Loong. ‘Particular products – like hyaluronidase, which can only be dispensed by a physician – can be used in these situations to dissolve the filler should an allergic reaction, ischaemic event or issue occur, but only a physician can legally have these products available.’

You can find a list of registered practitioners in your area on The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) website.

What happens during a consultation for lip fillers?

“Make sure you are offered a consultation prior to your appointment before allowing anyone to go near your lips,’ says Dr Loong. ‘The clinic itself should be extremely clean, preventing chances of infection. But also look at the practitioner’s lips and see if they look like something you would be happy with, as this is a great sign.’

In the spirit of investigative journalism I booked myself in to see Dr Kuldeep Minocha at Absolute Aesthetic’s in London. At 32 I have noticed my top lip thinning-out a little – nothing dramatic – but enough for me to notice, and enough to drive me crazy when I’m putting on my lipstick.

Dr Minocha is a qualified aesthetic doctor and his work leans on the side of subtle – which suited me just fine – an over-inflated pout is not my thing, and thankfully it isn’t his either. Dr Minocha was kind enough to allow us into his clinic with a camera so you can see the treatment for yourself. We went through a thorough consultation where I did my best to explain my issue with my top lip. While I chatted away, Dr Minocha was able to observe how the shape of my lips changed when I was animated.

He explained that the ‘ideal’ ratio for lips is one-third/two-thirds with the bottom lip being the fullest. He explained that he really wouldn’t do much to my lips – he thought they were OK anyway – but agreed that the top lip could benefit from a little filling out.

Is numbing cream used when you get lip fillers?

Dr Minocha talked to me about the product he would be using – in this case Emervel lips which has the right viscosity for lips and as the formula is super smooth it should give a nice, softly plump, finish. He donned his gloves, set up a sterile area, and coated my upper lip with a numbing cream.

After around 5-minutes my top lip was numb enough to get going. He used a cannula (which is like a fine hollow tube) and injected into the lip from just outside its edge – which would minimise bruising – and as he pulled the cannula out he slowly pushed the filler into my lips. I consider myself to have a pretty high pain threshold but I was anticipating this to hurt, a lot. The lips are very vascular and they bruise easily.

What do lip fillers feel like?

Surprisingly it didn’t hurt. There was a sharp pinch as the needle broke the skin and that’s it. The feel of the product pushing its way under my skin felt more weird than uncomfortable.

With the filler in place Dr Minocha firmly massaged my lip so that it was evenly distributed. This, he told me, would help prevent any lumps from forming, which was essential because I didn’t fall into the category of lip fillers gone wrong. One of the main reasons some women may experience bumps in their skin – or granulomas – is because the aesthetician has failed to properly massage it through the lip.

Having finished my top lip, Dr Minocha’s expert eye detected that my bottom lip needed a tiny amount to balance everything out. I decided to forego the numbing cream on the bottom lip (partly to compare it to the minimal pain with the numbing agent, and partly because I’m impatient and couldn’t be bothered to wait for the lip to go numb) and went straight for it. Even without the numbing cream it didn’t hurt. This no doubt has a lot to do with Dr Minocha’s method of injecting into the lip from outside its boarder rather than into the lip directly, but still, you would expect some kind of pain. But no, nothing – my eyes didn’t even water. Not that I was complaining.

Another massage on my bottom lip followed and I was done. My lips were very red, they were fuller – obviously – but I wouldn’t say they were very swollen. Even later that evening, when I expected them to expand in some kind of cartoon-like fashion, they behaved rather well. I was prepared with pain killers and ice packs but, thankfully, I didn’t need them.

How do they look and feel the next day?

‘You will see results straight away, followed by swelling, which is completely normal. This can last from anywhere between 12 and 48 hours, although it’s not unusual for this to continue for up to three days. During this time, an ice pack should be applied to the area to ease swelling.”

But by the next morning, any minor swelling that was there the day before was completely gone. I just had a slightly fuller, plumper mouth. Joy! Smooshing my lips together, everything felt completely normal, albeit for two tiny little lumps marking the areas where the cannula went in. After a couple of days even they were gone too.

On a personal note, I’m overjoyed with the treatment. It’s subtle and completely believable. I developed a tiny bruise that lasted four days and that was the only thing anyone noticed, if you have dark skin, chances are you won’t even bruise. My own family didn’t even guess what I had done – instead colleagues and friends told me I looked ‘refreshed’, ‘healthy’ and ‘glowy’ and a couple of people told me that they liked the way I had done my make-up, though I hadn’t changed it at all. It’s kind of amazing how one tiny ‘tweak’ had such an impact.

Lip fillers before and after

If you’re considering investing in lip fillers but you still had a few questions, we hope we’ve answered them here…

The post Lip fillers: What are they and what do they feel like? appeared first on Marie Claire.



Four foolproof ways to step up your beauty game this summer

Four foolproof ways to step up your beauty game this summer


This summer your hair routine is about to get a whole lot easier. Dazzle in the heat with beachy waves and shine intensifying sprays and colour that won’t fade no matter how high temperatures soar.

Want to nail low-maintenance beauty waves? The key is freshly-washed hair and Moroccan Oil’s exciting new styling products for tousled hair and, thank goodness, not a pair of tongs in sight (who has time to tong hair?).

How to get super model hair this summer

The days of the ‘show-dry’ – aka the perfectly coiffed blow-dry – are over. Hairstyles now are more lived-in; in other words, soft, shiny and tousled. For summer 2018, interpret this as flat roots, haphazardly wavy mid-sections and ends that are left straight instead of neatly curled under.

‘The trick is to do a rough blow-dry, working with your natural texture, and using your fingers to loosen the spirals and create zig-zags,’ says Marc Francombe-Painter who styled the hair on this shoot.

Moroccanoil has, hands down, the best products for this type of easy breezy look. The Dry Texture Spray, £17.45, is salt-free, thereby avoiding the dehydrated crunchiness of some texturising sprays, while the Glimmer Shine, £19.95, adds sheen and protects against sun damage but still manages to be lightweight enough that it won’t kill the look on fine hair.

Photographer Jason Hetherington 

How to perfect lived in beach hair

The golden rule for summer hair? Fresh, soft layers with tousle-inducing products.

‘Prep the hair first with a good clarifying shampoo and hair nourishing conditioner,’ says Francombe-Painter, who created these looks on our model Tess. ‘Then, apply our favourite Moroccanoil Beach Wave Mousse, £17.45 which leaves hair with a windswept, sun-kissed texture that enhances the natural waves in your hair.

‘Top it off with a mist of curling spray as opposed to a dry shampoo, which can look powdery in sunlight.’ We love Curl Re Energizing Spray, £17.85.

Framcombe-Painter also suggests tweaking the ends with a matte cream like the Texture Clay, £16.35 to create the illusion of a day already spent on the beach.

Photographer: Jason Hetherington

Don’t forget your sun shield

As tempting as it is to bask in the sun, your hair needs as much protection as your skin.

Wear your hair in a ponytail, top-knot or bun to protect the scalp, however, tie loosely as this will put a lot of stress on the hair, particularly those who have afro-textured hair, fine strands or light-coloured locks, which can be more easily damaged.

If you go out between 10am and 4pm, make it a priority to wear a hat or headscarf and stay in the shade. Fortunately for us, hats were all over the summer runways.

After a day at the beach use Moroccanoil Mending Infusion,£26.85, a vitamin-fuelled, quinoa protein-packed formula that reduces visible signs of damaged hair — such as frayed ends, dryness and colour damage — while taming frizz and preventing further damage.

Photographer Jason Hetherington

Give your hair an aura of ocean 

Thanks to the latest raft of summery, bright fragrances – all of which feature a strong sunscreen-like note – anyone can smell like they’re lying on the sandy shores of Mauritius.

With its exotic notes of tiaré flower, ylang-ylang and coconut, By Killian’s Love The Way You Feel EDP, £185 for 50ml, instantly conjures up memories of applying Hawaiian Tropic as a teenager. As the name implies, you will love how you feel wearing it – like you’ve stepped out of the ocean and are warming your skin in the sun.

Meanwhile, L’Artisan Parfumer Batucada EDT, £105 for 100ml, features a burst of fresh lime, cachaça and mint combined with a dab of sun cream and sea salt.

Spritz it through your hair and walk into a mist whenever you need to escape the daily grind.

Consider your summer beauty regime, sorted.

The post Four foolproof ways to step up your beauty game this summer appeared first on Marie Claire.

Summer’s 5 biggest body crazes you need to know about now

Summer’s 5 biggest body crazes you need to know about now


From freezing your fat to brainy workouts and releasing your chakras, these are the next level body hacks along with the behind the scenes making of the Marie Claire July shoot.

This summer is all about super intelligent bodies – these are the latest tips and treatments you need to try…

How to boost your body care

Body products have, until now, been geared towards pampering, not performance. But with the arrival of high-tech ingredients usually saved for our complexions, this category has evolved and now rivals the brightening, plumping and moisturising effects of our face serums as well as tackling issues such as cellulite.

Cerave Moisturising Cream, £14.50, contains hyaluronic acid, a moisture-boosting molecule that can hold 1,000 times its weight in water and delivers hydration for the whole body without the greasy residue of a rich body cream. Like facial exfoliators, body scrubs now come in less abrasive formulas – Ren’s Smart Renewal Body Serum, £35, uses fruit AHAs to tone and buff dry skin and works brilliantly on keratosis pilaris (those rough bumps on the tops of your arms).

If age spots and uneven tone are a concern, choose a lotion that protects against hyperpigmentation like Clarins Renew-Plus Body Serum, £41, or Skin Laundry’s Rejuvenating Anti-Ageing Neck and Chest sheet mask, £14, which brightens and hydrates one of our most vulnerable areas.

Meanwhile, products designed to diminish cellulite often contain caffeine for a temporary tightening effect. Yes, it’s pricey but Sisley’s Cellulinov Intensive Anti-Cellulite Body Care, £155, which also contains red algae, is one of the best formulas we’ve come across to firm up slack skin – both for instant gratification and in the long term with continued use.

And although your stretch marks won’t disappear altogether, retinoids and collagen stimulators can make a difference to their appearance. Try StriVectin Intensive Concentrate for Stretch Marks and Wrinkles, £120, as it uses oligopeptides to pump collagen back into the damaged skin.

Photographer Jason Hetherington

Everything you need to know about going with the flow

A fit body is about feeling strong physically, but also on an emotional, mental and energetic level. ‘Blockages in the flow of energy throughout your body (or chakras) can manifest as aches and pains, constipation and digestive issues caused by stress, anger and negative thinking,’ says David Peter, a traditional Chinese medicine specialist.

‘Thankfully, they can be cleared allowing energy, blood and fluid to flow again, restoring your body’s equilibrium.’ Peter recommends practising yoga and Qi Gong, as both focus on moving stagnant energy through and out of the body.

The needles used in acupuncture are also believed to help. ‘But the simplest, time-tested trick is to tap the centre of the chest,’ explains Peter. ‘This will dissipate energy helping to release emotional tension and elevate your mood.’

Bear in mind, too, that a diet free from processed foods is a great way to restore vitality. ‘Food has its own energy field, especially organic produce, which is grown as close as possible to the way nature intended. Microwaved food and those doused in pesticides, on the other hand, have literally no energy field,’ explains Peter.

Finally, spending time in nature is a great way to restore and harmonise your energy. ‘Trees and plants all have strong, healing vibrations that can help fine-tune your body’s own energy pathways,’ he says.

Photographer: Jason Hetherington

Clever ways to boost your brain

A fan of smartphone brain teasers? Then you will love the latest bio-body hack to hit the UK, The FitLight Trainer system.

Wireless lights are used as targets, which you activate or deactivate, depending on your training routine – the end goal being to improve hand–eye co-ordination, strength, speed and stamina. ‘It works on your reaction time, training your brain and body to work in sync,’ explains celebrity trainer Dalton Wong, founder of 22 Training.

‘Reaction Training wakes up and stimulates the brain first and then gets the nervous system and muscles jacked up and ready to go. It’s like a caffeine shot to your body, and it’s fun. Plus you make that mind and muscle connection – you think about your breath and your movement, both of which are key to an efficient workout.’

Photographer Jason Hetherington

Why you should be deep-freezing your fat

This year’s biggest body enhancer is Whole Body Cryotherapy – a body-shocking treatment that promises skin vitality, stress relief, a metabolism boost and better sleep.

What’s the catch?

For three minutes you stand in a chamber of frigid liquid nitrogen at -140 degrees celsius. Trust us, it is worth it. As your body is tricked into thinking it is going to freeze to death, your ‘fight or flight’ response kicks in – all of which means your circulation is boosted and you metabolism speeds up while the body fights to keep warm (how does burning 800 calories in the eight hours post-treatment sound as an incentive?). ‘

‘Once you’re back at room temperature, the extra-oxygenated blood circulates back through the body to relieve pain, eliminate toxins, boost cell renewal and trigger an anti-inflammatory response,’ says Dr Yannis Alexandrides, plastic surgeon and founder of 111 Harley Street and 111CRYO.

‘Increasing the flow of blood and oxygen around the body also assists in the elimination of excess lactic acid and aids with muscular recovery after a workout.’

At £95 a session, it comes with a hefty price tag but this cure-all treatment (at minimum effort) is a groundbreaker.

Photographer Jason Hetherington

The best ways to maximise your immunity

As soon as the sun makes an appearance, so does our gym kit. But low levels of vitamin D, combined with a lack of fresh air and movement over the past few months, means your body is likely to be at its weakest point of the year so you need to rebuild your system first.

Start off with a good dose of vitamin C – 65 to 90 mg is the daily recommended amount for an adult. One of the most noticeable effects of vitamin C deficiency is that skin becomes dry and lacks tone but a supplement such as Altrient C, £35.99, has the ability to regenerate collagen. As well as ramping up its suppleness and elasticity, collagen makes up the walls of those blood vessels, which carry oxygen, water and other nutrients to the skin.

Other superfoods for this time of year include artichokes and beetroot to detoxify the liver; plus mushrooms for their fibre and thyroid-balancing selenium.

Finally, stress causes minerals to become depleted at a rapid rate. Magnesium levels, in particular, suffer – consequently so does your sleep. As magnesium can be absorbed directly through the skin, try bathing in Dead Sea Spa Magik Bath Salts, £4.29, before bed.

Conversely, instead of chugging on energy drinks to feel more awake, add a pinch of salt to your drinking water.

This floods your system with natural electrolytes and allows your body to work at peak performance. Win-win.

The post Summer’s 5 biggest body crazes you need to know about now appeared first on Marie Claire.