“But Don’t Touch My Lips …” by Terri Harper

“But Don’t Touch My Lips….”

I hear these words frequently when patients ask me what I think they need and I mention the ‘L’ [lips] word. “I don’t want to look like a freak!” Of course, I want my patients to look freaky after their treatment, right? No! I aspire for a ‘natural’ and ‘youthful’ appearance after any treatment. Beautiful lips are all about proportions: again, natural and youthful. My patients also frequently say, “One reason I come to you is that you are always honest with me. I trust you.” But patients don’t really trust me when it comes to their lips.

Beautiful lips are not always about volume, but about light reflection and proportion.
I think there are several reasons for these common responses. First, there are an abundance of women out there who have had ‘bad’ lip injections and do indeed, look ‘freaky’ or unnatural. Secondly, there are too many injectors who disregard the ‘art of lips’ or proportion. The goal is to maintain the proper proportion of the upper and lower lip with volume and/or definition. Many clients have lost definition of the lip border, known as the vermillion border. They may complain of lipstick ‘crawling’ up vertical lines or have to draw their lips with a lip pencil everyday.

I maintain that the lips are one of the most difficult areas of the face to inject for most clinicians. Clinicians are, after all, clinical, scientific, abstract, – not artist! We think in objective, quantitative terms of millimeters and ccs, and usually not in aesthetics. In training clinicians on lips injections, this is a common stumbling block. Lips require science AND art. An injector must know proper proportions and how to create those proportions with the products. Beautiful lips are not always about volume, but about light reflection and proportion. The first step in any lip augmentation is to evaluate the proportions of the upper and lower lips. Ideally, sixty percent of total volume should be in the lower lip and 40 % in the upper lip. If a patient comes in and ask for their upper lip to be augmented to the size of their lower lip- it’s time to educate! Lips with the same size upper and lower lip are a dead give away that augmentations have been done. The second step for an injector is to evaluate the lips in relation to the other facial features. A larger nose, for example, may call for less fullness in the lips. The same is true with cheeks. Larger prominent cheeks can handle fuller lips. A good injector considers all of these things and recommends the lip treatment (or lack thereof) that creates a natural and youthful appearance. Great lip injections require experience and education, science and art. With that in mind, trust a good injector with your lips and pucker up!

Read a real clients story about her new lips here