Mary Byron By Mary Byron • April 26, 2018

Lip Obsession

Lip obsession is universal because full, well-defined lips are a hallmark of youth and beauty. In fact, they say that the eyes have it but 47%  of people actually notice the lips first.  Kylie Jenner proved that one need not be born with Angeline Jolie lips to have them, inspiring women of all ages to rush to their nearest injector. Not smart! Rejuvenating and plumping lips may be common but it is a science and an art left best to experts. What makes perfect lips? Size? Most definitely not! Balance and symmetry? More like it! However, the passage of time, hereditary factors, photo-damage, and personal habits like smoking contribute to loss of volume and the development of perioral lines. Fortunately, we have the Juvederm and Restylane families of hyaluronic fillers that come in different densities to provide better customization.

We line and color lips - something that our grandmothers were satisfied with but now we have fillers, threads, lip tattooing and of course lip surgery to come up with our most desired lip shapes. Although the most popular lip proportion is 1/3: 2/3, other attractive ones  according to author Jane Haner (The Wisdom of Our Lips) are:

  • Heart shaped - prominent Cupid's bow and full lower lips
  • Full lips - both upper and lower lips
  • Wide Lips - think Julia Roberts
  • Round Lips -the more compact version of full lips
  • Thin Lips - Suprisingly,  Heidi Klum makes this kind of lips classy!
  • Fuller Upper Lips - looks kittenish
  • Fuller Lower Lips -generally considered sensual
  • Bow Shaped Lips - like Taylor Swift and Scarlett Johansson

With more patients wanting the lips of Taylor Swift, highlighting the Cupid's Bow is now as much an obsession as plumping them.  According to Allure Magazine,  the Cupid's Bow Treatment defines the shape of the lips and enhances plumpness without adding too much volume. Although the volume of hyaluronic acid filler used depends on the desired results and the patient's own lip shape and size, the technique lies in injecting the outline of the Cupid's Bow with microdroplets - infinitely smaller than the volume usually introduced by needle or cannula.  The effect is that the Cupid's Bow  becomes more pronounced without "bee stung" look. 



Great lips start with a serious consultation where aesthetic goals are discussed with a seasoned professional. This session will determine whether you need more than 1 syringe during the initial injection, the over-all goal and the kind of filler to be used depending on your need for structure, definition, or fullness. Fillers differ depending on size of hyaluronic acid molecules and the degree of cross linking; the very reasons why some fillers are more pliable, others more "spready" or better at plumping-up for a pillowy look.

The best Injectors know how to use these fillers like an artist to "shape" symmetry and natural-looking  fullness to the lips according to the patient's:

  • Sharp edge - along the area of the vermillion border
  • Flat part - after the prominence of the tubercles
  • Rolling in - just medial to the oral commissures
  • Ridge - along the lower vermillion border
  • Bumps - the fleshy areas of the tubercles (includes the pink portion of the lips)

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