Despite being uncomprehendingly embarrassed by the whole thing, I have been very open online about recently getting lip fillers and if you follow me on Instagram or have me on Snapchat you’ll already have seen some updates. If you haven’t: I’ve been toying with the idea of lip fillers forever. I’ve always hated my lips and been somewhat obsessed with celebrities or people I knew who have bigger lips than myself. Contradictory to what the procedure may suggest, I’m not that superficial. I wear makeup a mere 20% of the time and am happy to walk around Glasgow in sweatpants and a bare face. Yet I’ve always contested that my lips are the one thing that shake my confidence, the one thing that if they were bigger, I’d be content.
The whole idea of the procedure terrified me. I am the worst candidate for a lip augmentation because (1) I hate needles and (2) I have genuine health anxiety and injecting something into my body is sure to set it off. Regardless, I decided to bite the bullet and go for a lip fillers consultation at my local surgeon “La Belle Forme”. You may have seen this place in Jamie Genevieve’s vlogs as she gets her lip fillers and botox here. Situated directly across the street from my flat, it’s been taunting me for a while now.
When I went for my consultation I felt sick with nerves simply because I knew this was one very real step towards finally going through with the whole thing. Needless to say, I am a bit of a drama queen, and over the past few years my desire for bigger lips transformed into an excruciating battle between wanting bigger lips and being terrified of what could go wrong. I wasn’t just scared of the pain; my ultimate fear was that I would like it too much and I would never be content with thin lips again.
The nurse at La Belle Forme was absolutely lovely. She chatted to me about why I wanted the procedure and what ml I had considered. I told her my goal: I wanted a noticeable difference to be satisfied, but still natural enough that a stranger wouldn’t immediately know that my lips were fake from first glance. She recommended a full ml because my lips were undeniably thin and a half ml would only define the border without enough left to add volume. We settled on a full ml of Juvederm 3.
I assumed she was going to ask me when and if I wanted to book in for the procedure. Instead I was hit with “hop on to the table and I’ll apply the numbing cream and get started”. Eh, this was not on my original agenda for the day- I had taken the word “consultation” very literally! After a very brief inner quarrel over walking out or giving in to the whole thing, I settled on the latter. You could say I ended up getting lip fillers because I felt too awkward to not get them. She must have known I was nervous when she offered me a breast implant to squeeze. I’m unsure whether this is standard procedure or a subtle marketing technique to make me consider my next procedure which I must admit, has played on my mind since.
My years (literally) of worrying about the procedure seem absurd now. The numbing cream made my lips completely numb, to the point that the very slight prick of the needle actually felt welcome. Within five minutes the whole thing was over! The nurse was incredibly professional and made me feel completely at ease. Honestly, the whole experience was a breeze!
An hour later I was in Pret A Manger with my boyfriend when the numbing cream had worn off. I couldn’t even drink my smoothie through a straw because moving my lips was so sore. I kept wanting to laugh at myself, but it hurt too much. By bedtime I had several noticeable lumps and bruises on my lips and being a diagnosed hypochondriac, my anxiety set in and I was messaging people who I knew had got it done about whether or not this was normal and whether I had signed my own death warrant on that surgeon’s chair.
Evidently, I didn’t die. Hooray! It’s about 6 days later and the swelling has significantly subsided and my bruises have almost cleared. I purchased a lotion from Holland and Barrett called Arnica which is used for post-surgeries to prevent swelling and bruising which I have applied to my lips multiple times a day since. It’s hard to tell if it has worked as I did experience minor swelling and bruising. I would assume that without this lotion it could have been considerably worse. I would also thoroughly recommend having a tub of Vaseline on hand following the procedure as my lips have been ridiculously chapped the past few days as a result of all the swelling.
How much does it cost?
The procedure cost £240. I believe this is quite expensive for lip fillers, as I know many people who have paid less than £200. However, I was adamant that I was going to the best possible surgeon and I am very glad I did. You get what you pay for guys! If you don’t have enough money to get the best, wait until you do as it is a cosmetic adjustment and isn’t worth the risks that poor practice may entail.
How much should you get?
In terms of ml, if you have very thin lips I do strongly recommend a full ml. There was only a £40 difference between them and I know that if I had got half a ml I would have ended up going back for another half, being out over £400 rather than the mere £40 difference in the first place. Half a ml will define the border of your lips whereas a full ml will do that, and add volume to the lips themselves.
Other than the minor bumps (pun not intended) following the procedure, I am absolutely delighted with the entire process. The procedure itself was a complete anticlimax in a way after all the fuss and worries I had beforehand. The aftercare has been bearable and I now, finally, have a pair of normal sized lips! They aren’t in any way overly big or duck shaped (the ultimate fear) but simply give me a natural fullness that they never had before. I still have a couple of faint bruises and some lumps which I’ve been told should be gone within two weeks, so I’m not worrying just yet!
There is indeed a stigma surrounding lip fillers, and I think that is absolutely the way it should be! I would never wish for a cosmetic adjustment to be the “norm”- especially for young girls who are so impressionable. In saying that, this was something I’ve truly felt self-conscious about my entire life and I found it very useful to talk to people who had gone through the procedure before committing to it myself. I hope this is of some use or reassurance to anyone who is also considering it. Of course, no two bodies are the same and whilst I felt little pain and have had a smooth experience, I have spoken to people who found it incredibly painful. I cannot guarantee that your experience would mirror mine. My final advice is to thoroughly, thoroughly, thoroughly research where the best place is to go and by no means settle for the cheapest. As I said before, you get what you pay for!
3 MONTHS LATER