Changing the size and shape of one’s lips to get that perfect celebrity pout has become increasingly popular. Today girls want a believably plump, understated pout, says celebrity cosmetic dermatologist Chytra V Anand. “Some girls come to us and ask how can they have celebrity-like lips? Facial aesthetics is as much an art as medicine and we do it in a subtle way so as to give more volume and fuller appearance to lips, yet not make it look too obvious,” she adds.
If lip augmentation, a procedure to improve the appearance of the lips by increasing their fullness, is something you’re considering, it’s best to understand the shape of the lips, how the process works, what is used and if there are any alternatives. The most popular treatment for creating natural but lush lips is injecting fillers. Lip augmentation through a non-invasive procedure is done using hyaluronic acid (HA) based dermal fillers like Juvederm. “When injected into the desired area and with a lot of precision and aesthetic sense, it can re-shape your lips. Juvederm fillers comprise HA gel which is a substance that occurs naturally in our skin. It is responsible for giving skin flexibility and volume,” says Anand, who helms Kosmoderma Hair, Skin and Laser Clinics in Hyderabad.
Beyond understanding that subtlety is key, the next step is realising that shape is just as important as size. “The art of lip augmentation is knowing where to place it, how much to put in and what is going to look right,” says Anand. “With age, our skin loses reserves of HA. Now, when we inject HA based fillers in the lips, it will result in fuller lips, we can shape the lip and make the borders more defined, the pout more pronounced. Again subtlety is the fundamental here. Natural appearance is the best. It’s about enhancing the beauty you have rather than trying to create something different with filler,” she insists.
“There are two reasons to get lip enhancement,” she says. “One is young women who want lips like celebrities, the other is older women who find their lips shrink with age. But as I mentioned earlier, it is more popular among younger women, 18 to 35 years of age,” she adds.
Talking about the safety of lip enhancements, she says, “It is perfectly safe. In some cases, the treatment may result in minor bruises rarely but that will go away in a few days and you will be left with a fresh pair of beautiful lips. It is important though to get it done under expert trained hands as it requires precision. The best part of this lip enhancement procedure is that it is not permanent and its effect lasts up to a year. It can also be removed with just a prick in a few minutes, if you are not satisfied with your changed appearance. Anyhow, its result will last from six months to a year and you will automatically return to your thinner lips.”
With so much focus on making lips simply bigger, another factor affecting the landscape of lip enhancement is cost. “Women at any age should be able to enjoy fuller lips. Lip fillers cost `25,000 onwards, it depends how much filler has been used and take 20 minutes,” she says.
New-age Lip Augmentation
■ Fat transfer. Surgeons harvest through liposuction or excision the patient’s fat from places on the body where it can be spared and either injected or surgically placed into the lips.
■ Restylane, a non-animal, clear gel that is reported to be very close to the hyaluronic acid found naturally in the body. The substance usually lasts six months and, sometimes, longer.
■ Artecoll and ArteFill are not used to inject the body of the lips but on the sides because the substance is heavy and would show as white through the thin skin of the lips.