What Do Lip Injections Cost and Other Things You Need to Know
A lot of people wonder what lip injections cost, if they're painful, and even what are lip fillers anyway. To help answer all of those, about a year ago, staff photographer Kelsey braved the needle for us and fulfilled her long-held dream of getting the perfect, pouty smile thanks to lip injections. Now that some time has passed, we caught up with her to answer all of your burning questions, including "Are they really worth it?" Kelsey's here to dish on it all.
How much do lip injections cost?
The average cost of lip injections is about $600 (significantly less if you're not getting a great deal). With that in mind, it's worth considering how much of an impact you really want and whether you're willing to commit to follow-up injections on a regular basis.
Is it worth it?
This was the one question Kelsey was the most eager to answer, and her answer was simple: a resounding, emphatic yes. She wasn't nervous about getting them done, calling herself "a try-anything-once kind of person." She always just assumed that if she wasn't happy with the results, they'd simply disappear on their own and it would be no harm, no foul. Her only complaint: "if I was gonna do it again, and I was gonna pay like $600 to do it, I would go big or go home."
What are lip fillers?
Lip fillers an injectable solution typically made from hyaluronic acid that create a temporary plumping of the lips. The two types of fillers you'll typically see on the market are Restylane and Juvéderm.
What type of filler should I get?
Kelsey ended up going with Restylane Silk, but Juvéderm is perhaps the other big name in the lip injection industry, and that's the filler Kelsey says she'd go with were she to do the procedure again (Read more in our Juvéderm guide and Restylane guide).
"Juvéderm is more voluminous. . . . Restylane Silk, the way they described it to me, is sort of thinner. It looks more natural," says Kelsey, which is great for some people, but a natural look is not necessarily the one every customer is going for. Which speaks to one of her biggest tips: "I brought in pictures, too—I would recommend doing that." This helps the doctor plan exactly where to do the injections without losing sight of your ideal lip shape (rounder and fuller or a pronounced cupid's bow).
How noticeable will it be?
Kelsey's lip injections before and after
That depends on two things: the type of filler you get and what your lips look like naturally. "Nobody that I know of really said anything," Kelsey noted while pointing out that she started with what most people would consider to be fairly full lips. That combined with the use of Restylane Silk's more natural quality meant that, "It's kind of like, if you already have kind of blonde hair and then you go blonder, people don't notice that much even though you do." Because Kelsey had always wanted extremely full lips, this wasn't her ideal result. But for others, perhaps those who are simply a little self-conscious about their lips, getting some peace of mind without drawing a lot of attention to the procedure might be the perfect solution.
Does it hurt?
Kelsey wasn't shy about being totally honest here: "It hurt a little more than I let on in the video. It didn't feel good." She was quick to add that it certainly wasn't awful, "But if you go in there expecting it not to feel like anything, you're crazy."
That said, what does it feel like?
"It's a really weird feeling. . . . It was like if you could feel medicine release into you from a shot or something," but "The part that hurts is when [the doctor] would stick [the syringe] in, and kind of wiggle it." Customers that have had Botox or something similar might not find the sensation so strange, but total newbies should keep this in mind so they're not caught off guard once the needle is out.
What's the recovery period like?
This is another one that's hard to give an across-the-board answer to because it's going to vary quite a bit from patient to patient. In Kelsey's case, her recovery time was minimal. "I planned to stay home and ice my lips for the night," but to her surprise, the pain after the procedure was almost nonexistent. She didn't even suffer any bruising, but she did note a bit of redness at the injection sites. That said, customers should familiarize themselves with the breadth of common side effects and recovery times since it's better to be prepared than to plan on returning to work only to find you're in too much pain to do so.
How long do the results last?
"[Professionals] said they'd last around six to nine months, [but] I would say they probably lasted more like four to five." There might be several factors at play here, though, from Kelsey's already full lips to the more natural look of the Restylane. More dramatic results may have been noticeable for longer on someone with thinner lips or if a different filler had been used, and different people may react differently to the various types of fillers available.