How does it feel, is it worth it, does it hurt, what is the downtime???
A friend of EDEN has written this for us to help explain the process…
I'll get to the nitty-gritty details of what it's really like in a second. But first, I want to talk about why I did it. I've always had small lips. My top lip was almost nonexistent, and my bottom lip was…fine. I wasn't particularly self-conscious about them. Honestly, I just wanted more room for lipstick. And I'm just a really curious person, so when the opportunity came up to do something about them, I jumped at the chance. And this is what it's really like…
In the days leading up to the appointment, I was terrified. Not just scared—terrified. I have no tattoos, weird piercings, and unlike most 24 year olds out there, I've never had Botox.
As a raging hypochondriac, elective pain isn't really my thing. But, being curious and always wanting beautiful lips, I've studied everything out there about lip injections, so I know how safe they are. This was particularly useful when The Boyfriend started his obnoxious protesting. "You're injecting a foreign object into your body!" he whined to me a few nights before. He wasn't wrong. But hyaluronic acid, the filler used in most (if not all) of the injections, already occurs naturally in your body. It's likely in a ton of your face creams. I know that ingredient; I trust that ingredient. His other concern was the doctor and having it done in Bali. I knew I was in good hands at EDEN Life Centres – they really do care and take the time to sit and talk with you and find the best way to make you feel good. The Boyfriends last protest was that he didn't want me to look like a Real Housewife of Brisbane. I agreed—I didn't want to look overdone. But the one thing that brought me the most comfort was knowing that hyaluronic lip injections are entirely reversible. If you absolutely hate it, there's an enzyme the doctor can inject into your lips to instantly deflate them. I liked knowing that there was a built-in safety net.
What I didn't expect in the days leading up to the procedure was the mixed reactions to the news. It seems like there are two types of people in the world: those who are totally into the idea of injections (like my mum, who texted me "yay!" and some party-hat emojis when I broke the news) and those who think it's all sorts of weird (pretty much everyone else I spoke with). My Boss couldn't understand why, at 24, I was going to a doctor for lip injections.
The truth is, I just wanted them. If you're going to do some body
modification and you're feeling rebellious, lip injections are pretty much
the safest thing you can do. So there!
Before the treatment, I went to EDEN and met the team, sorted out the treatment precautions and costs, and made a booking for The Big Day.
The day of my treatment, I had to keep telling myself that the procedure was NBD—millions of women get lip injections. I'm prone to hives, but there have been very few reported allergic reactions to hyaluronic acid injections, so that's good. What really scared me was that even though I knew it wasn't a big deal, I had been told that it hurts—a lot. As a family friend eloquently put it: "It hurts like a bitch." I spent the day bracing myself for the possibility of getting hot liquid lava pumped into my delicate lip skin. I was sweaty and anxious and just kept nervously smearing Blistex all over my mouth. But then the 130pm time rolled around, and before I knew it, I was pulling up to the door of EDEN Life Centres.
After the team checked my existing medical history report and details, I was ushered into a swanky exam room where I could have a private conversation with The Aesthetic Architect, Adren, and The Doctor, Dr Dude (Yes, that’s his name and yes, he is a total Dude!). Adren sat me down and explained his lip augmentation philosophy: Lips should be proportional, and you should never fill one lip without doing the other. He understood that I wanted the job to look natural but still noticeable (because why else go through all the pain?), and he and Dr Dude walked me through each step. The whole time I was speaking, I'm pretty sure they were staring right at my lips—calculating in their heads exactly how to make them bigger.
After a couple deep breaths and nervous giggles, I was ready. Dr.Dude asked if I wanted to use a numbing cream for ten minutes or just go ahead and start the procedure. I thought she was kidding. He wasn't. Some people don't even numb themselves before getting shot up with the needle. I obviously chose the numbing cream.
Ten ridiculously tingly minutes later, Dr. Dude came back into the room and
grabbed the syringe with one hand and a stress ball with the other (for me, thank goodness).
At this point, I couldn't feel anything happening in my mouth region, so I was ready.
He grabbed my bottom lip from the side, stuck the tiny needle in, and began filling. So what does it feel like? Around the sides of my mouth, where I was really supernumb, it felt like nothing. Literally not a thing. I didn't feel the needle puncturing or the liquid filling my lips. But what I could feel was the molding and shaping of the hyaluronic gel Dude does after he injects each segment. He puts her gloved fingers in your mouth and really squishes it around…it's a little weird. But he says that the molding is essential to getting the most natural finish, with no lumps or bumps visible. He apologized a few times as she went to town rubbing and molding the gel ("I'm an OCD injector!" he lamented, to which I replied, "Thank god"). I ultimately received four injections in my bottom lip and four in the top, which equates to one whole syringe of Restylane-L. Apparently, some people get upwards of three syringes at a time, but that's when things start looking suspicious (cough cough, Ms. Jenner).
On a scale of lady pains, I would put lip injections somewhere between biting your cheek and pinching your eyelid with a lash curler. It's a 4 out of 10. The worst spots were the dead center of my lips, where I could feel the pressure of the gel as it filled the pocket. To be honest, I've had period cramps and OBGYN exams far more painful. Once I realized it didn't hurt nearly as bad as I thought it would, I could finally relax. I asked to see a mirror each time he paused, checking out my reflection from every angle. After the last injection (a final jab right in the center of my bottom lip, for poutiness), I was a little red and a little swollen, but my lips looked awesome. Beyond awesome. My top lip doubled in size and my bottom lip looked naturally full and pouty. I noticed a slight upturn around the sides of my mouth (my boyfriend later described it as "cat mouth syndrome"), but Dude pointed out that my lips would settle into place within a day or two. At this point, I still couldn't feel anything, and I was sent home with an ice pack and instructions to keep icing for ten minutes or so. All in all, the whole thing took less than 45 minutes, tops.
Dr. Dude finding the perfect angle for injecting into my top and bottom lip
I walked home high on adrenaline, pausing for selfies along the way. I couldn't believe what I had just done. I felt like the edgiest person alive (my bar is really low). I spent the next hour or so staring at myself in mirrors and in my phone's camera, totally in awe of the lips on my own face. These things belonged to me now. They were my lips—just bigger and better. After debuting them to my boyfriend and family (all of whom barely noticed and let out a collective sigh of relief), I tucked myself into bed—exhausted, but still giddy. That's when the pain really kicked in.
It was about five hours after the procedure that moving my lips hurt like the aforementioned bitch. It wasn't unbearable, though, maybe a 5.5 or 6 on the scale. I couldn't make a kissy face without wincing. It felt like someone had slapped me really hard on the mouth. They hadn't, but I guess getting a needle shoved in your face a bunch of times is kind of the equivalent.
My lips starting to take shape on day two.
By the next morning, my whole upper lip area—from my nose down—was swollen as hell. I looked not unlike a Who from Whoville. The pain was better, and I was relieved that I didn't have any noticeable bruising. Dr.Dude says some people are more prone to bruising than others, but since I didn't bleed at all during the injections, my chances of getting all black and blue were slim to none. By the end of day two, my lips were no longer swollen or painful to the touch. They had settled, and I was thrilled with the results. Many selfies ensued. Kylie Jenner, if you're reading this, I think I understand you now on a more spiritual level.
So your next question is probably: How long will they last?
And that's where things get interesting. Nobody really knows.
Some patients say they can last a year, some say three months, tops. According to Weiser, it all depends on how your individual body metabolizes the hyaluronic acid. I'll be sure to write a follow-up post at the three-month mark.
By the end of day two, my new lips were settled. Also, thank you Facetune.
I got a little emotional on day two, when I was applying my makeup and decided to take my new lips on a lipstick test run. I grabbed my favorite shade of the new Maybelline Vivid Matte liquid lipstick and applied it blind using muscle memory. When I glanced in the mirror, I noticed that I had only gotten halfway up my top lip, and nowhere near the edges of the bottom. I had so much more room for lipstick—my canvas had doubled in size. And as a beauty editor and fan, that's all I really wanted.
Have any other questions about lip injections? Send them my way and I'll work with Dr.Dude to answer them.