About a year ago, probably prompted by far too many selfies, I started to notice how unsymmetrical my mouth and lips were. My top lip in particular didn't have any volume towards the corners of my mouth. It was something I thought I'd always just have to put up with. I'd never considered lip fillers as I thought it was only something you would get done if you wanted a ridiculous 'trout pout' rather than a subtle little 'fix'.
However, I started looking into it a bit more after seeing some AMAZING before and after photographs at an open night for the Scottish Centre of Excellence of Dentistry & Aesthetics, where I already go for all my dentistry needs.
Dr Heather Muir has a wealth of experience and has been carrying out facial aesthetic procedures for over 10 years. I went for a consultation in May of last year and showed her what I didn't like about the shape of my lips and she explained what the lip augmentation procedure would involve. She assured me that she could fix the problem but still keep my lips looking completely natural.
I've never had any kind of treatment like this done before so, once I'd been for my consultation, I did a LOT of research before finally deciding in September to go ahead with the lip augmentation. I booked my appointment for the 10th of October. I'd heard from a few people that the procedure is really painful and I'm also pretty terrified of needles (as in, a complete wimp - I've have fainted countless times getting blood taken) so I was more than a little apprehensive about the injections.
I should probably point out at this stage that this isn't a sponsored post and The Scottish Centre of Excellence in Dentistry & Aesthetics didn't ask me to write this post and I paid for the treatment myself so it is a completely honest review. I also didn't think I was going to write this blog so please excuse the poor quality photographs...
BEFORE LIP FILLERS
*Apologies for the EXTREME close ups*
As you can see, one side of my mouth is slightly higher than the other and I also don't have much fullness at the outer corner of mouth which makes my mouth look a bit droopy.
My aim wasn't to walk out of the clinic with Kylie Jenner or Angelina Jolie lips; my aim was that people wouldn't actually even notice I'd had it done (well, after the swelling went down anyway).
LIP FILLERS: THE PROCEDURE
As I mentioned earlier, I already go to the Centre for my dental appointments and all the staff are so friendly and it's not an intimidating environment whatsoever. The treatment was explained to me again by Heather and she wanted to check exactly what look I wanted to achieve before she went ahead.
She decided that I'd be best going for 1ml of Juvederm in order to achieve my desired shape and fullness. I was a little bit nervous that I'd leave looking like Leslie Ash (thanks to my Mum for putting that idea in my head!) but I completely trusted Heather when she insisted it would look natural. She warned me that I would experience some swelling the following day but, other than that, I shouldn't experience any other side effects.
Before any Juvederm was injected, a numbing cream was applied all over my lips and around the edge of my mouth. The cream is nice and cooling and not uncomfortable in the slightest. This was on for about twenty minutes before a needle goes anywhere near my lips to ensure that the pain experienced is minimal.
When the treatment started, I felt a couple of tiny scratches, which I assumed was actually another type of anaesthetic injection, but it turns out that it was actually the lip fillers. Honestly, the pain was barely even noticeable; I find getting my eyebrows waxed a lot more eye-watering! The injections into the centre of my lips were slightly more nippy but was totally bearable too and I wouldn't describe any of the procedure as painful in the slightest. Heather was so gentle and the procedure was over before I knew it.
IMMEDIATELY AFTER LIP FILLERS
These photographs were taken about 10 minutes after the treatment and, as you can see, they look completely normal. Not crazy big or lots of noticeable swelling, no blood, no bruising, no lumps, no unevenness whatsoever. This certainly wasn't what I expected it to look like immediately after having lip fillers.
My lips were still slightly numb for a little while before the numbing cream wore off but not painful. About 30 minutes after the treatment I ate a bagel (which probably wasn't the best thing to attempt to eat) but I was fine and there were no adverse effects.
5 HOURS AFTER LIP FILLERS
Later on that evening, a tiny little bruise (so tiny you can't even see it in this photograph) appeared on my top lip on the left hand side. It wasn't sore and it had completely disappeared by the next morning. My lips were quite swollen at this point... and I secretly loved it! (A common side effect that Heather had warned me about).
THE DAY AFTER LIP FILLERS
My lips were at their most swollen the next morning (especially my top lip) but not anywhere near as bad as I had expected. I went to work and had meetings the next day and no one said anything. I met a friend later on that afternoon and she noticed something was different but I was probably talking slightly differently because I felt a little self-conscious about them at this point. I met another few friends for drinks that night and only one person out of five asked if I'd had them done. I obviously don't have any issue with people knowing that I've had it done but I deliberately didn't tell many people beforehand just to see how many people would actually notice.
TWO DAYS AFTER LIP FILLERS
They had completely settled by this point, no pain or tenderness and the only weird thing was when you put lip gloss on and rub your lips together and realise that they're definitely bigger than before.
THREE MONTHS AFTER LIP FILLERS
Three months after the treatment and I am still completely happy with my lips. I really expected that they would have gone done more by now but they aren't any smaller than they were a week after the treatment and have held their volume really well. I was told that the fillers would last up to a year so I'd be delighted if that was the case before having to get it done again, which I definitely will by the way!
I'd heard so many horror stories about lip fillers going wrong and people being in complete agony because of their fillers, either during or after the treatment but this should absolutely NOT happen. I'm so glad I took the time to really research my options and the pros and cons of the treatment, again it's certainly not something you should rush into or do on impulse.
MY TOP TIPS
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Personally, I would only ever go to a qualified doctor and not just someone who has done a half day training course. It will be more expensive but this is a MEDICAL procedure; it's not a facial or a manicure. I always think it's reassuring to know that if something were to go wrong, the person carrying out the procedure is also qualified to fix any issues which could potentially arise. The law in Scotland has changed recently and the clinic should undergo regular inspections by healthcare authorities meaning that it should be carried out in a clinical environment and therefore NOT in the middle of a shopping centre or as a pop-up stand at an exhibition.
GO FOR A THOROUGH CONSULTATION
Go for a consultation before committing to anything. The decision to go ahead with the lip fillers was certainly not something I rushed into; I asked a lot of questions and looked at a lot of before and after photographs before booking my appointment for the procedure. There shouldn't be ANY pressure whatsoever to book your appointment and any reputable clinic or practitioner will be happy for you to go away and think it over before deciding whether or not to go ahead with the treatment.
BE CLEAR ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE
If you have unrealistic expectations, it's up to your practitioner to tell what they can safely achieve before you even book the treatment. Make sure you're both on the same page because it's a lot of money to pay to walk away disappointed.
DON'T BASE YOUR DECISION ON PRICE
Alarm bells should start to ring if you're being offered any kind of injectables at a massive discount. The really, really good people don't have to offer these discounts as they are so busy so be sceptical and use your common sense. Similarly, don't go somewhere just because they are the most expensive, trust your instinct and if you get a bad feeling about your practitioner, don't go through with it. Make sure they listen to to your concerns and answer all your questions. I have a friend who took an immediate dislike to her practitioner and their attitude towards her and wishes she'd left before going ahead with the treatment. It's your face, be fussy!
BE SELECTIVE ABOUT WHO YOU TELL
If you decide to go ahead with the treatment, be careful who you tell. People just love to give you their thoughts on treatments like this and it definitely splits opinion. I only told a couple of close friends about it who are quite open-minded about this kind of procedure to gauge their thoughts and opinions. I think my friend Yasmin was actually more excited about me getting it done than I was! I knew I'd done my research and was happy with my choice to go ahead with it so I didn't go out looking for too many opinions.
THE FINAL RESULTS
Since the initial swelling went down, only two people have asked if I've had my lips done so I'm happy I went for a quite subtle look that hasn't drastically changed how I look. I would definitely get it done again at some point this year but I wouldn't go any bigger than they currently are.
I did go back and forth about whether or not to write this post (and include that awful before photo!) as I didn't want to come across that I was pushing 'un-natural' beauty and encouraging everyone to get their lips done but I guess I also just wanted to show that if there is something you're really unhappy with, there are treatments available which are really subtle but that make a massive difference to your confidence.
I can't recommend Dr Heather Muir highly enough and a couple of people I know who have had their lips done previously are going to go to her in the future because they were so impressed with my results.
If there's anything I didn't cover in this post then feel free to leave a comment and I'll answer it as best and honestly as I can.
Where: Scottish Centre for Excellence in Dentistry & Aesthetics, 335 Govan Road, Glasgow, G51 2SE (just across from the Science Centre at Pacific Quay), 0141 427 4530.
When: 10th October 2016
What: Lip Augumentation using 1ml of Juvederm
How long does it last: Up to 1 year
How much: £300
Would I get it done again: 100%