I have been rather self-conscious of my lips for quite a while. They are both fairly thin, especially my upper lip. I recognize that this is a very minor issue that many people would not be bothered by or even notice, but it bothers me. I often find myself subconsciously pouting my lips throughout the day in an effort to make them look a little fuller. Since moving to LA (aka the land of cosmetic enhancement) I feel as though I have been flooded with information about lip fillers. Recently I decided I wanted to actually research the procedure and see if it might be something I would want to try.
I spoke with several aestheticians and plastic surgeons, but the one I was most impressed by was Dr. Justin Yovino at Ideal Face & Body in Beverly Hills. He explained to me that Juvederm (the temporary filler he prefers) lasts around 6 months. It is in a category of fillers called hyaluronic acids, so it’s basically a sugar gel which the body gradually breaks down. In order to maintain the appearance you desire, you have to inject a couple times a year. You’re not committing to maintenance forever–you can continue to do it or stop doing it, and your lips won’t be damaged in the long term.
I felt very intrigued and comfortable after talking to Dr. Yovino, so I decided to go for it! I was so excited that I made my appointment immediately. Luckily I only had to wait a couple of days! Brian was able to join me, so we drove together to Dr. Yovino’s office. It is a super posh penthouse located right in the most glamorous section of Beverly Hills by Rodeo Drive.
I was a little nervous once I was seated in the exam room. But when the doctor came in, he was so friendly and reassuring that my anxiety was replaced with excitement again. Dr. Yovino prepped me for the procedure by offering me two different methods of numbing. One option was numbing cream and ice, and the other was nerve block injections. The numbing cream and ice would not be quite as strong. I would still feel the Juvederm injections a bit but the annoying numbness would be gone in under an hour. On the other hand, the nerve blocks would be four uncomfortable injections that would completely numb my mouth for a few hours. I decide to opt for the numbing cream plus ice because I was going out to dinner sooner after and wanted to be able to taste the food.
Dr. Yovino applied numbing cream to my lips and had me hold an ice pack on top for about 20 minutes. The cream was so strong my tongue even went numb. It similar to an injection of novocaine at the dentist. After I was sufficiently numb, the doctor began injecting my lips with the filler. He started by injecting the perimeter of my upper lip, beginning with the outsides and working inward. He then injected the columns of my philtrum (those little vertical lines between your nose and lips) to enhance my cupid’s bow. The majority of the enhancement was done to my upper lip, but he did work a bit on my bottom lip as well. He again injected along the perimeter of my lower lip, and also injected both the top and bottom lips from toward the inside of my mouth. All told, there probably around 30 injections or so total and he used a full syringe of Juvederm. I did find the injections a bit uncomfortable but it was not at all unbearable. I may consider trying the nerve blocks next time just to compare!
Immediately after the procedure I could already appreciate the results. I have a mild bleeding disorder and bruise like CRAZY, so I knew it would be a few days before my new lips would look their absolute best. After a couple days of being bruised I found out about this amazing product called Arnica that prevents and treats bruising. You can apply it topically or take it orally (or both), and as soon as I started using it I saw an improvement. Next time I am going to start taking it orally a few days before the procedure and applying it topically right after. This should drastically lessen the bruising I experience. I very highly suggest using Arnica if you ever decide to get facial injections of any kind.
Overall, I am extremely happy with the results of my lip augmentation by Dr. Yovino at Ideal Face & Body. My lips look full but very natural. I feel more confident about my appearance and how I look in photos. I will definitely be going back again and I highly suggest him if you are in the area and considering the procedure!
Readers, I do not want you to think that I promote plastic surgery as a solution for everyone or think that it is necessary to be beautiful. However, I enjoy subtle cosmetic enhancement–whether it be dying my hair an unnatural color, piercing my face and body, tattooing my skin, or injecting my lips. Doing these things are an individual’s personal decisions and may not right for everyone! 🙂
2 WEEKS AFTER