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by Kristin Leitch •

I Have Lip Fillers

Confession: I have lip fillers. I also have a small amount of filler in my cheek bones. Nothing I do to my face or body, or to any one else's for that matter, is to make me appear more desirable. It's not for you, for him or a selfie to post. It's for me! And I hope if you try it, it is for yourself. The desire to take control of ones exterior, in my opinion, should be to enhance things that are already beautiful and unique. Can I live with myself as is and be happy? Of course! Does it give me joy and pleasure to have the option to enhance a few things? Yes – and it is 100% my choice. We all have our weak moments where we need to remind ourselves what is really important in life. To me, it is health and happiness. Being able to indulge in the beauty industry is just icing on the cake. You should never go into debt over it, stress over it or feel uncomfortable about it. I actually really like my lips – I got them from my mama! I like my lips so much in fact, that the thought of adding a bit more real estate for my favourite lipstick seemed pretty appealing. They are pretty full to begin with, the only thing that could be enhanced was filling out my bottom lip a touch. I had the opportunity while I was training to have them done by Dr. Ashley White of White Medical Aesthetics in Bancroft, Ontario. She totally impressed me with her whole attitude towards injectables. She is so natural and comfortable with herself! The honesty and integrity just oozes out of her. I knew by following her on social media, that I would be getting the utmost professional service while aiming for natural enhancement. I met up with Dr. Ashley at Eve's Escape Spa in Barry's Bay, Ontario, where she often runs a clinic day. I explained that I would like to add some fullness to my bottom lip, and she agreed. Apparently, there is a golden ratio for desirable lips. 1/3 volume on top to 2/3 to the bottom (mine were 2/3 to 1/3). These days more women are going for 1/2 to 1/2, to achieve the Kylie Jenner look, but that is all up to you! Next we had to pick out the type of filler I wanted to use. The pharmaceutical company Allergan, who makes Botox, sells Juvéderm Volbella and Voluma. Both are made from molecules of hyaluronic acids (HA), which are naturally occurring sugars in skin giving the plump youthful appearance. The difference between the two gets pretty complicated, and if you are thinking on trying fillers, you should definitely ask your provider which one is best for you. In a nutshell, one is more natural feeling, and also more expensive. I went for that one. My lips were frozen with a topical lidocaine that did the job quickly and I was very numb. Dr. Ashley also offers a dental block for lip fillers, but I am not very squeamish so I opted out. The needle used is so tiny, I only felt a hint of a sting. We ended up putting 1/2 of a syringe in my bottom lip. Here's the thing; injections are kind of like cooking. You never add all the hot sauce from the get go unless you have made the recipe before. It is a process. Due to swelling, it may be hard to know how full you want your lips. Same goes for Botox and other fillers. I was reluctant to put the rest of the volume in my top lip. Why? This was my first time having fillers. Honestly, the top lip seems more complicated. The cupids bow area is so delicate, and the slope of the lips down to the corner looks like a minefield of complexity. I was willing to take things slow. Since I had 1/2 a syringe left, I decided to throw it in my cheekbones. I totally like my cheekbones, but I could like them even more! So 1/4 of a syringe when to each side, giving a little lift. I will add that we didn't have time to freeze the sites on my cheek, but it was painless to me. Right away, my bottom lip was swollen. The lips are a very sensitive, very vascular, and unfortunately at risk for bruising, which happened to me. It was not so large that I needed medical attention, but I was going to have to live with a bruise on my lip for a week. Nothing lipstick and concealer couldn't fix! My advice: do not try lip fillers the week before you are getting married or have an important photo shoot. My enjoyment from the injection was immediate. I even liked the fullness of my bottom lip with the swelling and Dr. Ashley advised me to go with the whole syringe next time now that we knew the look I wanted. Aftercare was simple and similar to Botox injections. Don't lie flat for a few hours, no yoga for the day, avoid bending down for prolonged periods, and if possible, sleep on your back at a slight incline. I was also told to massage my lip to disperse the volume sideways, never down into my chin, but that will be up to the injector to delegate per case. My lip felt a tiny bit lumpy for the first week, which is also normal. It takes that long for he filler to "melt" into the area. Sometimes when I get dehydrated, it feels that way as well. The volume typically lasts 6-9 months, but it is encouraged to build your volume up to maintain consistency. I think I am going to try that, adding a bit every 4-6 months until I have the desired fullness. Now, what everyone wants to know. How much is it? Be prepared to pay $600+ for one syringe. These services do not typically go on sale as the cost of the actual fillers for the injector to provide is really high. Then you have to pay for the injector's time and overhead. It ain't cheap! xo, Kris