Going under the “knife” for cosmetic reasons is such a controversial topic. In LA, it’s entirely normal for girls of all ages which led me to the decision of getting my lips “done” about 6 weeks ago. But I imagine when I move out of LA that I’ll look back on the fact that I got lip injections like, “Wtf, that was so unnecessary.” I didn’t tell anyone I was getting injections because it was a personal decision that I had already come to–I wasn’t in the position to be convinced out of it which is something I know my friends and family would try to do.
Upon getting to the office, I was numbed with topical lidocaine for about 10 minutes before the injections began. In all honesty, they were not painful. I would say that the discomfort level was a 3 out of 10. There was a slight pinching sensation when he did the injections in the middle of my upper lip versus the ones towards the outside.
I showed my physician a photo of my sister and another of Irina Shayk for inspiration. He said that they both had really full lips which would require more than 1 syringe which was not something I was prepared to do in one sitting. I sat upright in a chair while the physician did a series of 8-10 injections (I lost count). He used hyaluronic acid (Juvederm) and molded the filler with his fingers in between injections. I squeezed on some stress balls during this 10-15 minute process. Towards the end, I started to get anxious and dizzy–I thought I was going to pass out. I was thinking, “Holy shit, this is a real surgical procedure and I didn’t even tell my mom…what was I thinking? What if something goes horribly wrong?” I stayed calm and they had me lie down and sip some water. He ended up not finishing the little bit of filler that was left so I had less than one syringe injected. I iced my lips for a few minutes and that was it.
The injections last about 6-9 months and I’m not entirely sure if I’ll keep up with it. After having about 3 sessions–the filler doesn’t dissolve as quickly which renders the effects of it a little more permanent. I chose to go to my dermatologist, Peter Kopelson. The cost of one syringe at Kopelson Clinic was $715 which is moderate for lip injections. You can find clinics that charge less but you will most likely not be seeing an M.D. or surgeon and you have the risk of a botched lip job. My personal pet peeves when it comes to injections are when the top lip looks duck-like or when the filler bleeds into the lip line. No one besides my mom and best friend noticed I got these done which is exactly what I wanted–a natural result.
The recovery was a little tedious. I had the procedure done on a Friday afternoon in order to look presentable for my internship on the following Monday. Most of the swelling went down in 72 hours but my lips had little bumps in them for several weeks afterwards. I could feel the injection sites especially when I would do cardio (more blood flow to the face, I presume). I bruised on my lips which was easily covered with lipstick. I didn’t realize how long it would take for all of the swelling to go down. I was expecting perfect lips in 72 hours but that wasn’t the case. Apparently, it’s normal for the downtime to be several weeks.
AFTER: 18 days post procedure–this is when my lips started to feel like they were actually mine–no lumps, no injection site awareness, etc.