If, as the poets say, your eyes are the window to your soul then surely your lips are the pathway to your heart. Perfectly shaped, youthfully full lips add timeless beauty to your face.
If you've always yearned for fuller lips but you fear that lip enhancement will leave you looking plastic, take heart as lips are one of my passions! I'd like to share with you some new methods of lip enhancement that I'm currently teaching to my cosmetic and plastic surgery colleagues via a series of medical education lectures and articles that I'm working on. I am also teaching cosmetic and plastic surgeons how to combine these advanced techniques with state-of-the-art rejuvenation treatments such as Fraxel laser and Vitalize peels to smooth wrinkles and tighten skin, Botox to relax lines around the mouth, and permanent makeup to subtly define your mouth.These advanced techniques enhance and rejuvenate your lips so skillfully that others will envy your good fortune in being born with "naturally perfect" lips... unless you choose to tell them differently!
If your lips are thin, or they naturally have lost volume and shape with age, they can be restored to youthful fullness by the gentle injection of Restylane, Perlane or Juvederm. These fillers replace hyaluronic acid, a sugar-based substance that is naturally present in your lips and skin where it provides support and structure. The new technique I'm teaching combines Perlane and Restylane to achieve truly spectacular rejuvenation of the lips (and the eyes too). Perlane provides lift while the Restylane provides precision shaping. With this breakthrough technique, you will have little or no swelling or bruising and you can return to regular activities immediately. You will achieve natural-looking results and avoid an unnatural-looking "trout pout". Here are the five keys to natural-looking lip enhancement:
1. Balance your lips. An upper lip that overhangs your lower lip, as sported by many unfortunate Hollywood celebrities, is a dead giveaway of having had work done. You can enhance your lips dramatically and still look natural if your upper lip is always kept slightly less full than your lower lip.
2. Keep the taper. Natural lips are fullest in the center and gradually become thinner at the edges. Skillful lip enhancement maintains this taper and avoids a telltale "sausage lip" appearance.
3. Remember the frames. One of the new concepts I introduced on Medscape/WebMD is that your lips have two frames that support them. The "immediate" frame can be treated with Restylane, Perlane, Juvederm, and also Botox if desired, to lift a drooping mouth. Treatment of the "peripheral" frame , which extends all the way to your jawline and your ears, can nonsurgically lift the whole of your lower face.
4. Keep the white line. Youthful lips have a slightly lighter colored area of skin, known as the white line at the junction where your lips meet the skin that surrounds them (you may see this if you examine your mouth closely in the mirror). This white line should be enhanced when fillers are injected into your lips. If your white line is diminished by incorrect injection techniques, your lips will look unattractive and obviously done.
5. Keep the lip lines. Some wrinkles are good - for example, the fine vertical lines that occur naturally on all lips. It's often stated that these lines are lost with lip augmentation, making your lips look less natural. With the dual Perlane-Restylane injection technique, these lines can be preserved, to give you lovely lips that look completely natural.