The Key to Natural-Looking Lips

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A youthful face, that doesn’t look “done,” encompasses balanced features that are proportionate to one another. "Balance and proportion need to be adhered to. If not, the look weill be unnatural," says West Palm Beach, FL, facial plastic surgeon Mark Murphy, MD. If you want more luscious lips but don’t want to bring attention to them (or resemble a duck), lip enhancement can help, if you and your doctor take the right steps. When it comes to augmenting your lips, the rule of thumb for a balanced look is you upper lip should be two-thirds smaller than the bottom lip.

In yours 20s and 30s the lips should have a natural fullness to them with a fairly well-defined cupid’s-bow. Enhancing the lips with hyaluronic acid fillers or fat, adds volume to make them bigger. Small amounts of filler “pop” the natural lip contours; too much emphasis on the lips throws off facial balance. Adding volume can improve shape, but too much makes them look overdone. “Giant lips are typically the result of too much filler,” says Los Angeles plastic surgeon Geoffrey R. Keyes, MD. “When it’s overdone it looks unnatural. Filler can be used subtly to give a natural look—don’t go for the mound on top of mound look.”

In your 40s, the lips will probably be beginning to thin and definition may not be as sharp. Since there may be more thinning at this stage of aging, more filler may be needed. Start off moderately and have repeat injections if necessary as opposed to loading the lips up with filler all at once, which can make them look sausage-like and detract attention from the rest of the face. Regardless of your age, overdone lips can age anyone. Avoid semipermanent and permanent fillers, including silicone, which are not meant for use in the lips and won’t age properly with them.

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