The Subtle Lip Filler Trick to Try to Avoid the Over-Filled Look

The Subtle Lip Filler Trick to Try to Avoid the Over-Filled Look featured image
Yulia Petrova / Getty Images

I’ve had full lips my whole life. Growing up, I was often teased about them. Kids in middle school used to call me “big lips,” and for the longest time, I wished my lips were smaller. It wasn’t until I grew up that I realized my full lips were one of my best assets. Fast forward to now, at 46, and I’ve noticed I’ve lost a bit of volume. Given my naturally full lips, I knew I didn’t need an enhancement that would overdo it or add unnecessary volume. So, when I heard about a lip filler technique that could enhance my lips without making them look over-filled, I decided it was worth a try.

While I was getting treated for my bi-annual wrinkle relaxer with DAXXIFY, my injector, Miami plastic surgeon Jackie Yee, MD suggested I try a very minuscule amount of lip filler to help give my lips a slightly fuller look without actually filling them. 

RHA 3 Lip Injections
About one month post-lip enhancement treatment with RHA 3 filling the vermillion border. The results are so subtle but I felt I was losing fullness in my top lip.

Treating Lip Lines

“When little lines around the mouth are starting to form and while they’re not quite prominent yet, this is the time when you can get ahead of it,” Dr. Yee explained during our consultation. “You can do a little neurotoxin like DAXXIFY to soften the lines and prevent them from deepening, or you can use fillers. We have the RHA collection, and RHA 3 has been FDA-approved for use in the lips.”

The Vermillion Border Technique

Given my history with full lips, I didn’t want to look overdone. Dr. Yee assured me that she would use a minimal amount of filler to accentuate the vermillion border, the edge of the lips where they meet the skin of the face. This technique enhances lip shape, provides support, and improves the application of lipstick, reducing lipstick bleeding and minimizing the appearance of wrinkles around the mouth.

RHA 3 Lip Injections
My lips look fuller and closer to how they did in my 20s without looking overly plumped.

“The key difference between this technique and other lip filler methods is that filling the vermillion border doesn’t necessarily add lip volume,” Dr. Yee said. “It corrects wrinkles and defines the shape of the lips. The injection is done more superficially and uses a very small amount of product.”

Dr. Yee numbed my lips with a topical cream for about 20 minutes before injecting. Despite the numbing, there was some discomfort at the injection sites, but it was manageable. She used RHA3, which she strategically injected along the vermillion border of just my top lip, injecting once on each side and following the lip line. Think of it as the lip liner of lip filler. 

“I only injected each side of the top lip,” she said while working on my lips. “This product stands out because it’s firm but also flexible.”

After my injection, I experienced some swelling and bruising, which is normal. Dr. Yee recommended using anti-bruising cream and icing the area to reduce swelling

My Results

Now, my lips look fuller and more defined without being overdone. The fine lines around my mouth have softened, and my lipstick stays in place without bleeding. This tiny enhancement has made a noticeable difference that is so subtle I swear I’m the only one who notices, which I really love.

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