I Got Lip Injections For The First Time — & I Love The Results

If you've been toying around with the idea of lip filler for awhile now, but have yet to schedule a consultation, then you might relate to this week's episode of Refinery29's YouTube series Macro Beauty. In the five-minute video, we get up close and personal as R29 wellness editor Lizzy Gulino gets lip injections for the first time ever — and leaves her appointment thrilled with the results.
Dr. Sapna Palep, founder and medical director of Spring Street Dermatology in New York City, walks us through each step of the cosmetic treatment, from addressing Gulino's (very relatable) pre-injection anxieties to delivering a natural, her-lips-but-plumper end result.
First Dr. Palep sets the record straight on some common misconceptions about the visual effect of lip injections. "I think in the past five years, people have become much more comfortable with the idea lip filler," she explains, adding that the modern-day approach to the augmentation is quite subtle. "The biggest fear people had was that they were going to look crazy, like a duck-billed platypus. But now, people realize that it doesn't have to be that way; we can work with your lip's natural curves, just augment them and give subtle volume and plumpness."
A delicate touch matches Gulino's desired aesthetic. "I've always been, not overly self-conscious, but definitely aware, that my lips are very thin," she explains of the driving force behind booking her injection appointment, which comes down to boosting her already-healthy sense of self confidence in her appearance. "I like the way I look — I like my hair, I like my face — but I think that getting lip filler will make me feel even better about myself," she says.
In terms of the actual injection, it's essentially a two-part process of numbing and poking. "For numbing, we use a B.L.T., which stands for Benzocaine, Lidocaine, and Tetracaine," explains Dr. Palep of the the topical anesthetic cocktail she applies to Gulino's lips. After 15 minutes, Dr. Palep gently wipes the numbing cream away and begins injecting filler, in this case, Juvéderm Vobella, into the lips. (Fun fact: Bachelorette star Tayshia Adams uses the same brand of lip filler.) Dr. Palep explains that the real-time injection procedure takes around 20-25 minutes start to finish, and the results of Vobella generally last about a year.
Afterwards, Gulino is able to see her new lips. "Oh my gosh, I love them," she gasps, taking a look at her smile in the handheld mirror. "They don't look enormous; they still look like my lips, just enhanced," she adds. "I can't wait to show my friends, take selfies, and enjoy them."

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