The Ultimate Guide to Lip Fillers + My Experience With Them!
March 20th 2019
*NOTE: If you just care about the guide to lip fillers and not my personal experience, then scroll all the way down!
Confession: I am 100% guilty of over-lining my lips with lipstick making you all think they are actually fuller than they really are. By getting lip fillers, I wanted to put that over-lining shit to an end…cuz honestly it’s a pain in the ass to create this illusion! Most of all, I wanted to actually have lips without lipstick on as well!
Natural lips with lipstick not over-lined
How I usually overline my lips
At the end of 2018 when I decided to start doing a little research, I stumbled across the instagram of @bestaestheticinjectors ! This page reposts work by cosmetic injectors all over the world allowing you to see the variety of talent! The photos that stuck out to me I noticed were all from the same doctor: Dr. Dulce Mascarinas! Once I further looked at her page, I immediately knew I wanted her to do them.. no matter the cost, the location, the wait time, that’s who I felt like could give me the results I am looking for…without making me look like a duck! Come to find out, she is located in Florida, and I just so happen to go there all the time..why not another reason to go more often? If you check out her instagram feed, the talent speaks for itself. She is literally perfection in comparison to other work I’ve seen. When it comes to my face, I am definitely not going to go to just anyone! I’ve seen enough episodes of Botched to know better and not settle for anything less than the best! After hitting that follow button, I casually stalked her instagram daily and waited for my opportunity to secure a spot like everyone else! The insta-stalking paid off when I saw her post about an opportunity to win early access to her calendar, which I ended up winning! So I’ll say luck was definitely on my side and this was simply meant to be! Thank goodness that happened because when it was open to the public, people on her page were saying she completely booked up in just 6 minutes! That has to be one hell of a feeling! YAAAASSSSSS YOU GO DR. DULCE!
My appointment date came super quick and I made my way down to Florida from North Carolina. Upon arriving to the office early as hell, I patiently waited for my turn. The longer I sat, the more nervous I got! Once it was my turn, I kissed my boyfriend one last time with my virgin lips and into the room I go to discuss the game plan! After showing her some photos of what I am going for, she let me know that it will not happen in one day and that the first syringe was the foundation to build off of and to not expect any significant changes I desired to appear after this first appointment. She also let me know she normally doesn’t do more than one syringe initially so it spoke volumes about how she genuinely cares about the overall outcome and the patient
not looking crazy because lets be honest, some injectors just want the money..but Dr. Dulce wants you to look amazing! I had what was called a ‘dental block’ cream applied on my lips and waited 40 minutes till I couldn’t feel that part of my face, and then the poking began. She also kindly let me know that the numbing stuff wasn’t going to completely numb me and I’d still feel some stings…and OMG I DID. It definitely hurt, but was a bearable pain and it was over in no time! The numbing stuff had my lips feeling like they were a million times bigger than they actually were when I was handed the mirror, which relieved me greatly cuz they for real felt ENORMOUS and it freaked me out…but they were perfect, just like I expected!
I bruised immediately after, and was told that it would take 2 full weeks for swelling and bruising to go away…and that day 2 would be the ‘ugliest’ day. For me though, I found that day 3 was probably the ugliest! More bruises popped up along the top of my lip on the third day. Maybe it has something to do with me drinking alcohol afterwards? The world may never know!
Day one: Day of
Since writing the original article in March 2019, I wanted to give a little update on what my next two appointments were like following the initial one, and how my lips are present time today. The second time I returned in May for my second full syringe. The procedure went the same as mentioned above, numbing, talking and poking.. except this time she seemed to be in a lot better of mood! I didn't mention before, but when I went for my first visit, it kind of felt like an assembly line where I was somewhat rushed, questioned if I was old enough to get filler, and barely got a smile out of her. I didn't really mind though because honestly we all have our days and my lips looked BOMB, but the second visit there were definitely different vibes. I even got a hug after I left, but this time I walked out looking like I got botched. I trusted the process though because this kind of shit happens, but I did NOT look how I did the first time walking out by all means!
Immediately after 2nd syringe
It was an awful looking hematoma
Next day swelling helped it look 10x better
So this article isn't longer than it needs to be, I'll cut to the chase. The photos shown above from my second full syringe ended up healing slightly crooked and a bump on one side of my lip did remain. SO I had to go for a 3rd visit a month later to correct it where I received a half syringe. The final results are shown below.
These are from my last syringe which went the smoothest of them all! They looked this good all day and the only bruise I formed was a little dot in the corner of my mouth.
Fast forward to today. It is now January 2020 and I have not had any more filler since July 2019 and I feel like my lips are pretty much gone now..but being a lip filler virgin, I probably should have gone back sooner to stack on top of the foundation I built so it doesn't dissolve as quickly. I know once you go for more, it doesn't dissolve as fast anymore so I guess only time will tell!!? I plan to go back at some point in the future when I can spend that kinda money again freely...cuz lets just say, that's definitely not a regular splurge!!
Since this is my first and only cosmetic procedure so far, I am obviously no expert in this category, but below are your questions answered.. openly and honestly! These answers are based on information I have learned online, been told, or personally experienced! If I happened to miss something, feel free to comment below!
Q & A
Q: Is it super painful or pretty bearable?
A: Oh it hurt like hell, but a bearable and quick type of hurt that is actually more like a sting than an actual pain. It doesn’t linger around after you are done either since there’s lidocaine in the filler itself. But I don’t see how anyone can do that without numbing stuff! Worth all the pain though, I’d do it again in a heartbeat!
Q: Is the pain level the same as a tattoo or a lot less?
A: I’d say less, but it’s your face so it’s naturally more sensitive than most areas of your body that would be tattooed. It’s over quicker than a tattoo and doesn’t burn like one after.
Q: How much was it?
A: Way too fuckin' much man. $1500 per syringe is the cost with Dr. Dulce. Normally they range from $600-$800 from doctors who aren't in South Beach Miami where everything costs 10x more than it should.
Q: What if you don’t like them or want them anymore in the future?
A: You are able to have a dissolving enzyme injected which will rid the filler.
Q: Do you have to keep getting them done?
A: Yes and no. It depends on the individual. Normally I’d say yes to maintain a certain look because they will go down over time, but not go away. It all depends on the person though and how they metabolize the filler.
Q: Will you keep going down to Miami every time to get them done?
A: Not anymore, no. Time to find someone more affordable! I could have had 6 syringes from a local doctor vs the 2.5 I had from Dulce.
Q: Does it feel weird or foreign in you?
A: You can feel that something is different when you move your lips around, but it doesn’t feel like a foreign object in my body that doesn’t belong.
Q: Does the swelling last all day afterward?
A: Yes and it may actually get worse! It all depends on the individual and what measures they take before and after the procedure. Check out the Do’s and Dont’s below for some advice I received to help reduce swelling! I promise you though, you’re gonna wish the swelling lasted forever!
Lip Filler DOs
DO take Arnica pellets 5-7 days before & after your procedure to reduce swelling and bruising. These can be found at your local Whole Foods market. The gel cream is also another option if you don’t have WF around you. The cream can be found at almost any pharmacy.
DO let your injector know your lip goals by showing inspo photos!
DO let your injector know of any medical history you have with cold sores and other allergies prior to your procedure. The doctor should most definitely ask you this themselves prior to any treatment.
DO have realistic expectations! Understand that it’s a process to go from tiny lips to plump lips and may take several sessions to meet your goals!
DO understand fillers do not last forever! They don’t necessarily disappear completely, but they will go down in size gradually over time. Just like hair color, in order to maintain your results, you will have to keep getting it done!
DO expect to be bruised, swollen, lopsided and lumpy at first. This is normal and will subside as time goes by. Wait up to 2 weeks to see your full healed results to point out any imperfections there may be.
DO apply ice to the area after to help with swelling and bruising
DO sleep slightly more elevated to help prevent swelling
Lip Filler DO NOTs
DONT have: coffee, vitamins, supplements, alcohol, NSAID medications (such as Motrin, Advil, Ibuprofen, Aleve, etc.), or Aspirin 7 days before and 7 days after. By not having any of these in your system, it will greatly help reduce bruising and swelling risks.
DONT participate in any excessive sweating to help decrease swelling
DONT expose yourself to direct sunlight 7 days post procedure to avoid any chance of hyperpigmentation
DONT plan this procedure if you have a big important life event within 2 weeks after
DONT be scared, it’s just needles going into your face!
DONT do any rough kissing after procedure
DONT wear lipstick until at least 24hrs later post procedure
DONT arrive to your appointment with a full face of makeup on! Your eyes will most likely water and ruin all that effort anyways.
DONT massage your lips or manipulate it in any way post procedure! You don’t want to end up changing the placement or fullness!
DONT make this decision in order to please anyone but yourself!
DONT forget to keep your lips hydrated after by using petroleum jelly or Aquaphor!
This will probably be THE LONGEST post on my blog, but I hope you all found this article helpful in some way!