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The trend of designating a catchy label to describe certain types of lip enhancement treatment may seem like a recent phenomenon, highly promoted and influenced by social media. However, as far back as 2005, Sclafani (2005) described the “Hollywood Lip” in various literature. More recently, we have seen the placement of Botulinum Toxin into the orbicularis muscle referred to as the “Lip Flip” on social media, even though this treatment has actually been prevalent for many years.
Impact on the patient
It is important to consider that first impressions of a person’s face influence the observer to admire, dislike, love or even fear another person. Therefore, when a patient seeks aesthetic intervention, as well as assessing the face from an anatomical and aesthetic perspective, explore what the patient wishes to express to others.
Despite their popularity, certain lip “trends” have their downsides. Over-filling removes the lip architecture and can increase risk and safety issues, as well as tipping the balance away from beauty. Before manipulating the patient’s features, respect proportion - the principles of beauty. Understand the limitations of the patient’s existing anatomy and avoid risk and outcomes that may distort the face, whilst trying to balance the impression the patient may wish to project.
Patient education and consultation are key to matching these challenging requests. You will need the skill and knowledge in your toolkit to explain the science of beauty to your patient, including proportions, risk and the impact upon surrounding structures.
So, you need to be the expert and guide your patient.
Current lip trends
Taking the above into consideration, at Facethetics we look at three of the most common current lip trends in our Universal Lips Course; Lip Flip, Russian Lips and the 4mm Lip.
The Russian Lip rationale is to create a hyper-defined look, mimicking a Russian doll. This treatment can sometimes involve the lower lip. A Russian doll lip has a very high peak and defined vermillion border.
The 4mm Lip concept is to use the potential space almost hidden in the vermillion border to allow the product to flow in a way that maintains the natural shape of the mouth.
The rationale of the Lip Flip is to inject into the orbicularis oris muscle and evert the lip. The technique we teach will also enable reduction of perioral (lipstick) lines.
When considering these trends, technique is only part of the overall picture. At Facethetics, we give you the knowledge and skill to assess patient suitability, manage expectations and consider any additional risks that these techniques may incur, including migration, infection and vascular occlusion.
The Three Ps
During training, we emphasise the importance of The Three Ps - Patient, Product and Placement.
Patient - is this patient suitable for the treatment they are requesting? Are they medically safe to have treatment? Are their expectations realistic? What is their budget?
Product - A thorough understanding of the different dermal filler products is VITAL for a successful lip enhancement treatment. How does the filler behave when injected? How long is it likely to last? What sort of results would you expect? Will these results align with your patient’s expectations? How much product will be required for a successful outcome?
Placement - Once a suitable product has been selected, where and how will you place it in the lip? We must understand placement, not just from an aesthetic/beauty standpoint, but of course also from a safety standpoint. Incorrectly placed filler will, at best give unsuccessful results and, at worst, cause a serious complication.
In conclusion, lips are as diverse as the human face. Not every patient request can be met and it is up to you, as a medical aesthetic practitioner, to use your expert knowledge to assess your patient, while also guiding them and helping them to understand that a particular “trend” may not be the best option for them.