Is it possible to have fuller lips without coming out looking like a duck?

Absolutely. There is such a severe stigma attached to getting lip injections with fillers like Restylane® and Juvederm™, and it’s just because the only ones everyone knows about are the bad ones. I personally have never had a patient come in asking me to make her lips look fake. The words I hear over and over again are: “Just the littlest bit, really, I don’t want anyone to know.” The truth is, most plastic surgeons and dermatologists are quite skilled at lip injections (and you probably have friends who are well aware of this and are not owning up). So you should not deprive yourself of having better, fuller, more youthful lips. Just be aware of the basics of lip aesthetics, and make sure your doctor is on the same page:

1)      Youthful lips are full only centrally, not all over. Compare this newborn baby’s lips to the Housewife’s:

2)      In natural, or at least “natural-looking” full lips, the bottom lip is always bigger than the top lip. This is something that most people don’t even notice until it’s pointed out to them—that it’s the bottom lip that gives you the sexy pout, as in this gorgeous model (Although this girl doesn’t look as good in the candids I’ve seen of her, so I think it’s safe to say that this picture is pretty photo-shopped–even still, she does have enviable lips):

3)      Our lips—and, basically everything else on our face–lengthen and sag as we age. Compare this nineteen year-old woman and her forty-five year-old mother:

It is youthful to have a short upper lip or “upper teeth show” as opposed to having a longer upper lip, where there is just “lower teeth show.”  The “length” of your upper lip is the distance from the bottom of your nose to the bottom of your upper lip. Regardless of age, some women genetically have shorter/longer lips than others.

If you have a long upper lip, you are at a higher risk for getting Duck Lips from a lip injection, because the lip will get longer and more dragged down from the filler. This doesn’t mean you can’t have filler in your lips—just that you must proceed with caution. Make sure the amount put in the upper lip is minimal, and see if the doctor can just put it in the vermilion (the red part). I have found that staying away from the vermilion border (the lip line) is key in avoiding the Duck Lips look in my patients with longer upper lips.

So now you went and got some filler in your lips, like you’ve always wanted to do, very conservatively. How do you prevent severe swelling in the next twenty-four hours that will give you temporary Duck Lips?

1)      Stay away from salty food before and after the injections. Restylane™ and Juvederm™ are hyaluronic acids, which absorb water. Juvederm Ultra™ is my personal favorite for the lips because it doesn’t swell as much as the others, but also probably doesn’t last as long.

2)      Try to avoid all aspirin and ibuprofen products for at least a week before, since they can increase bruising.

3)      Take Arnica

4)      Drink water with lemon for the next few hours. Lemon is a natural diuretic. I learned this one from my sister. Whenever I do her lips for her when she’s in town, she greets me at her hotel room with a bucket of ice and a bowl of lemons that she’s just ordered up from room service.

5)      That night, sleep with your head elevated on a couple of pillows

6)      No matter how happy you were with it on the day of the procedure, no matter how minimal the injection was, do not look at yourself in the mirror the next morning until after you’ve had a chance to ice, and if you happen to catch a glimpse, don’t freak out. Just ice ice ice for half an hour and they will go down by the time you have to go to work.

And if after all of this you are absolutely so freaked out by your huge lips and you are afraid that you’ve made the biggest mistake of your life, don’t worry. Your doctor can make it disappear with Widase® or Vitrase®, a hyaluronidase that dissolves the filler, sometimes in a number of hours.

So maybe now when you hear the words, “Lip injections”–instead of thinking about the people you know who’ve had them, you might start thinking about those who “haven’t.” 😉

Like this person:

Big X!!!


PS. Check out the new video “Five Things You Need to Know About Lip Injections!”

  1. Penny said:

    Terrific info about lip injections. You’ve given me quite a few and I’ve always been delighted. It’s natural-looking and really makes a difference to my overall appearance. It’s subtle but so improves my face.

    I found the blog fascinating. The difference between the daughter and mother blew my mind.

    It’s time I came in for more. You’re right, the fillers don’t last long but they are so worth it.
    Thanks again Lipo Queen.

  2. Penny said:

    Terrific info about lip injections. You’ve given me quite a few and I’ve always been delighted.You give me a completely “natural” look that truly improves my appearance.
    Thanks again Lipo Queen.

  3. Susan Morin said:

    L.Q.,I love my lip’s.You are a perfectionist.They look just like they did when I was…ummm,30?

  4. Pamela said:

    Nice to read your blog

  5. Chichi said:

    Lip pumps are also becoming really popular atm, its seems that a lot of ppl r too scared to get lip injections and lip plumping glosses dnt seem to work very well, so company’s have started making like plastic lip plumping devices. I was really curious to try one when I heard about them so I ordered mine from and it actually makes u look like u had injections done, but in a good way, its still really natural looking. I think lip pumps might be the next craze

    • Wow–never heard of this! I need to check this out. I saw a bad review that said it really bruised the lips. The problem is something like this is not going to last more than a few hours and if it does, it’s because it’s caused trauma. But thanks for the info–I need to look into it.

  6. Sharlean said:

    Hi i had juverderm done on my top lips for the first time about 40days ago. My lip still has 4 large lump which you can see speckles of white fillers.. I have massaged it .. Iced it.. Used arnica gel ., and the lumps havenr gone down., i cant get hold of the lady who had done it.. I am soo upset as everyone has noticed my lov sided lips . What can i do to smooth out these lumps?

    • Hi Sharlean,
      This is an easy problem to fix. As long as you are not allergic to bee stings, you can have Vitrase (hyaluronidase, an enzyme that dissolves the Juvederm) injected into the lumpy areas and they will go away within a day or so. This can be done by anyone who is experienced with injecting fillers, however I recommend you go back to the doctor who did it for you. Warning: it does sting.
      Hope that helps!
      Thanks for writing!

  7. Jacki said:

    I tried a Lip Plumper by AminoGenesis Skin Care called “Lips To Love” Instant Lip plumper, AMAZING at Plumping lips and bringing back your natural color!!

  8. Jennifer Boyce said:

    Great tips. Just had Botox and Juvederm(slight lip enhancement)done. Reassured me that all is well. And the “optimal lip photo”? Elizabeth Olsen(Mary Kate and Ashley’s sis). Not photoshopped. Maybe enhanced? Beutiful genes? Regardless, beautiful lips!

    • Hi Jennifer!
      Thanks for writing in–glad the info was helpful!

  9. Anna said:

    Thank you for this! I just made the mistake of looking in the mirror the morning after (wish I read this first). I’m petrified and just cried … So swollen, here’s to hoping it goes down x

  10. The vertical lines above my upper lip were injected last November. It’s been almost 4 months, and I still have an elongated duck lip appearance. Does anyone know if microcurrent therapy can help break up the Juvederm more quickly? What frightens me most, is if this will ever completely go away, or could I have permanent disfigurement? The RN who injected the Juvederm is very arrogant, so I’ve chosen not to go back to her ever again, for anything.

    • Hello Connie,
      I don’t know about micro current therapy–have never heard of it as a tool to break up Juvederm. The only way I know to get rid of hyaluronic acids is with hyaluronidase, which must be injected by a nurse or physician. It shouldn’t stay forever, but hyaluronic acids do last longer in some people than others. If you are not comfortable with your injector, I would recommend finding a board-certified plastic surgeon to see you in consult, and evaluate if you are a candidate for hyaluronidase injection because some people can have allergic reactions to it.
      Hope this is helpful! If you tell me what area you live in I might be able to recommend a friend 🙂

      • Thanks, LQ. I think I’m just going to wait it out, as I don’t want to pay for the hyaluronidase, and also don’t know if I’d be allergic to it. I live in Aurora, CO, if that helps. I’ve been massaging the over-filled area, and that seems to help to a degree. I will never go to the same injector again. 🙂 Thanks for the response!

  11. libeth said:

    were did you get it done at?

      • Tiffany said:

        Hi where are you based and do you still do lip plumping?

      • Hi Tiffany,

        I am Beverly Hills: 462 North Linden Drive, Suite 240 90212

        Yes I do lip plumping all the time! Would love to see you!


  12. Ado said:

    Very practical tips. Well done! I totally benefitted from this….

  13. Betty W. Dunlap said:

    Of course we can have beautiful petal lips with the perfect dermal filler. I went for the second time injectable dermal fillers in Toronto under Dr. Asif Pirani ( ). For me, the whole process was really effecting and I do own a pouted full on lips. So I think, why we wait until 30’s or 50’s, when we can enjoy our new lips now in our 20’s and can continue to enjoy them until we die.

  14. Audrey W. said:

    What about animal collagen? It says that that lasts longer than the juvaderm.

    • Hi Audrey,
      Sorry about the delay in this response–we have been working on revamping the whole website.
      Animal collagen (usually Bovine–meaning cow) does not last nearly as long as the Hyaluronic Acids (Juvederm, Restylane). I am not sure where you heard that. I am not sure that it is even available anymore actually.


  15. ali said:

    what should a person who has a long upper lip do to shorten the upper lip? Is it possible to put injections in the lip lines or under the nose to pull the lip up?

    • Hi Ali,
      I have this problem myself as you can see if you saw my video. Usually putting filler anywhere in the upper lip (from the nose to the lip) makes it look longer–this is why the “Housewives” often have that “ducky” look. There is a procedure to shorten the upper lip. It is called a “lip lift” and it involves an incision hidden right underneath the base of your nose and skin is removed. If you are interested in this procedure, the person I recommend is Dr. Andrew Frankel in Beverly Hills–I know his work well and I have seen his lip lift results. If you are considering this procedure, I would do extensive research in picking your surgeon. As you can imagine, it is a dicey surgery and must be done by someone who specializes in it.
      Good luck!

  16. B said:

    Advice on what to do……. I had juvaderm Tuesday and there was some unevenness on my upper lip so Dr injected some more Thursday. Now my upper lip is super swollen, bigger than my lower lip, and duck like in appearance. It feels as though the post juvaderm effect has not gone away slightly painful stinging and very dry, I really want to have him reverse a bit but is it too soon? I have had filler before roughly 10 months ago and this didn’t happen. I don’t know what to do. Ice and wait it out or try to reverse a little bit. I don’t feel like I look like myself and it bothers me that my lip still hurts. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    • Hi and thanks for writing in!
      I would recommend seeing your doctor again ASAP and get his opinion. Personally I would recommend (and I’m sure he would agree with me) to wait at least a week to let things calm down and see where you really are with it. Two weeks would be ideal. At that time the swelling should really be gone and it will be much easier to judge how much volume is actually there. Then if you still don’t like it you can have some of it dissolved. The problem with dissolving it is that you can’t really control how much is going to dissolve and how much will stay, and there can be some swelling from that for a day or so, and then you have to wait for that to go down, and you’re really starting over from scratch.
      Hope this is helpful.


  17. Enjoyed your video! Now I know all about the causes of “Duck lips!” And what product is best for the most naturally looking lips! Yay!
    My question: Why do these woman on TV think it’s okay to sport their “DuckLips?”

    • Hi Arden!
      Glad you liked the video.
      Your question is a good one. My theory about why some women are walking around with duck lips and puffed-out faces is because they were once beautiful young women. In my experience, many women who were gorgeous when they were young start going after every line and crease in their face as they age. If they are walking around looking scary and thinking it’s okay, it’s usually because they are not “seeing the forest from the trees”–they’re not seeing the big picture. All they care about is not looking old, but what they don’t realize is that they may not look traditionally “old” but they just look scary.
      In short, they don’t see duck lips, they just see full lips and no lines.
      Hope that answers your question


  18. Hi, thanks for your very informative post and video. I am about to get my lips done soon, on the first day of my birthday vacation which is only four days long. I am worried that getting them done will impede my ability to enjoy the following three days, as I might be really swollen and bruised and self-conscious. Do you find with your clients that they’re able to carry on and enjoy themselves in public in the day of and the days following the procedure?

    • Hi and thanks for writing in!

      Yes my clients are able to go about their regular day that day and the days following the procedure. If you get a bruise that cannot be covered with makeup and you are self-conscious about it, it can be lasered with a fotofacial/IPL, unless you have darker skin that tends to hyperpigment(Fitzpatrick types IV and up) and then you can have it done with a Cutera Lasergenesis machine.
      Remember that whatever bruises or swelling that you have on your face are much more noticeable to you than to anyone else. Try to stay away from salty food and ice when you wake up in the morning.

      Have fun!


  19. C McQ said:

    How long after injections will lips feel normal? Be able to move without restriction? Or is that just not possible after this type of procedure

    • Hi Christy!

      Thanks for writing in!

      Actually, aside from the possible temporary swelling (which usually lasts a couple of days, and usually is not noticeable to others if the lips are injected correctly), and the possible bruising (which can last a few days to a week sometimes) your lips should move without restriction and feel normal.

      Hope this is helpful!


  20. Denise Cavanagh said:

    Do you know any good Doctors that you could recommend in Lasvegas?
    I am looking to get lip enchanment

    • Hi Denise,

      Thanks for writing in. Honestly, I’m sure there are a lot of good doctors in Las Vegas for lip enhancement, but unfortunately I do not know any of them personally. I would see if you can get a referral from a friend who is a fan of the “natural” look. Otherwise, you’re really not far from Beverly Hills…:)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s