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Please, don’t get cheap lip filler. It’s not worth it

By Georgia Seago
21st July 2022

If there was just one message I could get people to really take on board when it comes to tweakments, it would be this: Do. Not. Be. Driven. By. Price.

If you can’t afford to pay what a decent treatment costs, forget it. I’m aware that I’m saying this from a privileged position of writing about aesthetics that allows me to have complimentary treatments from the best in the business, but if this wasn’t my job, I wouldn’t have anything done unless I could afford to save up and do it properly.

This sentiment doesn’t ring truer than with lip filler. The treatment that sparked everyone’s interest in what they can plump and reshape with dermal filler, lip filler provides the absolute worst examples of cheap aesthetic work I’ve seen. And more scarily, cut-price lips are also particularly susceptible to complications ranging from unsightly lumps and migration (when the filler quietly moves away from where it’s supposed to be) to serious infections and vascular occlusions (where a blob of filler blocks a small blood vessel) that if left untreated, lead to necrosis, aka tissue death which, yes, kills off the skin tissue around the blockage.

This isn’t to say that complications don’t happen to people who see expert, medically qualified practitioners for their lip filler, but the incidences are far rarer because these people know what they’re doing and how to manage any issues that may arise, and they have the years of experience and training to back it up. Not to mention, while filler itself isn’t classed as a prescription-only medicine, the product that dissolves it and rectifies complications, is. So if you’re not a prescriber, you can’t get it.

Don’t be drawn in

Unfortunately, the reality in the UK is that anyone can wake up one day and decide to set themselves up as an ‘expert aesthetics practitioner’. All they need is a certificate from a short beginner’s filler course, some product and the right lingo, and they’re advertising on social media and drawing in clients with introductory offers and special deals themed around just about anything. I even saw one person advertising discounted lip filler for the Platinum Jubilee weekend.

Lip filler tends to be what these people promote the most because it’s such an appealing treatment to the social media and reality TV demographic, those who they assume are less likely to do their research or be hesitant because of what could go wrong, and who are more likely to be driven by the instant gratification of a freshly plumped pout on a night out or for a weekend of events. This group – young women aged 18-30 – are also generally the most budget-conscious, hence the super low prices and discounted offers to draw them in.

While filler itself isn’t classed as a prescription-only medicine, the product that dissolves it and rectifies complications, is.

Beware the plastic pout

Aside from the medical complications, people who provide budget lip filler treatments tend to be fond of a certain aesthetic, a look that’s all about big, pouty lips with a shelf-like border and heavily defined Cupid’s Bow. Your lips can look however you want them to look – that’s totally your prerogative – but if you’re a TTG reader I imagine you want a subtle, natural result, so you need to go to an injector who’s on the same page.

Something else you want to avoid is being treated with a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all approach because that’s all your injector had time to learn on their two-day course. And because they’re not reputable medical practitioners, quality filler brands won’t supply these practitioners, so the likelihood is that the product they inject is sub-par and doesn’t have the right qualities to sit safely and beautifully in the lips with the movement of the mouth. Too much of the wrong type of filler can lead to overfilled, super-stretched lips – not cute and pretty painful. When Alice had her lips injected – which you can watch here – you’ll see she got a beautiful, subtle enhancement. This was down to two things; Dr Munir Somji‘s expertise, and the springy, elastic properties of MaiLi dermal filler.

If you come across any of these terms on the social media pages of practitioners when doing your research, I’d advise you to steer well clear:

  • ‘Fresh off the needle’
  • ‘Russian lips’
  • ‘Flat lips’ (flat because it makes them look bigger face-on)
  • ‘Big lips’
  • ‘Juicy pout’

… and instead, use our Practitioner Finder to find a brilliant, experienced practitioner near you. But if you’re dead set on going it alone, follow this advice on staying safe, and make sure you ask potential practitioners these questions.

Find out how much you should expect to pay for lip filler here, and avoid anyone charging significantly less, no matter where you’re based. And lastly, here’s what the experts want you to know before getting your lips done.

The Tweakments Guide Takeaway

If you're going to get lip filler, do your research, find a great practitioner who knows what they're doing; and if you can't afford to do it properly, don't do it at all. It's not worth the risks.

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