“Secret tips for perfect lips” by Galina Zhulyabina

Galina Zhulyabina, permanent makeup artist and teacher

The beauty industry is growing rapidly and gives women a lot of opportunities to become more and more attractive. Lip augmentation is one of the services that nowadays are in high demand. Girls use this service with the aim to become sexier and more attractive through making their lips look fuller, whereas middle-aged women want to adjust the shape of their lips (as it naturally changes with time) hoping to achieve the effect of rejuvenation.

Nowadays, there are several ways that can help to achieve this goal. Permanent makeup, contouring and plastic surgery – all these methods can help not only to add more volume to the lips, but also to create a new shape if necessary. Considering all the specifics of the client’s face as well as the desired result, it is possible to choose one of the methods or a combination of them.

One of the most effective combinations is permanent makeup along with hyaluronic acid injections. However, before we start talking about the combination of these two methods, let’s analyze all the pros and cons of each treatment separately.

Lip augmentation via permanent makeup

Permanent makeup, in contrast to other methods, makes it possible to increase the volume of lips only visually by correcting the contour line and using various shades of pigments. This method is not able to add extra-volume to very thin lips – it is more suitable for creating a natural effect.

Lip augmentation with the use of permanent makeup is suitable primarily for clients with undefined outline. In such cases it is sometimes enough just to make the contour line brighter in order to achieve the desired result.

There is a special technique that helps to add more volume to the lips; this technique involves light shades of a pigment applied above the upper lip and under the lower lip. This is quite a simple way to emphasize natural or artificially created lip volume.

The name “3D permanent makeup” speaks for itself. Using the right combination of light and dark pigments as well as the balance of “light reflections” and working on the surface can help to create additional volume.

In addition, as many of you already know, with the help of permanent makeup it is possible to adjust the shape – for example, to correct asymmetrical areas or lift drooping corners of the mouth. When drawing a new outline, it is important not to make it go beyond the natural contour line of more than 2 mm; otherwise, the lips might look really artificial.

The opportunity to add desired colors to the lips and forget about decorative cosmetics for several years seems very attractive to a lot of women.

However, changes of the volume that are made with the use of permanent makeup are only visual. Clients should be aware of the fact that the result of permanent makeup application is not going to be a far cry from the effect created by usual makeup, and on closer inspection it will be clear that the lips are drawn on the face.

Lip augmentation with the use of hyaluronic acid

Injection techniques used for lip augmentation help to add more actual (not only visual) volume to the lips. Among the variety of fillers used for face volume contouring, hyaluronic acid is the most popular, approved by doctors as well as estheticians, and widely used. The explanation of such popularity is rather simple.

Hyaluronic acid is a natural component of the body. It is produced by fibroblasts (connective tissue cells responsible for the production of extracellular matrix) and promotes tissue regeneration; it provides moisture, plumpness, firmness and suppleness to the skin.

Fillers based on hyaluronic acid are biodegradable (i.e. capable of being excreted by the body) and have a number of advantages:

  • Maximum biocompatibility
  • Safety
  • Hypoallergenic properties
  • No risk of migration into nearby connective tissues
  • The antidote hyaluronidase is an extremely effective way to dissolve hyaluronic acid and can be used when it is necessary to remove HA from the body.

With the help of injections it is possible to add more volume to the lips and also adjust the shape if necessary: to lift drooping corners of the mouth, to fill “gaps” caused by the volume loss of the skin, to make the surface of the lips look smooth, to reduce wrinkles etc.  The final result becomes visible in two weeks after the injections, and the effect lasts for 6 to 12 months.

As any other cosmetic procedure, hyaluronic acid injections have contraindications. They are not recommended in case of cancer, blood diseases, epilepsy, damaged lip skin, hypersensitivity to the components of the filler, herpes simplex, atopic dermatitis, the presence of other fillers in the lips, as well as during pregnancy and lactation.

Each country has its own requirements for professionals working with fillers. For example, in Russia in order to provide such services, specialists must have a medical degree, and cosmetology salons must have a medical license.

The quality of the dermal filler is crucial. There are fillers with different concentrations of hyaluronic acid; the most popular ones are the following: Restylane Lipp, Juvederm Ultra Smile, Surgiderm 24XP, Surgiderm 30 and Styiage Special Lips.

The combination of permanent makeup and hyaluronic acid injections

Taking into account the specifics of permanent makeup (gives visual volume) and fillers (add actual volume), it is possible to achieve amazing results. Theoretically, these procedures do not contradict each other; therefore it is possible to perform them in any sequence. However, practice shows that the best results are achieved when certain sequence of actions is followed.

The first step should involve the procedure of permanent makeup. With the use of contouring and shading techniques the asymmetry can be corrected, and the desired color can be added to the lips. At this stage of the process it is recommended to be careful with bright colors since the hyaluronic acid injections are also going to brighten the color of the lips. By the way, after the procedure of permanent makeup application there is a bit of swelling that remains for a while, which makes it possible for the client to imagine and estimate the future look (to a certain extent) after the fillers are injected.

Before proceeding to the next stage, it is necessary to wait for the full recovery of the skin which usually takes around 3-4 weeks.

The second step involves the use of dermal fillers with hyaluronic acid; it allows creating additional volume and, if necessary, adjusting the shape. During the procedure, it is important not to add too much of the filler in order to avoid the effect of “inflated” unnatural lips.

After the procedure of contouring the pigment can get lighter, which is perfectly normal as it happens due to stretching of the skin in the area of injection. If the client wants, it is possible to add more pigment, but not earlier than in 2 weeks after the procedure of filler injection.

Such order of the procedures of permanent makeup application and dermal filler injection is connected with the difference in the lasting periods of the treatments: permanent makeup lasts for several years, whereas hyaluronic acid is removed from the skin within one year.

What would happen if the steps are done in reverse order? Imagine that first we increase the volume of the lips using face contouring injections, and then we perform the procedure of permanent makeup, focusing on the new contour and created volume. How will the lips look a few months later when the effect of the fillers is gone? Most likely, the result will be pretty bad. In this case, there is a high chance of asymmetry occurrence, which in its turn is going to require additional filler injections or permanent makeup correction procedures. We all know that the quality of our service is measured not only by the result right after the procedure, but also the way the work looks after time.

When working with aesthetic correction, it is important to remember that the best is the enemy of the good. Nowadays natural beauty is highly appreciated, so the clients when referring to the expert want to see their faces looking beautiful and at the same time natural.  Therefore, when combining different methods, it is essential to stick to “the golden mean” – this will help to achieve good results and avoid overcorrection.

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