Creating a lip shape that suits you beautifully
The first thing to realise is that perfect lips do not exist in themselves. Beauty is subjective — what is beautiful to one person may be bland to another.
As for lips, the same applies. You may hanker for a ‘pouty bunny teeth’ mouth because you feel that showing a little of your front teeth when you smile is cute, but this may elicit a look of horror from someone else. It’s truly a case of different strokes for different folks.
Select the right look
Choosing a look that is appropriate and the best for you is important. Sometimes, a patient wants a certain look because it looks stunning on a celebrity, but may not go with his or her face. What looks good on one person may not suit another. For instance, if you put Julia Roberts’ lips on Winona Ryder, she would look freakish.
Here is where the plastic surgeon’s eyes come in useful. When you come in for a consultation, we would consider the proportion and balance of your features in relation to the rest of the face. And before making any recommendations or decisions, we listen to you, evaluate your request, then discuss what you want and what you should take into consideration. For instance, if you have a narrow, thin face, then pouty, goldfish lips are not suitable for you because they will be out of proportion to your face.
Here are some common scenarios that are correctable:
Problem: thin lips
Solution: If you have thin lips, volume can be added by injecting a filler such as hyaluronic acid, or a fat or dermal graft. Fillers can also be used to enhance the shape of the lips, such as to create a Cupid’s bow. There’s no downtime for this procedure, although there may be some temporary swelling occasionally.
Problem: thick lips
Solution: Minor surgery is required to trim excessive tissue and restructure the shape of the lips. While doing so, a groove in the middle section of the lips can be created — like that on Michelle Pfeiffer — depending on the surgeon’s creativity. This procedure is done as day surgery, and it takes about a week for the tissue to heal.
Problem: too-wide philtrum (the vertical groove between nose and upper lip)
Solution: Surgery can be done to lift the upper lip and narrow the gap between the nose and the lip. A more pouty look showing the upper teeth can be created in the process. The surgical scars are usually hidden because the incision is made under the nose. You can expect minimal post-surgery bruising. Healing takes between seven and 10 days.
Problem: lumpy lips
Solution: Cosmetic surgery can be done to remove the lumps — which could be internal scar tissue, mucoceles or other types of cysts — without causing disfigurement. Recovery from surgery usually takes about one week.
Problem: age-related loss of volume and wrinkles radiating from lips
Solution: Rejuvenate your lips by plumping them up. Laser treatment can also be done around the lips to make the skin smoother and Botox injected to reduce over-activity of the lip muscles. There is no downtime for injecting a filler or Botox, but fractional laser treatment usually takes five days to heal.
Celebrate your uniqueness
There is no one particular lip shape that creates a beautiful smile. Rather than seeking to change your lips so that they look like someone else’s ‘ideal’ shape, remember that a smile is beautiful when it is genuine and fills your face naturally.