How can I ensure my lip enhancement looks natural?

When considering lip fillers to give volume to thinner lips, many women worry about the risks of developing a so-called 'trout pout'.

Lips naturally become thinner and flatter with age, so full, plump lips at any age appear youthful and appealing. However, an unnatural, over-inflated look, which has been seen on many celebrities, can detract from your natural beauty.

The good news is that natural-looking lip augmentation is possible. Mr Anthony Fitton, a Plastic and Reconstructive surgeon at Nuffield Health Plymouth Hospital also performs dermal filler injections. He says, "The secret is to find a doctor who is willing to add minimal amounts of filler at first, and then top up at a second appointment if you want a more dramatic effect."

Mr Fitton says, "I always aim to harmonise the lips with the face. I am cautious and inject small amounts of filler into the border of the lip, where the red colour end and you’d apply lip liner, as this lifts and plumps the lip in the most natural way."

Some of the most famous celebrity 'trout pouts' are believed to have been the result of permanent fillers or even lip implants. These may cause infections, allergic reactions or simply be too big for your features.

Mr Fitton says, "It's very important with any lip enhancement to start with a reversible filler made of injectable hyaluronic acid. This will last around six months." In contrast, permanent implants need to be implanted and removed surgically, and permanent injectables may cause reactions and can be extremely difficult to remove. Your own fat is a generally safe, longer lasting filler, but says Mr Fitton, "I have personally not found this to give a very satisfactory effect compared to hyaluronic acid."

Your doctor should listen to what you want, and it’s important to feel you can communicate well with each other.

Here are five key tips to getting pretty lips you won't regret

  • If you know someone whose lip enhancement looks good, ask for the name of their injector. Always ensure they are a qualified doctor who is trained and experienced in injecting fillers.
  • Take some photographs of lips you admire to your consultation. Try to be realistic about what is possible and what will suit you. 
  • Ensure you are having a temporary filler made of hyaluronic acid. Ask to see the packaging. 
  • Ask to see photographs of lips your doctor has previously treated. Do you like what they have done? 
  • Choose a doctor who will call you back for a second appointment a week or two after the first to review the effect. This second appointment and any top ups should be included in your fee.

Last updated Wednesday 27 January 2016

First published on Monday 24 August 2015