Lip Fillers 101 – We Asked An Expert Everything You Could Want To Know

We Asked An Expert Everything You Want To Know About Lip Fillers


by Grazia |

If 2014 was the year of the 'lob', and 2013 the year of the bushy brow, 2015 undoubtedly belongs to the full lip.

A certain Kylie Jenner might have a thing or two to do with this - after all, she did cause an international shortage of nude lip liner, even after 'fessing up to having her pout artificially inflated.

Her ever-growing lips may be a source of constant controversy - because of her age and the fact that they seem to get even bigger every time she steps out - but they certainly put injectables back on the map.

While temporary lip fillers are nothing new, and have been a popular cosmetic procedure for years, women are now talking about them much more openly, and it seems like we're all a little less needle-phobic.

We caught up with leading cosmetic doctor Dr Frances Prenna Jones to pick her brains about lip fillers, and how they work.

Grazia Daily: Give it to us straight – how do lip fillers work?

Dr Frances Prenna Jones: “Yes, they do. They’re made of a gel-like material that creates volume when injected. This pumps up the lip, which is like a balloon and stretches to accommodate the new volume.”

GD: What kind of lip fillers are there?

FPJ: “There are permanent and non-permanent. Most people opt for non-permanent and the majority opt for hyaluronic acid fillers, which is a substance naturally found in the skin that keeps it plump. There are fillers made of other substances such as collagen, which isn’t as readily available anymore, and some newer plant-based gels that are undergoing further research.”

GD: How long do lip fillers last?

FPJ: “It depends on the type and manufacturer of the hyaluronic acid. In layman’s terms, the thickness and smoothness of the gel affects how long they last, and this depends on the size of the molecules, the number of bonds between the molecules and the elasticity of these bonds.”

“Also, it depends on whether or not it is the first time you’ve had lip fillers. The treatment encourages your own production of collagen because you cause “trauma”, so to speak, with the needle. This stimulates collagen and elastin production, as your body perceives it as an attack and goes into rapid regenerating mode. Secondly, it’s a bit of a snowball effect – the injectable substance can much more easily hang onto collagen already in the lip, so if you have residual collagen from before, the effect will last longer.”

“It also varies from individual to individual, depending on their age and metabolic rate and whether they’re a smoker or not. But, for a ball park figure, anywhere from 3-18 months.”

Kylie before and after lip fillers via Getty
Kylie before and after lip fillers via Getty

GD: Who’s a good candidate for fillers?

****FPJ: “Technically, anyone can have them, but if you have really, really narrow lips and you want Angelina Jolie's lips, that’s hard to achieve."

"We all lose volume in our lips as we age, and some people simply want to replace this lost volume, and filler looks great in these circumstances. I would caution against creating very large lips on a very petite face. You need to choose a practitioner whose aesthetic you like and who understands you and the outcome you want to achieve.”

How much do lip fillers cost?

Most clinics we checked offer fillers beginning around £150-300. This price of course varies from practice to practice, and on the kind of filler used and the effect desired.

Shop our edit of best lip plumping serums...


Ten of the Best Lip Plumpers

Dior Addict Lip Maximiser, £23.50
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In two pink hues, this plumper is collagen enriched and jam-packed full of marine-based fillers. It slicks on smoothly giving a gentle but long-lasting tingling sensation, and its mint-vanilla essence means it smells good enough to eat! Buy here

Laura Mercier Lip Plumper
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One application of this light formula supplies lips with perfect pigments and a noticable cool. Stimulating collagen production, lips benefit from a subtle fullness. And with many a tint in tow, there's one for every occaision. Buy here

NYX Pump It Up Lip Plumper, £4.50
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With the names of these plumpers paying homage to some of the best lips in the business, it's never been easier to achieve a desired celeb look. Two-in-one lip gloss and plumpers, the coat is thick and the volume, big. Buy here

Pouty Lipzz Lip Serum Plump Up The Volume, £19.99
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This nifty little thing claims to enhance lips by up to 40%. Laced with a delicate hint of mint it smells and does good - no injections necessary. Buy here

Smashbox O-Plump Intuitive Lip Plumper, £18
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Although this formula goes on clear, it intuitively reacts with the natural colours of lips, leaving a uniquely handsome shade of pink. Infused with Smashbox's exclusive Goji Berry-C complex and capsucum (the plant that gives chilli its spice), pouts have never been so exotic. Buy here

Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Pillow Plump XXL, £10
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This product lives up to its XXL name, but achieves less of a trout pout and more of a pillowy-soft and cushioned one. Pucker up! Buy here

YSL Re-Plumping Concentrate, £24
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This non-stick, non-dry formula ensures lips have a coveted sheen, while its hydrating qualities make for the perfect nourishing balm. And best of all? Its easy slant applicator! Buy here

Du Wop Lip Venom, £15
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A relatively high pain threshold is needed for this stalwart lip plumper. Packed with wintergreen, cinammon and ginger, you've never felt something working its magic so much - the plump is in the "pain". Buy here

Lancer Volume Enhancing Lip Serum, £32
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When a lip plumper comes courtesy of a dermatology brand, you know it’s going to do its job, and then some. Diminishing fine lines, defining lip contours and making lips fuller, this is the ultimate all-rounder. Buy here

Kiko 3D Instant Volume Lip Gloss, £6.90
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This offering from KIKO has us at the word 3D. Its conditioning and gradually plumping formula transforms thin, nondescript lips into pouting visions of colour (twenty one to choose from!) Buy here

Arbonne Intelligence Lip Treatment, £29
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A treatment this certainly is. Harnessing the power of ginger, cocoa butter, raspberry seed oil and cloudberry extract, this targeted formula works hard to soften and plump. Multi-functional, it can be used as a primer or by itself.  Buy here

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