Dr Kristen’s tips for a natural lip enhancement

Having access now to lip fillers means that there is an abundance of different lip fashions patients are able to choose. I see younger patients leaning toward a 50:50 ratio of top lip to bottom lip, whilst older patients may choose to simply undo the curling in of the lips that occurs with time.

Every patient is different and understanding their ideal smile is paramount. I mostly perform my own technique called the Anatomical Lip Enhancement, which I developed around my passion for natural appearing lips that maintain their true anatomy – both in the lip and the surrounding areas. My secret to acheiving a natural appearing lip is to work with the principles of lip anatomy. We know two important things about the lip, and if we don’t respect these, then the lips lose their natural beauty.

The first and my most important principle is understanding that the lip is structured around five compartments. They are called tubercles or subzones and the easiest ones to determine on yourself are the very centre of the upper lip, where there is a tiny projection that has been scientifically associated with sex appeal. You can also see the centre of the bottom lip may have two small fuller areas, often with a break in between. Sometimes just enhancing these tubercles is enough to reflect light in the right way that creates a beautiful lip, using really just the patients own anatomy.

The other principle I adhere to is favouring soft hyaluronic acid fillers. Lips are naturally pillow-y structures that are highly animated. We want to see them making micro-movements and projecting in a natural dimension. Soft fillers do this very well.

The other part of my Natural Lip Enhancement technique is to assess the ‘backdrop’ of the lips – being the nose, chin, nasolabial folds (smile lines) and softening these where required. I do quite a bit of lip rebalancing which I call Lip Rehab and generally find that lips requiring a rework simply need balancing with their backdrop, perhaps by blending the white part above the lip or giving a new ratio of upper to lower lip.

Lips, and injecting really, are all about patterns of light reflection. So understanding what those patterns are and applying them to each specific case has been some of my most accoladed cosmetic work.

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