Jessica Alba used to be the poster girl for perfect lips at the Beverly Hills practice of cosmetic dermatologist Simon Ourian, MD, but “this year it’s Kylie Jenner,” he says. “Everyone wants fuller lips, but they also want a natural result.” While Ourian is responsible for creating Kylie’s plump, pouty, often-imitated-never-duplicated mouth, when it comes to looking natural, one size does not fit all, and bigger—like Kylie big—isn’t always better. Like good Botox, lip injections should work to balance the entire face, he explains, because “the science of attractiveness is to make everything proportional.” Here, the rules of lip injections, according to Ourian.
Take it slow
The key to making lips bigger is to do it gradually, says Ourian, who recommends spacing out injection appointments and “not [doing] everything in one session so it’s done once a week, twice a week, once a month.” This works to gradually expand the area, rather than protrude forward, i.e. duck lips.
Keep it (relatively) real
“Respect the anatomy of the lip. You cannot make someone’s lips look completely different,” says Ourian, who respectfully doubled Jenner’s lips while still maintaining their true shape. For those who want believably bigger lips, it’s important to riff off the “before” mouth.
This might seem counter-intuitive, but “to make the lips look natural, you have to use more product,” says Ourian, who injects not just the mouth, but also plumps the surrounding skin to avoid giving the face a “cartoonish” look.
Pick your poison
“Juvederm is of course one of my favorites,” Ourian says, but he also administers Restylane and Voluma. So how do you decide? “If you want to have something that lasts a bit longer, choose Voluma. If you want something that lasts a few months, choose Juvederm.” And for lip filler virgins? “Restylane Silk is the gateway product to use for lips,” he says. “It allows you to test it out and it’s more forgiving.”
Sweat the technique
The most surprising thing that I learned from Ourian: the brand of filler is not as important as how the product is administered. It’s all about technique. “I do micro-droplets, which distribute minute amounts of product,” he says. The goal: to prevent lumps, and bumps, and create a smooth, uniform finish.