Get The 411 On Lip Fillers From An Injectables Pro

February 13, 2023

In the past, lip fillers, along with other facial dermal fillers, were typically only done for patients who’d started to see changes in their face, specifically lips, due to the aging process. More recently, there has been a boom in lip fillers and injections in younger clients looking to modify their lips to achieve a more plump and voluminous look. With this treatment gaining popularity across generations, we asked Dr. Nicole Redding, medical director at Life Story Beauty on West 4th Avenue in Vancouver, to answer our burning questions about lip fillers, including trends, dos and don’ts, ahead of the most kissable time of the year: Valentine’s Day. —Noa Nichol

Hi Dr. Redding! Tell us a bit about yourself to start.

I’m a family doctor by trade and have completed additional training in dermatology and aesthetic medicine. I’ve been in practice since 2016 and have been in aesthetic medicine for the last four years. I believe that aesthetic medicine can be provided in a patient-centred and safe manner, helping us feel confident at any age. I don’t like to use the term anti-aging, it’s all about aging gracefully! Fun personal fact: I’m a triplet! One sister is here in Vancouver and the rest of my family is back on the East Coast (Halifax). I have a very energetic puppy and on the weekend you can find me at the beach with her; we try to spend as much time in Tofino as we can when we’re not working!

When it comes to lips, what are most clients looking for these days? What trends have long passed? What’s currently “en vogue”?

The most requested result I get from my clients is one that looks natural and not overfilled. The market has been oversaturated with plump lips and the pendulum is definitely swinging the other way. Natural results focusing on definition and shape without adding a lot of volume is “en vogue.” The trend toward big, plumped and often overfilled pouts became popular in the mid 2010s (eg. Kylie Jenner) and has had a significant influence on client goals. Overfilled lips and product migration resulted and we are now seeing patients coming in to dissolve poorly placed or overfilled lips to allow for replacement of volume in a more controlled manner.

In your role, how do you assess a client’s lips when they first come in, to determine what would work best for them? What’s the consultation process like, and in terms of the client, how important is it for them to communicate to you what they’re looking for?

I’m so glad you asked this one! The consultation process is SO important and is often overlooked. During a consultation, there are a few things I’m trying to achieve; establish what my clients want and what their goals are. Patients often find it difficult to communicate exactly what they want so it’s important to make sure we’re both on the same page. For example, someone could say, “I want my lips to be fuller.” This could mean a few different things; having increased overall size, more roundness of the bottom lip, or lips taking up a greater proportion of the lower face. I always want my clients to leave feeling heard and understood—it’s really the only way to make sure I’m able to translate their goals into the desired aesthetic result.

When working on a client, what are you injecting into the lips, how much and what’s your strategy?

I love treating the lips because there is so much variation between person to person. Lips come in all different shapes and sizes so there is no “one size fits all” approach. There are many ways in which we try to ensure that our results are natural. For the injections themselves, we’re using dermal filler consisting of hyaluronic acid. We carry a range of dermal filler that we tailor to each client depending on their anatomy and goals. While product and injection techniques play a big role in achieving natural results, for me the biggest factor is volume. The amount I inject ranges however I never inject more than 1 syringe (1 mL) per sitting. This allows the lip tissue to expand and accommodate the product. Once the tissue is relaxed, we can reassess. I have many clients who I will work with in multiple sittings to achieve their final goal, so the total volume can end up being more than 1 syringe. I find this to be the best way to achieve a natural result as too much volume all at once increases the risk of migration of product outside of the lips, lumps and other unwanted outcomes. My advice: pick your injector, make safe and reasonable goals, and work toward them!

What can people expect to see ( and NOT to see!) after a lip filler session with you at Life Story?

After a lip filler procedure it’s normal to experience swelling, redness and some tenderness for the first few days. Mild swelling can persist for longer, so you can expect 15 to 20 per cent reduction in size after the first week. Bruising is also common and can take a week or so to resolve. At Life Story, we provide our clients with comprehensive aftercare instructions and follow up at one week to ensure everything is settling in nicely—so one thing you will definitely see is me 😉 What you will not see (that’s an easy one): OVERFILLED LIPS!

What about people who have had a “bad” lip job or simply want a different result? Is there something you can do to help them reverse past treatments?

With lips we’re definitely seeing more and more patients coming in to have their lip filler dissolved so that we can start fresh. The main reasons for this would be overfilled lips, as well as a poor understanding of how long filler can last. In the past patients were told that filler only lasts a year, but we now know that filler often lasts longer and isn’t broken down in a uniform fashion. With time and multiple treatments, filler can migrate outside the lips and form lumps or bumps, making it hard for people to achieve their goals. When this occurs, I recommend a treatment plan that includes dissolving old filler and starting fresh. To dissolve, we use Hyaluronidise, a naturally occurring enzyme that can be used to dissolve preexisting filler.

Psst: In Vancouver? Get plump, kissable lips with Life Story’s The Main Attraction package. During the month of February, all filler appointments are available starting at $550 ($100 off)!


  1. Sara Miller

    February 13th, 2023 at 4:28 pm

    Thanks! Love it! We’re thrilled to be in VitaDaily!

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