Do Lip Lifts Look Natural?

Do you believe that the subnasal or "bull's horn" lip lift produces a natural appearance? I understand that the amount of lift varies by patient, but I find it hard to believe that just because someone has a droopy, long upper lip that they'd benefit from this procedure.

I lifted my droopy lips (very slightly) with my fingers and thought I looked strange. Thoughts?

Doctor Answers 11

Natural Looking Lip Lift

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The key to a natural looking lip lift is 1) how the surgery is performed/designed and 2) Appropriate patient selection.

The lip lift surgery is not for everyone and you must be evaluated by an experienced lip lift surgeon with and artistic eye in order to get an opinion if it is the right surgery for you.

View the video link below to see a patient after subnasal lip lift procedure with her results and discussion on the procedure itself.

Boca Raton Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Subnasal Lip Lift looks perfectly natural

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When performed correctly on the right patient, the subnasal lip lift looks perfectly natural and does not look strange or impart an "operated look". The best candidates are patients with a long distance between the base of the nose and the upper lip (the philtrum), who also want a subtle augmentation in upper lip size.

There is a 7-10 day healing period where the incision is quite visible and red, but soon after this, makeup can be applied to camoflauge the area. As the swelling subsides, the lip will look perfectly natural, and have more fullness than before. Plus the overly long philtrum has been decreased (the real benefit of the operation), which enhances facial proportion leading to a more attractive look!

Natural looking lip lift

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Lip lifts can be a very satisfying operation. It must be well planned and well executed.  In order to perform one the patient needs to be evaluated and be determined to be a good candidate.  There are specific areas of concern that should be addressed by the doctor. As with every surgery the benefits  should be far out weighed by the risks. Good luck. 

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Lip Lift looks very Natural

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There is a very pleasing curve of the upper lip that is only preserved and enhanced by the bullhorn Lip Lift. Most women over 40 that are considering a lip augmentation really need a lip lift instead.

As a patient you should know that the Lip Lift is very technique dependent.  Be sure to ask your surgeon these questions, as well as ask for photos:

  1. Which technique are you using?
  2. Where is the scar?
  3. Will the nose be distorted?
  4. How many Lip Lifts have you performed in your career?

Please see my video below which explains the Lip Lift in greater detail.


Ricardo L Rodriguez, MD

Baltimore Plastic Surgeon




Lip lift can be a good option

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A lip lift can produce a natural and youthful appearing upper lip. As one ages, the upper lip progressively becomes longer and thinner. This significantly masculinizes and ages the face even when many other procedures have been undertaken to create a more youthful look. I see many women getting more and more filler to correct this, but their result has more of a cartoonish appearance. You should be sure to go to an experienced surgeon before having this procedure. The amount and shape of skin removed only comes with experience. The incision heals very nicely with few exceptions, though.

To better determine whether you are a good candidate for a lip lift or not, look at your mouth with it slightly open but relaxed. If you cannot see your upper teeth in this position a lift lip will likely be a good option.

Good luck to you,

Sarah Saxon, MD

Sarah Saxon, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon

Unnatural surgery

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Unfortunately all lip lifts leave visible evidence of their having been done. The areas around the lips and lower nose where most incisions are placed don't hide marks well. When people talk are eyes are drawn to their mouths and any imperfections are quickly and easily noticed. I gave up all lip lifts, corner of the mouth lifts etc. early on in my practice, could not handle the scars even on great healers. All I do these days is fillers or dermal-fat graft implants to the lips for fullness.... I refer all lifting elseware.

Do lip lifts look natural?

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Lip lift is a tricky operation and if anything goes wrong with planning or doing the surgery or with healing, the result can be very diappointing and end up looking odd.  Also, anything but a "perfect scar" under the nostrils can look really bad, the so called "dirty nose" look. 

I think fillers are a safer way to go for most lip rejuventation unless the upper lip is really, really long.  Also, sometimes it's the upper jaw that is a problem and orthognathic (surgery that rebalances the jaws) should be considered.

Lisa Lynn Sowder, M.D.

Lip Lifts Are Very Natural

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Lip lift procedures can be very natural with a very well hidden scar. The larger question is - is a lip lift the best procedure for you. Lip aging is a rather complicated process involving the loss of several defining conditions of the lips. A lip lift helps to increase red show of the lip but other procedures may need to be undertaken to better plump the lips, redefine the philtral columns, and redefine the natural slope of the upper lip. Determining which combination is right for you is what a consultation with a facial plastic surgeon or plastic surgeon can accomplish.

D.J. Verret, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Lip lift achieves a very subtle correction

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This is intended to achieve a subtle correction of a long upper lip. A dramatic change is not a realistic outcome. It also frequently requires the use of a corner lift. If not only the central one third of the lip is really lifted with this technique. 

Do Lip Lifts Look Natural?

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Thank you for your question. The Lip Lift procedure is performed to accentuate the size and/or shape of the upper lip by removing skin from the region underneath the nose. As the distance is decreased between the nose and the lip, the red lip is 'lifted'. In appropriate individuals, shortening this distance may impart or restore a more favorable balance to lips and face.

The simple appearance of a long upper lip does not necessarily suggest that a person would benefit from this procedure. The procedure may be applied to individuals that are bothered by the appearance of an elongated upper lip, who may appreciate the change imparted by the lip lift and who are accepting of the associated scar.

In appropriate patients, results following a lip lift can be natural appearing.

James M. Pearson, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 132 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.