Which Lip Procedure Gives the Most Subtle and Natural Look?

I have been over lining my lips very subtly for years and believe it makes a HUGE difference in the way I look. I think it balances my face and I look much more attractive when I do so. I believe I have a larger space between my nose and top lip and my particular focus is on enhancing the cupids bow. For a more permanent improvement, that doesn't require lip liner, which procedure do you think would be best suited? Lip lift, implants of fillers?

Doctor Answers 19

Subtle and Natural Lip Enhancement

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It's hard to say which method would best yield the results you seek without evaluating your face.  However, there are a few different options, including fillers for the lips which is temporary and permanent options such as lip implants and lip lift.  Please consult with a board certified specialist who can best help you achieve the results you seek.


Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews


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Do not get any solid or semisolid implant placed in your lips they all look very unnatural and can cause devastating consequences. The ONLY kind of off the shelf filler that is appropriate and safe is hyaluronic acid ie Perlane, Restylane, Juvederm.  The best filler is your own fat -safe and permanent.  Look at the results and discuss expectations with your surgeon.  I hope this helps!


All the best,


Rian A. Maercks M.D.

Lip Enhancement

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The key to subltle lip enhancement is using a combination of the correct material and the most experienced and talented injector. A word to the wise. Look at the lips of the nurse injector administering your treatment in order to get a sense of her aesthetic sensibility. 

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

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Philtrum is the "love charm"

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DreamCatcher19: It's a sad fact of life that we loose fibrofatty tissue in our earlobes and lips with age.  This explains the larger space between your nasal tip and upper lip.  Lining the lips is very smart, however as you may have experienced often the sides aren't exactly symmetric.  That's why most lip implants aren't as forgiving as fillers.  Regrettably augmenting a lip takes time, patience and resources. Hyaluronic acid is preferable, not only for redefining the lip line but also for enhancing the dry vermillion, etching the philtral colums (vertical columns which extend from the base of the nose to cupid's bow), rectifying any lipstick bleed lines and augmenting marionette's lines (folds, which originate from the corner of the lips, obliquely downward).  As a resident, we routinely used lip lifts to revise cleft lip patients but in private practice, it's hard to justify making a scar on a woman's lip.  Hope this helps. 

Lavinia K. Chong, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

I want to have a lip augmentation but I am afraid of having fake looking lips. I just want them to have a better shape and a li

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I love doing lip enhancement procedures as it can be done on my patients that are 20 or my patients that are 60 years old.  There is no one filler that is best for everyone, but that also means there are options to help everyone achieve their specific desired goals for their lips.

There is a full range of desires when it comes to lip augmentation. There is a full range of desires for lip augmentation.  Often when patients come in for the first time they are often worried of looking “overdone” or having the dreaded “duck lips.”  However just like a breast augmentation, if patients could change anything after their lip augmentation they wish they would have gone bigger! 

Lip augmentation is about giving patients the shape that they desire, not just big lips.  The art in lip augmentation in molding and shape the lips.  The perfect lip augmentation is about giving the lips a natural, sexy appearance.  Just making the lips bigger is not beautiful.  Enhancing the size while creating a shape makes the face look more youthful.  Lip augmentation can create a cupid’s bow and improve the overall shape of the lips without a “fake” or “overdone” appearance.

There are several options for patients that want a very natural appearance to their lips:

Restylane Refyne and Restylane Silk are both great products for patients that want a subtle augmentation to their lips.  The Refyne is a new product that last up to a year giving patients a lasting result.  These are great starter products as they will enhance your lips, but give you a very soft and natural appearance. 

Juvederm Ultra Plus and Restylane and the workhorse products for fillers as they have been around for years and patients tend to love them.  They last about a 6-months in the lips. 

Resylane Defyne and Juvederm Vollure both last about up to a year.  Both of these products will give patients a little more volume and fullness to their lips.  The Vollure and Defyne will also last up to a year giving patients a lasting-result the will love for their lip enhancements.

Lip enhancement can be done as a simple procedure in the office.  Patients come to the office have numbing cream applied to their lips.  I give them about 15 to 20 min to let the cream take affect and then the actual process of the lip injections takes about ten minutes. 

Patients can return to work or their daily life immediately after the simple office procedure is completed. 

Please consult with your board-certified plastic surgeon about your lip augmentation options.  

Fillers Give The Most Subtle and Natural Look

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The hyaluronic-acid based fillers, such as Juvederm, Juvederm Volbella, Restylane, and Restylane Silk, give the most natural and attractive look when augmenting lips, in my opinion. Lip implants and more permanent fillers can make the lips look overdone and may feel unnatural. Please find a board-certified dermatologist who understands lip aesthetics and can give you volume that balances out your face while keeping the look in harmony with your natural beauty.

Douglas Wu, MD
San Diego Dermatologist
4.9 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Temporary Fillers Best Choice For Natural Looking Lips

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The great thing about the hyaluronic-acid based fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane is that, in the right hands, they can make very subtle and yet substantial improvements to lip shape and volume. This is particularly important when changing the shape of the cupid's bow or other subtle structures. The HA dermal fillers also are well tolerated, have little downtime, and only have to be repeated every three to four months – so there's less maintenance than a haircut or color! You can also experiment with the fillers, starting out with just a little volume, and adding more if you wish. If you ever go too far, they're easily dissolved with hyaluronidase. Schedule a consult with a board-certified dermatologist to have your lips evaluated and discuss your ideal shape and degree of fullness.

Natural Lip Augmentation

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There are many methods to increase the size of lips.  These include surgical and non surgical techniques.  A natural result depends greatly on the product used, technique and discussion of expectations.

Craig Mezrow, MS, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon

Lip Augmentation For The Most Subtle and Natural Look

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Hyaluronic acid fillers usually give the best and most natural looking results for lip augmentation.

HA is a naturally occurring sugar. It can augment tissue and hydrate it as well. These molecules can hold a lot of water

However, the key to getting the best results is choosing the right doctor.

Lip augmentation requires artistic and technical skill. There are certain lip proportions that must be adhered to so that you don’t end up looking overfilled

And there are also best practices to help ensure that the left side is symmetrical to the right side

Here is a patient example using Juvederm


Sanusi Umar, MD
Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Natural looking lip augmentation

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I tend towards autologous fat grafting, which can have a sustained result in some patients for many years; however, I also use the various other fillers and implants in my practice, and a great deal depends on the patient’s desires and anatomy. 

Jonathan Ross Berman, M.D. , F.A.C.S.

Jonathan Berman, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 19 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.