The Lip Flip: What Is It?

Have you heard of the Lip Flip and wondering what it is and if it's for you? Wonder no more, here's everything you need to know.

Why is everyone talking about the lip flip?

The Lip Flip is the latest cosmetic treatment beauty journalists are raving about and it's a sexy little treatment Glowday has also previously covered here and here. It's growing in popularity because it perfectly aligns with the trend towards more subtle and natural enhancements that don't alter you face, rather gently tweak it to perfect what's already there! The lip flip ticks this box because it's not about giving your lips more volume, like traditional lip fillers, but using Botox to manipulate the lips to address issues such as a gummy smile - and it literally flips the upper lip out exposing more lip, so it's a bit more pouty and visible - great if you're a bit thin on top or you lip hides when you smile. The reason it's loved by so many people is because you're not 'adding' anything, just working with what's already there!

A before and after photo of a lip flip from Caroline Hall at R&R Aesthetics

What is the Botox lip flip?

Okay, now for the science bit, courtesy of Emmaline Ashley from Ashely Aesthetics

The Botox lip flip is the practice of using a small amount of botulinum toxin in the muscles around the upper lip as a subtle enhancement. It can give the appearance of a fuller lip and relax a gummy smile.

There are two muscles that can be targeted, and these will give two slightly different results. One muscle is levator labii alaeque nasii muscle (that mouthful is the longest name of any muscle in the body!), and works to lift the upper lip. When this muscle is hyperactive, it can produce the effect of pulling the upper lip slightly above the gum line, giving the appearance of a “gummy smile.”

The other muscle is the orbicularis oris, which is a circular muscle that encircles our mouths and allows our lips to purse when we whistle. It can contribute to the appearance of smoker’s lines, and targeting this muscle can soften those lines as well as making the lip appear slightly fuller. By relaxing this muscle, we are reducing the tension on the upper lip, allowing it to relax upwards. This, in turn, creates a subtle pout. For example, it is common when we smile that our upper lip will thin dramatically, almost disappearing in some cases! Relaxing the orbicularis oris can help prevent that from happening.

An example of how using botulinum toxin in your lip muscles can subtly reduce the appearance of a gummy smile.

Can I have it?

A good candidate would be a patient whose primary concern is a gummy smile, or thin upper lip, or someone who has very fine smoker’s lines, and who does not want to dramatically alter the shape of their lips. It’s important to note that deep lines present at rest will not be fully eliminated with botulinum toxin alone, and sometimes a combination of filler and toxin can produce the ideal final result.

What's so good about Botox in your lips?

The key benefits of the lip flip are that this is a quick and painless procedure, and doesn’t require any topical anaesthetic unlike lip filler. There is no downtime, and you will see the full results in about two weeks. The results will last about 3 months, so could be a good option for someone who is feeling hesitant about getting lip fillers which will last from six months to a year and can feel like a more permanent treatment.

Find your perfect practitioner for a lip flip on Glowday.com and book in today!

Why might I get this and not lip filler?

If the concern is primarily a “gummy smile” or that your upper lip thins and disappears when you smile, and you are happy in general with the volume and shape of your lips, a lip flip can be perfect to address this. Additionally, the final result is more subtle than filler, and may be a good option for you if you don’t want to dramatically alter your lip shape. It’s important to remember that Botox targets the muscles, so the most impactful results will be seen when you are smiling or pursing your lips. A toxin treatment will not truly add any volume, so if that is your main goal, lip fillers may be a better option. However, a good lip injector will go through your options during a pre-treatment consultation.

So there we have it, what a clever treatment! Aesthetics is pretty cool isn't it.

Where can I get this magic?

If you're not a fan of your gummy smile, think your lips go a bit thin when you smile or would like to reduce the appearance of smoker's lines, you can book in for a consultation with one of Glowday's registered clinics. Please note, Glowday isn't a clinic. We show you clinics in your area who we have vetted and we have checked that they're medics, insured and adequately trained. We only list medically qualified aesthetic practitioners, meaning you’re in safe hands. You must always have a consultation before any treatment and all of our practitioners will insist on this. Why not see who is in your area!

Can I have lip filler as well?

You can do what you want, but it's worth consulting with a medically-qualified practitioner and you may not need, or even want, lip filler after a lip flip. But lip fillers are also a great treatment and you don't need to worry about looking fake or being left with a trout pout when you pick a lip filler practitioner on Glowday. They're experts at subtle and natural enhancements and they're not in the business of inflatable sausage lips! If that's your thing, that's fine, you do you, but Glowday clinics aren't really into overly inflated lips.

Will lip fillers make me feel more confident?

Well, there's not an easy answer to that one. Confidence comes from within and all that. BUT, we'll be frank with you. Almost every woman that Glowday speaks to is adamant that their confidence has improved after they've had treatments. In fact, in a poll we ran, 86 percent of those surveyed said having a treatment was good for their self-esteem and self-confidence

I'm just so worried about looking fake.

This is the number one fear of most women when having their treatments, and it's not helped by the newspapers and magazines that only show us the big lips and botched jobs. However, remember, this industry isn't regulated, so anyone can inject lip fillers and there has been a huge boom in the number of beauticians, hairdressers and nail salons handing out lip fillers as a side hustle. On the whole, they tend to be less confident in saying 'no' to people, and some women do actually want massive lips! We're confident however that you're in safe hands with any of Glowday's clinics and they won't give you pillow lips.

Don't just take it from us...

Every day we hear and see positive experiences from women who have bit the bullet and had lip fillers, this is Lisa from Newport, who is thrilled with her new lips!

"I wanted it to look like I had these lips naturally and not that I'd had filler injected. I feel this is the look I have ended up with. I am not into the oversized, blown-up lips look and it’s a shame that’s what most people associate with lip fillers - it puts them off. We need to see more positive stories like me in the press. I have an amazing lipstick collection now! It's something I've always felt self-conscious about and I have the ability to change it, so why wouldn't I? There are so many things in our lives that are out of our control but this isn't one of them! And I really do love my lips - like REALLY love them!"

What about if I've had lip filler and now want to get rid of it and have a lip flip instead?

The good thing about lip filler is that if you do decide it's not for you, it can be dissolved. In fact, this is another trend we're seeing lots of celebrities (who possibly went to far in the first place) embrace. Dubbed the ‘lip switch’ practitioners are increasingly being asked to dissolve old lip fillers and switch their lip-look for a softer, more natural shape.

Glowday practitioner Dr Steve Land, at Novellus Aesthetics in Newcastle, says “We’ve noticed a huge trend for what we are terming ‘filler reset'. We’ve seen an 800% increase in people coming to us to dissolve old, overdone, poorly placed filler and then returning to have it redone better, more naturally and less ‘obvious.'"

Dr Lauren Hamilton, a cosmetic doctor and founder of Victor&Garth, agrees: “I’ve seen a few more people for Hyalase appointments to dissolve filler that’s been previously administered elsewhere. After lockdown, clients have realised that they don’t actually like the way that the filler was sitting and want something less plump."

So there we have it. Whether you go for lip fillers or the lip flip, using Botox, just make you choose a medically qualified practitioner on Glowday, who will make sure those lips stay part of you and not an extra appendage that you need a new passport for!

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