What To Know Before Getting Lip Tenting Filler, According To Our Dermatologist

Hyaluronic lip filler injections, such as Juvederm and Restylane, have been go-to solutions for thin, wrinkled, or asymmetrical lips since the 2010s (thanks, Kylie Jenner). While dermal fillers have been a topic of contention for almost as long as they've existed, the division has yet to halt their popularity. In fact, the desire for full and natural lips has skyrocketed over the years, with no shortage of individuals experimenting with the latest techniques and pout-enhancing innovations. One technique that many regular clinic-goers swear by is lip tenting.

For the lowdown on this à la mode filler trend, Gliz turned to Beverly Hills and Miami-based board-certified dermatologist Dr. Mariano Busso, who took us back to the beginning: injectors' knowledge base. "Injectors need to master a variety of techniques to address all issues related to lips," Dr. Busso explained exclusively to Gliz. "A particularly useful one to master is the lip tenting technique that provides upper lip height without projection." Dr. Busso didn't stop there, though — he also detailed what makes lip tenting unique and what a typical filler sesh looks like.

How does lip tenting differ from other techniques?

Skin experts rely on many injection methods to help folks enhance their pouts, with the lip tenting technique being simply one of many techniques used to achieve specific effects. Essentially, not all techniques are the same, and lip tenting proves as such. "Traditional upper lip enhancement techniques are based on augmentation of the vermillion border," Dr. Mariano Busso shared exclusively with Gliz. Here, Dr. Busso is referring to the outer edges of your lip, known scientifically as the vermillion border. "These techniques provide lip definition but the more volume added, the more lip projection. This can result in an excessive projection of the upper lip with a 'duck lip' look. In general, the goal is to enhance upper lip height and lower lip projection," he added.

Therefore, lip tenting has become the unofficial solution to the dreaded duck pout by producing a more balanced effect. "In the lip tenting technique[,] the needle is inserted through the vermillion border and advances superficially into the vermillion body. The filler is deposited as the needles [are] withdrawn[,] creating a 'pole in a tent.' This is repeated along the vermillion body," Dr. Busso explained to Gliz. According to Dr. Busso, vertically injecting the filler along the vermillion border reduces the chance of visible "lumps or nodules when the lip muscles contract." This sets it apart from other filler techniques, which can potentially cause bumps based on their injection methods.

What to expect before your lip tenting appointment

If you're ready to try this buzzy filler technique, here's what you can expect during your lip filler appointment. During our exclusive chat, Dr. Mariano Busso explained that once you've discussed the details with your injector, you'll be offered various pain management options, including "numbing cream, nerve block, laughing gas[,] or nerve distraction techniques." The procedure lasts approximately 10 minutes, and you can expect an investment of around $750 to $850, depending on the type of filler you receive, per Dr. Busso. "Most patients require only one syringe of filler," he added.

It's also worth noting that results aren't permanent, so you need to return for occasional touch-ups. "Full results last about six to nine months[,] and that is when patients return for re-treatment," Dr. Busso explained. Don't be surprised if you experience bruising or swelling post-treatment, as Dr. Busso assured us that they're common side effects. In most cases, "swelling tends to be mild and rarely requires treatment with corticosteroids," he explained, but you can use an over-the-counter vitamin K cream to remedy any bruising.

And, of course, if you decide that lip injections aren't for you, there are other ways to manipulate the shape and look of your pout. For instance, you can always overline your lips or follow a creative makeup hack to pull off a lip flip look sans surgery.