Skin Care

By Tallulah Dumonde

I’ve heard it said before that a smile is the second best thing you can do with your lips. Presumably kissing is first, or so I thought.

While I have always been complimented on my smile, I have always held a secret wish… a bigger upper lip. Being paranoid of the “trout mouth” and not wanting to scare away friends and clients with a drastic change, I always talked myself out of doing anything about it. Until I met Wendy Lewis.

If you read my story on Wendy Lewis, you know that she’s the “go to” girl for all things cosmetic surgery related. Wendy recommended that I see Dr. Sobel for a little lip injection.

“Dr. Sobel?” I was thinking, “he’s the skin care guru, co-founder of DDF and dermatologist to the stars — and me — but lip injections?”

I arrived at Dr. Sobel’s office, ridiculously nervous. Even his affable grin couldn’t relax me. We sat and talked a bit about what I wanted, what I expected, and what he felt would best attain those goals. He applied a numbing gel, which sits on the lips for about 20-25 minutes. Thankfully, he kept the needle out of my sight.

I’m not going to lie to you – it hurts. It isn’t a tiny prick or a second of ‘ouch’…it truly hurts. For about a minute and a half, you’ll want to squeeze the nurse’s hand and I personally even considered a sucker-punch for Dr. S. But then it’s over, and you don’t feel a thing. He works (post-injections) to manipulate the material – in my case Restylane – and once he is happy with the shape of your lips, you hold an ice pack to your mouth for about half an hour. This is to reduce swelling. This does NOT eliminate swelling.

I left Dr. Sobel’s office feeling like my upper lip had been sucked into a vacuum cleaner’s hose. I could feel it throbbing, but that was about as close to pain as it got (post procedure). Every word that passed through my then-gigantic lips made me conscious of their existence. As per the nurse’s advice, I took a couple of Tylenol and rested for the remainder of the afternoon.

Thankfully, Wendy had advised me to do this procedure on a day that preceded a few days of “I don’t need to see anyone that important”, because it took a few days for the swelling to go down, which coincidentally was about the same amount of time as it took me to grow accustomed to my new voluptuous upper lip.

Now I’m hooked for life (I’m told to expect to need a refill every 4-6 months). I have promised myself, and made Dr. Sobel promise me, never to go any larger or become one of those women who grows accustomed to her ‘new lips’ and keeps adding to them for effect. This minor improvement truly looks natural. I hardly ever notice, actually, except in photographs. Now instead of seeing myself smiling and thinking “where is my top lip?” I just see a more proportioned upper lip and a nice smile.

Kissing after the lip injection does require a little getting used to. But, if you’re as lucky as I am, you’ll have someone willing to help you practice.

To read more about Wendy Lewis’ cosmetic surgery consultations read BeautyNewsNYC.com – Who needs Peter Pan Syndrome, when you’ve got Wendy? For an appointment with Dr. Sobel call (212) 288-2060 or visit his website at http://www.drsobel.com/.

Smiling may be the second best thing you can do with your lips, but if you’re looking for fuller lips, this will be the best thing you can do for them.

Originally published April 2005
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