Considering Instagram makes it look as if everyone in the country (plus their mums, plus their nans, plus their pets) have all had their lips done, and I’m pretty obsessed with trying any and all new beauty treatments, it’s surprising that I made it to the grand old age of 27 before I got any form of non-surgical tweaking. Yes, note the past tense. I’ve finally joined the masses and had a dermal filler treatment – but no, not in the lips like you might expect…
What have I had done?
If the title hasn’t given it away yet, then last month I had dermal fillers to treat my nasolabial folds (or nose-to-mouth lines, for anyone who’d rather not say ‘labial’ out loud).
Although they’re usually associated with older people who have spent a lifetime of having an absolute lol, these ‘laughter lines’ have actually been really prominent on my face for as long as I can remember. There was actually a time in Year 7 or 8 art class where we had do a self-portrait based on a black-and-white photo that our teacher had taken and upped the contrast on – and I remember even back then, looking at this cartoon-y version of my face and thinking ‘okay, so what the hell are these huge lines, please? Do I have a muzzle? Am I a lion?’
It’s probably fair to say that my nasolabial folds were one of those things I noticed that others didn’t tend to. However, aside from being glaringly obvious to me in photos, they were also annoying in a practical sense because my makeup ALWAYS settled in them, making it look cakey and me look aged. An old, old cake – just what every 27-year-old aspires to look like, eh?
Where did I go for my dermal fillers?
I was invited to a consultation at the Hampton Clinic, which is a beautiful little clinic tucked away in the grounds of Hampton Manor in Hampton in Arden, Solihull. There I met Dr Lorraine Hill, who was a GP for 20 years before turning her hand to aesthetics. She put me at ease straight away during my consultation, and explained the various ways that lines like mine could be treated.
While cheek fillers can also be used to treat smile lines by lifting the weight off the face, she said that as mine were quite fine they could probably be treated perfectly well with fillers in the actual lines. I was booked in and went back to the Hampton Clinic a couple of weeks later for my treatments.
How much did it cost?
My treatment was complimentary in exchange for a review, but prices for dermal fillers usually vary depending on how many ml of product the therapist has used (though you sometimes see other places referring to 1ml as ‘1 syringe’) as well as what brand of filler they use. I ended up having a total of 1ml of Belotero Balance, which at Hampton Clinic starts at around £300.
Did the dermal fillers hurt?
A numbing cream was applied before the injections, so the treatment was completely pain free. As Dr Hill said my lines were quite fine, she opted for the ‘flat blanching’ technique, which involved injecting the skin in more places, but just below the surface. I’m not sure whether deeper injections would hurt more, but this shallow method of injecting the filler was totally comfortable.
Did I bruise/swell?
Swelling after my dermal fillers was one thing I was worried about, as I didn’t really want it to be a known thing at work. Luckily, there was hardly any after-effects. Due to the amount of tiny injections I had down the lines, it ended up looking like two fine scratches immediately after the treatment (above). However, I was told it was fine to wear makeup the following day and so these were no trouble to cover until they had fully healed, which was only a couple of days later.
How quickly did I see results?
I was expecting this to be the sort of treatment where it takes a few days, or even weeks, to see the final results once any swelling had gone down. However the results were instant – as soon as Dr Hill held the mirror up for me at the end of the treatment, the lines were completely GONE. The below snaps are the day before and the day after my nasolabial fold fillers:
Were the dermal fillers worth it?
For me, the treatment was a million percent worth it. The results have been subtle, but perfect. The lines that used to bother me SO much are now gone, but I haven’t been left with a fake-looking ‘frozen’ face (something I think people worry about when it comes to wrinkle treatments). My face still naturally has the fold, but it’s much less obvious and more similar to other people my age.
How long will the results last?
Dr Hill explained to me that as the quality of filler continues to improve, we can now expect slightly longer-lasting results and so my filler is likely to last for 12-18 months. I think this definitely softens the blow of that initial treatment cost, and I think I’ll definitely be booking in for a top-up when my lines start to reappear.
What would my advice for dermal fillers be?
One thing that having my treatment at the Hampton Clinic taught me (apart from the fact that photographing your face this close up WILL reveal you have a moustache), is the importance of going to someone reputable, with plenty of experience. I see so many people advertising filler at really cheap prices, but I would much rather spend slightly more to know that I’m getting the best quality products and a clinician that knows what they’re doing. With Dr Hill’s decades as a GP, I felt comfortable that I was in very safe hands should anything go wrong.