Lip fillers can make your lips look lovely and pouty, a little bit fuller, or more even. But can people tell if your lips are different? A study has offered us some insights into whether the human eye can detect lip filler, and at what point that observation happens.
The study is very importantly entitled Determining the 2-Dimensional Threshold for Perception of Artificial-Appearing Lips, and was published in the JAMA Network plastic surgery journal. The researchers wanted to see if there were any quantitative measurements – that is, specific measurable things – that determined whether lips looked attractive or artificial. The point of the experiments was to provide cosmetic injectors with more data on what not to do.
The main finding of this study was that balance is key: lip filler treatments that created balanced upper and lower lips is the key to achieving attractive-looking lip enhancement. There is a measurable difference, the study found, between people of different age groups and their perception thresholds for artificial lips.
Fixed guidelines for lip filler and lip augmentation do not exist. A face is a dynamic entity that requires individual features to work in harmony, and these individual features, and the whole face they create, are different for each of us. In this respect, finding beauty or attractiveness in any face is down to a lot more than whether or not someone has had lip filler: it comes down to whether those lips on that face work. It’s all about balancing features.
The study used photographs of a female model’s lips that were digitally altered incrementally in the upper lip, lower lip, upper and lower lip, and the shape of the Cupid’s bow. Study participants looked at the photos in a random sequence in an online survey, and responded to two questionnaires after each photo was viewed.
Participants were asked to respond to each altered photograph stating whether they thought the lips looked attractive and natural, or artificial and unnatural. The measurement of each lip where half the observers perceived the lips to be artificial was then found and recorded.
The results of the lip filler experiments
Enhancement of the upper lip by itself had a narrow margin for artificial appearance compared with when both lips were enhanced – both lips enhanced was better tolerated as authentic. Any change to the Cupid’s bow had the narrowest margin for artificial appearance, since the bigger the (filled) lips, the less prominent the Cupid’s bow tends to be.
Age matters when it comes to how we perceive augmented lips, with the perceptions of artificial changing by age. Ninety-eight participants – 76 women and 22 men – took part in the study.
So can people tell you’ve had lip filler? The answer is, it depends.
If you get unevenly filled lips or alter the Cupid’s bow too much, then people are more likely to notice you have had lip filler. Making sure your upper and lower lip ratios are en pointe is the job of your lip filler injector, so choose wisely.
How we do lip filler at our Melbourne clinic
We aim to give your face natural balance, and unless you want them to, nobody will be able to tell you have had your lips done at our Melbourne clinic.
We are expert cosmetic dermatologists and we do beautiful lips.