Melinda,* a 39-year-old New Yorker, just wanted the world to know she was happy. “I always had a thin upper lip,” she says. “It made me look much more stern and serious than I am, especially when my face was resting. I had to smile a lot just to compensate.” She got fillers for a couple of years but eventually grew dissatisfied with the results and the expense of the constant upkeep. “They made my lip heavy and started pulling it down, which made it even worse,” she says.
So five months ago, Melinda joined the growing number of women taking a more drastic step to enhance their pout: She got a lip lift, a permanent surgical procedure. “The prettiest-looking lip augmentation improves the vertical height of the upper lip,” explains New York plastic surgeon Lara Devgan, MD. “A lip lift can restore contour in a way that filler can’t, and it lasts forever. It takes 20 minutes, and there’s minimal scarring.”
During the procedure, done in a doctor’s office under local anesthesia, the surgeon uses a tiny blade to make a horizontal incision beneath the nose at the edge of the nostrils, excising extra tissue and raising the upper lip to give it a fuller look. (Want a preview? Place your finger beneath your nose and push up your skin slightly to roll your upper lip out.)
Once the extra tissue is removed and the lip is pulled up, the incision is closed with layers of up to 3