This New Lip Filler Looks So Natural No One Noticed I Got It
Getting Restylane Kysse, a new lip filler, during a pandemic that requires wearing a mask whenever you leave the house or around people other than ones you live with may seem like a pointless idea, but I'll start off by saying this: I have to stare at my face in the mirror every day. This procedure was for me and literally only me — even though this is allegedly the softest, most kissable lip filler on the market. (More on that later.)
Also, injectables have always fascinated me. I fantasized about getting lip fillers as soon as I learned about them when I was 13. Since then, I've gotten them several times and traveled as far as South Korea to learn about the latest injectable innovations. So when I heard Restylane Kysse, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in May 2020, was finally available to the public, I vowed to try it out as soon as I could. The fated day came at the end of July when I had an appointment with Anne Chapas, a board-certified dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology in New York City.
After arriving, Chapas promised — through two masks and a face shield — I'd have redder, plumper, glossier lips. They'd even be more hydrated, she added, and the results could last me up to a year. Needless to say, expectations and excitement were high.
Before any needles got involved, a kind nurse slathered numbing cream onto my lips and let it sit for about 20 minutes. Once it was wiped away and Chapas started the procedure, I still felt a pinch whenever the syringe pierced the surface of my lips. When she started injecting the Kysse into the edges of my top lip and in the center of my bottom one, I felt a dull discomfort as the solution started filling them up.
Compared to my past lip filler experiences, this was the least painful one, due in part to the solution being thinner than most. Thicker injectable formulas tend to be more painful, according to Cho Yun Joo, a dermatologist I met in Seoul earlier this year. For me, they feel like your lips are being split in half from the inside out and stuffed with cement. Kysse is exceedingly more bearable and the fact that a foreign liquid is being forced into your body isn't as noticeable.
All this is also probably due to the structure of the hyaluronic acid used for Kysse. "When you're talking, smiling, kissing, it has the ability to integrate into the tissue where it's injected and mold to your tissue. It becomes one with [your lips]," Melanie Palm, a San Diego-based board-certified dermatologist and clinical investigator in the phase three trials of the new filler explained to Allure.
An hour after my appointment
By the time the procedure was done, I was used to the mild pain. Chapas could have stabbed at my lips for five more minutes, and I would have been OK with it. Overall, everything was quick and easy, though. She didn't spend more than 15 minutes doing her thing.
Several hours after my appointment
Usually, I don't swell up until the day after the treatment, but my lips started puffing up about five hours after and my whole face looked sort of bloated because of it. Pain began fiercely setting in, so I iced my lips on and off throughout the rest of the day. Advil wasn't an option because Chapas recommend avoiding it for three days before and after the procedure as it “may increase the risk of bruising where the filler was injected,” she says. A nap helped in its place.
The next morning, about half of the swelling went down on my top lip and mostly gone for the bottom. They definitely were not as uncomfortable. Red marks seemed to appear at the injection sites, but I was grateful I didn't have any major bruising as I've experienced in the past.
A day after being Kysse’d
Throughout the week following the procedure, my top lip swelled on and off and took about a week and a half to settle, which is pretty typical for lip injections. The whole time, I didn't feel any pain, per se, but my lips definitely felt stiff and sore as they got used to their new resident. For once, I'm grateful I didn't have to kiss anyone or it probably would have hurt. (Because of this, I'm sad to report I cannot attest to the kissable-ness of Kysse either.) Just flossing was too much for my lips to handle.
All the while, my lips felt incredibly dry, like dead-of-winter parched. During the day, I loaded them up with a layer of lip oil. I may or may not keep a tube in every room of my apartment, so I alternated between the Versed Silk Slip Conditioning Lip Oil and the InnBeauty Glaze #2 (for some color). At night, I was partial to the Fresh Caramel Hydrating Lip Balm (particularly the limited-edition @GirlKnewYork one with stickers — shout out to Mira Mariah, my fellow lip injection lover). Don't stock up on traditional roll-up tubes of lip balm, though, because those hurt to swipe on during the first week of recovery.
A week after the procedure
Right when I got home with my new lips, I noticed they were definitely redder — not like a stain, just brighter. Something about the more vivid cherry tone made my skin look more radiant. I don't wear makeup on a daily basis anymore, so I love looking in the mirror and seeing how my new lips look against my luminous skin.
My lips are absolutely plumper but in the most natural way possible. One of my friends told me my lips looked like I just ate something super spicy, and she liked how the shape of my lips is more defined. (I agree.) I will note none of my other friends noticed I did something to my lips until I told them.
Another benefit is my top lip also doesn't turn into a paper-thin line when I smile. Honestly, I had to get used to how my face looks when I smile now. For a moment there, I was questioning my choices because I was convinced it looked weird, but once the swelling went away, I felt beautiful smiling again.
Are they glossier? Sure. My lips are on the smoother side to begin with, but if I had lines, I'm sure they'd be ironed out. It's also not like they look like I'm wearing lip gloss 24/7 now, but they do look perfectly moisturized at all times, even when they feel dehydrated. (I'm fine with that because I love wearing lip gloss, and my lips somehow look even better with it on.) They definitely aren't more hydrated, though. Post-lip injection dryness has been an issue for me no matter what filler I get. A couple of weeks after the procedure, it remains an annoying side effect.
In case you were wondering, Kysse will cost you about $1,100 at a clinic like Union Square Laser Dermatology. However, Chapas says the results last up to 12 months, so you'll likely only have to invest in lip filler once a year.
Overall, Restylane Kysse is the filler equivalent of MLBB (aka my lips but better). If you just met me, you'd probably think I was born with these lips. As much as I wish I was, I'm glad I have this option available to me.
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