A beauty fad gone too far.
Beauty fads come and go, but some, more dangerous than others. In the recent years, social media has had a huge influence in the rise lip enhancement procedures – and in-office lip procedures have skyrocketed.
However, what is deemed beautiful has evolved over the years. In the 80s and 90s, a larger upper lip compared to the bottom was in vogue. By the time we reached the early 2000s, a very large lower lip pout became fashionable. More recently, we went through a period when an upper lip with a definition that resembled the Cupid’s bow was desirable, before the massively plumped up lips of Kylie Jenner became the trendsetter.
Late 2019, a bizarre lip trend started catching on in social media.
Thought to have originated from Russia, the “Devil Lip”, also known as “Octopus lips” started making its round on Instagram. Although it appeared to cater to a very niche audience, it caught on and the #devillips hashtag started viralling on the social media platform. The trend appears to involve injections into the lips to give them a wavy devil horn-like appearance.
Aesthetics or Fad?
To understand if this should even become a trend, we need to first look at how did we even come to artificial-looking lip enhancement and augmentation.
There are two ways they make their way into society. The first is pressure from patients who desire unnatural looking lips, and the second, well-intentioned practitioners not completely appreciating the detailed anatomy of the lips and perioral area.
In some versions of the story, it was reported that the purported “inventor” of the Devil Lips first created it from a mistaken injection and the patient thought “why not?”
Fads such as these catch on because they are so “in your face” and exaggerated.
Is it safe?
Looking at the images, you’d imagine that the injections would be harmful. Procedurally speaking, having the fillers done to attain Devil Lips is not more dangerous than having fillers done on the lips for any other reason.
However, the bigger issue from this is the social implications of having the procedure done and the side effects following it.
As with any lip procedures, it is important to be aware that you can cause serious damage trying to create such a look with fillers as inappropriately injected fillers could end up in a blood vessel causing blockages and leading to death of tissues. Most of the vessels are around the lips, which is why such injections could carry higher risks.
What side effects can Devil Lips give me?
For starters, it’s a different aesthetic and “unnatural”. Although it is no more dangerous than any other filler procedure on the lips, it will definitely get a few stares and some silent judgement.
That aside, as the fillers dissolve, the lip will become lumpy and aesthetically displeasing. A wavy lip may also affect the functions of the lips, such as enunciation of words, fine lips movements such as pouting, drinking from a straw and kissing.
So, what makes beautiful lips?
While there is no universal rule, it has been quite well established that a perfect pout involves lips that have:
- Appropriate fullness and plumpness that taper toward the corners
- A uniform texture with good hydration
- A pronounced Cupid’s bow and defined vermillion borders
- Balanced lower and upper lips consistent with the golden ratio
- A lower lip that is fuller than the upper lip
- Symmetry between the left and right sides
What are the lip no-nos?
Few things that you should avoid at all costs when having lip fillers are:
- Sausage fill – avoid uniform overfilling. Natural lips have areas of greater and lesser fullness, each having its own unique architecture
- Disobeying the golden ratio – disrupting the golden ratio can make lips look artificial even when everything else is done well
- Losing the Cupid’s bow – a lack of a Cupid’s bow can completely derail and otherwise good lip augmentation
- Ignoring the lips needs – a beautiful lip is very much more than just volume, and each lip procedure should take into account the needs of the lips and multi-modality treatment should be appropriately instituted.
How do we stay safe?
When having fillers, it is important that we minimize risk and attain the aesthetic ratios that make the lips beautiful. Always go for hyaluronic acid fillers which are reversible rather than permanent fillers and avoid unapproved products.
Read around and do your research so that you know what you want; and talk to your doctor about the lips you desire and how to achieve it.