I Got a “Lip Flip,” TikTok's Lip-Filler Alternative

Beauty editor tries TikTok's
Getty / Hans Neleman

Image Source: Lucy Thorpe

I’m currently on a mission to upgrade my beauty routine, with radiofrequency microneedling, lip blushing, and injections high on my list. I also wanted to give my lips a little boost, but I’ve tried lip filler before and it wasn’t for me. I absolutely loved the look but didn’t like the feeling of the filler in my lips, the injection process, or the worry of lip-filler migration.

So, when I stumbled across a procedure on TikTok called the “lip flip” – which promised the appearance of fuller lips without dermal filler – I stopped scrolling and started Googling. It turns out a lip flip uses Botox injections – traditionally used to freeze the muscles – in small amounts around the border of your lips to relax your upper-lip muscle. This makes more of your upper lip visible, as it flips the lip out slightly.

There’s nothing actually injected into your lips, and it doesn’t add volume – but it can make them appear fuller and more relaxed. I prefer a more natural look when it comes to any enhancements, and this seemed to check the box. At my next skin-care appointment, after consulting with my aesthetician, I decided to try it out myself. So, how did it go?

The treatment itself is very fast. I was warned that the area around the lips is a little more sensitive than other injection sites on the face, so I first had them apply numbing cream. My practitioner did four Botox injections along the border of my upper lip. It wasn’t painful, but I definitely felt a scratch. I was left with a couple of tiny needle marks, which I covered with makeup until they’d healed a few days later.

Typically, Botox takes about a week to kick in. I started to see results after a few days and could definitely spot my lips looking fuller when I smiled – no more curling around my teeth or disappearing lips. They even look more symmetrical and even.

Image Source: Lucy Thorpe

The results are subtle – you can barely notice when my lips are fully relaxed – which is exactly what I was looking for. After two weeks, I went for a check-in and a top-up. This is usually recommended, just to see how everything is progressing and if anything needs to be added. As with most treatments, it’s better to go slowly and add more than add too much too quickly. My practitioner injected another four units of Botox to boost the effects, but again, the results were super subtle.

Some people report not being able to pout, whistle, or drink through a straw after the treatment, but that hasn’t been my experience at all – the lip flip was painless, had minimal downtime, and gave me the results I wanted. If you want a seriously plumped-up look or lots of volume added to your lips, this probably isn’t the treatment for you. However, if you want to stop your lips from disappearing when you smile, you might want to try this.

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