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Lip Filler vs. Lip Blushing: Our Experts Explain the Difference

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Photo by CoffeeAndMilk/Getty Images

When it comes to enhancing your lips, there are more options available now than ever before. Lip blushing and lip fillers are two popular procedures that can give you the full, luscious lips you've always desired. But which option is better suited for your needs? We asked the experts how they help individuals decide what is best for them and the look they’re going for. There’s many benefits to trying a lip blushing treatment or lip fillers but making an informed decision about which route to take is key.

Whether you want a subtle enhancement or a dramatic transformation, understanding the intricacies of these two procedures will guide you in achieving the perfect pout.


About the Experts: 
Carol Eisenstat MD, is a board-certified anesthesiologist with a passion for facial aesthetics and the founder of Line Eraser Med Spa.
David Shafer, MD, FACS, is a double board-certified, award-winning New York City plastic surgeon who specializes in all aspects of aesthetic and cosmetic surgery.

What Is Lip Filler

“Lip fillers, also known as lip augmentation or lip enhancement, is a cosmetic procedure involving the injection of dermal fillers into the lips to add volume, shape, and improve their overall appearance,” says Carol Eisenstat, MD, founder of Line Eraser Med Spa.

These injections typically contain hyaluronic acid to add moisture and volume. Some popular brands of lip fillers include Juvederm, Restylane, and Perlane.

“I use Juvederm Ultra and Juvederm Volbella on my patients. Juvederm Volbella is a thinner hyaluronic-based filler for augmentation and correction of lines around the mouth. I typically use Volbella for smoothing out lines and giving the lips an immediate soft, hydrated appearance. I use Juvederm Ultra to plump and increase the volume of the lips,” says David Shafer, MD, a double board-certified, NYC based plastic surgeon.

Lip filler cosmetic treatments are highly customizable and allow patients to achieve their desired lip appearance. The amount of filler, injection technique, and product choice can all be tailored to meet the patient's specific goals and preferences.

What Is Lip Blushing

Lip blushing has become super on trend as of late. It’s actually a type of cosmetic tattoo and is often referenced when discussing semi-permanent makeup like eyebrow microblading or even faux freckles.

Lip blushing involves the application of pigments to the lips to enhance their color and shape. It is also known as lip tattooing or lip microblading. This semi-permanent lip tattoo technique uses small needles to deposit pigments into the lips, creating a natural-looking tint or stain.

“It enhances the color and shape of your lips to appear a deeper pink color and slightly overlined—similar to when people accentuate their lip's appearance with makeup,” says Dr. Shafer.

Lip Filler vs. Lip Blushing 

If you’re looking for volume and shape, a lip filler procedure is what you should discuss with your provider. “Lip fillers can provide fuller, more youthful-looking lips and reduce the appearance of fine lines,” says Dr. Eisenstat.

  • Lip filler treatments are temporary.

  • Most hyaluronic acid based fillers can last from six months to a year. Although, similar to botox, your metabolism does play a role in how long your filler can last. You may require a touch up.

  • Lip filler is more customizable to fit your unique lip shape.

“Whether you want to reduce lip lines, enhance the cupid’s bow, or create a pillow-like effect, lip filler allows you to control the outcome of how you want your lips to look,” explains Dr. Shafer.

When it comes to enhancing the color and the definition of your lips, lip blushing is the look you’re after.

  • Lip blushing treatments are considered permanent makeup much like brow microblading.

  • Lip blush tattoos enhance your natural lip color and define the shape through your lips outlines.

  • Lip blushing can create the illusion of fuller lips, but won’t actually add any volume. The healing process is longer, as you’re essentially getting a tattoo.

Lip Blushing vs. Lip Fillers: Which One Is Right for You?

It depends on the look you’re going for! Ask yourself, do you want to make your lips appear fuller? Or are you looking to enhance the natural shape with color, similar to how you enhance your skin and eyes with makeup.

  • Decide On Your Goals: “The choice between lip filler and a lip blushing procedure depends on your aesthetic goals. If you want fuller lips or to reduce lines, fillers may be suitable. Lip blushing is better for enhancing natural lip color. Consulting with a skilled and licensed practitioner to determine the best option based on your needs is the first step in determining which is a better option for your individual aesthetic goals,” says Dr. Eisenstat.

  • Do Your Research: As with any cosmetic service, it is crucial to do your research on a variety of providers. Understanding what their credentials are, what services they offer, and even seeing a visual display of some of their patient work are things you’ll want to consider. For lip filler, you’ll likely be seeing a medical professional in a dermatology, med spa, or plastic surgery office. For lip blushing, you’ll be seeing a skilled permanent makeup artist.

Lip Filler is For Volume and Fullness, Lip Blushing is For Color and Shape

If volume is what you’re after, lip filler is likely the route you’re going to take. “Lip injections are a great way to augment the lip’s volume to look natural-looking with little to no downtime,” says Dr. Shafer. He feels lip filler is beneficial for those looking to achieve more shape, symmetry, or a full, pillowy lip.

“If you go to the right injector, it can enhance the natural shape, and not look overdone or swollen. Lip fillers are cost-effective as well because they slowly metabolize over time, lasting between six to twelve months,” Dr. Shafer adds. With lip filler you can do things like reduce lip lines, enhance your cupid’s bow, or create a pillow-like effect.

“Always prioritize your safety, and have a thorough consultation to discuss your goals, potential risks, and aftercare. Patient satisfaction and safety should be at the forefront of any aesthetic procedure, especially when it comes to your lips!” adds Dr. Eisenstat.

Want to take your lips to the next level with amazing makeup personalized just for you? Take our Beauty Quiz now to get started with your own IPSY beauty subscription. Already an IPSY member? Refer your friends to earn points, which you can use toward products. Either way, don’t forget to check us out on Instagram and TikTok @IPSY.

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Article Last Updated October 26, 2023 12:00 AM