I get my lips topped up with filler about twice a year. That’s just long enough to forget what it was like the last time.

In this article, I’m describing the subjective experience, day by day, in hopes of showing that it is a tolerable experience that is worth it in the end.

Before I start, I should explain that the filler I use is Teosyal. It is purer than earlier products like Restylane and Juvederm so you have less swelling and pain with Teosyal. If you are using an earlier product, your symptoms may be greater and last longer than mine.

Injection Day

The nurse injector from my supplier does my injections. The nerve blocks are a piece of cake — we use a much finer needle than I remember from childhood visits to the dentist.

Even with the nerve blocks, the injections pinch a bit. However, I tried using just a topical anesthetic last time and having the nerve blocks helps a lot.

Between the numbness from the nerve blocks and the sensation of the filler going in, I feel like my lips are 10X normal size. Everyone says the same thing when I’m doing their lips. Don’t worry.

The nerve blocks wear off within an hour or two. My lips feel swollen and very tender. I’m very conscious of firm blobs in my lips. However when I look in the mirror, I can see how the shape is going to be very nice when everything settles down.

First Day Post Injection

I have a couple of bruises in the colored part of my lips but they’re not too bad. They can be covered with concealer and lipstick if I remember to touch it up after eating and drinking.

I have a couple of small bruises just outside the colored part of the lips and have to carefully layer concealer and powder to keep them covered.

My lips still feel enlarged and stiff although they don’t look bad in the mirror. My mouth still hurts and talking feels weird. This is the stage that I always forget about between injections.

Second Day Post Injection

I’m still sore but the discomfort is lessening. I still feel like my mouth isn’t moving properly when I talk or smile.

I’m getting lots of compliments on my lips so I guess I can put up with the discomfort.

The bruises are still visible and need concealer and powder. The swelling is going down.

Third Day Post Injections

The swelling is improving. The bruises are fading. It’s a Sunday so I don’t bother with makeup.

In some areas, the filler has softened and I don’t really feel it any more but in a few places the filler still feels like firm blobs.

Fourth Day Post Injections

Back to work so I do use a little concealer and powder for the bruises although they’re almost gone.

The product is continuing to soften and feel more natural.

Fifth Day Post Injections

No concealer needed! And no more pain.

I’m still conscious of the product where it is in larger deposits and I still feel that my mouth is moving in a funny way but everyone assures me I look normal.

Sixth Day Post Injections

Everything has settled down — bruising, pain, swelling — and I’m no longer self-conscious about my lips. Now I remember why I wanted to get my filler topped up.

The very first time I had my lips done I hated them for 2 weeks. I had a lot of swelling and bruising and didn’t think they would ever look nice. After that, they looked pretty and natural but those first 2 weeks were difficult.

If you’re planning to get your lips done for the first time, allow for at least a week (if not 2 weeks) of bruising and swelling. Don’t make any judgments about your lips until the 2 week period is up. Sometimes things that look asymmetrical in the first few days settle down to be nicely balanced.

If there is a little asymmetry at the 2 week mark that needs to be touched up, the pain, bruising and swelling after a touch-up is minimal and settles quickly.