Cosmetic Injectables

Lip Flip vs. Lip Filler: Choosing the Right Enhancement

Have you ever wished for fuller, more natural-looking lips without the commitment of added volume? If so, a Lip Flip could be the perfect solution for achieving that coveted appearance! This innovative procedure, a relatively recent addition to the world of aesthetic treatments, involves the injection of small and precise amounts of neurotoxin at the border of the lips.

The lip flip technique aims to gracefully evert the lip, causing it to move up and out, with a particular emphasis on enhancing the lip’s cupid’s bow shape.

In contrast to traditional lip fillers, this alternative presents a more subtle enhancement, offering a cost-effective solution with no downtime. Ideal for individuals with already good natural-looking lip volume, the lip flip provides an option for those seeking a less dramatic yet elegant transformation.

Lip Flip Before After
Lip Flip Before & After

While hyaluronic acid lip fillers also contribute to shape enhancement and volume addition, the lip flip stands out for its emphasis on subtlety. Patients can enjoy the benefits of a fuller, appealing pout without the immediate need for recovery. This technique is commonly employed to correct gummy smiles or emphasize lip shape without necessarily increasing volume.

Whether you’re preparing for a special event or simply looking to refresh your everyday appearance, the choice between a lip flip and lip filler depends on your goals. At Direct Aesthetics, we offer both lip flip and lip filler procedures as non-surgical injections, providing you with the opportunity to enhance your natural beauty with fuller, more luscious lips. To help you make an informed decision, let’s delve into the pros and cons of each procedure, ensuring you choose the option that aligns perfectly with your aesthetic aspirations.

What is a Lip Flip?

Hyaluronic acid lip fillers, while also enhancing shape and adding volume, generally provide a more dramatic augmentation compared to the subtlety of a lip flip. The choice between the two depends on individual preferences and desired outcomes.

A “Lip Flip” stands out as a non-invasive cosmetic treatment designed to enhance the appearance of lips, providing a fuller look without the need for volume addition. This innovative technique involves precise injections of wrinkle relaxers focusing on the upper lip, including its corners and edges. The neurotoxin serves to relax the upper lip, causing a subtle yet noticeable flip upwards, resulting in a more pronounced cupid’s bow and youthful pout.

Lip Flip Cupid's Bow

This procedure is an excellent choice for individuals seeking a subtle lip enhancement that emphasizes a pouty and youthful shape without necessarily increasing lip volume. Particularly popular among younger patients, the lip flip is ideal for those who appreciate a temporary enhancement that maintains a natural appearance.

While the upper lip is the more common focus for a lip flip, both upper and lower lips can be treated to achieve the desired effect. Ideal candidates typically possess good natural lip fullness, as this contributes to the effectiveness and longevity of the treatment. The neuromodulator’s effects take approximately 1-2 weeks to manifest, and although the duration varies, a lip flip typically lasts between 3-4 months. Many patients experience a subtle increase in perceived lip size due to the eversion effect.

Lip Flip Procedure and Mechanism

A lip flip involves the upper lip relaxing and gently flipping outward, creating the illusion of fuller lips. This effect is achieved through the precise injection of 4-6 units of neurotoxin into the upper lip. Neurotoxins not only facilitates the lip flip but also provides temporary smoothness by partially paralyzing facial muscles, addressing undesirable lines like creases between the eyebrows, crow’s feet, or forehead lines. Beyond cosmetic enhancements, wrinkle relaxing injections can serve multiple purposes, including the treatment of TMJ or addressing issues of excessive sweating in the underarms, feet, or hands.

Comparison with Lip Filler

Addressing the common question of naturalness, a lip flip tends to produce more subtle and natural-looking results compared to fillers, which can sometimes result in an overdone appearance.

In contrast, injectable fillers offer a different approach to lip enhancement by providing significant volume augmentation. These fillers, depending on the amount used, enhance the lip’s natural shape, achieving a balanced and natural look even with substantial augmentation when administered correctly. Different fillers and techniques can be tailored to specific purposes, such as wrinkle reduction, creating a slight puffiness, or increasing lip height.

Key Differences Between a Lip Flip and Lip Filler

Understanding the differences between a lip flip procedure and lip filler is crucial for those contemplating cosmetic enhancements. The primary variables encompass outcomes, procedural intricacies, and the duration of effectiveness.

Results and Procedure

Opting for a lip flip procedure promises a subtle enhancement without an increase in volume, a transformation that typically endures for approximately three months. In contrast, lip filler delivers a more pronounced change, introducing immediate volume that can persist for up to a year.

Procedure Details

The lip flip procedure involves a swift, minimally-invasive application of neurotoxins, strategically injected into the top lip’s orbicularis oris muscle. This prompts the lip to gently flip upwards, creating a fuller appearance. This procedure is particularly beneficial for individuals with a gummy smile, reducing excessive lip movement during smiling and minimizing gum exposure.

Contrarily, lip filler entails a more intricate process. Our injection specialists will administer a dermal filler, through a needle into various regions of the lips. Although a numbing cream is applied beforehand to alleviate discomfort, the procedure may still induce mild discomfort. Post-treatment, swelling and bruising may occur.

The core discrepancy lies in the outcomes. A lip flip achieves a subtle enhancement by making the lips appear fuller without additional volume, maintaining this effect for approximately three months. Conversely, lip filler not only augments volume but also smoothens lip lines, resulting in a more dramatic enhancement that lasts up to a year.

Pros and Cons: Lip Flip Treatment

Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of a lip flip is essential for potential candidates.


  • Quick and easy with no downtime. You can do it during your lunch break and carry on with your day.
  • Since it only requires 4-6 units of neurotoxin, it’s relatively inexpensive, so it’s a great option if you’re on a budget.
  • It gives you a temporary result, so you can try it without making a long-term commitment.
  • It’s a subtle change that enhances the natural shape of your lips.
  • Lasts up to three months. The lip flip amplifies the natural shape of your lips, without exaggerating, for an all-natural effect.
  • It’s a less-invasive option for lip enhancement. In fact, it’s considered to be one of the safest and most widely used injectables on a global level.
  • It’s not as expensive as a lip filler.


  • Like all wrinkle relaxer treatments, the results are only temporary.
  • Results are not immediate. Neurotoxins take up to 14 days to take effect.
  • It’s not suitable for everyone. If you have very thin lips, for example, then a lip flip may not give you the results you’re looking for.
  • It takes time to adjust to the feeling of neurotoxins around the mouth. Some people find that their lips feel a bit stiff and unnatural after the treatment.
  • The lip flip doesn’t last as long as filler. It lasts about 4-6 weeks maximum since the lips are so heavily used for expressions, eating, and more. Consistent upkeep is required for a continual effect. BUT, anyone new to the lip flip can relax, knowing that it’s quite temporary if you just want to try it out with minimum commitment.
  • There’s a delay in results. Complete results can be seen about a week after your visit.
  • You can experience short-term numbness and swelling.

Pros and Cons: Lip Filler Treatment

Before undergoing this treatment at our Med Spa, we apply a topical numbing cream to your lips to minimize any potential discomfort. Throughout the procedure, we skillfully inject a clear hyaluronic acid gel into and around your lips. This gel incorporates a gentle filler for the desired effect, along with lidocaine to alleviate any pain.

Examining the benefits and drawbacks of lip filler provides a balanced perspective for those considering a more dramatic change.


  • It gives you a more long-lasting result than a lip flip.
  • It can give you a more dramatic transformation, so it’s great if you’re looking for a significant change.
  • It’s a versatile treatment; you can have as much or as little injected as you want to tailor the results to your desired look.
  • Filler can last up to a year, for a long-term, consistent look.
  • There’s no illusion. It actually makes your lips plumper in shape and size while smoothing the lines around them.
  • You see results right away.
  • The acid is naturally found in the body so it’s safe, natural, and not toxic to the body. It also slowly dissolves over time.


  • It’s a more expensive option than a lip flip.
  • It’s an invasive procedure, so there’s more discomfort, bruising, and swelling involved.
  • It’s more of a long-term commitment. There’s no going back after your lips are filled. You’ll need to keep them up for the results to be continual.
  • It’s not a one-size-fits-all treatment.

Can You Combine a Lip Flip and Filler?

Yes, combining a lip flip and filler can be a rewarding option, especially for individuals with thin lips seeking a comprehensive enhancement.

Lip Flip Before & After

After undergoing a lip flip procedure, here’s a breakdown of what you can anticipate:

Immediate Post-Procedure Period:

  • Return to Work: Most patients can resume their daily activities, including work, on the same day.
  • Temporary Bumps: Expect tiny bumps from the neurotoxin, typically present for 15-20 minutes.
  • Bruising at Injection Sites: Small bruises at injection sites may occur, but they can be covered with makeup and generally last several days.

Eversion or Flip Effect:

  • Timeline: The subtle eversion or flip effect becomes noticeable starting at one week.
  • Full Effect: The full effect of the lip flip is usually achieved in about 2 weeks.

Potential Side Effects and Complications:

  • Lip Flip Side Effects: Swelling, redness, bruising, and pain are potential side effects of lip flip treatments.
  • Rare Complications: Although rare, patients may experience cold sores, infections, or extremely rare complications like blindness and skin necrosis after filler injection.

Mechanism of Action:

  • Neurotoxins and Similar Products: These work by paralyzing specific small areas of muscle. For a lip flip, the orbicularis oris muscle is injected superficially at its border.
  • Relaxation and Lip Unfurling: Relaxing the muscle unfurls and everts the lip, creating a more pouty appearance. The emphasis on the cupid’s bow shape depends on the precise injection placement.

Contrasting Older Techniques:

  • Wrinkle Reduction Techniques: Older methods aimed at reducing wrinkles involved larger amounts of botulinum toxin in wider areas, causing excessive relaxation. This limited the functionality of the mouth.
  • Advantages of Lip Flip: The lip flip employs smaller, more precise amounts of toxin, minimizing noticeable alterations in lip movement for the majority of patients.

Post-Procedure Instructions:

After your lip flip procedure, follow these guidelines:

  • Avoid Lip Products: Refrain from wearing lip balm and lipstick for an hour or so.
  • Minimize Lip Pressure: Avoid applying pressure on your lips.
  • Sleep Position: Do not sleep facedown.
  • Ice Pack Application: Apply an ice pack intermittently to your lips for 10-20 minutes to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation.

Understanding these post-procedure aspects will contribute to a smoother recovery process following your lip flip.

Choosing Between Lip Flip and Lip Filler

If you’re contemplating a change to your smile but aren’t quite ready to commit to filler, a lip flip is an excellent option. It provides a subtle enhancement to your lips without the need for a significant investment or commitment. The process is quick and straightforward, offering fuller-looking lips without breaking the bank.

However, for those seeking a more pronounced and enduring transformation, lip filler is the preferred choice. Opting for lip filler ensures longer-lasting results and a more dramatic change in the overall appearance of your lips. If you’re prepared for a more substantial shift, lip filler stands out as the treatment that aligns with your goals. Make the decision that suits your desired level of enhancement and readiness for a transformative experience.

At Direct Aesthetics, we understand the importance of individualized care in addressing the effects of aging. Each patient undergoes a thorough full-face assessment during their initial appointment to determine their specific needs and the most suitable service. We offer complimentary consultations for all our services.

Book Your Lip Enhancement Appointment at Our Rockford Medical Spa

To schedule a consultation at our Rockford, MI clinic, call us at (616) 213-1804. During the session, we’ll address your concerns, provide tailored recommendations, and offer insights on areas to monitor, treat, or leave untouched. Our specialized injectors will collaborate with you to devise a personalized plan over the coming year or two, ensuring choices align with your preferences and budget.


  • Tammy Kirby, DNP

    Tammy Kirby, DNP, is a highly skilled Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) dedicated to providing exceptional healthcare. With expertise in primary care, acute care, and community health, Tammy is committed to delivering compassionate and evidence-based care to her patients. Her passion for patient wellness and continuous learning makes her a valued member of the healthcare community.

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