Injecting Lips in 6 simple steps.

Lips can be daunting, even for the most seasoned injector. Many beginner injectors want to start with lip techniques; however, it’s not the most practical place to begin. For me, creating the perfect pouty lip is what puts a smile on my own lips! Lips are my absolute favorite place to inject on the face. However, in the first 6 months of my injecting career, if a patient asked me to inject their lips, I came up with any excuse as to why they shouldn’t! I turned away more lips than I care to admit, only because I didn’t have a good plan in place to address lip augmentation.

Lips come in all shapes, widths, and poutiness! Don’t you love the patient who comes in with paper-thin lips and brings a picture of Kylie Jenner’s lips as her ultimate lip wish? Dream on, sista!

Here is a simple 6 step approach for injecting a soft, pretty lip. I use this technique 80% of the time and teach it to beginners 100% of the time. If lip shaping is needed, I may stray from this 6 step approach; however, this is a great approach for the patient who has never had their lips injected with dermal filler.

lip injection map

1. Start with the oral commissures. Set those corners first; lifting them up at least to baseline position. This will begin to shape the lip, setting a nice support for the corners. Oral commissures can lend to an overall sad face so adding volume to this area will change the downward direction of the corners. My favorite approach is the “C” shape method of injecting filler around the oral commissure.

2. Next, inject the upper portion of the vermillion border, starting at the tip of the cupid’s bow. Using your 30 g needle (love this smaller gauge), measure 1/2 inch from the top of the vermillion border. Inject a linear thread of product into the VB, creating a soft projection of the border. A pretty lip has a “white roll” where light is reflected from the lip. With age, we lose that distinctive border volume. I inject right at the junction of the vermillion and the vermilion border, where the tissue transitions from the skin color to the lip color. Inject the left upper vermillion and right upper vermillion, 1/2 inch in length starting from the top of the cupid’s bow.

3. Lastly, inject 2 to 3 linear threads along the medial aspect of the lower vermillion border. These injections will add slight volume to the lower lip, everting the lip a bit creating a very pretty shape.

Typically, 0.5-0.7cc are used in total with these 6 injections.

My favorite products for lip injections are Juvederm Ultra Plus XC, Juvederm Ultra XC or Restylane Silk. If someone wants volume in their lips, go with Ultra Plus. If someone has a thinner lip and they are timid about lip augmentation, go with Ultra but let them know that a second syringe may be needed in 2-4 weeks after the edema resolves. Restylane Silk is my preferred choice if someone only wants reduction of radiating lip lines AKA pucker wrinkles. Silk won’t add much, if any, lip volume but it nicely softens the lines establishing a soft vermillion border that only the patient can notice.

Take note with Restylane Silk, it can create moderate edema so prepare your patient for this 48 hour event. I like to mix 0.2cc Lidocaine (without epi) with Silk, this seems to lessen the post injection edema tremendously! Inject slowly, more superficially and try not to massage Silk. It’s a bit more temperamental!

Another tip of the trade: I always leave 0.2cc in my syringe for touch ups. The lips are notorious for bruising and swelling quickly so this little bit of filler will be your insurance policy! I discard the used needle, place the sterile end-cap back on the filler and secure the syringe in an envelope we use to autoclave surgical instruments. This way, my filler is sealed. I don’t like to replace the syringe in the original packaging and tape the edges, like I used to do. I date the envelope, place it in the refrigerator and have the patient return for touch up in 2-4 weeks. If they don’t return for touch up, I discard the filler. I only use my kept syringes for touch ups, I don’t want to be in the business of saving syringes for future treatments.

What are your favorite lip injection tips? Share the lip love!

2017-03-06T19:42:28+00:00 By |Training|13 Comments

About the Author:

Haley Wood, offers her cosmetic patients a unique combination of experience, knowledge and personal attention. With almost a decade of experience in the field of Aesthetic Nursing, her areas of expertise include non-surgical facial rejuvenation with her distinctive injection technique.


  1. Renea Shelton September 1, 2015 at 8:13 am - Reply

    Thanks Haley for the continued training tips with details. Your credibility in the injection industry is greatly valued.

  2. Christian Howell, RN CPSN September 1, 2015 at 9:20 am - Reply

    Nice article! Id like to hear your opinion on injection the tear trough area in regard to safety and the best products to use.

    • Haley Wood September 1, 2015 at 8:54 pm - Reply

      My favorite product for tear trough injections is Voluma, placed with a 3/10cc insulin syringe. The small syringe allows for microdroplets of product. The product is placed along the periosteum in 0.01 0.02cc aloquots, avoiding important anatomical structures such as the infraorbital nerve foramen and the branch of the facial artery.

  3. Amy Julian-Resner September 1, 2015 at 9:09 pm - Reply

    Love your posts and so appreciate you sharing your expertise! You are a fantastic trainer and a true asset to our industry!

  4. Carla Gibson September 25, 2016 at 9:51 pm - Reply

    One of my patients refuses filler for her lips after having a negative experience with filler at another practice. She said the filler tracked up her vertical lip lines after her lip augmentation. I have not seen or heard of this. What causes this and how can it be avoided if she chooses to try again?

    Looking forward to you filler video!

  5. Sandie October 3, 2016 at 2:03 pm - Reply

    You are awesome. I love all these tips. I am wondering what you mean by “C” shape method, are you talking about the way you lift the corner of the mouth (as shown on the lip injection map)?
    BTW, I used to work with a doctor who would save “injected” leftover syringe for some other clients!!!! I feel too unethical to even work with her. I just can’t do it. What if one client have Hep C and she starts spreading it to other clients???

    • Haley Wood October 15, 2016 at 2:11 pm - Reply

      Hi Sandie,
      Great to hear from you. Yes, by “C” shape, your description is what I am referencing.

      Due to cross contamination, I would never suggest using the same syringe on two patients. Viruses such as Hep C, HPV and HSV are just a few that could potentially cross contaminate. That should never be a standard of practice! Yikes!

  6. Sandie October 21, 2016 at 6:16 pm - Reply

    Hi Haley,
    I just want to ask if you do your own botox and filler? You face is like “PERFECT”!!!!!
    You look so elegant and youthful!
    Anyway, I am looking back at your comment about voluma on the tear trough, do you place your needle straight down (perpendicular) or go 45 degree at the tear trough?

    • Haley Wood March 28, 2017 at 1:35 pm - Reply

      Depending on the depth of tissue in the periorbital area, different angles are used. I know this isn’t the exact answer you are looking for, but as you know, every patient and technique can differ!

  7. Jenna January 14, 2017 at 11:26 pm - Reply

    Hello, I was wondering how much filler would someone need who already has nice lips but just wants some volume and maybe on the corners of the mouth? Im thinking of getting my lips done but dont know how much it will cost and want to know if its going to be worth it. i would rather pay a little bit more… hopefully not over 800 and hope its noticeable than pay like 400 and it be a waste…

    • Haley Wood March 28, 2017 at 1:47 pm - Reply

      It sounds like Juvederm may be all you need and it typically runs around $600 across the country.

  8. SD May 11, 2017 at 3:29 pm - Reply


    Which Juvederm filler do you find to be the “easiest and smoothest” to inject? I took a neurotoxin/filler fundamental class and learned to inject the nasolabial folds and lips with Juvederm Ultra Plus but I have very tiny hands and found it extremely difficult to push the product through. It very well could have been my nerves and not having expected that. However, is there another filler I could use starting out for those areas that doesn’t have as much resistance in the syringe?

    Thank you! =)

    • Haley Wood July 15, 2017 at 7:20 pm - Reply

      Try Vollure from Allergan. It has a very smooth flow and is very easy to push and inject!

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