Costhetics wants to get you in the loop on a hot topic in the world of facial plastic surgery and cosmetic enhancement.

A trending procedure called the Russian lip technique is so popular TikTok videos with the hashtag Russian lips have attracted 3.9 million views. Over at Instagram, there are some 78,000 posts…and the numbers are growing.

What are Russian Lips?

Russian lips and the treatment to create them were popularised in 2015 by beauticians in Russian (naturally). The goal was to inject fillers strategically to create plump, Cupid’s bow lips typically seen on matryoshka, Russian nesting dolls. They also look somewhat flatter due to the increased height the injections create.

The technique has slowly been spreading worldwide…or has it? Turns out the Russian lip augmentation technique have been with us considerably longer…and it doesn’t hale from Russia!

New Name, Old Technique

In August 2020, the PMFA Journal published the article and video “How I Do It – Lip Augmentation: Tenting Technique”. It details the work of Tom van Eijk, one of Holland’s most famed cosmetic doctors. He is credited with developing the augmentation technique known as ‘tenting.’

The goal of traditional lip augmentation is, as the same suggests, to increase lip volume.  In tenting, injectors place the filler vertically starting at the base of the lip and then moving outward toward the border. This creates additional volume at the centre of the lips, giving an added pout to the Cupid’s bow.

“I developed this technique (because) I wanted the red mucosal part of the lip to become more unrolled and exposed, with the white roll elevated and sharply defined,” says its creator. The technique is called tenting because the filler acts as a tent pole, adding additional structure at the centre of the lips.

What Happens During a Russian Lip Filler Treatment?

Russian lips are achieved by injecting small droplets of filler vertically into the lips. In the hands of a skilled injector, the technique widens, lifts, and opens the lip body without losing lip projection. Many dermal fillers are made with ingredients to help numb the treatment area, and anaesthesia is not necessary. In fact, it is contra-indicated.  There have been cases when anaesthesia has caused lip swelling, asymmetrical results, and increased downtime.

A Russian lip filler takes under one hour and the results are immediately visible. You can return to your normal activities immediately, though there might be some swelling and bruising.

Note: If you have had dermal filler injections in the past, any remaining filler must be removed, or you need to wait until it’s all gone. Traditional techniques places filler around the border of the lip, which is not part of the Russian technique.

How Long will My Lips Stay Plump?

The duration of benefits is a function of the kind of filler your injector uses, not the injection technique. Dermal fillers usually last between six to twelve months. To maintain maximum plumping, top-up treatments are advised.

The Risks Associated with Russian Lips

Dermal fillers are considered safe if they are in the hands of an experienced injector. Risks for any lip augmentation with fillers, including the Russian lip technique include:

  • Split lip skin
  • Bulging lips
  • Uneven, lumpy lips
  • Dangerous allergic reactions
  • Moustache shadow above the lips

The key to a good cosmetic outcome starts at a reputable clinic staffed by experienced and qualified injectors.

Costhetics is delighted to help keep you up to date on the latest trends in aesthetic enhancement wherever we find them. Right now, we’re looking into another Russian émigré: devil lips.  Stay tuned and stay beautiful!

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