Best for: Lifting cheeks, plumping lips, and tweaking your nose or jawline.
What: Injectable non-permanent fillers are thick gels made out of hyaluronic acid (HA) that go into the skin to replace lost volume from aging or to boost volume any place you’d like to see a bit more oomph. The most common places to use filler are in the cheeks for higher cheekbones, in the lips for a fuller pout or to smooth out little lines, or in the nose or jawline to disguise a bump or tweak proportions. Some of the most popular brands include Juvéderm and Restylane, which each have multiple versions.
When: You should get filler anywhere from three months to two weeks before the big day. The benefit of going even earlier—like a year out—is that you have time to find a derm, plastic surgeon, or licensed nurse who is not only fully qualified, but has an aesthetic you like, as filler really is an art form. That said, if you’re the last-minute type or you want fresh filler before the big day, you can go two weeks before the wedding, and by the time you walk down the aisle, any bruising or post-injection swelling will have disappeared.
Results Last: Three months to two years. Depending on the inner workings of the filler formula, where on the face it is injected, and your body’s own metabolism, the lifespan of a filler really ranges. Fillers in your lips are usually the first to go (all that talking and movement), while some fillers have been proven to last a full 24 months. While there are really wonderful fillers that are permanent or leave permanent results (and those have their time and place), we at Coveteur most often recommend the non-permanent types made of HA, since your body will eventually metabolize them completely and you aren’t left with something you don’t love. HA fillers can also be dissolved with a special counter-injection called hyaluronidase in case you don’t like what you end up with—a perfect safety net for a bride.
Does It Hurt? Yes, like a bee sting, especially in the lips, but your injector can apply a topical numbing cream ahead of time that can basically eliminate the pain altogether. Since hyaluronic acid attracts water, there can be a little swelling, but many fillers also contain lidocaine to help reduce tenderness.
Best for: Smoothing forehead wrinkles and crow’s-feet.
What: There are three different kinds of neurotoxins approved for use by the FDA in the US: Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin (those are the brand names). While sliiiiiightly different in formulation, they all do the same thing: block the chemical messengers that tell a muscle to move. When the muscles are paralyzed, the skin doesn’t crinkle, which smooths existing lines and may even prevent future ones from forming as quickly.
When: At least two weeks before the wedding date if you decide to at the last minute, but we at Coveteur would suggest starting at six months out. It takes about a week after the injection for the effects of a neurotoxin to kick in, but there’s always a chance you won’t like what gets frozen, and some people even get slight headaches at first. Six months gives you a chance to see what you like, and then go back for a touch-up before the wedding with an educated point of view.
Results Last: Three to six months, and unlike fillers, there is no “reversal” shot you can take, so you’re stuck with what you’ve got until the toxin wears off.
Does It Hurt? The little bee-sting-like prick of the needle is fleeting, but if you’re needle-averse, it might hurt a little more, as the needle does linger in the skin for a moment. Some injectors will ice the skin first to numb it, and that can help a lot.
Best for: Shrinking a double chin.
What: Kybella is the only injectable fat dissolver that’s FDA-approved in the US. Rather than going the liposuction route, which sucks the fat out of the body (I know, sorry if you just ate), this injection eats up fat cells—or, rather, causes them to die so they can’t store fat anymore. It’s currently only approved for under the chin (technically called submental fat) and is applied in a grid of multiple points across the neck to treat the area evenly. You usually need more than one treatment.
When: At least seven months before your wedding. Each round of treatment must be spaced one month apart, your doctor may suggest up to six treatments, and you need a few weeks for the post-injection swelling to go down.
Results Last: Essentially forever. If you gain weight, the fullness might return, as the living fat cells can continue to increase in size, but otherwise, you should consider this permanent.
Does It Hurt? Yes. There is a burning sensation that can range from uncomfortable to very, very uncomfortable. Ice, topical numbing, and pain pills can definitely help, but you should expect some level of pain for the first minutes after injection, and nearly all patients experience swelling for the week to two weeks following. You might even still see a bit of swelling four weeks out.
Best for: Filling acne scars.
What: This permanent filler is approved to help fix indented acne scars. Red or dark marks left from acne can be treated with lasers and topicals, but it can be really tricky to treat these textured scars. Bellafill is specifically for treating “rolling scars,” which are the kind that can disappear when you pull the skin tight, but are not approved for “icepick” or “boxcar scars.” However, keep in mind that many dermatologists have tricks up their sleeves for filling in all types of scars, and they may recommend using other filler brands depending on the thickness or consistency they think is best for your skin issue. We recommend finding an injector you trust and being open to their suggestions.
When: At least one month before. Your derm may need to test your skin for a two-week period to make sure you won’t react to Bellafill (there are some bovine ingredients in it that a small number of people react to), and you’ll want to give some time between treatment and the big day so any bruising can go away.
Results Last: Bellafill’s full results should last for a year, but it can leave permanent benefits, too, as its ingredients—namely something called PMMA—act like a microscopic scaffolding in the skin and encourage your body’s own natural collagen to grow.
Does It Hurt? Similar to non-permanent fillers, you might want to ask for topical numbing before the needle goes in. The initial prick can hurt, as can the actual injection as the gel goes into the skin.
Editor’s Note: The cost of injectables is dependent on what the injector themself charges for their service and the number of syringes they use. The above treatments could range from a few hundred to a few thousand, depending on what your practitioner ends up using. We recommend always asking first before you receive a treatment.
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