What do you picture when you think about lip fillers? Many visualise an overfilled pout with distinct ‘sausage’ lips’, instead of a natural-looking smile. 

According to Glamour, Google searches for natural lip fillers have increased by 250%. Lip fillers have been popular for a while, but this statistic shows people are moving away from a noticeably ‘done’ look. 

Many people considering lip enhancements wonder whether subtle results are possible. So, can lip fillers ever look natural? The answer is yes - as long as your practitioner is skilled and understands anatomy well. 

Why Do Fake Lip Fillers Happen?

Good lip filler isn’t noticeable. Depending on the practitioner and patient’s goals, a well-done lip enhancement will look full and well-balanced.

Despite this, many people don’t believe that lip fillers can ever look natural. This may be a result of celebrities with poor filler jobs, or collagen lips from the 90s which never looked realistic. Today, however, there are two reasons you may see fake lip fillers out and about. 

Firstly, some patients like the artificial look and seek out overdone lip filler results. The second reason is that some practitioners don’t understand lip and facial anatomy well. 

Fake lip fillers aren’t simply a result of desiring larger lips. Expert practitioners can help patients achieve big lips without being able to tell if they have been enhanced. There are some important lip filler practices which can help prevent unnatural results. 

What Makes Lips Attractive?

The lips and the perioral area, which is the space adjacent to the mouth, affect how attractive the lips look. The main structural features that contribute to lip attractiveness are a defined vermilion border, philtrum, and Cupid’s bow. 

A full pair of lips showing how lip fillers can ever look natural.

The lips and the perioral area affect how attractive the lips look.

Cupid’s Bow

A dual curve in the middle of the upper lip. The Cupid’s bow makes the lips look defined and symmetrical. Injectors need to understand the Cupid’s bow’s dimensions to define this feature properly. 


A groove that runs between the upper lip and nasal base. Injectors will need to maintain the philtrum’s optimum dimensions to make sure it complements the patient’s facial characteristics. 

Vermilion Border

The clear edge of the lips which divides the facial skin and the lip’s coloured portion. Practitioners need to preserve the border’s natural curves to prevent fake-looking results. 

How To Avoid Fake-Looking Lip Filler

People who look for lip fillers are generally part of two categories. 

The first category is older patients over forty who have less full lips. A 2019 study from Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery found that adults lose upper lip volume with age. In addition to restoring lost volume, these patients may want to remodel certain features, like a flat Cupid’s bow or lower philtral columns. 

The second category is patients between their twenties and thirties. These people may have youthful-looking lips but desire fuller results popularised by modern celebrities.

Even though younger patients usually want voluminous results, practitioners need to prevent injecting too much filler into the lips. They should also know when their to reject treatment entirely and only top up lip filler when it’s needed.

In both older and younger patients, there are three things practitioners should avoid to prevent fake-looking lips. 

Sausage Lip Filler

People who don’t believe lip fillers can ever look natural may envision overfilled, sausage-like lips when thinking about enhancements. 

The ‘sausage’ look occurs when injectors introduce filler equally between the lower and upper lips. Natural lips have volume differences over their structure. Simply injecting filler across doesn’t take these variations into account, leading to artificial results. 

Avoiding The Golden Ratio

The next is not taking the golden ratio into account. The golden ratio is a mathematical theory that states a 1:1.618 ratio is most appealing to the eye. This proportion means that between two items, the second item will be 1.618 bigger than the first one. 

In the case of lips, golden ratio characteristics are:

  • Lips are 1.618 times larger compared to the nose. 
  • An upper lip that extends 1.618 times ahead compared to the lower lip (side view).
  • A lower lip is 1.618 times bigger than the upper lip. 

Ignoring the golden ratio, for instance, the upper lip being equal to or larger than the lower lip, causes artificial results. Most practitioners start with the top lip to avoid this. If the upper lip is overfilled a little, they can inject into the lower lip to achieve the golden ratio once more. 

Ignoring the golden ratio with lip proportions causes fake lip filler results.

Poor Cupid’s Bow

An overly defined or lack of a Cupid’s bow can detract from an otherwise good lip enhancement. Injectors will need to maintain a patient’s original Cupid’s bow or restore it without weakening the section. 

Some errors involve injecting the Cupid’s bow peaks too much, which gives a distinctly ‘done’ look, or overfilling the area below the curve which gives a ‘duck’ lip look.

No two pairs of lips are alike, so practitioners need to examine a patient’s lip anatomy properly, and then figure out what the best injection techniques are in response.  

Injecting filler into the Cupid's bow area which shows how lip fillers can ever look natural.
A lack of a Cupid’s bow can detract from an otherwise good lip enhancement.

How To Get Natural Looking Lip Filler

If you’re wondering how to get natural looking lip fillers, here are some things to keep in mind before your aesthetic treatment

Prioritize Communication

Think about your desired lip shape and how much volume you want, as well as any problems you want to avoid. Tell your injector about these points and make sure you understand how they will achieve your facial goals, as well as aftercare advice following your appointment. 

Learn more about good practices after your lip filler appointment with this post on lip filler aftercare

A practitioner discussing how lip fillers can ever look natural with a patient.

Communication with your practitioner is key to achieving natural lip filler results.

Low and Slow

A common practice used to achieve natural lip fillers is going for the low and slow approach. It’s better to begin with a lower amount of filler and slowly increase the amount over time. This lets practitioners and the patient view developments and make changes as needed. 

Personalised Plan

Skilled practitioners will take your lip shape, facial characteristics, and personal goals into account, then supply a personalised treatment plan. Avoid practitioners who don’t ask you about your unique goals, or those who have a ‘one size fits all’ approach to injecting. Your. 

Less Is More

Natural-looking lip filler generally begins with a light hand. Your practitioner should examine your entire lip structure before injecting, then assess where filler should be placed for a balanced appearance. Subtle lip enhancements are more likely to go undetected and will complement your facial features nicely. 

You Can Clinic is one of the UK's leading providers of aesthetic training courses and pharmaceutical supplies. Over 1000 individuals have progressed through our affordable programmes, which provide extensive coverage of all relevant aesthetic procedures. Available from beginner to advanced courses.

Do you see yourself in the industry? Check out our articles on Botulinum Toxin, Weight Management, Eyebrow and Eyelash and Dermaplaning Training Courses. 

Written by Rosh for You Can Clinic.

March 20, 2024 — Jemima Thomas