The Perfect Lip Shape: Ideals that Drive Lip Augmentation

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The Perfect Lip Shape: Ideals and Techniques for Lip Augmentation Injections

Every culture – every generation – has ideals for what they consider attractive in terms of appearance. But certain aspects of aesthetic appreciation don’t seem to change much over the years. One of these ideals is the aesthetic preference for fuller looking lips over thin lips. Attractive lip proportions have even been shown to increase attractiveness perceptions, according to research studies of lip shape preferences.

Ideal Lip Shapes Driving Injecting Techniques and Cosmetic Injection Facial Augmentation Strategies

  • full lips rather than thin lips are more appealing
  • nicely shaped lips that are generally horizontally symmetrical (relatively even on the left and right sides versus uneven or lop-sided)are
  • generation after generation have appreciated attractive smiles with fuller lips; but only recently has non-surgical lip augmentation been an option

No one has yet made thin lips trendy – but it COULD happen…

It’s just highly unlikely unless a celebrity with thin lips and a huge following becomes incredibly popular all of the sudden.

Theoretically Aesthetically “Perfect” Lip Shapes

First, there’s never such thing as perfect or ONE SIZE FITS ALL when it comes to augmentation.

  • No cosmetic treatment can achieve perfection.
  • Aesthetic improvements, perhaps, when done well; perfection, never.

All concepts of beauty are in the eye of the beholder, as the cliche goes. But studies show there are actually shared ideals about what people think looks best in terms of lip size or lip shapes. And this crosses many cultures and generations.

The thing is, that there are different lip shapes and different injection techniques for lip filler.

Lips need to be balanced with other features of the face – anatomy is as important in lip filler technique as what the lips look like.

BECAUSE it’s not just the lips that need to look attractive; it’s how the changes MADE to the lips either ENHANCE – or TAKE AWAY FROM – other features of the face.

Overly large lips can ruin an otherwise attractive face.

So don’t go overboard with lip filler!

There is, however, a theoretical ‘perfect lip shape‘ (or preferred lip shapes) that people seem to gravitate towards.

And widely-preferred lip proportions is just what some Scientists decided to RESEARCH in regards to what people generally consider to be the ‘perfect lip shape’ or ideal lip augmentation dimensions.

In search of a “universally applicable ideal upper to lower lip ratio”: Research findings on appealing lip shapes show more consistency than many people thought they would; and the latest lip filler injection trends are for more moderate enhancements of the upper and/or lower lips (typically both, but not the same amounts in each lip).  Again, however, this varies according to the needs of the patient and their desires for lip augmentation.

Lip Shape Research: Cosmetic Preferences and Lip Filler Ideals

  • Research: aesthetic preferences and beauty ideals have been measured by scientific studies.
  • Certain facial features remain preferred equally by different cultures.
  • Regional variances can and do occur, but not to the degree you might expect.
  • Fuller lips in either a very balanced 1:1 proportion between the upper and lower lip, or a slightly larger lower lip, were the most preferred lip proportions, but thin lips rarely rate.
  • According to studies, people spend more time looking at mouths than most other facial features (other than the eyes).

From a UK Manchester University Study involving Psychologist Geoff Beattie described in the Courier Mail: “Scientists found that in the 10 seconds after meeting a woman for the first time, the average chap will spend more than half his time gazing at her mouth.”


So what makes a lip shape seem perfectly proportioned?

Some general lip shapes created with lip fillers that you may be familiar with include:

  • The Hollywood Lip with emphasis on the Cupid’s Bow area
  • The full upper and lower lip (even) – a 1:1 harmony in size
  • The more pronounced lower lip (protruding and/or being larger than the upper lip)
  • The larger upper lip (not necessarily natural although may look okay on some individuals)

When it comes to lip shape preferences, it’s not just the eye of the beholder – it’s how the lips look on the face.

  • But so much of our culture is focused on the aesthetics of what we look like (and our fashion and food presentation tastes) that denying we have visual preferences for nearly everything is denying basic human nature.
  • But remember, ideal lip shape preferences are not shared by every single person on the planet.
  • Nor will one shape or cupid’s bow filler injection technique look great on nearly everyone.

But you and your Cosmetic Injector MAY be able to use these types of lip preferences to guide your lip augmentation injecting strategies to attain fuller-looking, more shapely lips.

Great lips give you a more defined or sultry-looking smile; and fuller lips can also give a more youthful appearance.

Lip ratio research shows that there is a strong preference for well-balanced or equal upper-lower lip sizes or pleasing, fuller shapes.

Is there really an ideal lip shape or commonly shared preference?

  • Certainly there is individualism in what lip shapes and aesthetic feature balances a person prefers.
  • But most people report being attracted to (or attracted by) lips that have some volume to them; that looks natural, soft and ‘inviting’ or kind.  This means a full lower lip, possibly an equally full or nearly full upper lip (although 1/3 to 50% lip height on the upper can also look good), and for some women, a more defined Cupid’s Bow (the slightly v shaped area of the lip in the midline, below the nostrils).
  • Whereas thin lips may leave some individuals looking angry, stressed or withdrawn.

But the overwhelming goal of cosmetic treatments seems to be improved balance and facial and lip symmetry, even though it will never be ‘perfect’ (humans, by nature, simply aren’t capable of perfection).

But there is are some ideal lip shapes that some consider the “perfect lip shape” or ideal lip proportions, that lead some women and men to ask for lip filler injections.

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What the preferred Lip Shape research study showed:

  • That over 60% preferred a similarly sized, nicely volumised but not overly filled, lip shape.
  • That the second highest rating for lip shape was a slightly fuller lower lip, but both lips with ample volume (yet not so much it looked puffy or over-volumised).

Nearly 6 in 10 research study participants preferred lower and upper lips that were nearly equal in volume; and other preferred a slightly larger lower vs upper lip (which is what most people are born with; although these are not always in well-balanced proportions).


  • But before you pick a lip shape of lip volume to aim for with lip augmentation via filler injections or a lip lift procedure, know that NOT all lip shapes SUIT ALL FACES.
  • Different facial structures may look better with one lip shape over another.

Every face is so unique there’s really NEVER an ideal, perfect lip shape that will suit every single patient.

Going overboard with lip filler can leave you looking less than perfect – in fact, absolutely freakish is a ‘thing’ when it comes to overfilled lips (read how to avoid lip filler disasters).

Find out what the PREFERRED “IDEAL” LIP SHAPE RESEARCH SHOWED by visiting:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/313685971_The_Current_Preferred_Female_Lip_Ratio

Read our blog on AVOIDING lip filler disasters or scroll down to see more information on lip filler and non-surgical lip augmentation.

Lip Filler Disasters: How to Avoid Going Overboard


Techniques used in Lip Filler Injections for Lip Augmentation

How do Cosmetic Injectors augment and reshape lips with dermal fillers?

  • There are many unique variances to lip shaping that injectors learn to use for improving the shape of the lips.
  • (We’d say ‘perfecting the lip shape through injections, but there’s really no such thing as a perfect shape or a perfect lip shape result. The fact is, that all lips and all human faces are very unique.)
  • Lip shape changes can improve the size/volume, cupids bow, symmetry and relative proportions of the upper and lower lips (one or both), but perfection of any sort is impossible – so keep your expectations realistic.
  • Typically the volume will be adjusted across the upper lip and lower lip (and there may be potential bruising at the injecting points)

Lip Volumisation Techniques for Injectors: Injecting Methods

  • Injecting methods vary between Clinicians.
  • There are, however, some general guidelines and the more training and experience your Cosmetic Injector has, the better your results are likely to be.
  • One of the biggest decisions in lip augmentation is WHAT lip filler to use; there are many brands of differing consistencies to help your Cosmetic Injector augment your face; at Coco Ruby, we have a wide range to choose from to get you a suitable feel and shape to meet your lip shaping preferences.

Typically, thin cannulas (or needles) are used to inject the lips with a soft-feeling dermal filler.

  • The type, brand and consistency of the dermal filler is chosen by your Injector based on your lips and your stated ideals.
  • How much lip filler is required may change and will impact your lip volume (lip fullness), potentially the lip filler duration (filler longevity), bruising risks, and the feeling of your lips (natural…or do they feel firmer than they might – or worse yet, fake?)
  • Fake feeling lip augmentation may be the result of two factors: cheap filler products rather than high quality ones, or too much filler in the wrong places.
  • Read the risks of COUNTERFEIT DERMAL FILLER or “FAKE” COSMETIC INJECTION SOLUTIONS.

FAQ: Does it feel natural? Or does it feel more firm than natural?

Variances in types of lip filler leave patients with a different ‘feel‘ – some injectables or cheap product lines might not feel as natural or last as long as better quality lip filler solutions).

Methods: shape the lips or volumise the vermilion, define the cupid’s bow or even out the lips with dermal fillers.

  • Lip augmentation via lip filler involves reshaping and/or enlargement of the visible portion of the lip (the vermilion).
  • Shaping the Cupid’s Bow (enhancing the “V-shape” of the upper mid line) is also possible with cosmetic injections, depending on what you’re starting with and how much filler can be used.
  • The relationship between the vermilion and the area of the face beneath the nasal columella can also be adjusted with cosmetic injections or with an upper lip lift surgery procedure.

Injectors also need to consider the harmonisation of their efforts. In this regard, the relationship between lip height and incisor is important. This can be done during analysis of the facial anatomy before injecting, to evaluate possible maxillary hypoplasia and protrusion. The patient’s occlusion status is also evaluated; and the more well-planned the injecting strategy and facial balancing aesthetics, the more pleasing the result is likely to be for the patient.

Want injections to enhance your lips?

Phone (03) 8849 1444 and ask for an appointment with our Cosmetic Physician to begin assessing potential suitability for your facial and lip injecting treatments to enhance your lip size, shape or relative proportions.

Disclaimer: Results can vary from patient to patient.  Lip fillers used at this clinic are high quality but they are temporary in nature (we discourage any use of permanent facial filler products). Be sure you understand the risks of dermal fillers including lip fillers, potential bruising and other complications, before you proceed. You will need to sign a consent before treatment and have an assessment for suitability by a Cosmetic Physician. Don’t simply get a cosmetic lip augmentation because everyone else is doing it – these are serious treatments involving Schedule 4 pharmaceutical substances, and successful treatments require your understanding of the process, potential risks and complications, recommended lip injection healing protocols and recovery times. Find out more by meeting with the Coco Ruby Team of Injecting Clinicians.

Further reading:

The Ugly Truth About Fake Injectables: Medical Dangers from Counterfeit Products

Preparing for Facial Injectables or a Top-Up? 3 Things You Should DO first.

Lip Filler Injections & Dermal Fillers: Tips for Looking Your Best Without Surgery

Lip Injections & Facial Filler After Care Guide

Lip Filler Disasters: How to Avoid Going Overboard

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