November 21, 2022

lip filler augmentation

The eight components of a beautiful lip revolve around volume, projection, proportion, details, definition, angles, symmetry, and distractions, but knowing which injection techniques will target each factor can be daunting when it comes to creating a bespoke lip treatment plan for your patient.

In this blog, Dr Tim Pearce will share some expert tips on how to associate a sculpting analysis of lips based on the 8D Lip design aesthetic analysis of the lips discussed in a previous blog, so you can determine suitable treatment techniques. This educational piece is based on content from the world’s first online lip training with interactive 3D anatomy and injection animation – introducing the 8D Lip Design training course.

What is sculpting analysis of the lips?

Dr Tim Pearce SculptureThe concept behind the sculpting analysis of the lip is to breakdown the components of a beautiful lip that we discussed when describing the aesthetic analysis and develop an injection technique and strategy for augmenting or restoring each component, preferably with minimal trauma, using a needle.

Each of the components identified in a beautiful lip – volume, projection, proportion, details, definition, angles, symmetry, and distractions (alongside colour and contrast which are beyond long-term control with cosmetic injectable treatment) – can be targeted within a treatment plan.

An artist or sculptor will use different tools and approaches to sculpt a bust, and an aesthetic clinician can view their work in the same way, using multiple techniques to create the design result – a beautiful lip.

Let’s look at some of the techniques that can be used to address each aesthetic component. You can get the full breakdown in Dr Tim’s 8D Lip Design training course.


Definition of the vermillion border is controlled with a horizontal injection running parallel and fractionally anterior to the pars marginalis to define the natural lip boundary. It is vital to avoid direct injection of the vermillion border, (where the muscle inserts into the dermis), because it can be more painful, and you might achieve the reverse of your aim by losing definition instead. Definition can be added with dermal filler in this natural 3D boundary using linear threads.


Volume in the lip tubercles is achieved using small bolus injections in the anterior compartment of the lip body. This can be delivered at the same time – by altering the needle angle through the same insertion point – as the defining techniques to reduce trauma.


It is possible to create additional eversion and vertical height with good quality, softer filler products placed more superficially, with the same injection point, using a fanning technique. This includes the option of stacking the product in the anterior wall of the lip creating a lifting effect, but in a less efficient way compared to tenting.


Lower lip angles and the GK (Glogau-Klein) point are enhanced by injecting filler product under these structures with small bolus deposition. This can also be added through the same entry point as the defining injections to avoid repeat injection trauma. Stacking of the boluses is also an option for creating additional eversion alongside improving the angles.


The details of the Cupid’s bow and philtrum are often injected to increase their dominance within the lip using superficial injections beneath the structures.

The philtrum is treated via insertion of the needle into the reticular dermis, where the columns lie, using a pinch technique. Entry is at the tip of the vermillion, at the apex of the pitched triangle, and in the pink lip. This is usually the least painful for the patient and is at the correct depth to avoid the columella artery if needle entry is parallel to the skin’s surface; filler product is applied in a retrograde line.


Proportion in the vertical plane can be adjusted by the relative volume used in volumising and everting injections. To a small degree, the defining injecting can effect horizontal proportions, most notably in older patients with lip atrophy.


Many asymmetries are more complex than just the lips themselves and involve the teeth, fat pads in the cheeks, muscles including origins, insertions and strength, and bone structures, thus cannot be easily corrected with dermal filler in all cases.


lip shapeDistractions are those elements that do not contribute to a beautiful lip. They include scars, shadows, depressions, wrinkles within or that cross into the lip body, downturns at the oral commissures, and other signs of ageing in the lip. Distractions can all be treated in the same procedure as a restorative approach to lip treatment to create the best overall result for your patient.

Why is sculpting analysis of the lips important

Sculpting of the lip is arguably the most detail orientated technique. Each component of the aesthetic analysis has an associated injection to consider employing or excluding from the treatment design, concludes Dr Tim.

It is the most tailored approach of the techniques commonly discussed by Dr Tim, thus, as a result, your treatment plan will be the most complex and thorough, plus unique to each individual patient. With this level of detail, it also requires the most thought and input from the aesthetic clinician, as there should be a clear rationale for each injection which will lead to better results.

The use of sculpting analysis and techniques is best suited to patients with an average or high tolerance for risk and potential side effects, who wants natural results with a bespoke approach. This will not suit those patients on either end of this spectrum, i.e., those who seek significant augmentation or who want to follow fashion trends for lip design, or those who are very risk adverse when it comes to pain, swelling and other risks involved in lip procedures.

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8D Lip Design

With all the conflicting advice out there about lip filler treatments – vertical or horizontal? needle or cannula? – it can be difficult to know how to inject to create the lips your patient desires.

If you are suffering from technique overwhelm, worrying about causing a vascular occlusion (VO), or panicking about injecting thin lips, then Dr Tim Pearce’s brand-new ultimate lip course is going to teach you the different techniques, anatomy, and skills you need to create medically beautiful lips.


Dr Tim Pearce eLearning

Dr Tim Pearce MBChB BSc (Hons) MRCGP founded his eLearning concept in 2016 in order to provide readily accessible BOTOX® and dermal filler online courses for fellow Medical Aesthetics practitioners. His objective was to raise standards within the industry – a principle which remains just as relevant today.

Our exclusive video-led courses are designed to build confidence, knowledge and technique at every stage, working from foundation level to advanced treatments and management of complications.

Thousands of delegates have benefited from the courses and we’re highly rated on Trustpilot. For more information or to discuss which course is right for you, please get in touch with our friendly team.

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