Selfies and social media are driving the popularity of lip augmentation, as people nowadays see their online photos regularly and might feel the pressure to always look good, says leading Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley.
In 2015 alone, about 27,450 lip implant surgeries were performed in the US. On top of that, lip fillers accounted for a large percentage of the 9.2 million facial injection procedures, according to data released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Dr. Smiley says that the vast majority of patients today desire for a more natural look, which can be achieved when there is a profound understanding of what constitutes an ideal “pout,” which of course is determined by gender factors and the pre-existing facial features.
And despite varying views on the ideal lips, Dr. Smiley says that recent studies have shown that most people found attractive “pouts” had their the lower lip about two times bigger than the upper lip. Also, female lips that took up about 10 percent of the lower third of the face scored higher in terms of attractiveness.
While most lip augmentation patients are women, there has been a significant increase in the number of men seeking some type of lip enhancement procedure. This new trend has a ramification—i.e., surgeons should understand the subtle but key differences between attractive female lips and male lips.
For instance, lip augmentation involving men should not create a well-defined “Cupid’s bow” shape; however, a slightly prominent bottom lip sulcus (dip) is perceived to be attractive. Also, a one-to-one lip corners ratio is desired to prevent feminine-looking lips.
Another “beauty” parameter, according to a recent study conducted by German researchers, is that female lips have a lower ratio between the lower vermillion height (lower lip) and the chin-nose distance than attractive male lips. This means that attractive female faces have a bigger “pout” in relation to the lower third of their face compared to men.
While several studies have pointed out that lips play a crucial role in the perceived facial attractiveness, Dr. Smiley says that other features also have their influence, adding that the “attractive faces are greater than the sum of their parts.”