This Is What It's Really Like to Get Lip Injections


Some might point to Kylie Jenner as the catalyst for our growing fascination surrounding injections, but in truth, it looks as though we've been heading in this direction for some time. If I had to play beauty anthropologist, I'd estimate that our collective obsession with "no-makeup makeup" played an even more profound role—we all want to say that we #wokeuplikethis, even if our dirty little secret is that we got a little outside help. Ideally, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

And boy, has the industry complied. As more and more practitioners become skilled in Botox and dermal fillers, women (and men) are seeking out tiny enhancements that the average bystander wouldn't be able to discern. The goal is not to freeze the clock—and in turn, the face—but to slow it, to refresh your features rather than replace them entirely. Even as a beauty editor with a relatively trained eye, I'm constantly shocked when a friend or industry cohort cops to having had a little something done. And that's how you can spot a well-done procedure—when you need to be told where to look.

"So really, everyone is doing it, right?" I recently asked Nicci Levy, founder of Los Angeles injectable destination Alchemy 43. With an extensive career in beauty, followed by several years as a development manager for Allergan (the parent company of Botox, Juvéderm, and Latisse), Levy saw where the market was headed and knew that it was time to capitalize on that trajectory. Since it opened its doors last year, Alchemy 43 has attracted celebrities and mere mortals alike with quality Botox and dermal filler treatments, all in a highly personal, boutique-like setting. The concept has been so successful that Levy is already working on expanding across the country. 

In addition to the concierge-like service and highly knowledgeable staff, Levy credits Alchemy 43's success to its treatment aesthetic—the boutique specializes in extremely natural, barely-there results. And an unlikely crowd is taking notice. "I expected the majority of our clientele to be women in their late 30s, 40s, and 50s," she says. "It's been a surprise to see that roughly half of the customers who visit are under the age of 35."

But this also speaks to Levy's true passion project, which is educating the masses about Botox and injectables. A huge part of that is dispelling the all-too-common myths surrounding the treatments—like, say, the idea that they never look natural. Suffice to say that Alchemy 43 has already done a lot to debunk that notion, but there are still many other misconceptions to address.

So no matter if you've been deeply considering lip injections for some time or if the idea of Botox has always freaked you out (isn't it technically poison?), read on for some surprising truths about injectables.