Meg Ryan. Possibly most one of the adorable actresses ever. Well, until she started getting lip injections, and began looking like Daffy Duck. It’s really enough to terrify everyone. Fortunately, we had Dr. Robert Gordon (founder of Vermillion Dollar Lips ) on hand to explain how we can get lip injections as still look more When Harry Met Sally and less Any Movie Meg Ryan is in Now.

What is Meg Ryan doing wrong?

I can tell you what people in general do wrong. And it shocks me, because these are smart, worldly, well educated people! In any case, a lot has to do with choosing the right material. There are materials that are just not conducive to lip augmentations.

One common example is silicone, which is actually illegal, though you see it all the time. We know silicone for breast implants are approved, but they’re housed in a plastic membrane and they should be immediately taken out if they rupture. And now you see all these sili-lips out there. It’s a very bad material insofar as it doesn’t shape the lips, it gives you a roundish, duck lip. That’s the number one reason we see that. It’s not as noticeable if you’re using that material in your 20’s. Women who do it at a young age have very taut lips and the connective tissue keeps its form, but as they age the material spreads and loses its form and it looks very round.

What materials should you use?

We use hyaluronic acid, and around the face and smile lines we use some inert materials. They’re very safe and the body absorbs them.

Is anyone ever allergic? Do you have to test for allergies beforehand?

Not to the most popular, FDA approved materials, though if you want to use collagen then you should test.

Is there a way to tailor lip injections to keep the original shape of your lips?

Yes. You first have to go to someone who is educated in more than the tissue. Your doctor should know about the skeleton underneath. Patients who say, have buck teeth, you have to capitalize on their original shape. By being able to evaluate it, you can enhance it. Your doctor has to understand the jaw, the dental work, when you’ve got that background its very helpful.

How can I make sure that happens? Should I bring in some x-rays of my jaw from my dentist? Is there a way I can help whoever is doing my lip injections?

That’s the problem, there’s no uniform treatment. Many people who have an artistic way of doing this, there’s not really a standard they work from. There needs to be a standardized form of lip styles – there are only about 6 lips shapes out there, and a lot of that is influenced by orthodontia. Look for someone with a background in oral surgery or cosmetic dentistry, it will let them diagnose that much better.

Once lip injections are in, are they there forever?

The materials absorb and degrade in your lips in naturally, and they’ll go away after about a year, or a year and a half. They could last around 2 years, and I think that’s usually a good amount of time to shoot for because fashions change. When you’re in your 20s you might want something sexier, when you’re in your 30s you might want something more defined, it all depends on what stage of life you’re in.

Will they look swollen immediately after getting injections?

Not with my lips, or with lips done by the people I train! There are ways to inject it that aren’t offensive to the tissue and not cause inflammation. You see some outlines, but the swelling is so minimal you should look normal by the next day.

When should people go in for refills?

I have some patients coming in every year. We haven’t gotten to a material that’s 2 years quite yet, we’re at about a year. So that’s the time range you should aim for.