The ‘London Lip Queen’ Dr Rita Rakus and the ‘Lip Guru of Paris’ Dr Nelly Gauthier share their personal views with Wendy Lewis, New York’s ‘Knife Coach’, on lip enhancement techniques to create gorgeous, sensual lips.
What are the current lip enhancement trends in London and Paris?
Dr Gauthier: Parisians want lips that are very elegant, well defined, yet subtle – suggesting the softest kiss. Their lips should be unique.
Dr Rakus: Right now, the London lip trend is beautifully shaped lips, slightly fuller in the body of the lip, probably best described as a more sculpted look. The over-blown trout-pout look is definitely out.
What is your philosophy on lip enhancement?
Dr Gauthier: Never do too much; an over-enhanced lip can look vulgar at its best and deformed and older-looking at its worst. On younger people, adding volume creates a sexier look. On an ageing lip, I try to recreate what was originally there when the person was younger. A natural-looking result is always best.
Dr Rakus: ‘Less is more’ is my philosophy. The art in lip enhancement is in the creation of beautifully-shaped lips, and ensuring that your patients’ lips do not look ‘done’. Lips should look soft and natural, not hard or unnatural.
When treating a patient for the first time, I am always cautious – it is better for a patient to come back for further treatment if they want their lips fuller rather than them leaving with over-enhanced lips. I get great satisfaction when seeing happy patients – even correcting a downward turn at the corners of the mouth can make all the difference.
What is the sexiest aspect of the female lip?
Dr Gauthier: Everything can be the sexiest feature of one’s lip: its texture, its colour, its centre (with the heart shape of the upper lip and the bulk of the lower lip) and its provocative corners. The sexiest feature is actually dependent on the whole face and the special features of the lip of that particular patient. The experienced physician has to search for the sexiest feature of the patient’s mouth. There are no general rules: individuality is the key to one’s own beauty.
Dr Rakus: In my opinion, the lips are the focal point of the face. They are very suggestive, and their shape and look will speak volumes about you before you have even uttered a word. But I don’t think there is one single characteristic that makes lips sexy; for some a cupid’s bow will make lips sexier, but on others it would look ridiculous.
I have to look at each patient individually and assess the lip enhancement technique that will suit the patient best. This is to ensure the final result is what the patient is looking for and keeps within the proportions of her face. ‘Natural’ is the key word here.
What is your personal favourite product to use in the lips?
Dr Gauthier: I do not have one favourite product. Each patient is a special case and I have to adapt the product to the individual patient’s skin and needs in order to enhance the look of her lips. I do favour the longer-lasting fillers because I think it’s more convenient for the patient – they don’t have to undergo lip enhancement every few months.
Dr Rakus: I started out with Collagen many years ago but I moved to Restylane in 1996 and have not looked back.
Restylane is versatile and, more importantly, safe. It lasts well too – in the region of six to nine months for patients having regular lip enhancement – because the duration builds with subsequent treatments. I find that Restylane provides terrific treatment results – a softer and more natural fullness.
Whose lips are the most requested among your patients?
Dr Gauthier: I am rarely requested the lips of anyone but, much more frequently, I am given the names of people’s lips that the patient does not want. It is unrealistic to think one can have the lips of someone else. The shape and the length of one’s lip, nose, chin and cheek all uniquely enhance the mouth of the individual. It is like one piece of a puzzle: it could never fit in another place and still look as good.
Dr Rakus: My younger patients tend to come to my clinic waving pictures of supermodels in their hands, saying ‘I would like these lips’. If I think they would suit the patient, I am prepared to discuss the options and possibilities, but lips are so individual it is unrealistic to think that someone else’s lips would suit you. Angelina Jolie’s lips seem to be the current favourite here in London, though.
Do you inject your own lips?
Dr Gauthier: Seven years ago, I underwent a lip enhancement when I felt my lips were ageing. I used a permanent product and so far I haven’t needed to touch it up. In fact, my patients often tell me that they would like to have lips like mine. My answer each time is that I will aim to give them the lips that will be much better for their own face.
Dr Rakus: So far, I have been lucky with my lips, but I am sure the day will come when they will need a little plumping!