Living Dolls – The Russian Lip Filler Technique

Russian Lips are one of the hottest trends in aesthetics right now, with over 284k mentions on Instagram and 23.5m views on TikTok. The look is created using a different injecting technique than that traditionally used for lips fillers, and began to gain popularity in Russia in 2015 before making its way west and exploding in popularity in the UK.

What are Russian Lips?

Russian style lips are rumoured to be modeled on Russian nesting dolls, also known as matryoshka or babushka; who have perfectly heart-shaped lips and a defined cupid’s bow. The goal of the Russian Lip technique is to accentuate the cupid’s bow and create something close to a heart shape, and to heighten the lips rather than adding excessive plumpness; creating lips that resemble that of a matryoshka doll.

How are Russian Lips Created?

Because the intended shape of Russian Lips is so different from that created by traditional filler, clients will need to have either let their original fillers wear off or have had them dissolved with hyaluronidase. Russian Lips are created by retro-injecting columns of filler vertically into the lips through the vermillion border, rather than horizontally in the vermillion zone as is done traditionally. This technique is also known as ‘lip tenting’, with the columns of filler acting as ‘tent-poles’ that hold up the white roll around the lip, creating lip definition.

What’s the Final Result?

The Russian lip technique adds height to the lips and shortens both the appearance of the philtrum and the distance between the lower lip and the chin. The technique accentuates the cupid’s bow, and highly defines the edges of the lips; all whilst remaining relatively flat when viewed in profile. 

Critics of Russian Lip Filler

As with any new aesthetic trend, Russian Lip Filler isn’t without its critics. Dr Steven Harris, an internationally recognised aesthetics practitioner believes that the Russian filler technique could easily cause filler migration. He suggests that injecting downwards through the vermillion border creates holes or tracks through the orbicularis oris muscle which surround the lips, and that these holes allow filler to seep back through the vermillion border and into the upper lip. As of yet, though there is no definitive proof that this is indeed the case.

Practitioners have also commented that Russian filler technique is more likely to cause discomfort, bruising and swelling to the lips than traditional filler technique, due to the placement and number of injections needed.

The Future of Russian Lips

With the sheer volume of clinics in the UK now offering Russian style filler, and the obvious client demand seen on social media, it looks like Russian Lips will be around for the foreseeable future. Still, we can’t help but wonder what the next trending lip style will look like, and whether perhaps it might be kinder to lips than the doll-like Russian Filler Technique.