Dr Rita Rakus is not called the Lip Queen of London for nothing. She has perfected a technique of lip enhancement that looks so natural she has queues around the block for her Knightsbridge surgery. I recently visited her clinic to have my upper lip filled out to match my fuller lower one. I had been persuaded by the promise of a more balanced profile, but was wary of walking out wearing the porn-star look often associated with collagen lip implants.
Rakus gave me the assurance that she achieves a subtle effect by injecting only one syringe of the lip-plumping substance RESTYLANE at a time, leaving it up to the client to decide if they want to come back for a more pronounced look.
One reason our lips tend to become thinner and turn downwards as we age is that the body loses hyaluronic acid, a substance that gives "plumpness" to the skin. RESTYLANE - a stabilised, crystal-clear gel - is a synthetic version of hyaluronic acid that can be injected into the lips to enhance the shape and fullness.
Rakus, a former GP, has carried out the technique for more than 10 years, and the whole process can be completed in under an hour. An anaesthetic is applied to the relevant area and then the gel is injected. The sensation is uncomfortable rather than painful, and is over in less than three minutes.
In most people, there is no redness or bruising, although there is often some swelling the following day. Only my closest friends noticed the difference in the size of my lip, but I've never had so many people tell me I look well, and I do feel that my features are more balanced. Some would call it the ultimate vanity, but I call it £300 very well spent.
RESTYLANE can also be used to plump out wrinkles. Treatments start from £300 and the effects last for about a year. For an appointment with Dr Rakus, call 020 7460 7324. To find a RESTYLANE practitioner near you, call Q-Med on 0208741 3481.
All practitioners are medically trained, but as with all cosmetic techniques, expertise will vary between individuals. Choose a practitioner with at least one year's experience - ask to see their Q-Med qualifying certificate to check.