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  • Chris Thiagarajah MD

Why Kendall Jenner’s lips look unnatural: A perspective from a Denver Plastic Surgeon



There has been a recent commentary on social media concerning Kendall Jenner’s lips. Speculation has been made about whether she had her lips injected. Many people have commented that her lips “look overdone” and “doesn’t look good”.

Understanding the science of what looks good in the lips is not based on guesswork. Instead, there is science from studies of 1000s of patients looking at what is pleasing when looking at lips. Why is this important? As a lip injector in Denver, it is important to understand these principles to give my patients the best lips that they can have. Remember, the limitations as an injector are based on a patient's anatomy and facial structure. It is impossible or even foolish to attempt to give every patient the same look without regard to the patient's anatomy. If you attempt to do that, you will end up with a lot of "overdone" or "botched" patients.

So what are some the rules so you can end up with amazing lips? Read on to get the inside scoop!


What is the ideal size and volume of lips? How much is too much injection of filler into the lip?

In my plastic surgery practice in Denver, I inject patient’s lips commonly. It is important to understand as an injector of filler in the lips, it is to know what the goal is, how much filler to inject into the lips and what your endpoint is. There are a couple things that are important to know:

1. The ideal ratio of upper lip to lower lip thickness is roughly two thirds. The upper lip thickness when filler is injected should be no more than 66% of the lower lip. Many articles online show that the upper lip should be half of the lower lip but the truer ratio is more of 2/3. When the upper lips is overfilled, it can create an appearance of “ducklips” or overfilled look.

2.The cupids bow at the top of the upper lip are extremely important in the proper contour of an attractive lip. By filling and keeping the contour of the cupids bow, the lip looks natural and not overfilled. Additionally, it creates a pleasing appearance. You can see in the picture to the left, the cupids bow is prominent which gives the lip a pleasing appearance.


3. The upper lip thickness compared to the the distance between the nose and top of the lip should be maximized.

So as an injector, I try to add more volume to the upper and lower lips keeping the 2/3 ratio but also (and this is where some injectors fall off the track) 1. Not injecting too much in the upper lip 2. Making sure the cupids bow is not effaced. Those two things to prevent will keep injectors out of trouble to create “overdone” lips or “unpleasing” lips.

Lets look at some pictures to get a good idea of what the ideal lip appearance should be and people who could benefit from filler in the lip.




In all these people, there are several things that are contributing to their appearance of being "overdone". Why do these lips look bad?

1. Complete loss of cupids bow

2. Overvolumizing upper lip so it is great than the size of the lower lip

If the upper lip is injected, the lower lips must also be injected to give proportionate volume that looks natural.



There two models have pleasing looking lips. Why?

1. 2/3 ratio of upper to lower lip

2. No loss of cupids bow

See the difference? When you seek an injector for your lips it is important to make sure you injector understands these basic anatomical goals. More filler is not always good and each lip is limited by its natural shape, volume and surrounding facial structure as to what will look good. Sometimes too much volume starts to look bad in the lips.

If you are interested in a consultation or your lips filled for the holidays, call our office 303 468 8844 for an appointment.


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