One glance at social media proves that lip fillers are on the rise in Ireland, and a set of perfectly pouty lips is the most sought-after new accessory.
However, with the rise in demand for the procedure, it is important to be completely informed about the cosmetic choice that you are making.
Here are 10 things to keep in mind before opting for the injection:
10, Research your aesthetician
The action of administering lip fillers is a mostly unregulated practice in Ireland, meaning that anyone with access to a pack of filler and a cannula could hypothetically do it.
However, there are major risks involved with this, and only registered doctors, nurses and dentists should be administering the cosmetic procedure.
"It angers me that people who aren't medically trained don't know what can go wrong with these procedures. I have had to correct lips that are the result of unethical practice," April Kavanagh, the trained nurse behind NurseCare Aesthetics, so ask to see credentials.
Nurses should be registered with the Nursing And Midwifery Board Of Ireland (NMBI), dentists with The Irish Dental Council (IDC) and doctors with the Irish Medical Council.
9. Don't think of it as just a beauty treatment
Lip fillers have become completely normalised thanks to social media and celebrity culture, but don't think of them as another chore to add to your beauty regimen.
"Because fillers are available in beauty salons and hair dressing salons, it makes it look like these are beauty treatments when in fact they are medical procedures," said Claudia McGloin, founder of The Claudia McGloin Clinic.
8. Consider your budget
Properly applied lip fillers can cost anything from €300-€500, so ask yourself if you can really afford them.
7. Get informed about what they are made of
Lip fillers are made of a substance called Hyaluronic Acid (or HA), which naturally occurs in the body.
The actual filler that is injected is a synthetic substance that mimics this, and can be found in plenty of beauty and skin care products.
The substance is very safe to use as it is naturally according, making allergy rates extremely low.
6. Consider why you want them
"Lip injections are good for anyone who wants to alter their lip shape, or just plump their aging lips," Dr Richard Swift told Good Housekeeping.
However, plenty of girls come into lip aestheticians brandishing a photo of Kylie Jenner or their favourite social media influencer. While bringing a photo is fine, getting them for the wrong reasons is not.
"I have absolutely turned away clients who want work done for the wrong reasons. Some people come in for a procedure, then call me up two weeks later looking to get more," said April.
5. Watch videos of the process
Squeamish people, look out.
The results of lip fillers may look pretty, but the procedure can involve small amounts of blood, multiple injections and an intense lip massage after the product is injected.
4. If a deal looks too good to be true…
If the price of a deal looks too good to be true, that's probably because it is. Beware of cosmetic cowboys.
Untrained administrators can buy cheap filler off the internet on the international market with no clue what's really in the syringe.
3. Consider your pain tolerance
Depending on your personal pain threshold, fillers can range from a mere pin prick to quite uncomfortable, though they should never be extremely painful.
The lips should feel slightly tender and swollen after, with and bruising or swelling disappearing after a week.
2. If you ever get cold cores, read this!
Getting fillers can trigger a cold sore outbreak if you are prone.
"If you are prone to cold sores whenever you have any treatment of the lips or surrounding area it may reactivate it," said Dr Tatiana Khrom, Dermatologic Surgeon, at Real Self.
"So you always have to inform your provider about your history so we can give you prophylactic treatment for the outbreak which usually involves taking a few antiviral pills."
1. Don't be surgery-shamed
There seems to be a bit of secrecy among some influencers and celebs about the surgery status of their lips, but don't let anyone make you feel bad about seeking an aesthetic tweak.
"Lip fillers are not a bad thing," says Kerry Hannaphy, who has worked on numerous clients looking for a subtle improvement in lip volume or symmetry.
"I've had numerous emails about how it's improved the confidence of people, they feel so much better about themselves and they don't feel so depressed."