"What the hell have you done to your face?"
"Embarrassment is temporary, hotness is forever," I recited to myself as my dad looked at me like I had five heads - in actuality I had lips replicating a Bratz doll.
I wish more than anything this was satire, but it was my reality two weeks ago when and had Juvederm injected into my lips.
Did I regret it? Only on day two. Would I do it again? Probably in 12 months' time. Does my bank account hate me? We haven't spoken since I forked out over $700 for the procedure.
Despite millions of advertisements encouraging women to dabble in cosmetic enhancement, many choose to keep their experience of body and face enhancement on the down-low. The repercussions of this are that generally people who are considering making some changes often don't have a lot of consumer advice to go on.
But don't worry sis, I'm an oversharer and for once it's going to come in handy. So if you're thinking about dabbling in the world of lip enhancement, here are a few things I think you need to know.
The five untold truths of getting lip filler:
1. No one will approve of your Bratz doll lips - especially your dad
Unless you're Harry Styles and have drool-worthy lips – and millions of women swooning over you, it's very likely you aren't receiving daily compliments about your lips.
Well, get ready to change that. Post-filler you're going to get more compliments about your pre-filler lips than you've ever had before.
Welcome to the lip enhancement baptism where people unintentionally make you insecure about your new lips by blasting you with a series of comments like, "you didn't need lip filler, your lips were already magnificent. Great shape, great colour, very smoochable."
This is a brilliant opportunity to practise blocking out the haters, your new lips are top-tier.
Different story when your dad sees them, though. Make sure you've got a distraction up your sleeve because if there is one thing dads hate it's when you do anything that proves you're an adult and can make your own choices.
2. Prepare for next-level swelling and weird bruising
Once the needle hits your lips they will likely swell and bruise. A lot. To the point where you have a big fat-lip-sized cry wondering if you've made a mistake. No one said it was a fun time babe, in fact, almost everyone has said beauty is pain and that's because nothing good comes easy.
The great news is that swelling and bruising will only last a week tops and is a completely normal side effect – as is the internal panic when you realise you can't rub your lips together because they feel like huge balloons.
While there is no avoiding the bad boy bruising and swelling, professionals recommend staying away from alcohol and strenuous exercise for 24 hours before and after your procedure to keep the side effects to a minimum.
But if that doesn't work, you can use ice to ease the swelling and arnica cream to say sayonara to those purple bruises. Thank god for modern medicine.
3. How long filler lasts
There are many factors that contribute to how long your filler will last but the current ballpark figure is 8-12 months, meaning you'll have a good year of looking like a 21st-century Bratz doll. Hallelujah.
However, this isn't my first rodeo and just between us, each time I've had a Juvederm top-up it's lasted around 18 months. I know, how did I get so blessed to have a mediocre metabolism that protects my wallet by refusing to break down lip filler. It's truly a miracle.
4. Your lips will look hella juicy
Two weeks post-procedure I put up a story on Instagram where my lips were on full display – this is not unusual, as a Gen Z I frequently post vain selfies where I think I look like a 10 out of 10 and fish for other people's validation.
However, this post was special because it turned out to be an absolute hit with my followers and a bunch of people DM-ed me to say "LIPS".
With little elaboration on what people meant by "LIPS", I drew my own conclusion that they were eye-catchingly juicy.
5. They can be really addictive
Once you start you may never stop, which is why there are so many stories of women and men who went completely overboard with their filler and Botox.
Looking at you, human Ken.
This is why it's so important to keep your dad and overly honest friends around who aren't afraid to humble you by asking what the hell you have done to your face.