Ever since Kylie Jenner made lip fillers a household term, our culture has increasingly normalized the cosmetic procedure. Just take one look at Instagram’s Explore page and you’re bound to see countless examples of this. What we aren’t exposed to as much is the downside of lip fillers. But one blogger is drawing attention to just that, after a botched lip-filler treatment left her dangerously close to losing one of her lips.
According to the U.K. beauty blogger Cassidy Valentine, it happened when she visited a beauty clinic she found via Instagram. Valentine “almost lost [her] top lip and eyesight” from the bad filler, and thankfully found a med spa that reversed the damage in time by dissolving her filler. As she explained in a video she created about the painful experience, “I was told by the clinic who botched me that this was normal and to just take antihistamines, which are allergy tablets. If I hadn’t followed my gut instinct, I would be without a top lip and more than likely blind.”
“Let me make this clear: I have absolutely no fillers in my face now. I had to have them all dissolved because it went completely wrong,” she says in the 12-minute clip, which shows photos and videos of the botched treatment and the aftermath. “I’m going to tell you the realities of it: what happened and how I almost lost my lips and my eyesight.… This is a side you don’t get to see often, especially from influencers.… I decided to stupidly get lip fillers because everyone makes it seem like it’s so easy—a quick fix and you look great after. So I contacted this company…basically, what they do, they ask these influencers to have fillers done with them and they will give it to them for free for a post. I would much rather pay than to influence people to get this done, because in the back of my head I knew what I was doing wasn’t right. So I said, ‘I’ll pay the full amount so I’m not obliged to put this online.’”
Valentine felt something was off as soon as the procedure started, she explained. “I went to go have my fillers done. While she was injecting me, she said, ‘Do you bruise easily?’ I said no. She goes, ‘Oh, you’re really going to bruise,’” she recalls. “I had a bruise on the left side of my lip and said, ‘Wow, it is really swollen, isn’t it?’… So I went home, and hour by hour my lip is getting bigger. The right side was massive. I ended up sending them a message and saying, ‘Something isn’t right.’… They said it’s completely normal. Bear in mind, I had already started to lose color in my lip…the next day, I messaged them…they said, ‘Just take antihistamines, it will go down soon.’”
Frustrated with that response, she messaged a friend, who suggested a med-spa that Valentine could contact. She went the next day and recalled, “They touched my lip. I had absolutely no pulse in my lip…there was no blood getting to it.” As an employee at the med-spa told her, “If that’s left unattended, that area can slough off and die.” She ended up getting another injection to dissolve the filler.
“I just assumed someone with an injection would have all the correct training…they weren’t doctors,” she says. “This happens to so many people.” When she went back to the place that botched her fillers for a refund, they asked first if she was making a video about her experience. “She tried to refuse me my refund if I was making a video, and I said to her, ‘You know what? If you don’t want to give me my money don’t give it back, because I’m making a video on this and how wrong [fillers] can go. I was in a really, really bad place in my mind, and I was seeing all these beautiful girls on Instagram, and I wanted to look like that. But beforehand, I was absolutely fine with me.”
According to WebMD, there are real risks associated with lip fillers, which when injected into a blood vessel can cause tissue loss, such as what Valentine experienced. Lip fillers can also cause ulceration, scarring, or stiffening of the lip. As WebMD recommends, ”Call your doctor immediately if you experience extreme swelling or develop a fever.” That advice is good to keep in mind, as is Valentine’s closing plea: “Guys, if you’re going to get lip fillers done, pay a little bit extra and go to a real doctor, not a beautician.”