This Facial Procedure Is Like Wearing Permanent Highlighter

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Unicorn makeup should settle the argument officially—glowy makeup isn’t going away anytime soon. Since our obsession with all things radiance began, the market has exploded with foundations formulated with pearl pigments to create luminosity, highlighting palettes galore, holographic finishes to catch light in all the right places, and countless strobing tutorials that teach us how to get an Instagram filtered look IRL. But the latest glow-inspired moment that's caught our attention? A facial procedure that designed to give you a glowy, strobed look thanks to thoughtfully placed fillers.

It's called the LitLift, and it was newly invented by Dr. Dara Liotta, a plastic surgeon and the Chief Medical Director at City Aesthetics at Totum Health in New York City.

It's a non-invasive procedure, which could last up to two years, that uses Botox and fillers on six places of the face to mimic the naturally "lit" look you'd get from strobing and contouring. It was inspired by her heavily millennial-based clientele's desire to tweak or maximize their look with zero downtown and while still looking like themselves.

"Basically what I hear from them is, 'I take my selfies and I have to Facetune them,' or 'Out of 12 selfies I take, there’s one where the light looks reasonable and it looks like I want to be portrayed,'" she explained. "I started to think about all the little procedures we do and how the biggest result is really where it makes the light hit you in a more flattering way. I started to think of the subtleness of what people are asking for in that spirit of staying themselves, but looking like you have a Snapchat filter on. I started to think about contour makeup and strobing makeup and where we put the light colors to make it look like the light is hitting us and how I could use Botox and filler to really make that actually happen instead of painting it on."

The breakdown on the six areas of the LitLift are as follows. First, she'll apply Botox to the forehead where you'd place highlighter, near the corrugator area. If you have lines, she'll use a normal amount, but if you don't, she'll reduce the dosage. This is done to smooth the skin and give it a bit of sheen. The second place is the eyebrows. "Really, when you put that shimmer below your eyebrow, what you’re trying to simulate is having your brow be higher and having the light hit your brow bone with your eyebrow above it. I use a little Botox to do a little Botox brow lift to accentuate the arch," she says.

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Third, she uses VOLUMA down the center of the nose to allow light to "bounce off the filled area." She says this straightens the nose and mimics when you apply highlighter straight down it with contouring on the side. Fourth, she uses filler to refine the cheekbone area if needed. Fifth, she evaluates the cupid's bow and philtral columns. And finally, she might use a combination of Botox or filler to relax the muscles of the chin, pulling it forward and out of the shower of the lower lip.

"The idea of putting it all together has recently synthesized. I’ve done it on patients since then who are really excited about it. It’s going to become one of the most popular things I do," she explains.

Another thing Dr. Liotta mentioned was that not all six spots are necessary and that she evaluates each area. If nothing needs to be done, she skips it. Everything is done at one time, as bruising is a potential side effect.

While the LitLift is something she seems to believe will become popular in her office, Dr. Liotta says that Botox and fillers have become very popular procedures in the millennial generation in general. "The generation above lived through the moment where fillers and Botox were new and everyone overdid it and looked horrible," she says. "Millennials got to a pint where they are using filler as we are getting smarter about it." That means more natural-looking—and perhaps even glowy—results.

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