Lip filler addiction: Yorkshire teenager who got addicted to lip fillers says procedure should be more tightly regulated
Maisie-Jane Southwell, now 19, lost confidence in her looks and turned to fillers after seeing others around her with them and liking their appearance. She paid £100 to have it injected in her mum's living room - and soon became obsessed with her looks.
Despite some experts advising 0.5 or 1ml of filler she had 4ml injected in just nine months, and says her lips "lost their shape" and "many people pointed out the migration".
She became addicted to filler, having the injections every time she felt down as they made her feel better and gave her a boost of confidence. Maisie would go back to get injections every three to four months but when the filler migrated her lips lost their shape, defined outline and colour, she said.
She had the filler dissolved to prevent long-term health problems such as loss of movement in her lips. She says it has left her lips flat, and she now has filler twice a year to "keep them the same shape".
The law changed in October 2021 making it illegal to administer Botox or lip filler to youngsters in England. Charity Save Face has now warned under-18s are travelling to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to get around the ban.
Maisie doesn't believe the legislation banning under-18s from getting fillers will stop young people from finding ways to get the injections. She said the focus of regulation should be less on age and more on the amount of filler you're allowed to get within a short period of time.
The classroom assistant for children with special educational needs, from Bradford, said: "I was making my own money. My mum didn't want me to have it done but I was very down about how I looked so that was my boost of confidence. I absolutely loved it. It made me feel so good and they were so nice as well. But then I started getting addicted so it was downhill from there.
"I think I got 4ml in the space of nine months. Nowadays you could probably just get someone's ID that looks like you and go and get it done. Age restrictions are good. I was young and I didn't know what could go wrong. I didn't read into it. But I think there should be a cap on how much you can get. I got my lips done in October and I messaged again in November wanting another mil."
Maisie got her first dose of lip filler in October 2020 for £100. At the time it was legal for under-18s to get lip filler in England. She quickly got addicted to the feeling of freshly plumped lips and had 4ml of filler injected in less than a year.
Shortly before her 18th birthday Maisie's lip filler migrated. An aesthetic practitioner told her the filler had moved from her top lip to the skin above the lip line.
"I got them dissolved and my lips went even smaller than they had been before," she said. "I absolutely hated it. It was awful. I lost the colour of my lips too."
Maisie waited a few months and then got 1.5ml of filler injected, followed by 0.5ml eight months later. She now only gets lip filler to top up her lips to keep them the same shape, rather than to increase their size, she says.
She estimates that she has spent about £1,000 on filler, also getting a round of filler in her cheeks and chin. Maisie was the first person in her friendship group to get lip filler injected but the majority of her friends have now had the procedure.
She believes social media is much more impactful now in influencing decisions to get cosmetic enhancements than when she first got the enhancement.
The teenager was also trolled when she posted a TikTok about getting addicted to lip filler at 16, but Maisie brushed it off and said she would advise young girls thinking about having filler to wait and try less invasive methods of plumping their lips.
She said: "Once you get filler once, you have to have a good mindset to not get it done again, because everybody else will say 'oh my God, you look so nice. Oh they're so big.' But in your head they don't. You've got to be strong-minded to be happy."