March is Women’s History Month, and I had the pleasure of interviewing various black women in the beauty sector, and got an exclusive interview with beauty expert Nicole “The Lip Doctor” Bell.

How did you get your start in the dental industry?

After attending Meharry Medical College, I immediately decided to open a private practice in Long Island NY, named Cosmetic & Laser Dental Studios by Theelipdcotor.  Years later I watched the resurgence of retail, the Nets sports stadium and real estate in Downtown Brooklyn and decided that would be a great area to develop in. It has proven to be very rewarding and bustling area.

Along your journey did you have any mentors that helped you along your way?

There were plenty of great mentors along the way. Three happened to be sorority sisters that took me under their wing and helped groom me during my journey. Some of the most influential being my past OB/GYN, Dr Monique Defour-Jones who had an open door policy with me, my mother Carol Bell who provided me with good old fashioned hard love advice, and the Dean of Meharry Medical College, who I recently had the pleasure to thank when I visited as a the keynote speaker for their 2020 Annual Gala. It was both and honor and a pleasure to see her after 19 years and share the impact of her guidance with the student body.

In addition to being a successful Cosmetic Dentist, you are also known as the “Lip Doctor” … Give our readers more information on exactly what that position entails.

The lip doctor was a moniker given to me by my patients that my staff found on social media forums. I initially started offering facial esthetics and became very well know for my lip filler technique in the New York area. My staff caught onto the nickname and started monogramming t-shirts and paraphernalia in the office and decided to develop the brand. I recognized that my social media following was growing and began lecturing and making public announcements when traveling. This developed into a an opportunity to teach and mentor other doctors and teach my aesthetic techniques. I currently lecture about 2-3 times a month, and have a network of doctors that I mentor in all aspects of esthetic injectable procedures, including: fillers, botox, threads, PRP, kybella, sculptra, and social media integration. Threads are probably my most popular procedure for both lips and for a facelift. This technique is now beginning to be offered more by trained injecting doctors.

Lip plumping has been so trendy, but what are the top 3 do’s & dont’s when it comes to this procedure?

Lip plumping is very technique sensitive in the esthetic field because they are centralized and can make or break a face. The most famous example is Kylie Jenner. She is the poster child for “lips that increase your popularity.” There are various shapes that are popular like: the keyhole, heart-shaped and a sharp cupids bow. The most important thing to remember is to make sure that you always administer around the outline of the lip first then distribute in the body of the lip, similar to coloring. You also want to be sure to practice using two hands and one gently places pressure close to the site and slightly distracts the patient. This prevents me from ever having to use an anesthetic which tends to distort the result. The key to making everyone happy is being a good listener. Often times as practitioners, we do what we think is best for someone else. I have found that if you are empathetic and listen to the patients expectations, you are better able to guide them towards a reasonable and esthetically pleasing result.

Tell our readers about your foundation, Healing Hearts, Touching Minds.

My foundation is a missionary medical/dental group that offers emergency procedures and oral surgery worldwide. We recently traveled to Jamaica with Pastor Donnie McClurkin and The Perfecting Faith Church to offer our services. We had the opportunity to treat inmates in a maximum sentencing prison , and treated locals and school children in many different parts of the Island. We are blessed with a skill set that many cannot afford, therefore it is my duty to always try to help those in need of my diverse services. Esthetic injectables can be a useful tool to those suffering with facial deformities including nasal fractures and cleft lips. I have donated treatments to young adults which even out and soften their appearance. Cleft Lip filler placement with filler is amazing. I have watched people miraculously feel encouraged and confident again.

With March being Women’s History Month, what would you say has been your biggest accomplishment to date?

My biggest accomplishment would be lecturing for my local dental society recently at an annual event for for female dentists called “Scrubs & Stilettos.” I used to attend this event as a new doctor and dreamed of presenting. Now I host a sold out Botox course at a venue that invites hundreds of my local peers from very diverse cultural backgrounds. It is rewarding to see us all together in a once male driven field. When I initially joined as a board member in my county in the early 2000’s, I was the only female black board member amongst a sea of males for years. I am proud to see that this is no longer the case.

Featured Image by Raymond Adadevoh