You’ve probably found yourself bewildered by the many lip-plumping products Sephora offers (like Too Faced’s Lip Injection, which feels like your mouth is burning off). After all, several of the plumpers are over $20, which, if you think about it, is a lot of money to make your lips (very temporarily) a bit bigger.
As you know, I took a Lip Plumper challenge by trying the Fullips product last month. I’m aware that I looked like I was bit by a venomous snake, but I can’t deny Fullips’ results! However, I don’t condone bruising your beautiful lips when you could just use some Kylie Jenner’s pretend lip plumping ritual lip liner and some gloss. So, how do lip plumpers work? Here are a few of the things you should know about these products.
- Lip plumpers coax the blood rush to the surface of your lips when stimulated. Basically, your lips are your own personal face boners! Lip plumping glosses do work, and they do because they actually irritate your lips, which is what causes them to fatten and swell. My favorite lip plumpers have included Kiko’s Extra Volume Lip Gloss and Fusion Beauty Lip Fusion. I would suggest trying them on at the store before purchase because some have the potential to make the skin around your lips red and itchy.
- It’s all about the ingredients. The ingredients that most lip-plumping glosses utilize include cinnamon, ginger, mint, and hot pepper, all things that give your lips that cold, tingly feeling. Many other lip plumpers utilize alpha-hydroxy ingredients or collagen, which is a naturally occurring protein, but one that we can also add to our lips (and skin) via beauty products. Often, these products help boost lip fullness over time by encouraging collagen production. I believe this actually works!
- Hydration matters. That stinging you feel is proof that the product is working, but it’s usually temporary – unlike fillers or Fullips’ longer-lasting results. I think the real kick with most of these products is their hydration factor. Hydration really is the secret to making anything seem fresh, full, and healthy.
- Lustre is key. When you use shiny lip gloss in the center of your lips, you immediately draw the eye to the center of the mouth, where the lip is at its fullest. This is why so many lip plumping ingredients come in gloss form.
- All plumping lip glosses work differently for different people. Lip gloss results depend on your lip size and your body’s individual reaction to a specific gloss. I’ve had great results from cheap lip glosses like Wet N’ Wild Mega Plump and lame results from the more expensive brands.
- Vegans: take note. If you’re a vegan who is worried about using lip plumpers, I have bad news: your fears are validated! Lip Fusion contains fish collagen while other lip plumpers use extracted from calfskin.
Long story short: lip-plumping glosses do work, but their results vary from person to person.
Lip plumping glosses can make a temporary difference in how your lips look, but not as much as getting a filler injected by a doctor. They work by irritating lip skin and increasing blood flow to the area, which results in swelling and increased volume. However, they are generally safe to use unless you have an allergy or sensitive skin.
12 Lip Plumping Hacks That Will Make You The Angelina Jolie Of Your Friends
I always wanted a set of big, full, pouty lips. I only have one. My lower lip is pretty full, but my upper lip is thin and pointy. When I was 12 and my orthodontist put braces on my top teeth, my mother said it made my lips look much prettier. When the orthodontist took them off when I was 17, I was stunned and disappointed to remember that I did not have full lips after all. I almost asked him to put them back on.
But getting braces is a bit extreme, so here are 12 easy, non-surgical lip plumping hacks that will make you the Angelina Jolie of your friends.
1. Red lips
Dark red lips with a bit of gloss at the center of your bottom lip will make your mouth look huge.
2. Frosted lip trick
A bit of shimmer applied like this will make your lips look plumper.
3. Highlighter goes around the outside
You can contour everything these days.
4. Natural-looking lip plumping tutorial
This one actually leaves you looking like you’re not wearing anything on your lips.
5. Drawn-on lips
Don’t have full lips? Just draw them on.
6. More highlight and shadow tricks
A little bit of highlight in the cupid’s bow and at the center bottom of your lip can make your lips look all pouty.
7. Guide to drawing on your lips
If you want to re-draw your mouth but aren’t sure which look to go for, here’s a quick guide.
8. Ombré lips
It’s certainly effective.
9. Olive Oil and cinnamon lip plumping scrub
This little DIY lip scrub is an easy at-home plumper.
10. Cayenne and Kool-Aid lip plumper
This seems scary, but also possibly delicious.
11. Lip plumpers from the store
Personally, I like the ones that hurt when you put them on because it makes me think they’re working.
12. Tissue lip plumper
If you aren’t going to have to talk or eat and want to make your lips look bigger, you can roll up a little piece of Kleenex or tissue and stick it under your upper lip. That’s what my mother used to tell me to do to make my lips look more even. It works, but you can’t really talk or you’ll risk spitting wet tissue at somebody.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website's content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra's expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.