Lip injections hurt. The cosmetic treatment is torture for your bank account, too. Thankfully, there are alternative options via basic lip plumpers that can help achieve similar results without the pain or the price — and can fit in your purse. Not sure which product to try though? StudyFinds is here to help by narrowing down the best lip plumpers according to expert reviews.
While bigger is best when it comes to these products, there’s another factor to consider. A previous survey of more than 1,000 people from 35 different countries revealed symmetry — not size — was the deciding factor in determining the ultimate lip shape. In the study, which was published in the Journal of Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery, more than 60 percent of respondents chose the one-to-one ratio between the upper and lower lip as the most attractive shape.
Using lip plumping gloss only enhances shape. It doesn’t change lip shape like strategically placed dermal fillers. And like high-priced fillers deftly injected by skilled hands, it’s only temporary… lasting one to four hours. By comparison, depending on the type of injected filler, results can last months or even years. Dermal fillers are also typically less expensive than elective surgical procedures, but still way pricier than the products on our list.
While lip plumpers may seem superficial at their core, they can actually boost self-esteem. People often turn to beauty products like these in times of distress for a pick-me-up. A recent survey of 2,000 American women found that during the pandemic, 51 percent of women put on makeup and changed their looks in order to help them to cope with current affairs. This sense of control also had a direct impact on respondents’ moods as well with 36 percent reporting being in better spirits after incorporating new beauty products.
Keep in mind, whether it’s gloss, balm or cream, most lip plumpers contain various ingredients that increase blood flow. That means if it’s working, you’re probably going to feel it tingle. Also, lip plumpers rely on humectants, like hyaluronic acid, and are safe to use every day. So which lip plumpers reign supreme as the mother pucker of all pouts? StudyFinds visited six leading beauty websites’ reviews to come away with the five best lip plumpers recommended most. If we missed one, let us know your favorite in the comments below!
The List: Best Lip Plumpers, According to Experts
This gloss with a pleasant fragrance hydrates immediately, delivering a nice juicy plump throughout the day with a minty tingle. “Fans of the buzzy Dior Lip Oil should add its lip-plumping gloss to their beauty bag. Packed with volumizing spheres and hyaluronic acid, this is formulated for maximum fullness and hydration,” writes Vogue.
Harper’s Bazaar even notes that celebrities reach for it: “Not only does Bella Hadid reach for this plumping and hydrating lip gloss from Dior Beauty on a regular basis, but close to 2,000 Sephora shoppers do, too. One satisfied customer writes that the gloss ‘is the best. It’s not at all tacky and provides the most beautiful sheer wash of color. Plus it feels so great going on!'”
Cosmopolitan boasts, “Not only does this sweet-smelling gloss (which comes in six high-shine and two shimmer-spiked shades) give a plumping effect right away, but after four weeks of continued use, you may start to see smoother lips all day long, thanks to its collagen and marine-based formula.”
Who needs needles when plump, pillowy-soft lips are just a tingle away thanks to savvy makeup artist Patrick Ta? Ranked number one out of 27 lip plumpers tested by InStyle, this gloss lives up to its major namesake: “If Gigi Hadid, Megan Fox, and Kim Kardashian swear by Patrick Ta’s eponymous line of richly pigmented lipsticks, eyeliners and blushes, the celebrity makeup artist must be onto something. Even after trying 27 different lip plumpers, testers were convinced that the brand’s Major Volume Plumping Lip Gloss is the best of the best.”
Many reviewers mention it goes on a bit sticky, but the feeling subsides after the gloss settles. It’s available in five high-shine, semi-sheer shades: Clear, beige, baby pink, pink, and red. “Buxom’s Full-On Gloss tingled more intensely than other products we tried, but the sensation was temporary, and overall, it felt nice on the lips. Our tester liked the smooth consistency, though it got a little stickier the longer it was on,” writes Byrdie.
According to Harper’s Bazaar, “A few swipes of this makeup artist-approved gloss from Patrick Ta leaves behind a glass-like finish with optimal lip moisture, since it features a blend of vitamin E, plus avocado and jojoba oils.”
If it’s tingling you want, tingling you will get by applying Buxom’s Full-On Plumping gloss. A blend of peptides, hyaluronic acid, and vitamins A and E nourish lips, too. “After a swipe or two, the gloss drenches lips in a refreshing, chilly sensation that the brand describes as ‘tantalizing.’ Some find that tingle to be too much, but others, like our tester, found the sensation to be an invigorating reminder that the product was hard at work,” writes InStyle.
According to USA Today: “Reviewers say that they wear the lip gloss everyday, with some having used it for years. ‘This is the only lip gloss I will ever use,’ says one fan. Another said, ‘My go-to lipgloss! This color is so perfectly neutral and gives my lips that extra plump that they need. I’ve been wearing this for years and highly recommend it!”
It comes in lots of pretty colors ranging from light pinks and nudes to punchier picks like red and mauve. “One of the best-selling lip plumpers at Sephora, Buxom’s formula leaves behind a tingly-in-a-good-way feeling that results in a perfectly swollen lip look. As an added bonus, this plumper is available in up to 17 shades and three kinds of finishes,” notes Harper’s Bazaar.
Paraben and cruelty-free, this gloss is no newcomer to best of lists. Consisting of a trademarked ingredient that supports natural collagen; hyaluronic acid (to improve plumpness) and vitamin B3, which acts as a skin-conditioning agent with smoothing properties — it’s a grande choice. “This Grande Cosmetics lip gloss is formulated to plump lips in five minutes or less, making it a travel makeup-bag staple for nourishment and volume on the go,” writes Vogue.
According to Insider, though the plumping effect occurs quickly, all-in-all it takes a little while to reach its true fullness. “The GrandeLIPS Hydrating Lip Plumper Gloss is among Grande Cosmetics’ most popular products – and for good reason. Despite the fact that the swelling started almost immediately, it took about 15 to 20 minutes for the product to kick into full gear. Plus, the clear, shiny hue is ideal for layering over other lipsticks (liquid ones, too!), glosses, stains, and balms,” adds Insider.
Harper’s Bazaar also loves this product. Why? “With shades ranging from clear to brown-pink, this hyaluronic acid and collagen-infused gloss makes it easy to make plumped lips a part of your every day look.”
This super-light, non-sticky gloss is a classic any babe wanting big lips will have in their makeup bag. Some may even consider it a cult fave given the brand’s history going back to the late ’90s. Fast forward to 2022, and this gloss is tops on TikTok, according to Insider: “Too Faced’s Lip Injection Extreme Lip Plumper may be the most expensive lip plumper on this list, but trust me when I say it’s well worth the splurge. This cult-favorite, which has been around for a few years, definitely delivers on the plumping effect.”
The cruelty-free formula achieves serious results without the use of harmful sulfates, parabens, or phthalates. Most reviewers said it lasts two to three hours before they needed to reapply. “The tingling, almost carbonated feel of this plumping gloss comes courtesy of capsicum—the same stuff that makes peppers hot. No need to worry about spice, though, the capsicum here is all about stimulating blood flow to your lips to plump them and add a dose of all-natural color,” adds Harper’s Bazaar.
“If you’re cool with a little tingle, this here is your bb. And if you’re really cool with the tingle and want even more volume, opt for the Lip Injection Maximum Plump Extra Strength Lip Plumper. But be warned, my lips and the surrounding skin were red for about an hour,” cautions Cosmopolitan.
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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.