Pouty lips in the style of Kylie Jenner and Angelina Jolie are all the rage. Some people are born with genetics that give them that full-lipped, just-kissed look, but most of us aren’t. Lip plumpers give us a way to temporarily transform our lips without having to resort to injections and needles.
Why are fuller lips so hot?
Some of it is cultural, like how certain traits are valued more or less depending on the prevailing mode of thought at the times. In medieval Europe, round bodies were idolized. In modern times, our culture idolizes thin bodies as the standard of beauty. But all bodies are beautiful and time and trends and cultures can’t change that. Does that mean I think you should never alter your body? Honey, please. Ask my 10 tattoos if that’s what I mean. I’m saying you like the look of full lips, you can obtain that. I just want to be clear that doesn’t mean your natural lips aren’t beautiful too.
Some of why we think big lips are hot is entirely biological. We’re hardwired to find facial symmetry attractive and larger lips contribute to a more balanced look. As we age, our skin loses elasticity and collagen, causing lips to appear thinner and fine vertical lines appear–particularly if you’ve been a smoker. Plumper lips are a sign of youth. But probably the biggest reason we’re attracted to full lips is because of sex. When we’re aroused, our lips swell and flush with blood. Plump lips have that just-kissed look that signal to our primal brain that someone is sexual active and maybe available.
Is it weird for guys to want fuller lips too?
Of course not. Anyone of any gender can have or find plump lips sexy on anyone. If you want them, get your pout on!
How do lip plumpers work?
There are three main ways to increase your lip volume that I’ll talk about quickly: Surgery, suction, and chemical. We all know that Hollywood star look of collagen injected lips. That’s an option, mind you an expensive and painful one requiring a doctor. It is fairly permanent which none of the other options can say.
One way some people go about getting fuller lips is to stick their lips in a shot glass or suction product and suck out the air until it gets stuck. This pulls blood into your lips causing them to swell temporarily. It’s your lips, but my feeling is please don’t do this. You can end up with bruises, burst blood vessels, and stretch out the skin of your lips so that they’re more likely to have lines when the swelling goes down.
Chemical, in this instance, means applying something to your lips that makes them plump up and flush. Sometimes that’s referring to intensive moisturizers that help your lips retain more water. Other times your lips swell because the plumper is irritating the sensitive skin of your lips. You may feel tingling or mild stinging at the beginning. If you feel straight up pain, abort your pout-mission and find a different plumper.
The mild swelling lasts from one hour to all day depending the substance and how your body reacts to it. The most common plumping substances are derived from foods like cinnamon, ginger, mint, and capsaicin which is what gives hot peppers their heat. If you’re using a plumper that causes your lips to tingle or sting, make sure you’re using them as directed. You’re going for just-kissed, not bee-stung.
Some plumpers even work long term by stimulating your body to rebuild lost collagen or be able to retain more moisture. These products are slower acting but their results last longer than the immediate results that stinging plumpers provide.
So let’s look at the top plumpers in the market that will give you that sexy pout.
1. Jouer Pearl Lip Enhancer
The Jouer Pearl Lip Enhancer is a hydrating, tinted lip gloss and lip treatment. It soothes dry lips with moisturizers like shea butter, jojoba oil, and vitamin E. Hydration adds more volume, but to really fill out your lips, Jouer includes Maxi-Lip, a serum of sorts that contains moisturizing oils and natural peptides and that has been clinically proven to increase lip volume over time. So you’ll want to use this treatment often to get the full results. And you’ll want to because the formula is so smooth and creamy. It’s available in several tints including nude, peach, and rose. The gloss adds a great shine, though it isn’t shimmery despite the pearl name. If you’re looking for a non-stinging way to fill out your lips, this is a great option. If you need Kardashian lips today and fast, keep moving down the list.
- No pain
- Creamy hydrating gloss
- Choice of tints
- Maxi-Lip increases lip volume with continued use
- Not vegan
- Not as fast acting or dramatic as others
2. Christian Dior Addict Lip Maximizer
This is another one that isn’t an immediate dramatic change but works slowly over time. The Addict Lip Maximizer contains collagen, which is one of the things we begin to lose when we age, as well as marine based fillers and hyaluronic spheres. I know that sounds sci-fi, so let me break it down. For the life of me, I don’t know what marine based fillers means, but it’s the hyaluronic spheres that are the real powerhouses here. They’re molecules of a natural acid that love water like nothing else. When they are exposed to water, they suck it all up and fill up in a balloon shape.
In the Dior plumper, these sphere are dehydrated so they’re empty and all crumpled flat. When they soak into your lips with the moisturizers, they come into contact with water and begin to swell, increasing the volume of your lips. It’s about as close to the action of a surgical filler as you can get without a needle. The effect is temporary and takes time and regular use. The sheer, silky shine of the gloss is never sticky feeling and has a refreshing, minty tingle.
- Contains hyaluronic spheres and collagen
- Silky, non-sticky gloss
- Minty tingle
- Not fast acting
- Pricier brand
3. Jane Iredale Just Kissed Lip Plumper
The Just Kissed Lip Plumper by jane iredale is closer to balm or sheer lipstick than a gloss. It comes in a choice of eight warm shades all named after famous cities across the globe. This one has a subtle plumping effect that you don’t have to wait a week to get thanks to ginger root oil. Better yet, there is almost no tingling at all. Peptides in the plumper work much slower than the ginger, improving the health and smoothness of your lips with regular use. The balm goes on smooth and buttery with sheer coverage that won’t feel heavy or crease. Did I mention that it tastes divine? It’s got a zingy ginger mint flavor which I love.
Just Kissed is extremely hydrating. You’ve got avocado oil, beeswax, sunflower seed oil, shea butter, and jojoba oil. To exfoliate lips and nourish the delicate skin, Just Kissed includes lemon peel oil, tangerine peel oil, grape seed extract, cranberry extract, and green tea extract. It sounds like a spay day.
- Subtle plumping immediate and long term
- Choice of colors
- Gluten free and cruelty free
- Intensely hydrating
- Nourishing botanicals
- Results aren’t dramatic
- Not vegan
4. 37 Actives High Performance Anti-Aging & Filler Lip Treatment by Dr. Macrene
This lightweight lip primer is an ultra-hydrating oil. It’s packaged in frosted glass bottle with a metal roller ball applicator. To be more eco-friendly, there is no plastic at all in the bottle. Dr. Macrene uses a high concentration of hyaluronic acid spheres and anti-aging peptides to penetrate the lips and gently increase their volume from the inside. A base of coconut oil, sunflower seed oil, soybean oil, and shea butter keeps lips intensely hydrated. Antioxidant botanicals including goldenrod, mint, snowparsley, rose of winter, rosemary, and purple viper’s-bugloss nourish lips while slowing the aging process that causes fine lines. This plumper creates natural looking results over time with regular, twice a day use.
- Rated 4.5 out of five stars by users on Amazon
- Vegan and cruelty free
- Hydrating oils
- Contains hyaluronic spheres
- Contains no plastics, parabens, sulfates, phthalates, or fragrances
- Not everyone is wild about roller ball applicators
Find more 37 Actives High Performance Anti-Aging and Filler Lip Treatment information and reviews here.
5. Osmotics Blue Copper 5 Lip & Tuck
Copper has been called the fountain of youth of beauty products–I think that’s going a little far but it does do some pretty amazing things. Our bodies need copper to to build collagen, which gives your skin elasticity. More collagen equals fewer fine lines and fuller, younger skin. Plus copper stimulates your body to product its own hyaluronic acid which results in more plumping. Just to be safe, along with copper Osmotics included hyaluronic acid spheres in Lip & Tuck anyway. Hydration also increases lip volume and this gloss uses mineral oil and rich macadamia nut oil to keep your lips happy. And just in case you don’t want to wait, Lip & Tuck also contains menthol which has a cooling, minty tingle and is a mild irritant to cause lip flushing right away.
Price: $35.25 (5 percent off MSRP)
- Moisturizing macadamia nut oil
- Contains copper and hyaluronic acid spheres
- Clear, shiny gloss
- Tingling menthol
- Contains silicones and mineral oil
6. Dr. Brandt Xtend Your Youth Lip Filler & Volumizer
This gloss contains both hyaluronic acid, Maxi-Lip, and two other line smoothing pepetides: Snap-8 and Volulip. That’s packing in a whole lot of high quality plumping agents. They are all more long term though and less for immediate results. To smooth vertical lines while waiting for the peptides to do their thing, Xtend Your Youth includes deep moisturizers like sunflower seed oil, jojoba oil, beeswax, and vegetable oil. Vitamin E and extracts of grape seed, green tea, and white tea bring antioxidants to your lips and nourish your skin. With regualr use, verticle lines begin to fade so I would say it’s very successful as a filler. The plumping is more subtle.
- Contains hyaluronic acid spheres and three smoothing peptide solutions
- Great for erasing vertical lip lines
- Green tea and white tea extracts
- Not vegan
- Contains hydrogenated vegetable oil
7. Buxom Full-On Lip Cream
Buxom’s Full-On Lip Creams are rich lip glosses without all the sparkle and shimmer. They aren’t necessarily matte, but they don’t have that excessively wet look that other glosses do. This could be a good or a bad thing depending on your style. Buxom uses menthol to achieve that cooling, tingling feeling with subtle plumping. Hyaluronic acid spheres absorb deep into your lips and swell to increase volume. This cream is in what’s considered the line’s best shade, White Russian–a soft, neutral pink that looks great alone for a natural look or over lipstick.
- Contains hyaluronic acid spheres
- Cooling menthol
- Wears off when eating and drinking
8. Jouer Essential Lip Enhancer
This intensely moisturizing lip treatment by Jouer plays double duty of lip gloss when you’re out and hydrating balm when you’re just kicking around your place. It’s so creamy you’ll want to put it on your lips all the time–and that’s not a bad thing because it contains those smoothing peptide fillers like Maxi-Lip that over time reduce vertical lines and plump your lips. Jojoba oil, beeswax, and shea butter help lips feel healthier and hydrated. It’s not one of the tingling treatments so if you look forward to that cooling feeling, this isn’t for you. It’s a clear glossy balm so it can be worn by itself or over lip color, especially if your lipstick tends to make your lips feel dry and heavy.
- Contains smoothing peptides
- Super hydrating
- A little goes a long way
- Not vegan
9. Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker XL Lip Plumping Gloss
If you’ve been waiting for a tingle-heavy gloss that plumps fast and big, Sexy Mother Pucker is it. This clear gloss goes on smooth and after a moment or two, the tingling turns on and there’s no denying it’s working. If you have very sensitive lips and are not willing to put up with some serious tingles for your pouty lips, this isn’t for you. But if feeling like your lips are covered in pop rocks for 10 or so minutes is acceptable for immediately fuller lips that last around two hours, then go for it.
Sexy Mother Pucker (shout out to whoever got that name approved by PR) uses a plant oil infusion called LipSwell and menthol to produce its rapid volumizing effect. The only thing I’m not personally pleased with is the scent. It has a sugary, chocolate-mint smell. I’m not super into chocolate scents but if you are, that’s awesome. But no matter how much you like the scent, don’t lick your lips! You’ll have a very tingly tongue to deal with.
- Immediate, dramatic plumping
- Clear so it works alone or over lip color
- Tingling, stinging sensation is too intense for some
- Not everyone is into chocolate scent
10. Bareminerals Marvelous Moxie Lip Gloss
The plumping Marvelous Moxie lip glosses from bareMinerals come in several different shades and have a mild tingling effect thanks to peppermint oil. This mild irritant immediately starts plumping your lips for a subtle increase in volume that isn’t extreme and still looks natural. It’s not super long lasting, but you’ll get a few hours of poutiness before it wears off. Moxie also deeply hydrates your lips with shea butter, avocado butter, and murumuru seed butter. They also included naturally derived peptides that stimulate your lips to build up more collagen and hyaluronic acid spheres which plump your lips long term with regular use. The available colors are tinted but sheer and perfect for daytime wear.
- Immediate mild plumping
- Paraben and sulfate free
- Several color choices
- No animal testing
- Not everyone likes doe foot applicators