This Lip Plumper Gloss Is Like Lip Filler and It’s Only $7
Yes, you can get fuller lips with lip plumper glosses. Skip the professional lip injections and get (at least temporary) results for a fraction of the price.
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Lip plumper glosses vs lip injections: What’s the difference?
Whether you were born with thin lips, or have started to lose volume over time, you might have considered lip enhancements via lip filler injections. There are a few ways to achieve fuller lips, and two of the main ones are lip plumping glosses and lip injections like Juvederm and Restylane fillers. (Do you have lip lines? Here’s what a dermatologist would do.)
“First and foremost, lip injections (also called lip fillers) are an invasive procedure done as an in-office treatment,” explains Lara Devgan, MD, a board-certified New York City plastic surgeon and the founder and CEO of Dr. Devgan Scientific Beauty, a luxury medical-grade skincare line. “It creates a more dramatic result. Lip injections can also improve symmetry in the lips.” Lip filler lasts between four and eight months on average.
As for lip plumping glosses, Dr. Devgan says, “Lip plumping glosses are amazing for people who are curious but not ready for injectable lip filler. These are non-invasive and less expensive. Lip gloss isn’t capable of rebalancing symmetry and proportion, but you can get one to two millimeters of visible lip plumping, which is about the equivalent of a syringe of lip filler.”
Lip filler is injected in a medical office by a certified professional for lasting results. Lip plumper glosses are topically applied and can be purchased from drug and beauty stores. (Here are dermatologists’ favorite OTC products.)
How do lip plumper glosses work?
“Lip plumping glosses contain ingredients which causes a skin reaction that results in localized swelling giving the lips a fuller look,” says New York City-based board-certified dermatologist Michelle Green, MD.
Essentially, lip plumping glosses can include anything from cinnamon (usually found in cheaper lip glosses) to hyaluronic acid (found in more expensive lip glosses) that stimulate lips and cause them to puff up temporarily. The result is a mild swelling that enhances what you were naturally born with. But, the effect lasts about as long as the lip gloss and won’t address unevenness or asymmetry.
“It’s not realistic to get a Kylie Jenner lip look with lip plumping gloss,” Dr. Devgan says. You’ll have to reapply to keep the effect going.
Which ingredients should you look for in a lip plumping gloss?
“The best ingredients to look for in your lip plumping gloss are hyaluronic acid, menthol, wintergreen, ginger, and capsaicin,” says Dr. Green. In fact, Juvederm fillers are made from a very highly cross-linked form of hyaluronic acid.
“There are two pathways to enlarge the lips: one involves hydration and the other one involves inflammation,” explains Dr. Devgan. She advises patients to look for lip plumping glosses with hydrating ingredients, like hyaluronic acid. “It draws in water molecules to create the plumping.” (Beware of the 10 mistakes that can cause dry lips.)
Which lip plumping gloss ingredients should you avoid?
“Certainly, if you have known allergies to any of the ingredients mentioned you should avoid lip plumping glosses which contain those ingredients,” Dr. Green advises. If you’re not sure, do a small spot test before applying to your entire lip area. (Here’s what causes chapped lips.)
Is it safe to kiss or have oral sex while wearing lip plumping glosses?
Technically, yes, it is safe unless your partner has a known allergy to any of the lip plumping ingredients. But, if you’re wearing a lip plumping gloss with cinnamon or capsaicin ingredients, it will give your partner’s skin a harmless pink flush and tingling sensation. “Harmless, but not ideal in an intimate situation,” Dr. Devgan says. “It’s best to avoid it.”
Best lip plumping glosses
Lip plumping glosses, especially those made with moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid and niacin, provide a safe and temporary plumping effect for the lips. Here are three lip plumping glosses I tried out (including my favorite $7 lip gloss) and had approved by medical experts. No needle required.
Maybelline Lifter Gloss
I picked up the Maybelline Lifter gloss after reading that it’s an affordable dupe for Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb ($19). Most of the Lifter colors were completely sold out at Target (a nod to how popular this gloss is) but I got it in Reef, a sheer pink shade. I don’t think I’ve ever actually finished a tube of lip gloss, but I’ve used almost the full bottle in two months.
The hyaluronic acid is hydrating. I get a subtle increase in volume and a temporary reduction in fine lines on my lips. You can see the shine from outer space (and on a Zoom call).
This lip gloss has Dr. Green’s seal of approval. “The high shine of this lip gloss defines the lips and gives the appearance of fuller lips with minimal plumping from the sodium hyaluronate but it does keep lips nourished and hydrated,” she says.
Dr. Lara Devgan Scientific Beauty Platinum Lip Plump
Every time I think I might want lip injections, I swipe on Platinum Lip Plump instead. This luxe formula is made with an innovative peptide complex. It’s rich in hyaluronate, niacin, ceramides, palmitoyl tripeptide, and nourishing nutrients.
The clear gloss goes on smoothly and has a subtly pleasant fruity scent. Unlike more affordable lip plumping glosses, the plumping effect lasts almost two hours. I also like that it’s designed to work with any skin tone, and can be layered over lipstick and liner.
Dr. Devgan knows her way around lip injections, and she’s the creator behind Platinum Lip Plump. “It gives you the look of lip filler in a clear gloss,” she says.
L.A. Girl Lip Plumper
After my success with the Maybelline Lifter Gloss, I wanted to try an even more affordable lip plumping gloss. I really like the slight tinted rose color of the L.A. Girl Lip Plumper and saw a definite fullness in my lips. But it does have a warming effect from the cinnamon that some might find off-putting.
It’s also slightly thicker than the Lifter gloss, and much thicker than Beauty Platinum, so it’s not as good for layering over a lipstick or liner. Still, it works to visibly plump lips and it’s a good price point if you just want to dip your toes in the water of this beauty trend.
“This also has high shine, which makes the lips look fuller and cinnamon which causes a tingling sensation and improves blood flow,” Dr. Green says. “The combination of the high shine and cinnamon gives a temporary volumizing effect.”
Next, learn about natural remedies for dry mouth.
- Lara Devgan, MD, MPH, FACS, a board-certified New York City plastic surgeon and the founder and CEO of Dr. Devgan Scientific Beauty
- Michelle Green, MD, New York City-based board-certified dermatologist