Getting plump lips in the past used to be just a matter of winning the genetic lottery—either you’re born with them or not. While there are now ways to alter your lips to become fuller, these usually involve surgery or injecting fillers. And even if you can get over your fear of needles or going under the knife, these procedures cost a pretty penny.
What’s a thin-lipped girl to do?
Enter the lip plumper. Usually coming in a form similar to lip gloss, these products promise to make your lips bigger. While the effects of some of these products are just temporary, they are definitely easier to get than fillers or surgery. And they’re much cheaper as well.
So how do they work?
Lip plumpers usually contain a natural substance that mildly irritates your lips. These include cinnamon, peppermint, wintergreen, and capsicum from hot peppers. By irritating your lips, these substances boost blood flow, causing mild swelling and redness. And that irritation also the reason why you feel mild stinging or tingling when you use a lip plumper.
But that’s just one part of the equation. Many plumpers also leave behind a shiny gloss, which creates the illusion of a fuller pout. Some have moisturizing ingredients, too. Moisturized lips not only look plumper because they have fewer lines and wrinkles; they also retain the water in your lips to help retain a full shape. And still other lip plumpers have ingredients that claim to boost collagen and elastin production to deliver longer-lasting results.
Then there’s Kylie Jenner’s preferred tool for plumping lips—a little suction cup device that squeezes your lips for up to four minutes to make them literally look fuller. If that tool sounds scary, then just opt for the other lip plumpers that you just spread on before your lip color.