Lip plumping products that really work

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Jane Iredale Just Kissed Lip Plumper

Photo courtesy of Jane Iredale

From Angelina Jolie to that woman ringing up your purchases at the local drugstore, it seems that lush, full-looking lips are everywhere! (This can be super annoying when you aspire to have the same but don’t.)

While I’ll acknowledge that most lip plumpness can be attributed to pure genetics, there are ways to cheat your way to the same look; and you don’t have to pay a million bucks to do it! However, be careful.

Debra Jaliman, M.D., author of Skin Rules, says that some lip plumpers can cause burning and peeling of the lips.

“If you are sensitive to the ingredients, you can have an allergic reaction with severe redness and swelling sometimes requiring medical attention,” she said.  “Never use these products if you have a cold sore or split lip.”

Here’s a round up of some over-the-counter lip plumpers that you may (or may not, depending on your preference) want to give a try.

Jane Iredale Just Kissed Lip Plumper (Above left)

($25, Yahoo! Shopping)

Encased in a slim, gold case, this one gets my favorite vote for best packaging! However, we all know that it’s what’s inside that counts the most.

Upon application, there’s no real “plumping” sensation and I found that it gave just a tinge of color. The tingling didn’t set in until about 5-10 minutes after application, and even then it felt nice. I also liked that this stuff is super moisturizing.

Key ingredients include Shea butter, sunflower oil and avocado to soften while spearmint, peppermint oils and ginger root stimulate blood circulation to make lips look fuller.

Overall, I’d say that this is a great for everyday application. (Did I also mention that it also smells slightly like bubble gum? Love!)

erricone MD Lip Plumper

Photo courtesy of

Perricone MD Lip Plumper

($35, Yahoo! Shopping)

No gloss, no color, no frills. This little white tube contains a proprietary blend of anti-aging technologies that promise to minimize fine lines and enhance the lips natural lip contour. It’s like a white liquid and upon application gives you a matte look with absolutely no color.

However, if you take your everyday lip gloss or lipstick, you will notice that your lips do look smoother and fuller. So, essentially this stuff is like a great plumping, smoothing base without all the stinging action. (Which, in my beauty book, is a huge plus!)  

Secret Agent Beauty Secret Lip Affair

Photo courtesy of

Secret Agent Beauty Secret Lip Affair

($16 each,

Finally a cosmetics brand that gives you a choice in plumpness! What I love most about this brand is that it offers three levels of plumping action.

Level One (Diamond-Girl Detective) is a clear gloss that contains only a small amount of tingly action and lots of hydration. Level Two (Pretty Pink Provocateur) is a light pink gloss that ups the plumping (yet soothing) factor just a bit more. Level Three (Foreign-Intelligence Flirt) is a plum shade that’s only for those who want lots of plumping action (it really does sting!) and definitely not the one that I’d choose to rock in the collection.

Urban Decay Lip Junkie Lip Gloss

Photo courtesy of

Urban Decay Lip Junkie Lip Gloss


Minty, cooling, plumping, glossy goodness is how I would describe this one! Each one contains a cooling formula called Maxi Lip (to moisturize and plump) and promises to plump lips up to 40% when used daily for one month.

It feels so soothing that even if you aren’t looking for any plumping, it would be great to use as an everyday lip gloss.

Sally Hansen Lip Inflation Color-Full

Photo courtesy of

Sally Hansen Lip Inflation Color-Full


Before even applying, I was turned off by the scent (smells like a horrible spice-scented Christmas candle..yuck!) but the shades within this super glossy collection are on point.

It’s Renewable Plumping Spheres work to keep your lips looking luscious so you don’t have to worry about re-applying throughout the day. However, the sting of the plumping action was a little bit too much for me so this is one that I’d wear sparingly.

L’Oreal Infallible Plumping Lip Gloss

L’Oreal Infallible Plumping Lip Gloss


While I really did want to like this one (I mean, who doesn’t love L’Oreal?!) I didn’t notice anything impressive about it all. The actual color in the shades didn’t seem to last long and there was only a little bit of plumping action. However, I did enjoy applying it as the doe-foot applicator felt really soft on the skin but that was about it.

Sally Hansen Vita-C Lip Plumper

Photo courtesy of

Sally Hansen Vita-C Lip Plumper


A simple little orange balm, this goes on clear and can be used over (or under) your everyday lip gloss. I noticed absolutely no tingling sensation with this and (to be honest) don’t think it really plumped my lips at all.

However, it feels really good upon application and is apparently chock full of Vitamin C, Acai & Pomegranate. And, even though the packaging claims that these ingredients will give you fuller looking lips, I got no plumping action.

MAC PlushGlass

Photo courtesy of

MAC PlushGlass


Talk about a stinger! I’m usually an addict when it comes to anything MAC related, but this gloss is just a bit too much for me.

It promises to give a “cool-warm vanilla buzz” but it just plain out irritated my lips and I had to remove immediately after applying.

The only positive is that the shade range for the collection is pretty amazing.

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