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Best lip plumper 2021: For a plumper pout without the needle

Jade Vincent
30 Nov 2021
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Here’s our pick of the best products for lush lips

Luscious, pouting lips have never been out of style, but a scroll through any Instagram feed reveals that fuller lips are definitely having a moment. Led by celebrities from Scarlett Johansson to Kylie Jenner, the trend for full lips has seen a sharp recent uptick in the use of injectable fillers to promote volume.

While surgical fillers are increasingly popular, they’re certainly not the only way to achieve fuller and firmer lips.

Cosmetic lip plumpers are a temporary and pain-free alternative that use hydrating ingredients and natural stimulants to add subtle volume, definition and shape. The effect is instant, and the cost much lower than that of an injectable filler – and, because the plumping effect is temporary, lip plumpers are perfect if you want to change up your look for a party or special occasion without long-term alteration.

Here, we’ve covered how to choose and use a lip plumper, and below we’ve rounded up our tried-and-true favourites to help you put your best pout forward.

How to choose the best lip plumper for you

What is a lip plumper?

A lip plumper is a gloss, balm or serum that’s designed to produce a temporarily fuller and plumper look. Lip plumpers contain hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid to maximise the moisture in the delicate skin of the lips.

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They also have stimulant ingredients designed to increase blood flow in the lips (such as cinnamon and menthol essential oils) to make them flush and swell.

Depending on the ingredients used, you’ll feel a tingling or slight stinging sensation on application, but this settles down after a few minutes, leaving you with a plusher pout.

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What results can I expect from a lip plumper?

A lip plumper will moisturise and condition lips, and temporarily and subtly add volume. The effects typically last a few hours, but by conditioning the lips and improving moisture retention, some will have longer-lasting effects if regularly applied.

For best results, apply lip plumper after the rest of your skincare routine and before you apply makeup. Some lip plumpers include a tint or colour, so can be used in place of your usual lipstick or gloss. If your lip plumper is not tinted, allow the product to dry before applying lip liner and your favourite conditioning lipstick.

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The best lip plumpers to buy in 2021

1. Duwop Lip Venom: Best for a classic pout

Price: £15 | Buy now from Lookfantastic

One of the first lip plumpers to hit the market, back in the early 2000s, DuWop’s Lip Venom combines moisturising jojoba and avocado oils to soften and condition the lips, with spicy cinnamon and ginger to give your pout a tingling, rosy flush. The stimulant ingredients mean Lip Venom stings a little on application, but this quickly subsides, leaving you with a pretty rosebud pout. Shiny but not sticky, Lip Venom has a flattering pink sheen that works well when worn by itself. The lightweight gloss can also be layered over lipstick for a more pigmented finish.

The bottle is on the small side, but you don’t need a lot of product to create a plumper lip. Duwop recommends dotting it along the upper lip, concentrating on the centre before sweeping lightly across the bottom lip. It’s easy to see why this lip plumper sparked a makeup revolution, and still remains a firm favourite with celebrities and influencers nearly two decades after launch.

Key specs - pack size: 3.5ml

Buy now from Lookfantastic


2. Indeed Labs hydraluron+ volumizing lip treatment: Best plumping treatment for dry lips

Price: £15 | Buy now from Feelunique

Canadian beauty brand Indeed Labs has made waves with its science-backed, simple formulas that produce real results. Hydraluron, the brand’s flagship ingredient, is a form of hyaluronic acid designed to penetrate the skin’s layers and provide deep and lasting hydration.

This lip treatment combines hydraluron with moisturising shea butter to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, with stimulating plant extracts including coffee and mango seed to visibly volumise lips. The dense product feels comforting on the lips and is particularly good for dry, chapped lips in winter weather. Used regularly, the hydrating formula will help the lips to better retain their own moisture, leading to softer lips over time. Suitable for dry and sensitive skin, the Indeed Labs lip plumper is also cruelty-free.

Key specs - pack size: 9.3ml

3. Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme: Best lip plumper for maximum volume

Price: £22 | Buy now from Lookfantastic

Too Faced’s Lip Injection Extreme is our recommendation if you’re looking for a seriously plumped-up pucker. A sequel product to Too Faced’s original Lip Injection, the Extreme formula contains a higher concentration of stimulant ingredients that will cause the blood vessels in your lips to dilate, giving an immediate flushed and plumped appearance. Like other lip plumpers on our list, the gloss contains moisturising ingredients to smooth and condition lips – here, jojoba and avocado essential oils keep lips looking and feeling their best. There’s quite a strong tingle on application, which lasts around 30 minutes, and is noticeable but not too uncomfortable.

Vegan and cruelty-free, Lip Injection Extreme can be applied directly onto bare lips or over liner and lipstick. If you’re looking for a visible, filler-without-fillers look for your lips this is the product to reach for.

Key specs - pack size: 4ml

Buy now from Lookfantastic


4. Milk Makeup Electric Glossy Lip Plumper: Best tinted lip plumper

Price: £21 | Buy now from Cult Beauty

This soft, juicy, plumping lip gel comes in a range of six pretty tints to give a flush of volume and colour to lips. Milk’s natural vegan formula contains Sichuan pepper to stimulate the lips (the effect is what happens when you eat a bowl of spicy noodles), and plant-derived collagen and jojoba oil to soften and nourish lips from within.

Regular use promises to improve lip condition and elasticity over time, leading to softer and smoother lips. This all-in-one formula means there’s no need to carry separate plumper and gloss, and, with six flattering shades to choose from, it’s easy to add both colour and plumpness to your pout.

Key specs - pack size: 9ml

Buy now from Cult Beauty


5. Dior Addict Lip Maximizer: Best lip plumper for natural results

Price: £28 | Buy now from Boots

Using a blend of collagen and marine-based fillers, as well as hydrating hyaluronic acid, Dior Addict’s Lip Maximizer will leave you with subtly fuller and softer-looking lips. Of all the lip plumpers on our list, this product gives the most natural results, with only the slightest tingle on application.

With eight shades to complement every skin tone, including pink, raspberry, and rosewood, Dior’s lip plumper feels as good as it looks and has a fresh mint and vanilla scent. It works well when layered over a lipstick, but can also be worn solo thanks to the pretty, sheer colours. The product does tend to wear off pretty quickly, so pack a tube in your handbag if you’re eating or drinking.

Key specs - pack size: 6ml

Buy now from Boots


6. Barry M Cosmetics That’s Swell! XXXL Plumping Lip Gloss: Best budget plumper

Price: £5 | Buy now from Superdrug

British beauty brand Barry M has long been known for its colourful, fun and, above all, effective budget cosmetics – and this volumizing lip gloss packs a spicy punch at a lip smacking price.

Formulated with natural collagen, moisturising castor seed and soya bean oils to condition lips, this gloss also contains ginger and cayenne pepper to produce the all-important tingle that gives lips a gentle swell. Lips look shiny and hydrated, and the spicy tingle definitely creates a plumper look. The gloss is slightly sticky on the lips in comparison to some of the higher-end options on our list, but this is an excellent budget option.

Key specs - pack size: 2.5ml

Buy now from Superdrug


7. Sarah Chapman Overnight Lip Concentrate – best lip plumper for sore or mature lips

Price: £32 | Buy now from Cult Beauty

Keep your lips looking smooth, full and moisturised for longer with the Sarah Chapman Skinesis Overnight Lip Concentrate. Using a nourishing blend of active ingredients and natural antioxidants to stimulate collagen production, this serum and oil hybrid is the perfect pick-me-up for dry, chapped lips that need a little extra care.

Proven to hydrate and protect delicate skin on lips and smooth out fine lines, the Skinesis Lip Concentrate is designed to be left on overnight. Simply apply the product over clean lips and around the surrounding skin using the pen-tip applicator, and you’ll wake up to a plumped and perfected pout.

While it’s not cheap, we’re sure that the Sarah Chapman Skinesis Lip Concentrate is an investment that you, and your lips, won’t regret.

Key specs - pack size: 6.5ml

Buy now from Cult Beauty

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