Lip Plumping Makeup Before and After | POPSUGAR Beauty

No needles or injections here, folks


While some are blessed with a naturally voluptuous pout, others (including myself) seek assistance via the world of beauty; whether that be with injectable cosmetic enhancements or through the art of makeup, there’s an option for everyone to live out the coveted Kylie Jenner fantasy. And while I’m not opposed to either, it’s the latter that I’ve been rockin’ with as of late – after all, it is a lot more accessible to the masses! Enter: the trusted lip plumper.

We’ve come a long way from the duck lip challenge circa 2015, with lip-plumping formulas evolving with every new launch. From Too Faced’s longtime hero Lip Injection Extreme to Il Makiage’s market newbie, the Uncensored Lip Plumping Gloss, there are a bountiful of brands jumping onto the inflated kissers hype. And FYI, they need not burn the hell outta your skin!

In recent years, lip plumpers have undergone a much-appreciated makeover (soz) and thanks to natural plumping humectants like hyaluronic acid, we’re now able to draw moisture to the lips as well as achieve that plumping effect. But which ones actually work? Well, I took on the task of trialling the most raved-about lip plumpers and glosses on the market to find out which are worth parting with your cash for and which are a little – pardon my French – com si, com very average. Someone’s gotta do it, hey?

So, keep reading to hear all my thoughts on the eight best lip plumpers, including comparative before and after photos. You’re very welcome.




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Instead of an intense tingle, Il Makiage’s Lip Plumping Gloss feels extremely cooling on the lips with a strong minty scent to it – so much so that it’s as if one has juiced 10 Trebor Extra Strong mints and slathered its remnants onto my pout. Am I selling it to ya?

To my credit card’s frustration, this is a top-performing pick of mine, ticking all of the hydration, comfort, pigmentation, colour and ultra-maximising boxes. ‘Safe Word’ is my favourite shade, complementing my olive-toned complexion perfectly – even if I do say so myself.

Tingle sensation: 5/10


Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Heat Universal Lip Luminizer + Plumper

Gloss Bomb Heat Universal Lip Luminizer + Plumper

Something about Fenty Beauty just hits different; whether that’s because it’s a direct descendant of Rihanna (step aside RZA and Riot) or because of their hard-working formulas, there’s not one product from the brand that the Cosmo Beauty team doesn’t love. And the Gloss Bomb Heat is no exception.

The pigment sits somewhere between being vivid enough to notice but ‘guised enough that you can put it on without a mirror (aka, overlining mistakes can go amiss). The plumping effect isn’t at all uncomfortable but really does look like I’ve had my lips ‘cosmetically enhanced’ – in the juiciest, most glossy way possible. Plus, the Haribo scent is a winner, in my eyes.

Tingle sensation: 1/10


NYX Professional Makeup Duck Plump Lip Plumping Gloss (Various Shades)

Duck Plump Lip Plumping Gloss (Various Shades)

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New to the market, NYX’s Duck Plump Lip Plumping Gloss ain’t for the faint-hearted. Like all, the plumping sensation was tolerable, however, it did not go unnoticed. At first, I ranked it a 6 but then as the minutes passed, it grew to a 7, then 8, 9 and eventually, 10. In other words, it feels as if you’ve smothered your lips in chilli… so, unlike me, I’d recommend going in with a light hand! Less is more, in this case.

The pigment speaks for itself and the shade ‘Hall of Fame’ really is as outstanding as one would assume. Glossy yet opaque and ofc, with a duck-like plump. Quack.

Tingle sensation: 10/10

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Project Lip Plumping Lip Oil (clear)

Plumping Lip Oil (clear)
Now 20% Off

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When I say this doe-foot applicator is like a pillow to the lips, it really is like a pillow to the lips. Soft, sumptuous and how I imagine a rich, middle-aged woman’s silk shawl would feel (one can aspire). Other than the incredibly aesthetic packaging and comforting applicator, the formula of this lip plumper itself is the epitome of a lip oil; hydrating, smooth and not at all sticky.

I wouldn’t say, however, that this product lends itself to a fuller pout but its sister product, the Matte Plumping Primer certainly does. So, I would recommend inflating your lips with the matte primer first and then topping with this oil for shine.

Tingle sensation: 1/10


Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme Lip Plumper

Lip Injection Extreme Lip Plumper

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Needing no introduction, Too Faced’s Lip Injection Plumper is an OG fave in the beauty community. Now, the brand itself has seven (!!) lip plumpers in its collection, so, it can be tricky to know the differences between them all, as well as which would work for you. Luckily for us, however, Too Faced has provided a very handy chart of plump levels, benefits, and finishes to compare each and every one.

Variety aside, I opted to try out the clear ‘Extreme’ edition that IMO, has created the fullest-looking pout out of all the products in this lineup. No needles or injections here, folks!

And not only is the intensely firey formula made to plump but the infusions of vitamin E and avocado oil really do make for smooth and softened lips. It’s giving Bratz doll, in the best way possible.

Tingle sensation: 9.5/10


DIOR Addict Lip Maximizer 6ml

Addict Lip Maximizer 6ml

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This is undoubtedly a luxe product that feels comfortable on the lips but for a whopping £32, I didn’t feel the effects of a maximised pout – even though it did give off a minty fresh, subtle tingle and claims ‘immediate volume effect +36%’.

On the plus side, the gloss does give shine, hydration and a lick of colour and is available in a wide range of shades with clear, intense, shimmering and holographic finishes.

Tingle sensation: 3/10

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Barry M Cosmetics That’s Swell XXL Plumping Lip Gloss (Various Shades)

That's Swell XXL Plumping Lip Gloss (Various Shades)

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With a different sensation from the rest in this lineup, Barry M’s plumping gloss is one of my faves. Rather than a burning chilli feeling, it almost gives my pout a pins and needles experience – though, no need to worry, folks, because the innovative blend of ingredients (that includes Sichuan pepper and ginger root extract) delivers a safe yet plumped pout. While it’s not the most dramatic before and after transformation, per my statement above, it is one of the most comfortable on the lips and therefore a top pick.

Clearly, with impulse and no expectations, I picked out the most obscure shade on offer, opting for the pineapple yellow colour which is named, yep, you guessed it: ‘Pineapple’. While the colour itself doesn’t transfer onto the lips, what does is the intense scent; sweet and fruity.

Tingle sensation: 6/10


Maybelline Lifter Gloss Plumping Lip Gloss Lasting Hydration Formula With Hyaluronic Acid and Chilli Pepper

Lifter Gloss Plumping Lip Gloss Lasting Hydration Formula With Hyaluronic Acid and Chilli Pepper
Now 20% Off

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This gloss not only provides an intense tingling sensation for visible plumping effects but is a hydrating hero, too, thanks to the additions of hyaluronic acid and chilli pepper. Yep, this bad boy is giving extra extra hot peri-peri Nandos vibes. Lather on the lips for a radiant tinted sheen and subtle fleck of shimmer.

The shade ‘Mauve Bite’ that I’m modelling (Hailey Bieber, who?!) is the perfect your-lips-but-better colour.

Tingle sensation: 8/10


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