A co-founder of Le Jolie Medi Spa, Brian Nourian, was asked why someone might want to use a lip plumper, and what benefits they can provide. Here’s what he had to say:
“Whether your lips are au natural or have been cosmetically enhanced, lip plumpers can add an instant boost of plumping and shine. They’re great for red carpet or special events as there is no downtime after using them, and they offer instant results. If you’re thinking about going under the knife, they’re also a nice, non-committal way to enhance your natural lip shape and see what your lips look like slightly enhanced if you’ve never gotten fillers or injections.”
What should you look for when shopping for lip plumpers?
According to Nourian, “For that coveted bee stung look, seek out plumpers that utilize hyaluronic acid and collagen, as both ingredients help draw hydration to the top level of the skin to naturally plump and define lips. Avoid harsh ingredients like peppermint oil and cinnamon, as these ingredients work to boost lip shape by irritating the skin to increase blood flow to the surface. These irritants are doing more harm than good.”
With Nourian’s insights in mind, here are the best lip plumpers on the market.
Best Overall: Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme Lip Plumper
Working with thin, lifeless lips? With the Too Faced Lip Injection lip gloss, there’s no need to pout. Beauty sleuths swear by the patented formula’s plumping superpowers that are “based on medically-proven blood vessel-dilating technology,” according to the brand. The gloss is packed with hydrating ingredients, as well as pepper extract that enhances your lips with heat and tingle. Just a thin layer is fast-acting and long-lasting for Kylie Jenner-level results.
We can’t talk about lip plumpers without giving Buxom a shoutout. The volume-focused brand is big on big lips, offering an entire line of plumping products, including a balm, liner, serum, two lipstick formulas, and of course, its best-selling plumping gloss polish that flawlessly fakes a filler-like pout.
With a selection of more than 100 pigmented shades in three lustrous finishes, its glamorous glossy effect is certainly one of our favorites. Equally as impressive, the Buxom lip plumper features a peptide-infused formula and a refreshingly tingly feel that provides the potent plumping power you’d expect from the brand, while vitamins A and E offer lasting moisture.
Best Drugstore Option: Maybelline Lip Lifter Gloss Hydrating Lip Gloss with Hyaluronic Acid
At only $7 a tube, this drugstore lip plumper is bringing full lips to the masses, with benefits that rival those of more expensive options. Maybelline’s top-rated Lip Lifter Gloss literally does it all — volume, high-shine, and hydration — at an unbeatable price. And unlike many glosses priced at three times the cost, its moisturizing formula is boosted by hyaluronic acid for a smoother and fuller effect. Nearly 7,500 Amazon reviewers love it for creating an ultra-glossy pouty look, and with a gorgeous 10-shade color selection, you’re guaranteed to find one you’ll love, too.
Not to forget, beauty enthusiasts continually mention this gloss formula to the infamous Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb.
Best Affordable Option: NYX Filler Instinct Plumping Lip Polish
Sure, every lip plumper on this list is far more affordable than fillers, but if you’re looking for a pout-enhancing option that’ll really save some pennies, this under-$6 gloss from NYX provides big payoff at a reasonable price. Its tingly, plumping formula is packed with light-reflecting emollients that make your lips look fuller with a single glossy swipe, while its feather-proof coverage minimizes the appearance of fine lines for a super smooth finish. The gloss is available in six sheer shades, but the same formula is also available in a long-wearing lipstick form if you’d rather pack on the pigment.
Best Splurge: Dior Addict Lip Maximizer Plumping Lip Gloss
You (yes, you) are an icon, and therefore deserve Dior’s iconic celeb-loved lip gloss — Bella Hadid is also a fan. At $30, it doesn’t disappoint on the plumping front, and its price point fully pays off with results you’ll notice literally seconds after applying. Its vegan formula features one standout skincare ingredient: hyaluronic acid for long-lasting hydration and fuller lip volume. In fact, the brand claims your lips will be significantly smoother in just four weeks with prolonged use, so start lacquering up. It comes in six lustrous shades, plus two shimmery options that’ll make your lips look even more voluminous in the light.
Best Sting-Free Formula: Charlotte Tilbury Collagen Lip Bath Gloss
Not to totally shade other lip plumpers, but many contain mild irritants like cinnamon, capsicum, and even bee venom that cause your lips to swell and sting in the process. Instead, Charlotte Tilbury’s high-shine Lip Bath Gloss promotes a pain-free payoff with gentle mustard sprout extract. And because hydration is key to achieving that ultra-plush pouty effect, nourishing marine collagen and coconut oil will give your lips some much-needed moisture.
It’s available in five colors — including universally flattering favorites like Pillowtalk and Walk of No Shame — that are each formulated with shimmery pearlescent pigments, reflecting light to create an illusion of larger lips.
Best for Hydrating: PCA SKIN Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Lip Booster
PSA for anyone who applies lip plumpers a little too often (you know who you are): Excessive use can lead to dry or chapped skin, especially if your treatment of choice intentionally uses an irritating ingredient to plump up that pout. What’s worse, dry, flaky skin can actually minimize the appearance of lip volume, so you feel the need to keep reaching for the same product that caused your skin to crack in the first place.
This super hydrating option from PCA Skin turns the tables on moisture-sucking lip plumpers with a nourishing and gentle formula you’ll never regret using. Plumping peptides make your lips look full and supple, but its moisturizing power is equally impressive with hyaluronic acid and vitamin E included in the lineup of soothing ingredients for long-term results.
For ultra-thin lips, the Tiktok-famous Derol Lip Plumper delivers needle-free results without a visit to the derm. The set includes two lip plumpers: one with ginger essence for daytime use as a volumizing lip gloss and another with mint for nighttime use as a leave-on mask. Both contain vitamin E and collagen for a fuller, more moisturized look and feel, and feature a lightweight, non-sticky formula for hours of comfortable wear. Reviewers say both plumpers burn pretty intensely upon application, but the feeling is, of course, far less painful than nip tuck.
Best for Lasting Results: GrandeLIPS Hydrating Lip Plumper
If you’re looking for more than just a fling with your lip plumper, lock down a longterm commitment with a volumizing treatment that’s luckily pretty easy to fall for. The brand recommends applying the gloss twice daily for 30 days to ensure a long-lasting volumizing effect. Best of all: Its high-gloss formula will love your lips right back with nourishing ingredients like Volulip and hyaluronic acid that’ll moisturize your skin while promoting collagen production for natural fullness.
And if you’re merely looking for instant gratification, no judgement — the fast-acting formula noticeably improves volume in less than five minutes. Purchase it in 10 sheer, high-gloss colors, including rosy-hued dusty taro and peachy toasted apricot.
Best Long-Term Plumper: Fillerina Lip Plump Grade 1
The first thing you’ll notice when applying this product is the intense but not unpleasant numbing sensation that overtakes your lips. Unlike other products, this plumper is designed for longterm use and lasting effects. Users should apply the formula from this medical-looking applicator every couple of hours each day for optimal results. If you re-apply lip balm throughout the day, this habit-friendly device is your friend for gaining an attractively swollen-looking smile.
Best Serum: BeautyBio The Pout: Volumizing Lip Serum
Go beyond the gloss with a balm-like serum that’ll serve you far beyond your done-up days. Collagen, squalane, and hyaluronic acid — a dream team of powerhouse ingredients — plump and nourish lips to put fine lines and wrinkles to bed. Two clear, glossy shades can be applied throughout the day to help achieve perfectly volumized and supple lips without the distraction of tints and glitter. But if you do prefer a surge of color, the brand’s shimmery sparking rosé option might make you feel a little more put-together.
Best Treatment: Clinique Moisture Surge Lip Hydro-Plump Treatment
Plumping and hydration go hand-in-hand, so it’s no wonder why this volumizing moisture treatment works so well. Its gentle fragrance-free formula is ideal for sensitive skin types thanks to an ingredient list rich in lipids, shea butter, and ceramides that work together to plump, moisturize, and soothe. And not only is it multitasking, but it can also be used multiple ways: as a balm for an instant boost of hydration, a five-minute treatment to condition lips before applying makeup, or even as an overnight mask to maximize its nourishing benefits. No matter how you use it, the feather-light consistency is ultra comfortable to wear, so you can apply it day or night without that dreaded sticky, weighed down feel.
The secret to maximizing the results of your lip-plumping gloss is starting with a great foundation. Give your pucker an extra punch of volume and hydration with a mask that’ll prep your pout for the next step in the process. Unlike your favorite face mask, Tatcha’s leave-on treatment doesn’t need to be rinsed off or removed after applying. In fact, its jelly-like formula absorbs into the skin to fully utilize nourishing ingredients like squalane and Japanese peach that lock in moisture, plump fine lines, and improve fullness. The brand recommends using this mask before bed so it can work its magic while you sleep, but its lightweight, non-sticky feel is comfortable enough to lacquer on during the day, too.
Best Lip Plumper Patches: skyn ICELAND Plumping Lip Gels
The result of these patches is not as dramatic as with other, more aggressive formulas, but these gels make a significant difference. In just ten minutes, your lips will be hydrated in places lip balm can’t reach, more uniform in shade, and turned up ever so slightly at the bow. For your date night ritual, just stick on a gel patch for ten, then swipe on a gloss and healthy, inviting lips are yours.
Best Tool: Fullips Lip Plumping Enhancer
This unexpectedly simple device has over 800 five-star reviews on Amazon, more than virtually all other products in its category. The silicon device relies on suction from your own mouth in order to plump your lips. Just apply the round or oval shape over the part of your mouth you’d like to enhance, and create a vacuum by inhaling the excess air within. Don’t hold for too long, otherwise you risk bruising your skin, but you’ll be sure to see results after about 30 seconds.
Whether you’re going full glam for an occasion, or an important meeting over Zoom, it’s important to make sure that beat doesn’t budge — especially after sitting under the glow of the computer screen for hours on end. Luckily, the easiest way to ensure your flawlessly applied foundation, blinding highlighter, and sharp-winged liner doesn’t melt off, is by incorporating a setting spray — aka hairspray for your face — into your routine.
According to Los Angeles-based cosmetic chemist Victoria Vohland, setting spray is made up of three components: water, alcohol, and a film former that create a barrier to prevent makeup from slipping. It’s the same chemical formula used in hair gel, just made safer and gentle enough to use on the face.
To use, simply give your whole face a mist, or in cues. New York City-based makeup artist Tommy applies setting spray in a zig-zag motion on his clients, starting on the forehead and moving down to the chin. “I spritz it on the skin in distance to help rehydrate the face after applying makeup,” he says.
Another tip, courtesy of makeup artist Kate Lee, who works with celebrities such as Charlize Theron, Anne Hathaway, and Emma Roberts, dampens a BeautyBlender sponge with the liquid before pressing it on the skin to smooth out dry patches or creased makeup.
With these tips in mind, here are the best setting sprays on the market right now:
Patrick Ta Major Glow Dewy Milk Mist
Patrick Ta’s Major Glow Dewy Milk Mist is made with rosehip seed oil to moisturize, black tea to even out skin’s tone and texture, and witch hazel extract to calm and refresh. All this to say: This facial mist does way more than give you a glowy finish. Plus, the glass packaging is so luxe, you’ll feel rich when spritzing.
Morphe’s Continuous Setting Mist has a nozzle that sprays wide so it hits every inch of your face with just one hit. Just spray it eight inches from your face (eyes closed!) and you’ll immediately thank it for the long-lasting effects it has on your makeup.
Coola’s Makeup Setting Sunscreen Spray has SPF 30 in the formula to protect from harsh rays as it holds makeup in place. It’s also made with hydrating hyaluronic acid, and a blend of juniper, date palm, and peony extracts to maintain moisture as it shields.
Benefit The Porefessional Super Setter Pore-Minimizing Setting Spray
According to cosmetic chemist Ginger King, dimethicone, which you can find in Benefit’s The Porefessional Super Setter Pore-Minimizing Setting Spray, “gives a blurring effect to the skin.” The microfine mist minimizes the appearance of pores, all while maximizing the wear time of makeup.
Tarte’s Maracuja Miracle Mist Setting Spray is made of a cocktail of maracuja oil (rich in vitamin C to brighten and rose and cucumber water to soothe. Spray this over your finished makeup to lock in your look and reveal an overall luminous glow.
Urban Decay All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray
Another 2020 Best of Beauty winner, the Urban Decay All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray is a longtime favorite of magazine editors and makeup artists alike. The microfine mist lets you dance the night away (on Zoom, of course) without worrying about your foundation melting off or your shadow creasing. You’ll seriously be set for 16 hours straight.
When commerce writer Angela Trakoshis first tried Charlotte Tilbury’s Airbrush Flawless Setting Spray, she didn’t have high hopes because setting sprays never really work for her. Luckily, it proved to be the exception. “My makeup lasted all day — even under a mask — and that, my friends, is impressive,” she says.
The way Hourglass Veil Soft Focus Setting Spray is part makeup lock, part skin moisturizer, all with lots of staying power. The Allure Best of Beauty 2020 Award winner creates an invisible shield over skin to give it a forgiving finish if you have any blemishes while keeping your makeup in place for the day.
Milani Make It Last Setting Spray Prime + Correct + Set
The Milani Make It Last Setting Spray Prime + Correct + Set doubles as both as a primer and a finisher, which makes it that more of a favorite to former assistant beauty editor Kat Suico. “I love that I’ve found a drugstore option that works well for me,” she says. “This spray comes out in a fine mist that covers my face in about two to three pumps. I’m convinced it grips and helps makeup last all day.”
L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Shake and Glow Dew Mist
I love a good multi-tasking product, which is why the L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Shake and Glow Dew Mist earned a 2020 Best of Beauty Award. Use it as a skin freshener when you need a pick-me-up. The coconut water and vitamin C will prime and give dull skin a boost. And then spritz again after applying makeup to set it.
If you’d spend $5 to have your makeup last all day — look no further. E.L.F.’s Makeup Mist & Set Spray was one of the staples in editorial assistant Gabi Thorne’s makeup bag when the drugstore aisle was the primary source of her collection. “It keeps my foundation lasting all day long for a very low price and leaves a nice mist of product on the face without feeling like you’ve been attacked by the spritzer,” says Thorne.
Tower 28 Beauty SOS Save.Our.Skin Daily Rescue Facial Spray
The Tower 28 Beauty SOS Save.Our.Skin Daily Rescue Facial Spray is a very gentle formula made with saltwater and hypochlorous acid, which calms irritated skin and soothes inflammation. Los Angeles-based makeup artist Robin Black like to spritz it on a clean face before applying skin care and makeup. “It’s also great midday as a quick makeup refresh and at night before bed,” she says.
The Nyx Dewy Finish Makeup Setting Spray is great if you’re looking for more of a dewy finish, rather than matte. The drugstore find leaves skin looking luminous but never oily. They do have a matte version of this setting spray though, if you need.
Marc Jacobs (Re)Cover Perfecting Coconut Setting Mist
The Marc Jacobs (Re)Cover Perfecting Coconut Setting Mist is described as a ‘micro-mist,’ this milky spray is so fine you’ll need to bring the bottle just four inches from your face to feel the full effect. Once you do let the mist hit, it’s ah-mazing. Post-spritz, your skin will look slightly dewier and happier.
“This lightweight mist is always in my kit,” says makeup artist Elisa Flowers. According to Flowers, the MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ helps prep the skin for makeup, refreshes it during the day when products tend to separate on the skin, and makes for a great mixer if you add it to powder products.
If glass skin is what you’re after, then Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Dewy Set Setting Spray was made for you. The 2019 Best of Beauty winner gives skin a gorgeous radiance with zero shimmer or sparkle to be found — and it locks makeup in place for hours. Just call it liquid gold.
Purchasing an eyeliner can feel like a gamble. You walk into your nearest Sephora, money in hand, on a mission to find a formula that doesn’t pull, tug, skip or drag. After perusing the shelves, you’ll settle on one in hopes that it won’t smudge before lunch.
The truth is, you never really know if you’ll get a return on your investment until you take it home and try it for yourself. By then, it could be too late. To make the entire experience feel less risky, experts who know a thing or two about eyeliners weigh in. Ahead, shop the 10 best eyeliners, from pencils to liquids, according to professional makeup artists. They’ll make you feel like you won the jackpot every time.
BEST GEL LINER – AMC Eyeliner Gel
“When I’m creating a bold eye, Inglot AMC Eyeliner Gel is my go-to eyeliner, as it’s available in a variety of rich high-pigmented shades,” says makeup artist Millie Morales (also a Garnier celebrity hairstylist). “The creamy formula glides on with ease, but most importantly, it boasts long-lasting wear.”
BEST SMUDGE-PROOF LIQUID – Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner
“When it comes to precision, I like to use a marker-like tip, as it gives me the freedom and flexibility to create an elegant wing or a thick dramatic look,” says Morales. “Stila’s Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner dries fast, won’t smudge and only comes off when you take it off!”
If you’re looking to try a colored eyeliner, look no further than Urban Decay’s 24/7 Eye Pencils. Makeup artist Steve Kassajikian says, “these shades are bright, pigmented, creamy, easy to blend, and glide on like a gel.” As if that’s not enough to get you on board, Kassajikian adds, “they set in 60 seconds and don’t budge throughout the day. Plus, they’re specifically made for wet surfaces like the waterline.”
Celebrity makeup artist Claudia Betancur, a L’Oréal Paris brand ambassador, is a fan of the brand’s new Flash Cat Eye Liquid Eyeliner because it “has the perfect tip to create a precise wing, and glides on super smooth. The cap has a wing stencil attached to help create the perfect cat eye,” she says.
“This micro-fine gel pencil has next level staying power,” says makeup artist and artistic director of Glamsquad, Kelli J. Bartlett. “I originally tested the Hourglass 1.5 MM Mechanical Gel Eyeliner on my hand, and it lasted through a workout and a shower, so you know it means business. I love to use it on the inner rim of the upper lash line to create a lush look as it holds up to watery eyes.”
BEST LONG-LASTING PENCIL – BADgal BANG! 24 Hour Eyeliner Pencil
Celebrity makeup artist Lisa Potter-Dixon says this liner “is a hard worker. It works wonders on the waterline and stays put due to its waterproof formula.” She adds, “it also works beautifully as a lash liner, plus the blending tool on the end means you can even use it to create a simple smokey eye.”
Makeup artist and co-founder of Shespoke Makeup, Rebecca Perkins, says it doesn’t get better than Pat McGrath Labs’ liquid liner. She says, “the pen tip is so fine, you can do super subtle details. Mother does not mess around, and her products always do what they say.”
BEST TRUE BLACK – Infallible 16HR Never-Fail Eyeliner
Finding a true black formula can be difficult. Luckily, Perkins assures that her pick is “tried and true.” She says, “L’Oréal’s carbon black shade comes in a gel pot (perfect for when I am doing someone else’s makeup) or the mechanical pencil (for when I’m doing my own makeup).” Finally, she adds, “it’s not fancy, but it works every time.”
Dell Ashley, YSL Beauté Director of Makeup Artistry, knows a thing or two about luxury beauty, but there’s one drugstore favorite he keeps in his kit. He says the NYX Matte Liquid Liner is “a great budget-friendly eyeliner because it offers rich color and has a nice, long wear.” And at $8 a pop, you can keep your makeup bag stocked with it too.
BEST VERSATILE FORMULA – TattooStudio Sharpenable Gel Pencil in Brown
Vincent Oquendo, the artist behind Hollywood’s most beautiful faces (Lily Collins, Gabrielle Union, Nina Dobrev), recommends you pick up this other drugstore option. “I use it to create my shape before I perfect it with a black liner and for subtle definition in the waterline when I’m creating a sultry look,” he says. “The combination of black and brown liners create a more natural makeup look when smudged at the lash line.”