In beauty, there is no category more timeless—or quintessential—than lipstick. As an enduring symbol of power and femininity, the transformative swipe of classic lipstick is never to be underestimated. Over the decades, brands have met perennial demand with a dizzying menagerie of offerings, leaving no color, undertone, or finish unturned. But despite the scale of options, there are those strikingly universal shades that women keep coming back to. From true reds to nuanced nudes, here, a dozen classic lipstick shades with that certain something loyal masses can’t get enough of.
Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Fire & Ice
In 1952, Revlon launched its Fire & Ice ad campaign, starring Vogue cover girl Dorian Leigh, and caused a stir with its kitschy quiz supplement designed to decide if one was, in fact, suited to this tried-and-true bold red.
It was in 1991 that makeup legend Bobbi Brown’s debut line of lipsticks hit the Bergdorf Goodman counters. Of all the shades, her Lip Color in pink-tinged Brown caused the biggest sensation, helping to usher in the ’90s nude lip look still being referenced today.
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.