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7 Best Lip Plumpers That Make Thinning Lips Look Thicker Both Instantly and Over Time

These low cost store finds work just as well as expensive fillers.


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There is nothing more frustrating than trying to apply lipstick only to find you barely have lips to apply it to! And all you can think about is how this certainly wasn’t an issue in your 20’s, 30’s or even your 40s. Since full lips make us feel young and feminine, the decline in plumpness can be a big confidence sapper. Sure, you’ve heard all about lips injections and fillers, but the cost, maintenance and needles can be a literal pain. The great news? You can achieve a beautifully plump pout, easily and for so much less with our picks of the best lip plumper for your lips.

The reason lips get thinner with age

“As we mature, our lips tend to be one of the first features to show loss of volume,” observes professional makeup artist Andrea DiSabatino. Why? “A drop in skin-firming collagen is the main reason lips shrink,” says dermatologist Margarita Lolis, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and Mohs surgeon in Hackensack, New Jersey. “And since lips lack oil glands, they dehydrate easily, making them look even smaller.”

One way to restore your once-plump pout, is with in-office lip injections in which tiny needles insert fillers (like Restylane) into lips, plumping them for up to 6 months. The procedure’s popularity is up by 40 percent in the past 10 years, but some women end up with swelling, bruising and fake-looking results. And, at a cost of about $500–$900 per session, it may not be a viable option especially when you can get similar, pain-free results for hundreds less with a lip plumper.

Related: Having *This* Feature Makes Lips Look Two Times Plumper — And If You Don’t, Here’s How to Fake It

What exactly is lip plumper?

A lip plumper is exactly what it sounds like — a product that gives your pout a fuller, more plumped-up appearance. Most last between one to four hours, with some even promising to improve the volume of your lips gradually over time. 

That’s good news for those of us watching our lips do a vanishing act as the years go by.

The best lip plumper for a perfectly plump pout

How does lip plumper work?

Lip plumpers work by rushing blood flow to your lips, says DiSabatino, “Making them look naturally fuller and even brighter in color.”

The key ingredient to look for in lip plumpers? Hyaluronic acid. “This will help draw in moisture to cells, fill surface cracks and help the overall appearance of your pout,” says DiSabatino.

“One other ingredient I love in my plumper is peppermint oil,” she says. And that’s smart because menthol in peppermint oil has a tingling sensation that when applied topically, increases blood flow to lips, temporarily swelling them, says Michigan-based plastic surgeon Anthony Youn, M.D., author of The Age Fix. Plus, the oil is rich in vitamins A and C, which work together to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin (skin-firming proteins that decline with age, leaving lips looking thinner) to “reinflate” the pout. The result? Thicker looking lips now and later!

More to look for: capsicum (a type of pepper) and cinnamon, mild irritants that can cause blood to rush to the surface of your skin for a plumper look in an instant. 

And lip plumpers aren’t only glosses: There are devices that are used on the lips to increase blood flow via a little help from their firm suction action. 

Our top picks for the best lip plumpers

Whether you’re looking for a subtle puff or a dramatic pout, these products will get you closer to your desired results, no needles required.

The INKEY List Tripeptide Plumping Lip Balm

Best lip plumper Balm
The INKEY List Tripeptide Plumping Lip Balm
The INKEY List/

Buy from Sephora, $12.99

Why we like it:

  • Plumps lips over time
  • Smooths fine lines
  • Color-free

Sporting a natural, but still glossy lip look is great for casual days spent running errands or having lunch with friends, which is why we love The INKEY List Tripeptide Plumping Lip Balm. The peptides in the product plump lips over time (according to the brand, with consistent use over four weeks, your lips can become 40% plumper) while moisturizing hyaluronic acid, chia seed oil, squalane, capacau butter and mango butter all hydrate lips so they appear plumper instantly. The best part? It’s under $15.

Buxom Full-On Plumping Lip Cream Gloss

Best cream lip plumper
Buxom Full-On Plumping Lip Cream Gloss

Buy from Sephora, $25

Why we like it:

  • Vanilla flavored
  • Creamy formula
  • Made without parabens, sulfates or phthalates

Buxom has been a pioneer in the lip plumping industry for years, and for good reason. “My all-time favorite lip plumper is Buxom’s Full- On Plumping Lip Cream Gloss in Dolly,” says DiSabatino. “My best friend introduced me to it years ago, and now I wear it every day. I love the color and the sweet flavor and it makes me feel super confident.” Plus, it comes in essentially any shade you could want, and while it tingles slightly, it’s not painful like some other plumpers can be. The formula contains hyaluronic acid, peptides and vitamin E to plump and moisturize.

Essence What The Fake! Extreme Plumping Lip Filler

Best Low Cost lip plumper
Essence What the Fake! Extreme Lip Plumper

Buy from Ulta, $4.99

Why we like it:

  • Only $5
  • Made with chili extract
  • Contains pH reactors that create the perfect shade for your lips

A pretty pink, plump pout for just $5? Sign us up! Essence’s lip plumper is made with chili extract, which creates a tingling sensation to amp up lip volume in a matter of minutes. It is also made with vitamin E and hyaluronic acid to soothe irritation and moisturize. Plus, despite it only coming in one pink shade, the formula has pH reacting properties, meaning once applied, it creates the perfect shade for your specific skin tone — it can look different on person to person.

Lawless Forget The Filler Overnight Lip Plumping Mask

Best lip plumper mask
Lawless Forget The Filler Overnight Lip Plumping Mask

Buy from Sephora, $22

Why we like it:

  • Contains antioxidants
  • Gives a gorgeous tint
  • Plumps and hydrates overnight

This overnight lip-plumping mask by Lawless is packed with moisturizing shea butter and lip-nourishing rosehip oil both help to strengthen the lips’ moisture barrier. Plus, “the formula is enriched with a proprietary blend of 8 different molecular weights of hyaluronic acid, ceramides and an antioxidant berry complex to nourish and condition the lips,” says the brand — all which work overnight to give you the plumpest lips by morning.

tarte Maracuja Juicy Lip Plump

Best no-Tingle lip plumper
tarte Maracuja Juicy Lip Plumper

Buy from Sephora, $24

Why we like it:

  • High shine
  • Large shade range
  • Nourishing

Tarte’s Maracuja Juicy Lip Plump is a cult favorite — and we understand the hype. It comes in 8 different shades, making it easy for you to find the perfect color for your skin tone. Its maracuja oil and grapeseed oil help to smooth and nourish lips, and goji berry helps support collagen production to help lips look plumper in the long run. The finish is shiny and creamy, helping to blur the appearance of fine lines, and there is no tingle for those who don’t like how that feels.

Dior Lip Maximizer

Best splurge lip plumper
Dior Lip Maximizer in red color.

Buy from Sephora, $40

Why we like it:

  • Comes in 25 shades
  • Contains hyaluronic acid
  • Subtle in color and tingle

Blending mildly irritating capsicum with spheres of lip-lifting hyaluronic acid, Dior’s Lip Maximizer, which comes in six high shine finishes or two shimmers, has been described as being “better than Botox.” Though users say it doesn’t deliver maximum volume instantly, over time, a noticeable difference can be perceived. It’s more subtle in color and tingle, and provides intense hydration to the lip.

The formula is vegan, cruelty and gluten-free, and it comes in recyclable packaging. Plus, it is free of many harmful ingredients, like sulfates, parabens, formaldehyde-releasing agents, oxybenzone and others.

PMD Kiss Lip Plumping Device

Best lip plumper device
PMD Kiss Lip Plumping Device

Buy from Nordstrom, $99

Why we like it:

  • Long-lasting
  • Boosts collagen production
  • Works overtime

This innovative machine relies on pulsing, vacuum technology, which when used daily, is said to up your collagen production, and subsequently, the size of your lips. According to the brand’s website, a NewBeauty panel study conducted over the course of eight weeks found that 91% of participants saw an increase in lip volume, many of whom said the effect lasted for more than two hours; 75% also noticed a decrease in their lip lines and wrinkles. 

To use this machine, apply a bit of the included lip serum to clean, dry lips and let it dry for one minute. After turning the machine on, firmly press the device’s “plumping tip” onto the edge of your lips, allowing it to create a vacuum-tight seal. Use it for 10 to 20 seconds before moving onto the middle. Continue to move the device across your lips in six sections. 

For more of our favorite beauty products to shop, click through these stories:

Celebrity Makeup Artists: The 8 Best Blushes for Mature Skin That Give You Some Glow Without Looking Clownish

Over 50? Plastic Surgeon’s Easy Lip Plumping Hack Will Turn Back the Clock Instantly

The 12 Best Foundations for Mature Skin That Will Cover + Repair Flaws

The 8 Best Hair Clips for Thin Hair That Will Hold Without Tugging or Dragging

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