Best natural lip plumpers
Want to give your lips an instant boost without needles? Non-surgical lip plumpers can create natural-looking bee-stung lips, subtly adding shape and volume.
Common ingredients include cinnamon, ginger, peppermint or hot peppers, boosting blood flow to the lips and inducing mild swelling and redness. However, make sure to pick a reputable brand and don't overuse them.
Celebrity makeup artist, hairstylist and co-founder of Camp Beauty Michelle Scott warns that long term use can damage your pout.
"The ingredients in lip plumpers can cause a tingling, stinging sensation and will damage the delicate protective layer on your lips, potentially resulting in blisters, peeling skin and collagen breakdown, which, ironically, could result in thinner lips," she says.
Our test team came up with an edit of faves for everyday use: Smashbox O-Plump Intuitive Lip Plumper which paints your pout in the perfect shade of pink without drying or being too sticky. Alternatively, Eles Liptox (elescosmetics.com.au) is rich in marine-filling collagen micro-spheres that absorb natural moisture and comes in four beautifully sheer shades.
Got a top lip that's slightly thinner than the bottom or vice versa? Cynthia Rowland Luscious Lips is the perfect fixer-upper for asymmetrical lips. The device is strange looking, but it actually works by a vacuum technique that boosts volume by drawing fluid into your lips and increasing circulation. Use every second day and your pout will become noticeably fuller. Just be sure to follow the instructions carefully to avoid bruising and worsening the asymmetry!
If you've got ageing lips with fine lines and wrinkles, try SkinMedica TNS Lip Plump System. Its claim? A patented growth factor and hyaluronic-filling spheres enhance fullness and smooth surface imperfections. For longer-lasting results, choose a plumper with peptides, hyaluronic acid and marine collagen. Hyaluronic acid pulls moisture from the environment and traps it beneath the surface of the skin so it can't evaporate. Find it in PCA Skin Peptide Lip Therapy, which contains peptides to help target fine lines while a proprietary blend of tomato and barley is said to help boost moisture levels for increased hydration.
Scrubbing is the perfect way to increase blood flow to the lips, amplifying the natural colour of your pout and making them appear temporarily fuller. A lot of make-up artists prep the lips by exfoliating with a toothbrush, nubby washcloth or scrub, which uses mild ingredients to buff away dry skin.
As Scott says, "Though exfoliating itself does not plump the lips, it does remove dead skin cells to reveal a softer and smoother surface." We swear by Lush Mint Julips Lip Scrub, $9.95 (lush.com.au), or try making your own with equal parts olive oil, honey and brown sugar or equal parts coconut oil and sea salt. Giving your lips a mini massage by applying the scrub in a circular motion will give you a smooth, crease-free surface to help heighten the illusion of voluptuous lips when you apply a clear gloss on top.
After, apply a hydrating balm such as Burt's Bees Ultra Moisturizing Lip Treatment,and allow it to penetrate before layering on the lip colour.
Want to simulate a voluminous pucker? Take a page out of Kendell Jenner's beauty book and draw your lips on slightly bigger than they really are. "Using a lip liner is essential to enhancing your lip shape," says Scott. "No girl should leave the house without it on."
Scott recommends applying foundation to your entire lip surface and setting with powder to create a blank canvas. We recommend Maybelline NY FITme concealer, which isn't too drying.
Then, use a lip liner in a similar shade to your lips (or one shade darker) and trace around the perimeter of your mouth. "Apply to the upper natural lip line, which will create your fullest lip," says Scott. Smudge any rough edges before applying a complementary pink-toned lipstick such as Sisley Paris City Muse Phyto-Lip Gloss, finishing off with a medium-to-light high-shine gloss such as Bobbi Brown Uber Lip Color $44 in Neon Pink or Pink Kiss. Best not to go overly bright or too dark if you have thin lips. As Scott says, "If your lips are big, you can be bold. But if your lips are tiny, best to go shiny."
To heighten the illusion, apply highlighter to your cupid's bow and dab some shimmery eye shadow to the centre of your bottom lip. You can also use a smidgen of taupe or light brown eyeliner directly beneath your lower lip line to make it look as though your lips are creating a shadow. CoverGirl Perfect Blend Eye Pencil in Smoky Taupe does the trick.