Why are suddenly so many people looking to increase the size and smoothness of their lips? It’s not just because of Kylie Jenner and Instagram models — in fact, science has a theory that goes way further back than that.
The desire for plump lips isn’t just about thickness, it’s about hydration, health, and smoothness.
showed that women with bigger, fuller lips appear younger than their biological age. This study also showed that the fewer wrinkles a person had, the healthier (and therefore more hydrated) they appeared to others.
So in a world of chasing wellness, it’s not surprising that achieving full lips has become the latest aesthetic trend.
The good news is that just as trends are temporary, so are our options. If you’re unsure about longer-lasting solutions or just want to have some fun, then you’re in luck. From organic DIY to the perfect makeup solution, we’ve made this handy guide to navigating lip plumpers.
1. A DIY treatment: Cayenne pepper + olive oil
If makeup doesn’t do the trick, you can start with this natural and tingly lip plumper — using only a few ingredients found in your kitchen.
- Mix a few sprinkles of cayenne pepper with a tablespoon of olive oil.
- Gently place the mixture on your lips and leave on for a few minutes before wiping it off completely and moisturizing with your favorite lip balm.
Though these results won’t last long, this is a great solution to snap a quick selfie or for a night out.
For people who are more sensitive, a simple sugar scrub can also smooth out chapped lips and get them blushing.
2. Use Instagram’s most popular option: Kylie Lip Kit
If you want fuller-looking lips, but don’t want to actually physically change your lips, then Kylie Jenner created her Kylie Lip Kits just for you.
- Using the lip liner, gently line right outside your natural lip shape and then fill in your entire lips.
- Place the matte liquid lipstick on top of the liner and finish off with a clear gloss in the middle of your bottom lip for the appearance of fuller-looking lips.
Though this will work with any color, for the most natural look aim for a color close to your natural lip color.
3. Rock the organic and cruelty-free look with a spicy cinnamon
Stay organic with this cinnamon-flavored lip plumper.
Using ingredients such as cinnamon oil to plump your lips, caffeine to tighten, and jojoba oil for hydration, this cruelty-free lip plumper gives you an instant plumpness without all the chemicals.
Where to buy
- Dermstore, $26
- Top active ingredients: castor seed oil (hydration), cinnamon leaf (invigorate), caffeine (tighten skin)
4. Polish your plump with special peptides
A tried-and-true favorite in the beauty community, this Buxom lip polish uses vitamin E and palmitoyl oligopeptide, a peptide mixture used for anti-aging and skin firming, to give you that classic tingly lip plumping feeling and look.
Coming in a variety of colors, this is an excellent short-term solution.
5. Hydrate and protect your kissers with Replenix
This lip treatment is all about hydration.
Using the ingredient hyaluronic acid, this lip treatment deeply moisturizes your lips, erasing the chalky texture to give your kissers a fuller, more defined look. Bonus: This product has SPF 30 sun protection to keep the photodamage away.
Where to buy
- Dermstore, $28
- Top active ingredients: hydrogenated polyisobutene (synthetic oil that traps moisture), glycerin (moisturizer), palmitoyl tripeptide-38 (softens fine lines), hyaluronic acid (hydration)
6. Become obsessed with how soft your lips are with Skin Medica
A two-part system, the HA5 Smooth and Plump System uses dimethicone to reduce wrinkles and smooth the skin of the lips.
Combined with the hydrating properties of hyaluronic acid, this product is perfect for those looking for a lip plumper that also tackles the fine lines that come with time.
Where to buy
- Dermstore, $68
- Top active ingredients: dimethicone (silicone to fill in fine lines), soybean oil (hydration), hyaluronic acid (hydration)
7. Turn up the heat in your lips and blood with Too Faced
Another classic in the beauty world, this gloss uses capsicum frutescents resin, an ingredient made from chili peppers that dilates the blood vessels in your lips.
Like a heart swelling with love, this exchange causes a slight swell for a fuller, plumper-looking lip. Clear with a bit of shine, this can be used over lipstick or on bare lips.
8. Use collagen to fill in fine lines with Murad
Widely used in cosmetic surgery, collagen is a protein found in the skin that promotes skin elasticity. This Murad lip formula infuses the lips with collagen to reduce fine lines, creating a fuller look to the lips.
This serum is color- and gloss-free while remaining hydrating and softening.
Where to buy
- Murad, $24
- Top active ingredients: glycerin (hydration), dimethicone (fill in fine lines)
10. Suction your lips to pout-perfection with JuvaLips
Want a deeper, more permanent lip plumper — but not ready for cosmetic surgery? Then JuvaLips might be for you.
Using electronic stimulation and suction, JuvaLips increases blood flow to the lips causing your kissers to blush beautifully with size and color. Basically, it’s a more legit Kylie Lip Challenge.
The results can last up to 10 hours at a time, though with repeated use the plumpness may last even longer.
11. Invest in Juvaderm or Restylane for longer-lasting lip fillers
Tried all this and know you want something that lasts longer? Lip injections may be your answer.
Though lip implants and other types of fillers exist, Dr. David Shafer of Shafer Plastic Surgery recommends hyaluronic acid lip fillers above all others in terms of safety and ease.
Dr. Shafer, who injects between 20 to 30 patients a week, explains, “The hyaluronic acid fillers are [preferable] compared to other types of fillers since they can be ‘melted’ if there is an issue or if the patient doesn’t like the results. Other fillers can’t be easily removed.”
What to know
- you can get it from any certified and accredited professional
- cost ranges from $500-$2000
- lasts six months to two years
- Active ingredient: hyaluronic acid to increase collagen and add body and weight to your lips
Whether you’re looking for plumper lips for a night out or for the long haul, lip plumping is all about making your body work for you. You’re your most beautiful self when you’re empowered, so plump those lips baby, or don’t — whatever makes you feel like the best you.
Hannah Rimm is a writer, photographer, and generally creative person in New York City. She writes primarily about mental and sexual health, and her writing and photography has appeared in Allure, HelloFlo, and Autostraddle. You can find her work at HannahRimm.com or follow her on Instagram.