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Plumping Lip Gloss: How Does It Work?

Plumping Lip Gloss: How Does It Work?

Plumping Lip Gloss: How Does It Work?

Lip gloss is an essential beauty product, present in the makeup bags of almost every makeup lover in the world. For some of us, it was the first makeup product we ever used! Practical and easy to use, lip gloss continues to reinvent itself with each generation, and now it’s taken on a new role–in addition to giving your lips a shiny and glossy shine, it can also increase their volume, leaving them looking fuller and juicier. If you’re curious about these plumping lip glosses that have been filling the makeup aisles, we’re here to help you figure out how they work–from the ingredients to keep an eye out for, to the specific products we like and recommend.

What is lip plumping gloss?

Plumping lip gloss, also sometimes known as lip plumper or volumizing lip gloss, is a type of lip gloss that temporarily alters the appearance of the lips, leaving them looking fuller and plumper. The effect, as we said, is temporary–it lasts more or less as long as the gloss lasts on the lips–, and cannot be compared to the effect created by actual injectable lip fillers.

This type of lip gloss is available in both clear formulas, which add shine and create an augmenting effect, or tinted formulas, which also bring a little extra color to your lips.

How does plumping lip gloss work?

The first “trick” of plumping lip gloss is that it works via optical illusion: the mere application of a glossy product visually increases the volume of your lips, giving the appearance of fuller lips. In addition to this optical effect, however, a lip gloss can create a volumizing effect in other ways:

Some lip glosses include mildly irritating ingredients that can make blood vessels dilate and create a temporary swelling effect. If your lip gloss causes a cooling, stinging, or tingling sensation, this is likely to be why. Take a look at the ingredients list, and you may find that it includes ingredients like hot pepper, menthol, ginger, or cinnamon.

Some lip volumizing lip glosses work via the hydrating and plumping magic of hyaluronic acid. As hyaluronic acid fills in and replumps fine lines on the surface of the lips, it helps create the appearance of fuller lips.

Last, but not least, there are some plumping glosses that include collagen-boosting peptides, which can help promote a firming and dense effect over the long term.

Why does plumping lip gloss burn?

Some plumping lip glosses “burn”–or sting, or tingle–because of the ingredients included in the formula. As we have seen, there are lip glosses that use mild irritants, such as hot pepper extract or menthol, to make blood vessels dilate and create a temporary swelling effect.

Some degree of tingling is normal, but if you feel like it’s too uncomfortable–or, worse, that it leaves your lips sensitive or irritated–, it might be a good idea to stop using the product and look for an alternative.

How long does lip plumping gloss take to work?

Most plumping lip glosses create visible results in minutes. Upon application, you will feel a slight tingling sensation, and shortly after you will begin to notice that your lips look fuller. It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.

How long does plumping lip gloss last?

The effect of a plumping lip gloss is, as we said, temporary. Results often last for a few hours, depending on the product you use and your lips’ natural reaction to the product.

Although you can reapply the product, a lip gloss is not a permanent “fix” for thin lips. If you are looking for more intensive solutions, products like the Fillerina 12HA Densifying-Filler Lip Contour Cream may be a better fit for you.

What is the best plumping lip gloss?

Since there is always variability in the way a product works on you–and adjusts to your needs–, we can’t say that there’s a plumping lip gloss to rule them all. So, we bring you several options, which use different ingredients and strategies to bring your lips a touch of extra volume:

Maybelline Lifter Gloss + Hyaluronic Acid Lip Gloss

The sophisticated gloss with a touch of sparkle

If you’re looking for a subtle plumping effect with a touch of sparkle, the Maybelline Lifter Gloss + Hyaluronic Acid Lip Gloss is the right choice for you. Enriched with hyaluronic acid, this innovative formula hydrates and smoothes the surface of the lips in order to enhance their definition.

In addition to this effect, the pigments in the formula provide intense shine and a super glossy finish. The XL applicator makes this product incredibly easy to use; after just one swipe your lips will look fuller and incredibly hydrated.


Makeup Revolution Pout Bomb Plumping Lip Gloss

The iconic volumizing gloss

One of the most popular plumping lip glosses out there is the Makeup Revolution Pout Bomb Plumping Lip Gloss, a super hydrating lip gloss that brings color and shine to your lips. The formula features plumping hyaluronic acid, antioxidant vitamin E, and menthoxypropanediol, a synthetic derivative of menthol, which creates a cool, tingling sensation upon application.

The formula is available in different colors to suit all skin tones and is super easy to apply and reapply, with no stickiness and no mess.


Catrice Volumizing Extreme Lip Booster

The red-hot plumping lip gloss

Looking for something a little more extreme? Try the Catrice Volumizing Extreme Lip Booster, a plumping lip gloss infused with menthol and chili extract. Upon application, this lip gloss delivers a refreshing, tingling sensation, following by a volumizing effect.

This particular color, 010 Hot Plumper, gives your lips a rosy glow–perfect to bring out the appearance of added volume!


essence What The Fake! Plumping Lip Filler

The clear volumizing lip gloss

Looking for an affordable volumizing lip gloss that gets the job done? Try theessence What The Fake! Plumping Lip Filler. Unlike other options on this list, this lip gloss isn’t available in a huge range of colors–but that’s fine, because we’re going to recommend you try the clear option anyway.

With a smoothing formula enriched with hyaluronic acid and vitamin E, this clear lip gloss leaves lips fuller and minimizes the appearance of fine lines. Upon application, expect a bit of a cooling effect and, of course, a super glossy finish.


Eveline Cosmetics Cooling Kisses Volumizing Extreme Shine Lip Gloss

The cooling gloss

Available in a variety of rosy shades, the Eveline Cosmetics Cooling Kisses Volumizing Extreme Shine Lip Gloss is a great option if you’re looking for a super refreshing lip gloss. Infused with plant collagen and hyaluronic acid, this lip gloss smoothes and plumps the surface of the lips, creating the appearance of a fuller pout.

The velvety formula also features mint extract, which adds a slightly cooling and refreshing effect, for a pleasant experience of application.


Dermacol Lip Up Plumping Gloss

The peptide-infused gloss

Upon application, the Dermacol Lip Up Plumping Gloss looks and feels like a regular volumizing lip gloss. The formula is easy to apply, smooth without being sticky and it creates a slight tingling sensation. The glossy finish immediately creates the look of brighter, fuller, juicier lips.

What you won’t notice right away is that this product also works long term, thanks to the MAXI-LIP® active peptide, which helps promote the synthesis of collagen and thus promotes the firmness and density of the lips. If you’re looking for a lip gloss with a few extra benefits, this might be the right option for you!


As you can see, there’s nothing mysterious about the way a plumping lip gloss works–it all comes down to optical illusion and a sprinkle of the right ingredients. No wonder they’re so popular! If you want to continue exploring the world of lip gloss, be sure to stop by the store, where you’ll find every single one of our favorite lip glosses—from volumizing formulas like the ones we’ve featured, to high-shine, high-sparkle wonders.

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