I'm not going to go on record and say that any of the below lip-plumping products—no matter how great they are—will deliver the same long-lasting results of actual filler. As someone who's dabbled in injectables (and lip filler specifically), I know that no topical technology can ever compete, and I would never try to convince you otherwise. But being that I was a long-time stan of lip plumpers pre–personal filler era, and have also had my lips deflate in between appointments and had to heavily lean into my product stash, I'm not scared to say I feel pretty well-versed within the product arena. (Spoiler: Some of the most infamous are pure hype.)
Whether you're a fan of the look or not, plump, pouty lips are most certainly a trend right now, and there's stiff, saturated competition where the best products are concerned, and lots of exaggerated, lofty claims are thrown around. So, being the tingle-obsessed beauty editor I am, I've streamlined the buying process for you. Ahead, the 12 best lip plumpers ordered by intensity (five being major, instantaneous results and one being ultra-subtle and more long-term in orientation). Keep scrolling!
Intensity scale: 5/5
Ask any of my co-workers, this buzzy, underground lip plumping product from Deciem (the same company behind The Ordinary) sits beside me at my desk 24/7. If you're after an immediate bee-stung effect, this is really your gal. Every beauty editor I've talked to will vouch for its magic!
After patting even the tiniest bit onto my lips, the natural color instantly intensifies, the contour looks fuller and poutier, and they feel and look plumper and more pillowy in general. That said, it WILL cause redness to the area surrounding your lips if you're not precise with your application, and you should wash your hands right after you apply to avoid any other irritation.
It contains a wide-breath of unique ingredient technologies, which you can read all about on the brand's product page, here.
Intensity scale: 4.5/5
I'm pretty sure this was the first lip-plumping product I owned (pre-beauty editor career!), and honestly, I think it's still one of the best I've ever used. For everyday we, I love this clear gloss, which offers a high-shine finish without being overly sticky. It offers both immediate and long-term results, which the brand touts as scientifically proven and advanced. I'm not a scientist, but I am a picky beauty consumer, and I definitely think this formula is worth the hype. I notice a huge difference whenever I swipe it. Plus, It keeps my lips hydrated and soft for longer than most balms do.
Intensity scale: 4/5
If you followed me when I wrote for Byrdie, you know by now I'm fairly obsessed with ModelCo—an Australian beauty brand that just so happens to make a few of my favorite products. One of the said products? This glossy lip plumper that's so effective, my makeup application feels incomplete without it. I know the hot pink tube kind of looks like something you'd tote around in middle school, but I promise you it elevates the shape of your lips if you're after a plumper, subtly glossy finish. It does tingle, but it definitely doesn't sting, and I actually love to apply the over the mask Kaplan MD (keep reading!) while I do my makeup. Then, I'll blot it off before I apply lip color before reapplying another layer as a finishing touch. I swear it captures a similar look to clinical injections, and I appreciate that it has helpful lip conditioning ingredients like hyaluronic acid–enriched microspheres.
Intensity scale: 3.5/5
It doesn't get much more luxurious than La Mer. This lip plumper is definitely an investment, a little goes a long way, and it's worth every penny. Subtly volumizing, this is another one I'll layer both under and over other lip products for the most pillowy and defined lip look. It actually acts as a serum and contains the brand's signature hero ingredient, Miracle Broth, alongside other luxe ingredients like antioxidant-charged lime tea concentrate and its Plumping Renenealy Complex, which has marine ingredients and nutrient-rich minerals to support long-term natural collagen production.
Intensity scale: 3.5/5
If you're looking for a plumping product in the natural and organic skincare realm, this cinnamon-spiked lip-plumping gloss from Éminence is a great option. It features stimulating extracts (like spicy cinnamon and paprika!) to instantly give lips that coveted "bee-stung" appearance, but it's also filled with soothing and moisturizing qualities thanks to plenty of other lovely things like oils from jojoba, pumpkin, blueberry, pomegranate, and clove.
Intensity scale: 3/5
Grande Cosmetics actually has a few different lip-products (like a lipstick, a primer, etc.), but its plumping gloss is what won my heart. I like that there's a range of shades to choose from (I love Pale Rose), and the mix of Volulip and hyaluronic acid instantly beefs up your lips in as quickly as three minutes. It tingles, but it's definitely not unbearable. The brand even says that its clinically proven to increase overall lip hydration, volume, softness, and firmness in just 30 days if you apply it twice daily.
I don't use it often enough to confirm, but I wouldn't be surprised based on how effective and impressive the formula is. And for what it's worth, I'm not alone! The gloss has racked in an average four-star rating with over one 1000 reviews on Sephora.
Intensity scale: 3/5
I discovered this plumping lip mask from a fellow beauty editor over a year ago, and it's since because a nightly ritual—I slather it all over my lips right before bed. Equal parts plumping, exfoliating, and hydrating, it actually delivers results in as little as three minutes, but I've found turning it into an overnight treatment only enhances the results and has also made my lips softer, smoother, and perkier-looking over time.
At first, it will look like you slathered cream all over your lips, but the product quickly sinks in and uses the brand's state-of-the-art gel-cream technology to exfoliate away flakes or chap, soften, soothe, hydrate, and plump the looks of fine lines and wrinkles. Adipofill’n, a patented L-Ornithine amino acid, is another strategic ingredient add. I also like to apply it while I do my makeup and before I add my other lip products.
Intensity scale: 3/5
I'm obsessed with this plumping balm from Buxom, and I actually prefer it over its plumping gloss, which is a bit more famous. Not only does it boost the natural color of your lips by reacting with their pH (for your perfect customized color!), it also plumps up fine lines and contour so your lips look poutier, softer, and fuller overall. I always keep it with me, and it's a great low-maintenance option for no-makeup makeup days too. (As an aside, it's brilliant for breathing some life into a dull complexion if you're sick, or, um, hungover.) Plus, it's the most affordable on my list at just $18.
Intensity scale: 3/5
SkinMedica is one of the most highly regarded (and high-quality!) skincare brands in the industry, and dermatologists I tap for story intel are always recommending the line. Plus, this epic lip-plumping duo happens to be one of my all-time favorite pout products. You can apply it at night or under/over your go-to lip products. You'll apply the Step 1 Smoothing pen first around the lips and contour (to fill and boost fine lines) and then you'll follow up with the Step 2 Plumping pen—filling in the just the lip area and within your natural lip line. The result is a super-shiny, super-full, and super-moisturized finish.
Intensity scale: 2.5/5
This pearlescent gloss from celebrity makeup artist Patrick Ta isn't technically coined as a lip-plumping product, but it does have a pepperminty tingle and boasts a unique gel technology to create the look of more volume and a pretty, pillowy softness. It's not sticky, which I love; it's available in three different shades (the crystal clear hue above is my fave); and it subtly intensifies the color of your natural lip hue to further enhance your lip shape's definition and contour.
Intensity scale: 2/5
A relatively new launch from StriVectin, this double-sided lip product is one of my latest favorite discoveries within the lip-plumping product category. There's nothing I love more than a multitasking makeup hero, and this dual-acting pen covers all the bases. On the one side, you have a hyaluronic acid–brimming gloss, which enhances lip volume and color with absolutely zero sting. On the other, you have a peptide-powered vertical line treatment to reduce and prevent the look of aging and falling contour around the mouth as well.
Intensity scale: 1.5/5
Okay, so this is another product I praise and scream about to anyone who will listen until my face turns blue. Not only is it THE only lip treatment that actually keeps chap and dryness at bay for good, but it also has a long-term plumping and softening effect I've become rather addicted to. It has a slightly glossy finish, but it's not sticky at all. Thanks to loads of hyaluronic acid, it also helps to boost long-term volume, improves lip definition, and slows the onset of lines, wrinkles, and sag that's inevitable with aging. Whenever I misplace it (which is often since I bring it everywhere), I actually start sweating—it's just that good.