We Tested 27 of the Best Lip Plumpers — These 6 Give Lips Needle-Free Volume and Fullness

Patrick Ta Major Volume Plumping Lip Gloss gave us big lip energy

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Plump, pouty lips are highly sought after these days, and with such a saturated market of lip plumping devices, glosses, and treatments available both at home and in a pro's office, it's hard to know what option is right for you. If you're looking for a less-invasive way to plump your lips, plumping balms and glosses are a great place to start. To make achieving the perfect pout easier, we set out to find the best lip plumpers of 2022. We researched the top plumpers on the market and enlisted the help of a handful of reviewers to test out the most popular options firsthand.

After thoroughly testing 27 lip plumping balms, glosses, and serums — taking into account comfort, plumping power, and hydration — we determined the top six lip plumpers. In the end, the Patrick Ta Major Volume Plumping Lip Gloss proved to be the key to a plump pucker and scored high in the aforementioned categories.

If you're looking for the best lip plumpers to pump you up, these are the six top performers, according to InStyle testers.

The Winners

Best Overall: Patrick Ta Major Volume Plumping Lip Gloss

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What We Love: You can go most of the day without many touch ups.

What We Don't Love: It's a bit sticky upon application.

If Gigi Hadid, Megan Fox, and Kim Kardashian swear by Patrick Ta's eponymous line of richly pigmented lipsticks, eyeliners and blushes, the celebrity makeup artist must be onto something. Even after trying 27 different lip plumpers, testers were convinced that the brand's Major Volume Plumping Lip Gloss is the best of the best. "My lips look plumper, glossier, rounder, and poutier," one tester shares.

Not only do lips actually look different, they feel different too. "I was surprised to find that my lips actually felt nourished and hydrated while wearing the gloss," the tester says. "I didn't need to apply lip balm underneath it, which is something I usually do when I wear lip gloss." Plus, once it's on, it's on. Even after all-day wear, she didn't need to reapply it to keep her lips juicy and plump. There's variety, too. The gloss is available in five high-shine, semi-sheer shades: Clear, beige, baby pink, pink, and red.

As a heads up, the tester noted that initially, the product felt sticky and tingly on her lips — most likely attributed to the formula's lip plumping blend of cinnamon and ginger. However, the feeling subsided after the gloss settled, leaving her lips silky smooth and tingle-free.

Ingredients: Hydrating peptides, Cinnamon, Ginger | Finish: Tinted | Shades: 5

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Best Value: e.l.f. Cosmetics Lip Plumping Gloss

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What We Love: One swipe gives lips a juicy pucker with a pretty color payoff.

What We Don't Love: You'll need to reapply to maintain lip fullness throughout the day.

The eight sheer-yet-buildable shades — which you can apply on bare lips or atop a pigmented lipstick — give lips a boost and a subtle wash of color at a super affordable price. This gloss wraps lips in a hydrating vitamin E and coconut oil-infused formula, resulting in a fuller-looking pout with a high-shine finish. "The formula didn't give off a very intense plumping feeling, so I was surprised when my lips looked fuller and juicier after applying," our tester shares. "The finish itself has a great amount of shine without feeling sticky or thick."

If we could change anything, it would be this formula's staying power. Because it isn't as thick as other options, it requires reapplication if you want your plump to last all day.

Ingredients: Vitamin E, Coconut | Finish: Sheer | Shades: 8

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Best Splurge: La Mer The Lip Volumizer

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What We Love: This hydrating lip plumper doubles as a nourishing serum.

What We Don't Love: It contains sesame seed oil, which some can be allergic to.

Honestly, $80 seems pricey for a lip plumper. But, after receiving rave reviews from our tester, we can confirm it's worth the splurge. La Mer is no stranger to luxurious products that actually work, and this plush lip plumping formula is no different. The treatment contains a cell-renewing cocktail of antioxidants and ingredients like shea butter, vitamin E, and cucumber extract to protect lips from aging while adding volume and fullness.

Our tester especially loved the application brush and how generously it swiped the creamy, hydrating formula onto her lips. Like most lip plumpers, this one has a slight tingling sensation, but it's not uncomfortable and fades after a few seconds.

We'd be remiss not to call out the fact that the formula contains sesame seed oil and sesame seed powder, both of which can trigger a reaction to those with an allergy.

Ingredients: Shea butter, Cucumber extract, Sesame seed oil | Finish: Sheer | Shades: 1

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Best Mask: LAWLESS Forget The Filler Overnight Plumping Mask

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What We Love: This overnight mask makes it possible to wake up with fuller, line-free lips, sans needle.

What We Don't Love: We wish the pot was bigger.

Put thin, dehydrated lips to bed (literally) with this overnight lip-plumping mask from Lawless Beauty. Intended to sit on your pout while you sleep, this non-tingling mask is perfect for those that bite their lips or hate constantly reapplying a gloss every few hours. "It reminds me of a comfortable, soft balm," our tester shares.

Choose between Sweet Dreams, a baby pink, and Cherry Vanilla, a sheer cherry red, and get some zzz's. Come morning, lips look fuller, smoother and, honestly, like you just got injectables thanks to its potent formula containing Maxi-Lip™ (a natural peptide that defines, smooths, and firms lips), shea butter, and hyaluronic acid. "I put the mask on before bed, and when I woke up the next morning, my lips were so hydrated," the tester admits. "The mask must have seeped into my lips right after I applied it, because it stayed on even after brushing my teeth."

One thing we wish we could change about this mask is the packaging. The pot itself is pretty small (0.28 oz.), so if you use it every night, you'll hit the bottom sooner rather than later. Also, to apply the mask, you need to dip your finger into the pot, which isn't the most hygienic. We'd love it if it came with a mini spatula like some other masks do.

Ingredients: Maxi-Lip™, Shea butter, Hyaluronic acid | Finish: Sheer | Shades: 2

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Best Gloss: Buxom Full-On™ Plumping Lip Cream Gloss

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What We Love: You can take your pick between 10 shades, ranging from light pinks and soft nudes to punchy reds.

What We Don't Love: The prickly effect can be a bit intense for some people.

Kiss dry, cracked lips goodbye with the help of this lip plumping, serum-gloss hybrid. The formula contains a unique peptide and hyaluronic acid booster that's paired with hyaluronic acid spheres and vitamins A and E to help give lips a fuller look and baby-soft feel.

After a swipe or two, the gloss drenches lips in a refreshing, chilly sensation that the brand describes as "tantalizing." Some find that tingle to be too much, but others, like our tester, found the sensation to be an invigorating reminder that the product was hard at work. "The tingling was slightly more intense than I thought it would be, but it diminished as time went on," the tester admits. "I thought it felt good, but it could definitely be too much for some people."

One of our favorite things about this plumper is that it's available in 10 cocktail-inspired colorways — ranging from light pinks and nudes to punchier picks like red and mauve.

Ingredients: Peptides, Hyaluronic acid, Vitamins A and B | Finish: Tinted | Shades: 10

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Best Serum: Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Lip Booster

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What We Love: If you're looking for a non-sticky finish on this list, this is it.

What We Don't Love: It isn't as hydrating as we would like it to be.

If you're not a fan of gummy lip products, this is the pick for you. Make Up For Ever designed this multi-use serum to prep the lips for makeup. Thanks to its blend of nourishing luffa oil and hyaluronic acid, it goes on soft and the cushion-tip applicator helps to smooth out fine lines. "It never tingled, which made me question if it was working or not," our tester admits. "But, eventually my lips felt really supple and looked more defined."

Despite her lips looking more plump, the tester notes that she wished that it was more hydrating. "I would probably need to reapply or put on lip balm underneath it to keep my lips nourished," she says.

Ingredients: Luffa oil, Hyaluronic acid | Finish: Clear and Sheer | Shades: 2

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Our Testing Process

To start, we spent about a week researching the top-rated lip plumpers on the market. After honing in on online ratings, we spent 40 hours putting the 27 most popular lip plumpers to the test. We had each of our testers try the lip plumpers so that they could analyze the performance of each one and write down their insights during the process. In doing so, our testers rated each pair of lip plumpers on a scale of 1 to 5 for three key categories: feel, plumping ability and hydration. Once the data was collected, we were able to narrow down the original pool of products to the 6 best lip plumpers of 2022.

What to Keep in Mind

Ingredients

When shopping for a lip plumper, it's important to look at the ingredient label because the lips (and the area around them) are very delicate. "Seek out plumpers that utilize hyaluronic acid and collagen, as both ingredients help draw hydration to the top level of the skin to naturally plump and define the lips," says Brian Nourian, co-founder of Le Jolie Medi Spa in West Hollywood. He recommends avoiding harsh ingredients like peppermint oil, bee venom, and pepper extract because they boost lip shape by irritating the skin to increase blood flow to the surface. While it will give you results, it can harm your skin in the process.

Board-certified dermatologist Amelia K. Hausauer, M.D. agrees, stating that, "The products that cause vasodilation (the opening of blood vessels) from increased circulation can often cause irritation, redness, tingling or even an uncomfortable sensation."

Longevity

How long your newly plumped lips will last depends on the product. Some products boast 24 hour longwear, while others can resemble the effects of filler when applied consistently over time. When looking at lasting power, think about the occasion or outings you'll want to wear plumper to and consider your personal preference. Usually, the longer the effect will last, the better, so you don't need to worry about reapplying. A product with color may also need to be applied more often to maintain its vibrancy.

Your Questions, Answered

What are the benefits of a lip plumper?

If you're new to the world of lip plumpers and are considering giving one a try, know that there can be many benefits to applying a swipe or two everyday or every once in a while. "Lip plumpers can add an instant boost of fullness and shine, especially for special events as there is no downtime after using them and they offer instant results," Nourian says. "If you're considering getting lip fillers, lip plumpers are a nice, non-committal way to enhance your lip shape and see what your lips might look like."

Are lip plumpers safe?

Lip plumpers rely on humectants, like hyaluronic acid, and are safe to use everyday. Dr. Hausauer notes that these products are made even better when combined with emollients, like ceramides, and occlusives, like squalane and petroleum jelly. "This trifecta is the hallmark of great lip moisturizers and are safe to use on the gentle lip skin as often as necessary," she says. She warns, though, that lip plumpers that offer a swelling effect should be used in moderation.

How often should you apply lip plumpers?

The frequency at which you should apply lip plumpers will depend on the product and its formulation. "Products that rely on moisturizing ingredients are fine to use regularly, since they may improve the lip skin over time," Dr. Hausauer says. "Ones with harsher ingredients should be tested before wearing in order to eliminate irritation."

What Is InStyle Picks?

Did you notice the InStyle Picks seal of approval at the top of this story? That means our team of testers has reviewed every product on this list using a unique methodology to ensure it's really worth your time, money, and attention. We may get samples for free to try but we never promise positive (or any!) coverage in exchange. Put simply: InStyle Picks are products we love, and we've put them to the test to be sure you will too.

Want more product recommendations? From best-in-class concealer to the black pants you need for work, check out all of our InStyle Picks content.

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