obsessive tester

The 8 Best Lip Plumpers to Try Before Your Next Filler Appointment

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Retailers

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Between the great debate of lip filler versus a lip-flip and exactly how many syringes are ideal for a natural-but-not-too-natural look, there’s a lot to consider when deciding if injections are right for you. If you’re anything like me and the thought of spending a lot money on a cosmetic procedure that might not end up looking the way you want it to, you’re open to exploring easier (and less expensive) solutions.

For a lip-filler alternative, don’t overlook lip plumpers — they’re having quite the resurgence! In the past, I strayed away from these, too, in fear of painful formulas that have a reputation of stinging or burning the lips. But there are now a plethora of new options on the market that lean au naturel and offer up a subtle sensation and less sticky finish. (Don’t worry, if you prefer the tried-and-true dramatic plumpers, those are back and better than ever, too.) And I tested them all so you don’t have to.

Ahead, I’ve rounded up the eight best plumpers that you may want to consider before your next injection appointment — and hey, if you’d rather stick with filler (no judgment), use these to bump it up another notch.

The Overall Best Lip Plumper

This gloss shows immediate results without too much pain. It offers up a pretty, semi-sheer finish and comes in six different colors. The plump is sparked by active ingredients like cinnamon and ginger while promoting hydration with hyaluronic acid. For me, it strikes the perfect balance between optimal results and endurable application.

The Most Dramatic Lip Plumper

This lip plumper is not messing around — when they say maximum plump, well, they absolutely mean it. Out of all of the options on this list, this gloss delivered the most noticeable results. With that being said, it’s not for the faint of heart. The sting on the lips (and even around the mouth) was pretty intense for me. If you have sensitive skin, you might want to skip this one.

The Painless Lip Plumper

This gloss is viral for a reason. The formula relies on maracuja and superfruits for its plumping and nourishing properties. It has an intense cooling sensation upon application, but it doesn’t sting or burn the lips. This gloss also comes in a wider color range than many of its competitors, as well as two different finishes, which is a nice plus if that’s on your list of priorities in a plumper.

The Best Bang for Your Buck

I’m not going to lie to you, the chile pepper callout on the ingredients list had me nervous, but the application is not too bad. It heats up your lips to achieve a full look, instead of creating a tingling sensation like other plumpers on the list. The color range and glossy finish is pretty, and it certainly does the trick, especially for the lower price tag.

The Best Natural Lip Plumper

This gloss is packed with hydrating superfoods and undoubtedly takes a more subtle (and painless) approach to plumping. It still offers up a fuller look and has a silky texture, making the clear gloss perfect to add on top of another colored lip product. But if you’re looking for dramatic results, you’ll want a more intense option than this one.

The Classic Option

Whenever I talk to my friends about lip plumpers, it’s hard for this Buxom gloss to not come up. It has a pretty intense tingle, but you’re guaranteed to see results. This option comes in a range of shimmer finishes, making it a solid pick for a girls’ night out.

The Most Glossy Lip Plumper

Powered by shea butter and hyaluronic acid, this clean gloss is all about hydration to make your lips feel pillowy soft and look glasslike. It’s available in standard and shimmer finishes from clear to shades of pink and red. My only complaint? The texture is quite thick.

The Serum Alternative

I’m an advocate for lip serums, especially for daytime. They offer up the same glossy look as a lip plumper or gloss — without the thick, sticky feeling that I simply don’t want to deal with for more casual occasions. This formula is packed with hydrating actives like shea butter, avocado oil, kiwi oil, and argan oil.

8 Best Lip Plumpers to Try in Between Filler Appointments