We Tested the Best Lip Plumpers—These 9 Offer Serious Pout

Our best overall pick is Patrick TA's Major Volume Gloss

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Lip Plumpers Hero

Byrdie / Jessica Juliao

Lip filler has become one of the most sought-after cosmetic treatments in recent years. But with a good lip plumper, you don't have to get injections from a specialist to achieve a pouty look—or spend hundreds of dollars, for that matter.

Byrdie Tested & Approved

The best option we tried is Patrick TA Major Volume Gloss, which delivers a noticeable plumping effect, ample hydration, and long-lasting shine. Looking for something more wallet-friendly? Essence What The Fake! Plumping Lip Filler is a great option. And if you're open to splurging, you can't go wrong with La Mer The Lip Volumizer.

Whether it's a balm, gloss, mask, or cream, these over-the-counter products typically contain plumping hydrators, plus various ingredients that increase blood flow to the area it's applied to. As Urban Decay global makeup artist Steve Kassajikian explains, "This gives the lips a fuller and smoother appearance."

Many brands make big claims about their lip-plumping products, and some definitely work better than others. To help you filter through your options, we tried nearly 30 formulas in The Lab.

These are the best lip plumpers tested by Byrdie.

Best Overall: PATRICK TA Major Volume Plumping Lip Gloss

4.7
Patrick TA Major Volume Plumping Gloss

Sephora

Our Ratings
  • Feel
    5/5
  • Plumping Ability
    4/5
  • Hydration
    5/5
What We Like
  • Noticeable results

  • Silky-smooth hydration

  • Long-lasting shine

What We Don't Like
  • Results aren't dramatic

Our favorite formula comes from Patrick TA. The brand's Major Volume Plumping Gloss earned perfect scores for feel and hydration. And while this product made our tester's lips noticeably fuller, rounder, and poutier, we knocked off only one point since the results were somewhat subtle.

The gloss felt slightly sticky at first with noticeable tingling, likely due to the cinnamon and ginger extract, which stimulate blood flow to the area. However, it didn't cause a burning sensation and settled into a silky-smooth consistency.

Our tester said her lips felt nourished and hydrated. Although the plumping effect was temporary, the shiny finish had serious staying power, lasting nearly all day without needing to be reapplied.

Key Ingredients: Cinnamon, ginger, peptides | Shades: 5 | Finish: Glossy | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Patrick TA Lip Pumping Test

Byrdie / Jessica Juliao

What Our Testers Say

"The tingling doesn't burn at all, and as it begins to settle into the lips, it is not sticky but glossy and feels silky."—Mariah Freire, Contributor

Best Budget: Essence What The Fake! Plumping Lip Filler

4.3
Essence What The Fake Lip Plumper

Ulta

Our Ratings
  • Feel
    4/5
  • Plumping Ability
    4/5
  • Hydration
    5/5
What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Subtle volumizing effect

  • Leaves lips soft

What We Don't Like
  • Almost too tingly

  • Flimsy applicator

  • Only comes in clear

On a budget? Essence makes a great lip-plumping gloss that'll only run you a few bucks. Our tester said What the Fake went on smoothly and felt nice on her lips. However, the applicator was somewhat flimsy, and the formula was a little more tingly than she'd like.

Still, the tingling did seem to do its job, resulting in a volumized pout that lasted about 30 minutes. Although we wish this gloss came in a tinted option, our tester loved how soft and hydrated her lips were.

Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, vitamin E | Shades: Clear | Finish: Glossy | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Essence What The Fake Lip Plumper

Byrdie / Jessica Juliao

Best Splurge: La Mer The Lip Volumizer

4.5
La Mer The Lip Volumizer

Courtesy of Sephora

Our Ratings
  • Feel
    5/5
  • Plumping Ability
    3.5/5
  • Hydration
    5/5
What We Like
  • Large, plush applicator

  • Non-sticky feel

  • Noticeable results

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Contains BHT

If you can swing the steep price, La Mer won't let you down. From the brand behind the world-famous, highly coveted—and extremely expensive—Crème de la Mer, The Lip Volumizer delivers noticeable results.

Describing it as a "nice, slick fluid," our tester said the non-sticky formula is smooth, nourishing, and hydrating and loved the large, plush applicator. She noticed a moderate tingling sensation, though it wasn't uncomfortable, and her lips stayed glossy for hours.

Key Ingredients: Marine extracts, minerals | Shades: Pinkish-clear | Finish: Glossy | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

 La Mer The Lip Volumizer

Byrdie / Jessica Juliao

What Our Testers Say

"It does feel like it's nourishing my lips and hydrating in a way that won't wear off. I feel a moderate tingling sensation that is not at all uncomfortable. I love the way it smells, and I like that the applicator brush is very plush and big."—Lydia, Product Tester

Best Kit: PMD Kiss Lip Plumping System

4
PMD Kiss Lip Plumping Collagen Boost System

Ulta

Our Ratings
  • Feel
    4/5
  • Plumping Ability
    3/5
  • Hydration
    5/5
What We Like
  • Subtle volumizing effect

  • Extremely hydrating

  • Mask feels amazing

What We Don't Like
  • Slightly painful

  • Learning curve

  • Results aren't dramatic

The best kit we tried was PMD's Kiss System. Though there was a slight learning curve with the multi-step process, it does provide a subtle volumizing effect. As one tester explained, the pulsating vacuum "quite literally sucks your lips to plumpness."

After that, you apply the serum, then the mask. While using the device was kind of painful, our tester said the mask felt amazing, leaving her lips extremely hydrated and smooth.

Key Ingredients: Peptides, hyaluronic acid, squalane | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

PMD Kiss System

Byrdie / Jessica Juliao

Best Serum: LORAC Holy Lips Plumping Serum

4.3
Lorac Holy Lips Plumping Serum

Ulta

Our Ratings
  • Feel
    5/5
  • Plumping Ability
    3/5
  • Hydration
    5/5
What We Like
  • Doe-foot applicator

  • Subtle volumizing effect

  • Very hydrating

What We Don't Like
  • Results aren't dramatic

  • Only comes in nude

Lorac Holy Lips was also a hit in The Lab. Our tester was a fan of the pointed doe-foot applicator and liked the "gentle" scent. She said the serum gradually became increasingly more tingly, which, to her, signaled it was actually working.

Her lips looked slightly plumper, though the results weren't dramatic. This product was also very hydrating, and while we wish it came in more colors, the honey-golden nude shade is undeniably flattering.

Key Ingredients: Marula oil, mango seed butter, collagen, ginger, peppermint | Shades: Universal nude | Finish: Glossy | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Lorac Holy Lips Plumping Serum

Byrdie / Jessica Juliao

What Our Testers Say

"I loved the slightly gold, honey color of the gloss, and the application wand was great for super strategic coverage."—Erin Johnson, Product Tester

Best Gloss: BUXOM Cosmetics Full-On Plumping Lip Polish Gloss

4.3
BUXOM Full-On™ Lip Polish

Courtesy of Sephora

Our Ratings
  • Feel
    5/5
  • Plumping Ability
    4/5
  • Hydration
    4/5
What We Like
  • Defines lips

  • Subtle volumizing effect

  • Softening and hydrating

What We Don't Like
  • Slightly sticky

  • Contains BHT

Buxom's Full-On Gloss tingled more intensely than other products we tried, but the sensation was temporary, and overall, it felt nice on the lips. Our tester liked the smooth consistency, though it got a little stickier the longer it was on.

In addition to a subtle plumping effect, she said her lips looked more defined. Containing a heaping dose of hyaluronic acid (the same stuff they use in lip injections), this high-end gloss also left her with supremely soft, hydrated lips.

Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, peptides, vitamin E | Shades: 10 | Finish: Glossy/creamy | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Buxom Full-On Plumping Lip Cream Gloss

Byrdie / Jessica Juliao

Best Mask: Lawless Forget The Filler Overnight Lip Plumping Mask

3.8
Lawless Forget The Filler Overnight Lip Plumping Mask

Lawless

Our Ratings
  • Feel
    4/5
  • Plumping Ability
    2.5/5
  • Hydration
    5/5
What We Like
  • Immediate results

  • Nourishing formula

What We Don't Like
  • Unhygienic container

  • Contains BHT

This overnight lip treatment was a hit not only in The Lab but also with our at-home product reviewer. One tester said it has a smooth consistency and a comfortable feel with no tingling whatsoever.

We're not thrilled that it comes in a little pot, as finger application isn't very hygienic. Still, the brand's Patented Maxi-Lip complex produces immediate results, and you can count on incredibly hydrated, nourished lips come morning.

Key Ingredients: Maxi-Lip complex, shea butter, ceramides, ginger | Shades: 2 | Finish: Shiny | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Lawless Forget The Filler Overnight Lip-Plumping Mask

Byrdie / Jessica Juliao

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

4.3
e.l.f Cosmetics Lip Plumping Gloss

Ulta

Our Ratings
  • Feel
    5/5
  • Plumping Ability
    3.8/5
  • Hydration
    4/5
What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Noticeable results

  • Great color payoff

What We Don't Like
  • Not long-lasting

Our favorite drugstore lip plumper is from e.l.f. Exceptionally smooth and not too thick or sticky, this creamy gloss feels nice on the lips. Our tester experienced a slightly tingly, cooling sensation, but overall, the formula was comfortable.

She said her lips were noticeably (albeit subtly) fuller with ample shine. Available in eight flattering shades, this tinted lip gloss boasts excellent color payoff, leaving you with a moisturized, healthy-looking pout. The scent is nice too!

Key Ingredients: Vitamin E, coconut oil | Shades: 8 | Finish: Glossy/sheer color | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

What Our Testers Say

 "My lips look slightly fuller and juicier, if you will. The tingling sensation was not intense, so I think there is a very subtle plump to my lips and a great amount of gloss/shine without being sticky."—Gibreel Martinez, Product Tester

Final Verdict

The best option we tried is Patrick TA Major Volume Gloss, which delivers a noticeable plumping effect, ample hydration, and long-lasting shine. Looking for something more wallet-friendly? Essence What The Fake! Plumping Lip Filler is a great option, and it only costs a few bucks.  And if you're open to splurging, you can't go wrong with La Mer The Lip Volumizer, which flaunts a plush applicator and smooth, nourishing formula. 

How We Tested

Byrdie editors compiled expert recommendations, combed through user reviews, and researched the best over-the-counter lip plumpers before selecting 27 to try first-hand. We carefully evaluated the ingredient lists, intended uses, and directions before testing the formulas on our own lips.

Each product was awarded a score from one to five for feel, plumping ability, and hydration, and those with the highest overall scores were featured in this roundup. All assessments were performed in The Lab, our in-house product testing facility in Manhattan.

Other Options We Tested

Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Heat Universal Lip Luminizer + Plumper 

We found Fenty's Gloss Bomb Heat to be smooth yet thick and somewhat heavy for a lip product. The tingling sensation intensifies the longer you wear the gloss, and while it made our tester's lips pop with color, shine, and hydration, she didn't think they actually looked plumper.

 Fenty's Gloss Bomb Heat

Byrdie / Jessica Juliao

Dr. Brandt Needles No More 3-D Lip PlumpFix 

One tester described this plumping treatment as "a light lotion for the lips." It produces a slight tingling effect but otherwise feels soft and smooth. And while our tester's lips were noticeably poutier, she said the formula isn't hydrating and actually left her lips somewhat dry.

Too Faced Lip Injection Maximum Plump 

Our tester liked the hydrating formula and non-sticky texture of this lip gloss. And although it made her lips visibly larger, she said it created an uncomfortably tingly burning sensation.

Too Faced Lip Injection Maximum Plump

Byrdie / Jessica Juliao

Meet the Expert

What to Look for in a Lip Plumper

Conditioning Ingredients

First and foremost, Kassajikian recommends looking for lip plumping products that are chock-full of conditioning ingredients that’ll keep your lips amply moisturized. In order for plumped lips to look their very best, you’ll want to ensure they’re soft and supple—not dry or flaky.

Hyaluronic Acid

One key ingredient Kassajikian recommends looking out for in a lip plumper is hyaluronic acid. As you know, hyaluronic acid draws moisture into the skin and holds it there, lending a plumping effect to fine lines and wrinkles. It’ll have the same effect on your lips, helping them look fuller, plumper, and healthier overall.

Avoid Sting-Inducing Ingredients

Mild irritants, such as cayenne, capsicum resin (from peppers), cinnamon, menthol, and even bee venom cause blood to rush to your lips, creating a temporary plumping effect. That's why many lip-plumping products have a subtle bite to them. (But don't worry, they're safe!)

While this is totally up to your personal preference, Kassajikian recommends avoiding products with these ingredients if you don't want your lips to sting—instead, reach for products with non-stinging ingredients like mustard sprout and hyaluronic acid. We especially recommend avoiding these if your lips are dry and cracked. Ouch!

FAQ
  • How do lip plumpers work?

    Not all lip plumpers are created equal, but many of the glosses, balms, masks, and creams out there have ingredients that draw moisture into the skin’s surface, resulting in a plumped appearance. “This gives the lips a fuller and smoother appearance,” Kassajikian says. However, others contain the blood-rushing ingredients mentioned above, which cause the lips to temporarily swell and become inflamed to appear fuller. LED devices also exist, which boost collagen production within the lips to create a fuller, smoother appearance.

  • Are lip plumpers safe?

    According to Kassajikian, they’re safe because the effects are only temporary. However, he does give one warning: “If overused, they can potentially cause dry and chapped lips.” So be sure not to overdo it.

What Is Byrdie Verified?

Did you notice the Byrdie Verified seal of approval at the top of this story? This seal means that our team has researched and tested every product on this list using a unique methodology that’s designed to focus on what our readers really want to know—and to deliver insights that you can’t find anywhere else. Occasionally, beauty brands and PR agencies will send us samples for coverage consideration, but our thoughts and opinions are fully our own. If you visit links within our content, we may receive commissions from your purchases, but we never receive any compensation or consideration for the content of our recommendations. In short, the Byrdie Verified seal stands for product recommendations you can trust.

Why Trust Byrdie

Theresa Holland is a freelance commerce writer specializing in cosmetics. For this story, she compiled insights from makeup artists and first-hand commentary from our testers to craft trustworthy product recommendations. She has been contributing to Byrdie since 2020, where she covers makeup, skincare, and at-home beauty treatments. You can read more of her articles on The Spruce, MyDomaine, and Travel + Leisure.

Updated by Jill Di Donato
Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Yazdanparast T, Samadi A, Hasanzadeh H, Nasrollahi S, Firooz A, Kashani M. Assessment of the efficacy and safety of hyaluronic acid gel injection in the restoration of fullness of the upper lips. J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2017;10(2):101. doi: 10.4103/JCAS.JCAS_115_16

  2. Mazzarello, V., et al. “How Long Does the Volumizing Effect of a Zingiber Officinale-Based Lip Plumper Last?” International Journal of Cosmetic Science, vol. 39, no. 4, Aug. 2017, pp. 373–78. doi:10.1111/ics.12383

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