Product Reviews: Lip Plumpers

Celebrities know the secret to looking younger, sexier and more glamorous: a pair of plump, luscious lips. Full lips help add depth and drama to a face, and beautifully showcase lipstick or gloss. It's no wonder collagen injections are one of the first cosmetic enhancements famous ladies go for - sometimes while they're still in their 20s.

Surgical procedures to plump up lips can be expensive and painful, and the results can vary. Most of us have seen the result of a lip enhancement gone wrong, and it isn't pretty. Luckily, there are products to help you achieve that pouty, bee-stung look without all the hassle and expense.

Lip plumpers have been around for quite awhile, and even if you've already tried one, it could be worth another look. There's more than one kind of lip plumper available. Some work by mildly irritating the surface of the lips with natural spicy ingredients like cinnamon.

Other plumpers create the illusion of fuller lips by providing a base that enhances lipstick and liner. Finally, there are products claiming to improve the look of your lips over time by infusing them with compounds that increase collagen production. In the last few years, cosmetics companies have taken lip plumpers to the next level - some with prices to match.

Lip-Plumping Bargains $10 and under

You don't have to pay a lot for basic lip plumper benefits - most drugstore-brand companies offer a lip-plumping gloss. Most often, these low-cost plumpers liven up your lips with shiny color and add a temporary pout with cinnamon or mint oil. Some women don't care for the tingling sensation these products create, but others find it appealing and enjoy the added mouth-freshening properties.

L'Oreal Infallible Never Fail Plumping Lip Gloss ($9.99) is one of the more luxurious lip-plumping options in the drugstore, giving your lips a noticeably plump appearance in seconds. This mild formula doesn't burn, sting, or dry out lips like some products. Best of all, the color really lasts.

Remember Bonne Bell, the maker of shiny, bubble gum-scented gloss from way back when? The company's look has matured, with an expanded affordable product line that's appealing to many women on a beauty budget.

Bonne Bell's LipLUSHous Plumping Lip Gloss ($3.95) comes in 6 delicious flavors promising to add shine and volume to your pucker. Users report a very subtle plumping effect, but say they still love this product for the flavor and great price.

NYC's Lippin' Large Lip Plumper ($3.99) features a strong spicy scent, from the cinnamon and ginger in the formula. It may be a little bit thick and goopy for some users, and the colors are very light and sheer, but for a bargain-priced plumper, it works fast with a noticeable tingle.

Mid-priced Plumpers $10-$20

Most mid-priced plumpers work the same as the bargain-priced products, but may simply contain more of the active ingredient. Sometimes, you'll get a plumping primer rather than a gloss. Primers are less sticky and can go on under your lip color for a more sophisticated plumped look.

Origins Underwear for Lips ($14.50) is a nude-color lip primer that prepares your lips for lip color. It plumps using silica to fill in fine lines and gives your lips definition and shape. The formula is flavorless and unscented, and a little dab goes a long way, making it a good buy.

Bare Escentuals focuses on overall skin health as well as beauty. The brand's Buxom Big and Healthy Lip Polish ($18) delivers plumping power and beautiful shine. Use this product alone, or glide it over lip color to enhance your pout even more. An extra bonus is the color variety: it comes in 18 great shades.

You probably wouldn't be reading about lip plumpers right now if it hadn't been for DuWop Lip Venom ($16), the product that started it all. Lip Venom features essential oils to help increase the circulation to your lips, adding volume and bringing out their natural color. The clear pink, non-sticky formula goes on smooth and gives lasting results.

High-End Plumpers $20 to $40

As we age, we tend to lose fullness and definition in the lip area, making small wrinkles on and around the mouth more noticeable. This change can affect the overall look of a woman's face, and make her look older than her years. To address the problem, look to lip plumpers featuring deep moisturizers and wrinkle-fighting ingredients, in addition to their instant plumping power. You will likely have to pay more for a serious, dermatologist-formulated lip plumper, but the results can be well worth it.

Perricone M.D. Lip Plumper ($35) is no quick-fix gloss. This product contains anti-oxidants and alpha lipoeic acid to help fight signs of aging and improve the condition of your lips over time.

The TEMPS Lip Plumping Treatment from MD Formulations ($28) is another plumping product using cutting-edge ingredients to make lips look younger and more plush. The formula includes hyaluronic microspheres and marine collagen to infuse your lips with moisture for an immediate glow as well as long-term improvement. Use it alone, with your favorite lipstick, or as an overnight lip-smoothing treatment.

Lip Plumping Tips

Remember, your natural lip shape is inherited, and no product can give you an entirely different pair of lips than the ones you were born with. Do a little reasearch to find out how to best enhance your particular shape and size of lips. In general, a nude lip liner can give the appearance of fuller lips. A touch of gloss in the center of your lower lip can also create an illusion of plumpness.

Take care of your lips by keeping them moisturized, and using an SPF 15 or higher lip treatment when you'll be in the sun. You can exfoliate lips once per week with a soft toothbrush and use a product like Blistex DCT overnight to improve the overall health of your lips. Finally, smoking is a habit that can wreak havoc on your lips, causing premature wrinkles and discolorations. Having healthier, more beautiful lips is just one more reason to quit!