In the age of beauty we’re in now, there’s nothing more sultry than a pillowy pout. From social media influencers to A-list celebrities (we’re looking to you, Kylie Jenner), having a full lip is seemingly becoming less of a trend, and more of a beauty staple.
But the truth is, trends come and go in waves. What’s been popular the last couple of years may be looked back on as a fashion faux pas in a single year’s time. So what to do? Of course, you can take the plunge and get your lips done, but maybe the permanence of it (or the size of the needle) makes you shiver.
So how do you get permanently bigger lips without surgery? To be blunt, you can’t. The only truly permanent way to achieve bigger lips involves undergoing a cosmetic procedure. But, through specially formulated makeup products, DIY options, and makeup techniques, you can achieve a similar look.
Here, we’ll lay out all the ways you can achieve the oomph your lips have been craving, as well as some tips to preserve the health of your pout along the way.
Why Isn’t It Possible To Get Bigger Lips Without Surgery?
While it would be incredibly impressive (and cheaper) to permanently enlarge your lips without plastic surgery, the truth of the matter is that our bodies just weren’t meant to sustain that kind of drastic change.
Because of the body’s natural healing and restorative properties, whatever type of procedure you get done to yourself will always fade down to a sort of baseline (or, your body’s natural state).
That’s why tattoos fade over time, piercing sites heal after the removal of your jewelry, and natural methods of lip plumping don’t last very long.
Even getting cosmetic surgery isn’t necessarily a permanent solution, as surgeons recommend coming in every few months to get a touch-up. That’s because, over time, filler does dissolve.
Easy Ways To Get Plumper Lips
1. Exfoliate, Exfoliate, Exfoliate
You may be a fan of physical or chemical exfoliants on your skin because they leave you feeling supple and smooth. Did you know that you’ll get the same results with lip exfoliation as well?
That’s right! One of the easiest, most cost-efficient ways to achieve a fuller looking pout is by exfoliation. When your lips are dry, they tend to look paler, tighter, and consequently smaller. When your lips are in this stage, you may fall under the urge to pick at them, but may we recommend reaching for a lip scrub instead?
Before you exfoliate, ensure that your lips are clean and dry. You can do this by swiping your lips with some makeup remover to ensure you’re lipstick and gloss free. However, we recommend doing this just after you brush your teeth (to ensure there’s no food residue on your lips as well).
As for your choice of exfoliant, you can buy one in-store, or make one using ingredients that you likely already have in your house. Here’s a recipe for a simple one we love:
- Honey (1 tbsp)
- Sugar (2 tbsp)
- Olive Oil (½ tbsp)
- Peppermint Oil (2 drops)
Mix all of these ingredients together in a resealable jar, and you’ll be left with an all natural lip scrub, perfect for regular use. The honey and olive oil act as natural moisturizers, while the sugar supplies the grit needed to buff away any dead skin on the surface of your lips.
We chose peppermint essential oil as it adds a natural plumping effect to your lips, but you can choose any essential oil you like the smell of (make sure it’s safe to consume).
If you’re really in a pinch, making a scrub solely out of honey and sugar is effective as well.
It’s okay if you’re not DIY-savvy. There are tons of lip scrubs on the market at a multitude of price points. Whether you grab the Burt’s Bees option at your local CVS, or Fresh’s scrub over at Sephora – we personally believe that you don’t need to dish out a ton of dough to get the results you’re looking for.
Once you have your exfoliant in hand, use a clean finger to pick up some of the product and apply it to your lips. You really don’t need a lot to get the job done! A common mistake people make is not letting the grit do its magic for them.
You don’t need to use a ton of pressure or force to scrub this product onto your skin. The harder you scrub, the more damage you’re doing to your already fragile lips, potentially leaving you with a drier, more peely pout than you started off with.
So instead of unleashing your inner He-Man, use you finger to gently buff the exfoliant into your lips using a circular motion. You shouldn’t feel any pain at all, but that doesn’t mean you won’t feel the breaking of dead skin from your lips.
Once you feel that the scrub has done its job, resist the urge to lick your mouth clean (we know it tastes yummy), and go ahead and wipe off the scrub to reveal baby soft lips!
Now is the perfect time to condition them; not only does this protect the new layer of skin you’ve unearthed, but it will “lock-in” the results, giving your luscious lips all the time to linger.
We love this method because it’s quick and simple, and the circulation of blood to your lips will give you that swollen “freshly bitten” look that’s been taking the makeup world by storm as of late!
But, we do have to warn you, the dangers of over-exfoliating your lips are just as real as the dangers of over-exfoliating your face! Doing this hack on a daily basis won’t leave you with a pillowy soft pout, but rather raw, red lips. Stick to reaching for your lip scrub 1-2 times a week to get the best results.
2. Lip Plumping Gloss
With the aesthetic rise of full lips also came the rise of lip plumper sales. There’s just something about the tingle, the immediate flush of color to the lips, and of course, the almost instantaneous swelling that makes lip plumper almost addicting.
You may be wondering how lip plumpers work, and the answer is really quite simple. If you’re a fan of spicy food, you may have noticed the swelling effect that spices have on your lips at the end of the meal. A lip plumper provides results in an almost identical way.
The ingredients in a lip plumper actually work to irritate the lips of the skin. And honestly, it doesn’t take much. The skin on the lips is extremely fragile, so you don’t need to apply a ton of plumper to see results.
With this irritation, blood will rush to the mouth in an attempt to sooth your pout of what it perceives to be a foreign aggressor. The result? A pouty mouth.
There are dozens of lip plumping glosses to choose from in-store. You can opt for elf’s lip plumping gloss that comes in at under $10, or you may have your eye on the cult favorite: Too Faced’s Lip Injection.
Or maybe you’re on the craftier side, and want to make your own lip plumper. If so, you’ve come to the right place!
A downside that comes with a DIY version of a lip plumper is that they’re a tad bit on the spicier side. That’s because you’ll need ingredients like cayenne and clove to give your lips the irritation necessary to swell your mouth.
If you’re not a huge fan of spice, you can opt for cinnamon powder or oil to plump your lips as well, though the results may not be as dramatic as intended.
What You’ll Need:
- Oil (1 tbsp, you can use olive, coconut, or almond oil)
- Spices of choice (½ tsp if powdered, ¼ tsp if oil; you can choose from cinnamon, clove, or cayenne)
- You can use up to a teaspoon and a half of a powdered spice or 1 tsp of oil if you’re using a singular spice.
Find a reusable jar to mix everything thoroughly together in, and gently massage the mixture onto your lips when ready. Leave it on for 10 minutes at most, less if you feel it getting too irritating for you, and rinse off when finished.
The most appealing thing about the DIY alternative? How customizable it is. You can truly mix and match spices and measurements until you have the perfect concoction for both your spice tolerance, and your wanted results.
Warning: We have to let you know that when it comes to both store bought and DIY lip plumpers, you can have too much of a good thing. The most important thing to remember is that while lip plumpers quickly and effectively swell your lips, they’re swelling due to an adverse reaction.
If you’re a chronic lip plumping gloss user, it won’t take long for you to notice your lips getting drier, scalier, and more irritated. This tends to happen if you reach for your gloss more than once a day.
Because of that, we recommend limiting this gloss to one application every 24 hours or so, but the truth is, you really don’t need to reach for this gloss more than 3-4 times a week. Your lips will definitely thank you!
3. Moisture Is Your Friend
Just like your skin, your lips need to stay hydrated to show off their peak plumpness! Just like your eyes, the skin of your lips is made up off a much thinner, much more sensitive type of tissue that requires a bit more assistance holding moisture than the rest of your face.
Unlike the skin on your face, the tissue that makes up your lips doesn’t naturally produce its own oils. That’s why your mouth tends to dry out so quickly throughout the day, especially if you eat or talk often, or are exposed to harsher temperatures.
Don’t skimp out on a good quality lip conditioner. While we’re big fans of a good liquid or bullet lipstick, the truth is that nothing nourishes the lips like a lip balm or lip mask. Find a balm that contains things like oils, butters, and antioxidants.
These ingredients are especially nourishing, and will help your lips keep their moisture throughout the day. Chapsticks with waxes will help seal moisture into the skin, so we don’t recommend using them to remedy already dry lips, as it could potentially dry them out more.
Balms with oils help soften the skin, while ones with antioxidant ingredients can help shield the skin from the harsh environment.
Another ingredient you should be on the lookout for? SPF. You’ve listened to us preach time and again about the importance of sunscreen on your daily routine, but did you ever think about applying that advice to your lips?
Sunscreen not only protects against age spots and wrinkles (which can definitely affect your lips), but it also protects against volume loss! Sun damaged skin can tend to droop. The same aftermath will happen on your lips if you neglect religious SPF application!
We’re sure that you’ve heard it time and time again, drinking an ample amount of water is the key to any beauty routine. Not only will you keep your skin moisturized, but staying hydrated will actually assist in rebuilding the moisture barrier all over your body – including your lips.
That means they won’t get dry as quickly, so you don’t need to worry about reapplying chap stick every moment of the day!
4. Hyaluronic Acid
If you’re new to the world of skincare, you may not know about what a lifesaver hyaluronic acid is for dry skin. Hyaluronic acid is a humectant that can draw in up to 1,000x its weight in hydration. It’s best to apply a topical hyaluronic serum while your lips are still damp, as the serum won’t do its job on dry lips.
Another important tip to remember is that hyaluronic acid is not meant to be used by itself. Unless you seal the moisture in with a thicker lip balm or lip mask, the acid will actually provide the opposite affect to your mouth, drying you out even further.
With age comes the loss or slowed production of collagen, a protein found in bones, tissue, tendons, and of course, your skin. Collagen is often thought of as the “glue” of the skin, as it holds the delicate tissues that make up your epidermis together.
As you age, and as your body stops making as much of the protein as it used to, you may see the effects in the form of sagging skin or wrinkles.
And we don’t just mean on your face! The tissues of your lips will likely show they first signs of aging first, as it’s an incredibly delicate area of the face. Taking collagen supplements is an easy way to make up for the lack of natural collagen your body is making.
This is a more timely method when it comes to restoring the luscious-ness of your lips, but when it comes to permanence – this option will yield more long lasting results. With regular intake, you should be able to see more elasticity and “bounce” back in your smile after six weeks time.
If you’re not a fan of supplements, or if you’re more the type to receive your nutrients in a good ol’ fashioned way, introducing protein rich meats, nuts, beans to your diet can help collagen production, however, taking collagen pills will provide faster results.
Can I use a suctioning method to make my lips plumper?
While the “Kylie Jenner” lip challenge went viral, it’s definitely not a viable option when it comes to plumping your lips.
There’s truly no way to do this method safely, and even the most promising of beauty devices will only lead to the rupture of the delicate blood vessels in your lips – leading to excessive swelling, redness, and bruising.
Can facial exercises help plump my lips?
It isn’t scientifically proven, but some daily users of “facial yoga” claim that the lifting and plumping effects on the skin are unlike any supplement or lip gloss could provide.
The belief is that regular exercising of the face brings blood to the skin, helping stimulate any lost nutrition production of the skin- including collagen. While it sounds strange, it is true that the lip is surrounded by muscle, and working that muscle out can provide a lifting effect.
Up Next: Best Lip Stains For Dry Lips