6 Steps to Naturally Fuller Lips, Plus the Best Lip Plumpers to Try

October 27, 2023
Ariel Wodarcyk
By: Ariel Wodarcyk | skincare.com by L'Oréal
Close-up picture of a model touching their bottom lip

There are plenty of ways to make your lips appear fuller, but believe it or not, not every method requires the skilled hand of a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. To make your lips look plumper sans filler or needles, it’s important to prioritize exfoliation, hydration, moisture and sun protection in your lip-care routine. Of course, plumping glosses and overlining your lips with a lip pencil can also make a big difference in how pouty your lips appear, too. Below, keep reading to find out how to achieve naturally plump lips in just six easy steps, plus our favorite products for achieving the look.

How to Get Naturally Plump Lips With Skincare

Plumper-looking lips can be achieved through lip balms and exfoliation — find out how below. 

STEP 1: Exfoliate

Whether it’s on your face or lips, exfoliation is key to every skincare routine. When dead skin cells accumulate on the surface of your lips, it can cause a rough feel, prohibit the light from reflecting off your pout and prevent conditioning agents from fully penetrating. The easiest way to slough off unwanted dead skin cells and flakes is by using a lip exfoliator weekly. You can create your own lip scrub using a mixture of oil and sugar or opt for a store bought exfoliator, like the Sara Happ Lip Scrub. Gently rub the formula across your pout in circular motions and rinse.  

STEP 2: Apply a Hydrating Lip Mask

Adding moisture to your skin can help it appear more plump, and your lips are no exception. After you’ve exfoliated, deep condition your pout with a hydrating lip mask. We like the Kiehl’s Buttermask for Lips, which contains coconut oil and mango butter. 

STEP 3: Moisturize With a Balm

Amp up the moisture with a hydrating lip conditioner post-mask. Reach for one formulated with nourishing oils and emollients, like the La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Lips Hydration Restore Lip Balm. Made specifically for dry to very dry skin, this balm is formulated with vitamin B5, thermal spring water and shea butter for lips that look and feel healthy and soft.

STEP 4: Protect With Broad Spectrum SPF

Applying sunscreen to your lips can help protect them against harmful UV rays and potential sun damage. Unprotected exposure to the sun can not only cause sunburn, but it can cause your delicate lip skin to feel dry, irritated and uncomfortable. If your go-to lip balm or conditioner is not formulated with SPF, give your lips an extra layer of protection with one that is, like the Maybelline New York Baby Lips Moisturizing Lip Balm with SPF 20

STEP 5: Invest in an Anti-Aging Lip Serum

As we age, our skin undergoes a number of changes affecting its texture and appearance, including loss of firmness and more visible signs of aging. You can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles with the help of an anti-aging serum like the SkinCeuticals Antioxidant Lip Repair, which helps smooth and refine the surface of the lips. Formulated with antioxidants, this lip product is a restorative treatment for damaged or aging lips. 

STEP 6: Apply a Plumping Lip Serum

When in doubt, use a lip plumper. Lip plumping products can add a temporary boost in fullness while making lips look and feel smoother. Try the PCA Skin Hydrating Lip Booster, which is packed with peptides and filling spheres to instantly hydrate and add volume to your lips.

How to Get Naturally Plump Lips With Makeup

Once you’ve perfected your skincare routine for lips, makeup will act as the cherry on top. Keep reading to find out how to get fuller-looking lips with a few simple makeup tips and tricks. 

Step 1: Exfoliate Your Lips

Once again, you’re going to want to start by sloughing off any dead skin cells that could be giving your lips a dried-out, flaky appearance. Light exfoliation will also help boost your skin’s circulation, which will lead to a temporary increase in fullness.

Step 2: Overline Your Lips With Pencil

Now, here’s where the fun part comes in. Sarah Biggers-Stewart, a professional makeup artist and the founder and CEO of CLOVE + HALLOW, gave Makeup.com an explainer on how to overline your lips in a way that looks naturally plumped-up. “Apply lip liner using a subtle overlining technique in the center of your lips, meaning it still touches your natural lip line but overlies on the outside edge,” she explained. “As you near the corners of the mouth, follow the true lip line. This will look plump, but natural.”

For the most realistic-looking result, don’t stray too far from your natural lip line, and use a pencil that’s either freshly sharpened or has a fine, retractable tip. “Aggressive overlining far outside the lip line, especially over the Cupid’s bow, may look okay on camera or on stage, but is very obvious in-person,” Biggers-Stewart told us. 

Step 3: Apply a Lipstick

Next, fill in your lips with a lipstick of your choice. For the fullest results possible, we recommend staying away from matte lipsticks and instead opting for a glossy or satin finish. This will add extra dimension to the lips and enhance their moisture and volume. 

Step 4: Finish With a Lip Gloss

“Layer on a gloss, ensuring the gloss reaches the highest points of your cupid’s bow for maximum fullness,” Biggers-Stewart explained. For best results, we recommend choosing a lip gloss with plumping ingredients. Focus most of the gloss on the center of your lips for the plumpest, poutiest looks.

Step 5 (Optional): Contour Your Lips

Lip contouring is an extra step that can further amp up your lips’ volume. The easiest way to contour your lips is by adding a swipe of a cool-toned contour product just below the lower lip to create the appearance of a shadow, then blending out the color. For a more in-depth tutorial, check out the video below.

The Best Products For Naturally Plump Lips

NYX Professional Makeup Filler Instinct Plumping Lip Polish Gloss

These sheer, shimmer-flecked glosses add mesmerizing dimension and fullness to your lips with just one coat. They look gorgeous on their own, layered on top of overlined lips or as a topper to your favorite lipsticks. The formula glides on smoothly and has a subtle tingle that plumps up your lips without a burning sensation.

NYX Professional Makeup Filler Instinct Plumping Lip Polish Gloss

Maybelline New York Lifter Gloss with Hyaluronic Acid

For subtle fullness and a pretty, glazed-looking sheen, we love these lip glosses. They’re filled with hyaluronic acid, so they’ll leave your lips soft, pillowy and hydrated. The extra-large doe foot wand hugs your lips from every angle, leaving them drenched in color and shine. 

Maybelline New York Lifter Gloss with Hyaluronic Acid

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Waterproof Lip Liner

Define your lip line with these creamy, easy-glide lip liners. The formula is waterproof, so you don’t need to worry about your overlined look fading throughout the day. Plus, the pencils are infused with vitamin E, jojoba oil and cottonseed oil for an extra boost of moisture.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Waterproof Lip Liner

NYX Professional Makeup Line Loud Vegan Longwear Lip Liner

Looking for a drugstore lip liner to get naturally plump lips? This creamy, ultra-pigmented option is our pick. Available in 18 high-voltage shades, these waterproof lip liners will match every lip look you set out to create. Plus, the formula is waterproof and enriched with moisturizing agents like jojoba oil and vitamin E. 

NYX Professional Makeup Line Loud Vegan Longwear Lip Liner

Giorgio Armani Beauty Lip Power Longwear Satin Lipstick

A satin finish lipstick is your secret to softer, shiner and fuller-looking lips. We’re obsessed with this luxury formula, which glides on effortlessly and wears comfortably throughout the day. It delivers eight hours of non-drying wear, thanks to protective oils that give the formula a balm-like feel.

Giorgio Armani Beauty Lip Power Longwear Satin Lipstick

LAWLESS Forget the Filler Lip Plumper Line Smoothing Gloss

Smooth the look of lip lines and increase fullness with this volumizing gloss. The plush wand and hydrating feel, which comes from a combination of shea butter and hyaluronic acid, will make you actually look forward to reapplying this pick throughout the day.

LAWLESS Forget the Filler Lip Plumper Line Smoothing Gloss

MILK MAKEUP Electric Glossy Lip Plumper

For high shine and extreme added volume, look no further than this supercharged lip plumper. It contains sichuan pepper, vegan collagen and a lip plumping complex that add a zing to your lips. It’s available in six shades, including a clear option, plus nudes, berries, coral and pink. 

MILK MAKEUP Electric Glossy Lip Plumper

Peter Thomas Roth Instant FIRMx Lip Filler

This conditioning balm gives your lips a refreshing burst of peppermint and a subtly fuller look. It smooths out lip lines and provides a satisfying tingly feel that’s perfect for prepping lips for overlining. The addition of hyaluronic acid leaves your pout supple and well-hydrated.

Peter Thomas Roth Instant FIRMx Lip Filler

MAKEUP BY MARIO Perfecting Lip Scrub

Buff away flakes without drying out your lips using this gentle yet effective lip scrub. Micro-fine sugar crystals polish away dry, dead skin, while a combination of coconut oil, vitamin E and sodium hyaluronate lock in moisture.

MAKEUP BY MARIO Perfecting Lip Scrub
Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn

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