This was the product I was most excited about trying. A supermodel had been raving about it on Instagram, saying that it was ‘next level’. I know they were probably paid to say it, but I’m a sucker for a well-targeted ad campaign.
What really stood out is that it has clinical proof of its ability to increase lip size by up to 40 per cent. The packaging looks super pro, in a silver tube encased in a box, and the product smooths on like a balm.
It’s not super glossy, more like a serum. It claims to boost collagen synthesis for bigger lips if you use it three times a day for 30 days. It was a stronger tingle than most of the products I trialled and my bare lips flushed rosy to prove it was working.
I’d heard that plumpers can often dry out the lips, but Transformulas works by moisturising instead, using macadamia nut oil. My lips felt great, and much fuller. My colleagues agreed that it had worked, and I’m going to continue using it to see how much plumper I can get.
A powerhouse by both name and nature, Lip Voltage was the most electrifying product that I trialled. The formula combines three ‘turbo-charged’ ingredients that work to restore lost volume, add it with peptide hydric spheres and, well, quite a few other terms that I can barely pronounce or spell.
It looks the absolute business, a sleek silver wand in a red and silver box that looks every inch worth the price tag. In fact, I felt £25 was quite the bargain considering it’s quite a big tube.
It warns of a ‘warm tingle sensation’ which, I felt, was a huge understatement. I massaged it into my lips and as instructed and washed my hands afterwards. It felt like I’d rubbed a chilli over my lips.
They did sting; not to the point where it was unbearable but until I was almost there. My colleague, who also gave it a whirl, wiped it off almost immediately and held a can of cold Coke over her mouth to cool the effect. My approach was ‘no pain no gain’ and persevered.
It worked, undeniably. My lips looked and felt much bigger. Even after I wiped away the serum, you could see I’d used it as my lip lines were much more prominent. If this was the kind of discomfort I could expect from a product, I’ve no idea how I’d cope with the pain of real fillers!
NYX is a staple in my make-up bag because of its cheerful colours and bargain price tag. I was sure that at £4.50, NYX’s lip plumper wouldn’t be all that brilliant. But as always with this brand, I was pleasantly surprised.
I opted for a clear gloss, but other colours are available, and I’m glad I did.
It gives an instant tingle that’s not too overpowering, just enough to make you feel it’s working. I wanted something to go over my favourite lip colours, and the high gloss made my lips look even more 3D.
The effect didn’t last for long, and my lips weren’t noticeably plumper overall. But, it’s more about the appearance than a scientific, proven boost, after all. And at £4.50, I can’t complain.
Manuka Doctor ApiRefine Lip Enhancer, £13.99, Superdrug
The Manuka Doctor lip plumper states that it rejuvenates and instantly enhances lip shape by infusing Purified Bee Venom with certified Manuka honey and peppermint. Sounds quite painful, but it wasn’t in the slightest.
Like many lip boosters, it boasts the ingredient hyaluronic acid, which is said to boost lip volume whilst working to prevent signs of premature ageing. Double points.
It didn’t sting like I’d expected, instead just giving a warm tingle. It felt lovely on the lips, not sticky or overbearing but smooth and with a sophisticated shine that didn’t make me look like I was wearing a cheap gloss.
Though my lips looked slightly puffed, I thought this was more down to the glossiness than any real, physical change.It’s great for a slight boost, but it’s nothing too dramatic.