Using Lip Plumpers

In the quest for beauty, sex appeal and perfection, products are available to lift or lower, stretch or squeeze every imperfection into submission.

Lip plumpers are designed to take thin lips that lack distinction and plump them up into the perfect pouty lips that Hollywood tells us is the epitome of beauty. When you think of plump lips, imagine Angelina Jolie or Kim Basinger, two beautiful movie stars who have a lock on luscious lips.

Lip plumpers are available as a cosmetic procedure or as a temporary make-up fix. Temporary fixes are growing more popular, as they aren't as expensive or as potentially risky as lip injections. But these fixes also give rise to questions: Do they work? Are there risks involved? Do they last? Before you get a lip plump fix, you want to know these answers.

What Are Lip Plumpers?
Over-the-counter lip plumper products tend to last around six hours, frequently less. They use an irritant of some sort that causes the lip to swell temporarily, giving a fuller, plumper look. Some of the more common ingredients used to provide the plump include cinnamon, menthol, caffeine and Capsicum frutescens, the fruit of the red pepper plant.

One of the great advantages of using an over-the-counter product is that there is virtually no risk involved. More permanent lip-plumping procedures include a series of injections of a gel-like solution that adds to the texture of your lip and actually makes it fuller. You can also have a surgical procedure that implants the lip-plumping device into the lip for a longer-lasting result. Using an over-the-counter lip plumper requires far less commitment.

When it comes to side effects, the worst-case scenario is a tingling, uncomfortable sensation. If a lip plumper burns, then clean it off. A tingling, maybe even slightly burning, sensation is common, but, if your lips feel like they are on fire, or if you feel like you've been punched in the mouth, remove the product completely, and toss the tube.

Another way to take the sting out of a lip plumper is to test it on your skin first. Apply the lip plumper to your skin on a small area, such as a spot on the inside of your forearm, to make sure you don't have an allergic reaction or that it doesn't bother sensitive skin.

Applying Lip Plumper
Applying a lip plumper should be like putting on a lipstick or gloss, but you might want to try a few tricks. Make sure that your lips are reasonably well moisturized before applying the product. A tingling lip plumper will only make dry lips feel worse. Furthermore, if you have a cold sore, steer cleer of a lip plumper until the condition has healed.

Once your lips are the perfect canvas, apply the lip plumper as if it were a base coat. If the lip plumper doesn't have its own color, wait until it dries, and then apply your lip color. You can also stretch your lips a little as you apply the plumper to make sure you get maximum coverage.

Lip Plumper Choices
Lip plumper cosmetics come in a wide price range and can run from just a few dollars to over $50. Just make sure your inflated pout doesn't deflate your wallet. You might face some trial and error, but be patient because no two pout products are alike.

Some plumpers claim that you will have plumper lips without harsh stinging products, which is something to watch for if you have sensitive skin. Other plumpers are intended for you to use at night so you can wake up with the perfect pout to start your day.

Other products use ingredients that are often found in more permanent lip treatments, such as collagen and hyaluronic acid. Collagen makes the skin firm and is what gives young skin its look. However, it isn't clear if collagen is effective if it is applied topically. Hyaluronic acid attaches to collagen and hydrates the skin. Again, go with a lip plumper that works, not with what seems most scientific or expensive.

Reality Check
More women want fuller lips to meet current beauty standards, while others try to fight the natural thinning of lips that comes with age. Be skeptical of what's printed on the product's box. Advertising might claim to create a pout that lasts for hours, but the lip plumper won't change the fact that you have thin lips. Try a few inexpensive products, and go with the one that makes your lips feel good and look their best.

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