The Secret to Plump-Looking Lips

Let’s just take a moment to reflect on some of the crazier things we’ve done to get a more pillow-y pout – from lip suctioning contraptions (um, ouch) to so-tingly-they-hurt plumping treatments. And, of course, there are a bunch of injectable fillers out there. Not for the faint of heart, our quest for more luscious lips has taken a no-pain-no-gain approach. Well, for those who prefer to take a gentler route, you may be relieved to know you can make lips look fuller instantly just by applying the right color and textured lipstick. Really. It’s that easy.

Lip lacquer for pouty lips

So, that secret we mentioned? It’s all about the lip lacquer, specifically L’Oréal Paris Infallible Lip Paints. “Lip lacquer is a hybrid product that has the full color payoff of a lipstick and the high shine of a gloss,” says makeup artist Andrew Sotomayor. So, how exactly does that make your lips look fuller, you ask? “The stronger color gives lips better definition, while the rich texture of gloss adds fullness and draws light to your lips,” he says. The color and shine combo makes lip look healthier, smoother, and plumper, especially when you chose lighter shades, adds Sotomayor. 

Find Your Best Plumping Shade 

Ready to give it a whirl? When your focus is on adding fullness, use your own lip color as your guide. Go with a shade that’s similar to your natural color, but a bit richer, Sotomayor suggests. That means if your lips are naturally rosy, go with a slightly more pumped up pink. If they’re naturally dark, go with a soft purple shade. You should also consider your skin tone. Cool tones can wear cooler shades (lilacs, blue-based pinks), while warmer shades can wear warmer hues (beige-y nudes and peachy pinks). Not sure which one you are? Sotomayor says that you’re most likely neutral and can wear it all -- lucky you! To make it even easier, we narrowed it down to the best lip-plumping Lip Paints for each skin tone. Some are lighter, others for when you want to wear something even brighter, there are 14 Lip Paints shades in all, many of which are pretty intense.  

For Fair Skin:

Go bold with Infallible Lip Paints in  DIY Red or try subtle versions in Wild Rose or Lilac Lust.

Lip lacquer for fair skin

For Medium Skin:

For more intensity try Infallible Lip Paints in Sultry Sangria. Or try softer versions in Nude Star or Spicy Blush.

Lip lacquer for medium skin

For Dark Skin:

Try subtle versions of Infallible Lip Paints in Fearless Fuschia or Taupeless. Or make a statement in Violet Twist.

Lip lacquer for dark skin

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    About the Author:The daughter of a hairdresser, Krista Bennett DeMaio likes to say she has beauty in her blood. She has well over a decade of beauty editorial experience. The former magazine-editor-turned-freelance writer has covered all things beauty from anti-aging skincare to NYFW runway trends. Her work has appeared in national publications and websites including Women’s Health, Redbook, Shape, Dr. Oz The Good Life, bhg.com, and prevention.com. She lives in Greenlawn, New York with her husband and two interns, er, daughters.