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Sensuous as they are, it’s no wonder we associate our mouths with sex and all that is sexy. After all, without them, there’d be no kissing!

Unfortunately, we’re not all as naturally blessed as, say, Angelina Jolie. But that doesn’t mean we have to get drastic. Just because you feel like your lips are thin and a little lacklustre doesn’t mean there’s nothing to be done about it.

The size of our lips is actually down to genetics; even ageing can have an effect as our kissers lose volume. Luckily, modern aesthetic treatments can look truly amazing. But if you’re not quite sure you’re ready for that, there are a few other options to try first.


1. Master the Art of Lipstick

We mean it: lipstick is an art. Selecting the colour, the finish and even the application method can all influence the final results. But once mastered, it’s an art that can completely change the shape and plumpness of your mouth.

Boosting the volume of your lips with lipstick is basically another type of contouring.

The knack is to create an illusion that tricks others (and yourself) into thinking your pucker is perfectly plump. And you can probably do it with stuff you already have in your make-up bag.

  1. Before you begin, apply a little lip balm to create a smooth surface on your lips. (Unfortunately, a bold lip colour rarely works on dry, flaky lips).
  2. Next, find yourself two lipsticks (one your dominant colour, the other a similar but brighter shade), lip liner, lip brush and a nice gloss. And a highlighter (trust us).

Choosing the right colour lipstick (and liner) makes a big difference to the overall look. Though it’s not true that darker colours make your lips look smaller, it’s really down to your preference. If you’re not happy with the way your lips look in darker colours, go for something brighter instead!

closeup of blonde woman applying lipstick

The finish of your lipstick can also make a difference. Generally, we’d recommend creamier products with matte or shiny finishes.

  1. During application, use your lip liner to create definition, and buff your lips in small, circular motions, from the inside out. Drawing the colour to just outside the natural shape of your lips will make an instant difference to how plump your lips look.
  2. Use your lip brush to clean up and smooth the lines you’ve made, then follow the inside of the lip line with your main lipstick colour. Using a second, lighter (brighter) colour in the centre of the lip will continue to build toward the full look you’re after.

When you’re done, apply a sheer gloss over the whole thing (and if it happens to be a plumping gloss, all the better). This shine helps to increase the look of volume. This is also where your highlighter comes in; apply a tiny amount to your Cupid’s bow, and under the bottom lip, in the indentation there.

Et voilà! Of course, the art of lipstick is just an illusion. A very good illusion, but not a particularly natural-looking one…


2. Massage the Mouth

Have you ever considered how plumping lip glosses work? It might surprise you to hear that they’re actually designed to cause irritation to the skin, which brings the blood to the surface of your lips. This then gives the lips a plumper (albeit temporary) look.

However, there are other ways to promote blood circulation in the lip area, and massaging your mouth is the simplest. A heavy make-out session will do just as well, but let’s agree that’s a bit impractical every morning pre-work.

There are a few ways to massage your lips, but it’s all essentially a combination of applying pressure, prodding and poking. Pressing your fingertips to your lips and working them (like a masseuse would work your back) will bring the blood vessels to the surface, and help to firm up your pout.

You can also stretch your lips out gently for ten seconds at a time. Try pinching your lips between your forefinger and your thumb for twenty seconds, or (our favourite) just pout your lips ten times.

All of these massages serve the same purpose: they improve the circulation in the lips and stimulate blood flow to the area, which helps to boost collagen production. So although the results are temporary, you might even see some long-term improvement.


woman with full red lips looks down

3. Exfoliate Your Kisser

Exfoliating your lips isn’t only beneficial for your lipstick application, it can actually make your lips look fuller. Try using a dry toothbrush (or a specially designed electric lip brush – because yes, that’s a thing) to exfoliate your lips every day.

If that doesn’t sound appealing, then there are also lip scrubs that work similarly; many of which include ingredients that “plump” the lips. Combine your lip scrub with the toothbrush technique and you’re on to a winner!

Lip scrubs are actually quite easy to make at home from ingredients you already have lying around. Most are made with a sugar base and an oil of some kind; peppermint oil, cinnamon and even cayenne are all good for adding volume.


4. Boost Your Natural Pout at Home

Collagen and hyaluronic acid boosters are two of the best products you’ll find for adding volume to your pout, and they work quite well. You might find them as supplements (nice and easy), masks, or sometimes lip oils and serums specifically designed to add volume to your lips.

If your lips are particularly thin, using products like this can actually be preventative, and help to reduce a loss of volume later in life. But unfortunately, these methods still aren’t all that permanent.


5. Get a Professional Pout

Lip fillers and dermal fillers have grown ever more popular in recent years. And for the simple reason that they look great, they last, and you can choose exactly how plump you want to go.

The best thing about them is that though they have long-term effects, they’re not completely permanent. If you’re unhappy with the results, they can be dissolved.

Most people opting for fillers use them to improve the fullness of their lips by enhancing the existing shape. Fillers can help to create definition and plump your mouth without it looking unnatural.

The two treatments vary, it should be said. Lip fillers use hyaluronic acid (remember that stuff?) to fill out the skin of your lips, making them fuller and firmer.

Dermal fillers are great for increasing the volume in lacklustre lips. But they can also be used to enhance other facial features.

Whichever you choose, fillers are a great way to achieve the look you’re going for with no permanent commitment. On average, fillers last between 6 and 12 months.


artistic shot of woman with red-haired bob-cut and no top on touching her lips, black background


Temporarily plumper lips can be achieved using a variety (or combination) of techniques; from applying contoured lip colour to massage techniques and products that cause irritation and bring blood rushing to your lips.

Unfortunately, these easy, try-at-home solutions are far from permanent. And if you’re genetically inclined towards thinner lips, there’s not a lot you can do without the help of a professional.

Lip fillers and dermal fillers are a semi-permanent, non-invasive way of truly boosting the volume of your lips, using natural hyaluronic acid products that help you achieve the pout of your dreams.

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