I remember the first time I ever tried a lip plumper. The year was 2007, and I was waiting for eighth-grade American History class to begin. Before the teacher arrived, my BFF excitedly brandished a tube of gloss that was ruby in color and had a cinnamon-y scent to match. (We both *technically* weren't allowed to wear makeup, so this was a Big Deal.) She encouraged me to try it, and obviously, I did without so much as a second thought. Instantly, my lips felt as if they were on fire — which was apparently a good thing, as it did result in my lips swelling and turning a just-bitten shade of red. This lipgloss was just one of many in the aughts offering a fuller pout by irritating your lips and causing blood to rush to the surface, resulting in a temporary (and slightly painful) bee-stung effect. Years would pass before I ever tried another plumping product, and I still rarely use them. However, one recent try has changed everything for me: Kosas' Plump + Juicy Lip Booster.
Instead of inflaming your lips, the Juicy Lip Booster uses ultra-nourishing ingredients to give you your most hydrated pout. It has the texture of your favorite lip balm, the sheen of your favorite clear gloss, and the moisturizing power of your favorite overnight lip mask. (It also doesn't hurt that the squeezy tube reminds me of Lanc¨ôme's iconic Juicy Tubes, a 2007-era trend that actually deserves resurrecting.)
The latest launch from the beloved clean beauty brand is touted as a treatment product, but to call it just that seems like a disservice; with ingredients like concentrated fatty acids, hyaluronic acid, and peptides, it both looks and does good. Instead of enflaming your lips, these ingredients attract water to hydrate your lips and create a barrier to lock in the moisture. (In fact, HA alone can bind up to 1,000 times its weight in water!) My lips are chronically dry and naturally on the thin side. After one swipe, any remnant of flaky, chapped lips was replaced by juicy moisture. And sure enough, I swear my pout did kind of look plumper? A dramatically filled appearance isn't my vibe, but I did love how my lips naturally looked fuller. Best of all, there wasn't a noticeable scent and the texture was cushiony soft (almost like a lip oil but slightly thicker) and not sticky at all. During the day, I layered it over a matte nude lipstick; before bed, I wore it on bare lips as an overnight treatment. (The brand also encourages you to pair it with their Hotliner Lip Liner pencil, if you're so inclined.) When I woke up, I swear my lips felt softer — but maybe I'm dreaming?
For $25 bucks, it's solidly fancy lip balm at a fancy lip balm price. However, if you stan Kosas (like I do), or already splurge on your lip care, you won't regret picking this up.
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