As a fan of pretty much everything Mario Dedivanovic does, my expectations are high when a new product bearing his name comes out. I've yet to be disappointed. Among my vast collection of makeup, I count his long-lasting lip liners, pigmented matte shadows, inky eyeliners, and more among my daily favorites. Naturally, I was excited to try his signature lip treatment, the MoistureGlow Plumping Lip Serum.
Billed as a "hydrating, melting, glossy balm," the MoistureGlow lip serum is part of a renaissance of better-than-ever lip-plumping products that includes the Fenty Heat Gloss Bomb Heat and Tarte Maracuja Juicy Lip Plump, two of my other current favorites. (Anyone who came of age in the 2000s remembers the, ahem, unique burning sensation of plumping glosses.) But is Mario's TikTok-approved formula actually worth the hype? Time to find out.
Unlike most tinted lip care products, there’s a staggering amount of shades available — not totally surprising considering Mario’s mastery of color. I went for the shade Honey Glow, a luminous, warm glaze of color that woke up my entire skin. The balm itself is truly like a solid serum, with a gorgeous texture that melts on contact with a hint of a minty finish. I actually like the stick formula because it makes it easier to swipe on and go, not to mention there’s a relatively low risk of mess in my purse.
My lips are naturally thin-ish, so anything that helps hydrate and plump them is right up my alley. Now right off the bat, I'm happy to report absolutely zero stinging and/or burning sensation with this product. The effect was subtle and pillowy with a juicy tint. I loved wearing it alone for a kiss of color, but it also worked great to prep my lips for matte lipstick as I did the rest of my face.
If more color is what you crave, then don't worry — Mario has you covered there, too: My colleague (and beauty editor extraordinaire) Megan Decker is a fan of Makeup By Mario's MoistureGlow Plumping Lip Color (also $24), which offers more pigment with the same glossy, plumping finish you know and love from the Lip Serum. “Meet my new favorite summer lip color," she says of the formula. "I love the teeny tube that fits in all my mini purses. The doe foot applicator is the perfect size for precise application on small lips. The formula is a super-light cream that wears more like a stain — it stays and you can’t feel it. I usually add a gloss or balm over top for shine but this petal pink color is gorgeous on its own.” I love it when we influence ourselves!
At $24 for each formula, the MoistureGlow Plumping Lip Color and Lip Serum are not cheap — nor do they feel it. Whereas other lip plumpers sometimes aim to replicate the look of injectable fillers, Makeup by Mario's products help give me a naturally full, hydrated pout while feeling like an intensive treatment for my lips. Factor in the gorgeous sheen and tint, and I personally can't ask for much more from a lip product.
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