My lips swell up sometimes. Usually it’s due to an allergic reaction (they’re a perfect canary in the moldy food coalmine — my lips swell even before there’s visible mold! That’s lots of fun).
It’s not an attractive swelling. It’s a lumpy, red, “I tried that Kylie Jenner lip challenge and it went terribly wrong” duck-lipped inflammation. Even the most shameless Real Housewife would be like “oh honey, you overdid it.”
SO that delightful personal history — combined with the fact that most lip plumpers work by literally irritating your lips to the point that they swell up, which ironically damages fullness over time — makes me wary of lip products that claim to ‘plump’ your lips.
Still, I got a deluxe sample of the newish Too Faced Lip Injection Glossy ($22/0.14oz) in a Sephora Play box, and I have a pathological inability to learn from my mistakes.
I tried it!
It comes in a standard lip gloss tube with standard doe foot application. It’s a bit thick, a tad sticky, and smells sweet. Fruity sweet? Vanilla sweet? Don’t know! Don’t care! Can’t focus through the pain.
Oh — this stuff is painful. It’s not your standard minor tingle; it’s a full-on burn. A painful burn, not a gentle warming sensation. If my face felt like this after applying a product, I’d IMMEDIATELY wash off whatever the heck was causing the reaction.
But, y’know, this is what’s SUPPOSED to be happening, so I endure. Beauty is pain, right?
Except it’s not beautiful.
When I check my reflection in the mirror, my lips aren’t pretty. Pouty, yes — but not pretty. The edges are a swollen reddish pink. The corners are particularly inflamed, throwing off the general proportions of my lips. The color (“Milkshake,” a milky beige with fine gold shimmer) sits evenly but not-quite-opaquely on my angry lips.
It’s not a good look, to say the least, and the only way to salvage it would be to wipe it off and overdraw my lips with something more opaque. (Or wipe it off, wait an hour, and move on. All that pain results in about forty-five minutes’ worth of plumping. Yay!)
Is it good? Nah. Would I recommend this as a lip plumper? Nope!