July 28th 2021
Caroline Barnes: the lip plumping products that really deliver
March 31st 2018 / 0 comment
Which lip plumpers are worth your pennies? Makeup artist Caroline Barnes’ new Speed Beauty video has the lowdown
If you’re looking for some YouTube subscription inspiration, may we suggest heading on over to makeup artist Caroline Barnes’ Speed Beauty channel? Her videos and tutorials are short and concise but jam-packed with makeup and skincare advice - perfect if you’re time-short. For these reasons, they’ve become firm favourites of the team’s and her latest upload on lip plumping products is a must-watch for seeing what works and what’s a waste of money.
Spending over three months trying treatments in preparation for the video, Caroline shares how some of the most buzzed about products measure up against one another. For her, it wasn’t just their plumping prowess that counted, but also if they could help smooth out the vertical lines that have started to crop up on her top lip as she’s gotten older. Just like us, she loves wearing lipstick but hates when it moves around and the change in texture around her mouth has made a long-lasting lip harder to achieve.
From what to look for in your products to the best buys, her new video's an extremely useful guide. Here are its key takeaways.
Mild tingling - yes, redness no
A key characteristic of many a lip plumping product out there, it’s hard to know when their tingling sensations are something to be concerned about and when they’re not. Essentially what you want is something that boosts circulation in your lips, not something that’s unnecessarily irritating - and Caroline experienced this first-hand when she tested ESHO’s Sculpt product. The tingling went beyond just the realms of mild discomfort and was more extreme in its effects, causing redness around her mouth which she likened to having eaten a bowl of tomato pasta. Not what she (or anyone) would hope for.
One of her top picks however, Lancer’s Volumising Lip Serum, £34, was much milder in its tingling effects - and more effective in its plumping abilities too. Enriched with hyaluronic acid and Sichuan pepper, Caroline tried it on the advice of a Space NK store assistant and it delivered in terms of both results and finish. A non-sticky clear gloss, it also looked great and stayed put too.
Go matte if you want to wear a lipstick on top
Another product that scored highly with Caroline was Veneffect’s Anti-Aging Lip Treatment, £68. Great for keeping lips in optimum condition rather than reducing fine lines around the mouth, she found that it also doubled up as a soft lip primer too. Many lip plumpers are shiny in finish however, if you’re wanting to wear a lipstick afterwards and want it to stick around, they’re not the best pre-application treatment. Plus, they can dilute its colour too. However, this particular plumping treatment dries matte to not just increase the colour payoff of whatever you pop on top, but also increase its longevity too.
For fine lines, up your skincare
Caroline also put specialist lip repair treatments to the test to see if they were effective in reducing the fine lines around her mouth. The products she trialled were Sensai’s Total Lip Treatment, £75, and SkinCeuticals’ Antioxidant Lip Repair, £38. After three and a half months of road-testing them, she found that they did improve the smoothness of the skin around her top lip however, she wouldn’t necessarily re-invest in them. Although containing more sophisticated active ingredients designed to nurture and protect the skin, she’d rather make use of those actives in her skincare via her hydration and exfoliation routines to boost blood circulation and skin texture. There’s no need to double up with specialist lip treatments unless you have a relatively simple skincare regime and are on the hunt for something more targeted.