Real Girl Beauty

For every girl who's imagined herself as Lucky Magazine's "Lucky Girl." Or who's conquered her addiction to the bitchier-than-thou forums. Or who reacts every day to her Daily Candy email with the same: "Who can afford that?" Here are some heartfelt health and beauty tips from one Real Girl to another.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Plumpy Pouty? Or Petered Pucker?

Don’t you love it when a product purports to solve your every problem? Got a wrinkle you don’t like? Our cream will make it vanish! Dark circles under your eyes? Our serum will lighten them in a heartbeat! But the most trendy promise of the moment is this: You say your lips are too small? Screw collagen injections--our gloss will plump those suckers out until it looks like you’ve suffered the sting of a thousand insanely pissed-off little bees.

Yes, my friends, we all strive to have those bee-stung, pouty, voluptuous lips. I mean, it’s not like Angelina Jolie got Brad Pitt by having a puny pucker! Am I right?

So, while strolling through Sephora a couple weeks ago (soooo dangerous), I remembered a sample that my best friend Madgirl had given me. It was a pale peachy gloss, a color called Buttercup, and I lurrrrved it. I had worn it as I usually wear lip gloss, either over lipstick or over my can’t-live-without Aveda Lip Tint. But this was no ordinary lip gloss. When you put it on, it...tingled. It kind of...well....stung. Not quite like a thousand bees. But maybe like one really tenacious wee bee. The shine was good, the consistency not too sticky, and--most importantly--it looked cute.

Fast forward back to Sephora. The strolling. The complete and utter un-Angelina Jolie-ness of my own tiny lips. I came across a display of three lip glosses. A plumping station, if you will. A kiosk of pout-enlargement. Let’s take a look at what I saw.
1) LipFusion: Thirty-six to thirty-eight dollars for lip gloss? For lip gloss? That shit better cut off Angelina Jolie’s lips and sew them onto my face for that kind of loot. I think I’ll pass.
2) City Lips: Twenty-nine dollars. Still a bit high for lip gloss, but this one has been called the best plumper by more than one magazine.
3) Lip Venom by DuWop: Hey! This is that brand I liked. The one I tried in “Buttercup.” Fifteen dollars isn’t too shabby compared to collagen lip injections! Ooh, let’s try it in clear this time.

Ok. So did I really expect the Lip Venom to plump my pucker? Well...not really. What these products do, basically, is irritate your lips. They feel spicy, slightly burny, and tingly (some more than others), and in effect, they make your mouth swell a tad. If you don’t like the way your lips feel after eating really spicy food, then just forget the plumping gloss. I didn’t particularly mind the feeling of the Lip Venom, although I’ve tried others that were just too strong. Maybe they plump you up more, but I don’t know if it’s worth the sensation of HAVING YOUR LIPS BURNED OFF. Hmmm. Think not.

And now the big reveal! Was I a modern day, female Jack planting my magic beans and instead of a beanstalk getting really fat lips? Erm...not really. I mean, I think I saw some plumping. If I looked really close. Yes, definitely. There’s some more fullness in my lower lip. Hey, see that? It’s bigger! No, really. It is! Come on, look closer! Don’t you see it!?

Basically, babes, don’t expect too much. You’ll see some slight plumping. Maybe. But on the plus side, the gloss is gorgeous. It gives the effect of my absolute favorite clear gloss, MAC Clear Lip Glass without the tacky, goopy feel. (Alas, that means it doesn’t last as long as the MAC. It’s either smooth, luscious-feeling, short-lived gloss or long-lasting, goopy-feeling gloss. Your choice.)

I love my Lip Venom on top of lipstick, and gladly, the lipstick doesn’t dull the tingle. But more? I adore the colors that Lip Venom comes in (although I’m not sure if Sephora stocks the colors). For an extra buck, you can have a good-textured, nicely colored gloss that makes your lips tingle and kinda maybe makes ‘em look a bit bigger. Do I recommend these glosses over a non-tingly one? Not really. But then again, I don’t regret buying one either.

What about you guys? Have you tried the lip plumping glosses? Got one to recommend? Feel like chatting?

With love,
From one Real Girl to another.