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It’s Poppin’: The 411 On Lip Plumping Gloss

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For many of us, lip gloss is the first staple in our makeup bag. It was the one thing many of us were allowed to wear until our mothers gave us permission to pass go on anything more than a translucent tint with a smidgen of shine so that people knew it wasn't just Vaseline keeping our lips poppin'.

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Eventually, we were able to graduate from Smuckers and those pineapple beauty supply roll-on glosses to anything that wasn't red or labeled "stick." Suffice to say that gloss has held us down from day one, throughout every phase of glo up and it continues to do so. Yet, Lil' Mama failed to mention one magical feature of lip gloss — plumping. Aside from makeup hacks like lining your lips, there are also lip plumper glosses and balms that are said to do the trick as well. Lip plumpers are useful to anyone who may want more full, voluptuous lips.

xoNecole spoke with dermatologists, Doctor Erum Ilyas and America's holistic beauty Doctor Anthony Youn to get the info that you need to know about them before you run out and spend all your hard earned paper buying and trying lip plumpers.

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These type of glosses and balms "create a 'plump' effect by swelling the lips by irritating them with certain ingredients," according to Dr. Erum Ilyas. He gave us the breakdown on how it works, explaining that "the thin skin of the lips is very susceptible to irritation and will swell temporarily in response."

Essentially, they are creating what is referred to as an irritant contact dermatitis to the lips. While these type of irritants work on anyone, the thickness of the skin on one's lips might "require" more layers of application or a more "aggressive" product. The irritants that cause this contact dermatitis vary. Ilyas lists a few of the ingredients (menthol, camphor, and/or caffeine) that may be found in these products due to their ability to vasodilate (or widen the blood vessels of) the skin. However, cinnamon, peppermint, capsaicin, or cayenne pepper (from chili peppers) are more commonly used to achieve the irritation that results in swelling.

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