September 16, 2015Trends in Technology

The Perfect Pucker: Lip Plumper 101

Whether you want lush, festive red lips for your holiday party or a sexy, berry-hued pout for a kiss under the mistletoe, plump, full lips are all the rage right now!

As I discussed on Good Morning America, I achieve the perfect pucker for my patients with a few quick injections of temporary lip fillers such as Restylane Silk or Juvederm Ultra XC. These fillers contain hyaluronic acid, which is a sugar gel naturally found in the body. They work by attracting water into the lips, hydrating the lips from beneath the surface to create that beautiful fullness. The result lasts for an impressive 6 months to a year!

From an aesthetic standpoint, I want my patients to look natural, not “done.” Over-filled, exaggerated lips are not beautiful, in my opinion. Therefore, to keep it real, as I like to say to my patients, I respect the “Golden Ratio”, which is a precise, mathematical ratio of proportions which our brains read as beautiful. This ratio is used in art, in the Egyptian Pyramids (it was considered sacred by ancient Egyptians), and is a goal of cosmetic dermatologists. The closer your practitioner is able to get to this ratio, the more naturally stunning your results will be!

Dr. Whitney Bowe’s Top 2 Favorite Lip Plumpers

If you aren’t ready to commit to injections or just want a quick fix for a night out, there are also great options on the market! These are some of my favorite lip plumping products:

Manuka Doctor ApiRefine Lip Enhancer

This plumper uses purified bee venom, which is often referred to as “Nature’s Botox” and Manuka honey. The purified bee venom encourages collagen growth for long-term plumping! I found this product to be non-irritating and had great results! $29.99 at CVS stores or online at

apirefine lip enhancer manuka

FusionBeauty XXL Advanced Lip Plumping Therapy

This lip plumper uses a patented dehydrated Marine Collagen alongside tried and true hyaluronic acid to deliver a moisturized, full pout. I felt tingling, but no discomfort and loved the results. $57.00 at

fusion beauty lip plumper

DIY Lip Plumper (Try this At-Home Easy Recipe!)

And, for the most cost-effective option, there are natural, DIY alternatives which you can easily make at home. First, Cinnamon works by irritating the lips, which makes them swell (so, you will want to save this option for special occasions, not everyday use!). Here is my favorite DIY Cinnamon lip plumper recipe:

  • 1 teaspoon of beeswax
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  • Leave your plumper on for about 10 minutes and rinse off with warm water. (You should feel a tingling sensation. If you feel any sort of pain or burning, remove immediately and follow with Aquaphor or Petroleum Jelly).

You can also add a few drops of cinnamon essential oil, peppermint essential oil, or cayenne pepper oil to your regular lip balm or to a little bit of petroleum jelly and use as a lip balm to stimulate blood flow to the lips and to create a slight irritation which will enhance and plump your lips temporarily!