Welcome to the gloss•a•ry, a monthly roundup of all that glitters from our own wand-toting shimmer expert, Michelle Carney. Tune in each month for the latest and greatest in pout perfecting products utterly devoted to your sparkly, sexy and oh-so-shiny lips.


Full, luscious, bee-stung lips are the latest obsession in our constant quest for beautification. But have you ever considered why we desire such fullness? We did, and here’s what we found. Scientists at the University of Louisville announced research findings earlier this year that state “the size of human lips plays a key role in determining whether we are sexually attractive to others.” A quick glance at Angelina Jolie’s lips support their findings. What is it about full, soft lips that get us going? The answer, they say, lies in receptivity. “In the lips are touch and pressure receptors which fire off messages to the brain, and we are programmed to respond to these messages. So sometimes just seeing a full, warm pout is as good as feeling or kissing one.” Hence our cultural love affair with lips and an explanation for the wide selection of lip plumper products now available.


You don’t have to break the budget to plump your pout to perfection nor do you have to endure burning sensations that can rival the spiciest of cuisines. We’ve put our lips to the test, checking out everything from cinnamon (a natural lip enhancer) to the latest cosmeceuticals on the market.


It’s The Balm!
The Balm’s Plump Your Pucker, $14
, involves a unique combination of folic acid, menthol and Vitamin C that work together to help increase blood flow to the lips and reduce the look of fine lines. With an innovative French formulation called “Maxi-Lip,” these glosses actually build a cumulating effect with fullness continuing with everyday use. What we love most about The Balm? The slick feel on our lips, tasty scents that match their sweeter-than-sugar names and most of all the nice price. Color Picks: Bing My Cherry and Cocoa My Coconut. Available at www.thebalm.com.

Alpha Dog
N.V. Perricone M.D. ALA Lip Plumper, $35
, is the leader of the pack when it comes to nourishing chemical formulas that promote fullness and hold in vital moisture. This lovely concoction combines Alpha Lipoic Acid, which restores metabolic energy in cells, protects natural antioxidants and helps smooth fine lines and wrinkles; Amine Complex, a combination of amino acids that hold moisture in the skin; and NTP Complex, which is comprised of DMAE, an antioxidant membrane stabilizer that provides immediate lifting and toning benefits. With continued use, the treatment smoothes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while enhancing lips’ natural color. Apply four to five times daily to the entire mouth area, and relish the orange sherbet flavor. Available at Nordstrom and online at www.nvperriconemd.com.


Plump up the Volume
Modele Collagen Lip Treatment, $29.99
, is literally collagen in a tube. That said, it’s not exactly a gloss but it works just like one. This lip treatment reduces the appearance of fine lines, hydrates lips and promises to keep them soft with continued use (apply at least three times a day for 30 days) thanks to a patented formulation of PAL-GHK, a potent amino acid protein blend, along with the addition of Biocrystal Complex, which contains mother-of-pearl extracts for added sheen and softness. Use alone or before applying your favorite lipstick or gloss for a fabulous photo-finish. Vital stats: this formula has been clinically proven to visibly increase lip volume up to 40%, reduce wrinkle and fine line appearance up to 30% and improve lip hydration up to 60%. Available at most drug stores like Walgreens, Osco and CVS. Click here to find a retailer near you.


Get Naked!
Naked Kiss Plumping Collagen Lip Treatment, $20
, is another sleek product that looks more like a stick than a gloss but still meets our strict glossary standards. Armed with antioxidants, emollients and Vitamin C to moisturize, flower and plant botanical extracts to reduce wrinkles and a Vitamin B6 derivative and “Maxi-Lip” to help plump lips continually. This classy packaging also includes its own pop-up mirror and jeweled case. Try it in crystal clear; or rose, sienna, gold or bronze for great color. To purchase online, click here.


Ice Ice Baby!
Freeze 24-7’s PlumpLips IceSticks, $42.50
, smoothes, moisturizes and plumps lips without any tacky, stickiness. The moisture-rich formula contains GABA, the body's natural muscle relaxing agent, as well as Vitamin B-Niacin and white orchid to plump and smooth. Freeze’s revolutionary technology increases circulation on the lip surface without any drying, burning or irritation. With the addition of the brand’s “Age-Less Technology” component, mature lips will appear more youthful, and thin lips will appear fuller and more sensual. A fresh palate of five icy shades like First Frost, Frost Bitten, Wind Chill, Arctic Glaze and Brr Berry offer a sheer wash of color. Our color pick: Frost Bitten, a shade of warm rose that looks great alone or over lipstick. Apply as often as you like. Available at C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries and online at www.freeze247.com.


Cinnamon and Spice
Bella Il Fiore’s Cinnamon and Honey Lip Plumpers, $22
, not only have the most adorable packaging (little cardboard “purses” that house three minis), but the product uses natural cinnamon and honey for plumping perfection. The infusion is delightfully spicy without any sting. Pick your shades: “Pillow Talk” (soft and pretty shades) and “Some Like it Hot” (darker, sexy hues). Available online at www.bellabeauty.net.


Bee-Stung Lips Minus the Stinger
HydraPlump, $19.99
, is the revolutionary offering from fragrance-chain giant, Perfumania. For the first time in the company’s 17-year history, it’s aligned with top product developers to create its own version of non-injectable lip plumping gloss. The product relies on a new technology that instantly plumps lips with a patented formula that “micro-injects” the lips subsurface with dehydrated marine filling spheres derived from collagen. Once the spheres penetrate the lip tissue, it is re-hydrated with water, and the replenishment causes the collagen-derived spheres to enlarge, imparting a genuinely fuller, plumper mouth. Besides the non-irritation and zero-redness factors, the product also minimizes fine lines and wrinkles. Apply generously to clean, dry lips; if using as a primer, wait two minutes before applying color. Pick from Iced Clear, Sheer Petal Pink and Sheer Bronze Kiss, our fave. Available exclusively at Perfumania stores and online at www.perfumania.com.


Cheap Trick
Rimmel Volume Boost Liquid Lip, $6.68
, costs less than ten bucks and still delivers beautiful shine and extreme plumpness. The high-impact lacquer uses innovative lip-plumping technology that enhances fullness and provides a collagen-effect-like boost. Rimmel promises that lips will appear up to 40% fuller in just one swipe. Upon application, a sensory-stimulating molecule tingles to immediately produce the look and feel of plumper lips, while a moisturizing formula smoothes lip contours and fills in fine lines. The precise brush applicator delivers full color and spot-on shine. Available in ten sassy shades like Bossy, Patent, Boast, Parade and Out Do, which is a sparkling strawberry, and our most beloved. Available at most drugstores and Wal-Mart. To find a store location near you, click here.

Click here for Past Glossaries

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