The dermal filler industry is currently valued at $5.31 billion (£4.61 billion), and it’s fair to say that thanks to the likes of the Kardashians, lip fillers has been the most popular procedure amongst women.
As well as this, there are endless videos circulating TikTok on makeup hacks to offer the illusion of fuller-looking lips – from overlining with lip liner to applying Vaseline overnight, to putting your mouth inside a jar to irritate your skin (does anybody remember that phase, or just us?) However, one of the most popular faux lip filler techniques has to be the toothpaste hack.
Karen Betts, Permanent Makeup Artist and Founder of KP Pro has weighed in on the trend and whether it’s even a good idea to try at home.
The trend, which was first posted by Bustle but initially attempted by @feliciamaariemakeup on TikTok showcased a makeup artist slathering her mouth in toothpaste to ‘naturally’ plump up her pout – which definitely doesn’t sound for the faint-hearted. Despite the results in the video that inspired Felicia being impressive, the makeup artist was underwhelmed, as she (and us) expected more impact.
Karen Betts of KB Pro says, “Despite the fact that it was makeup giant Huda Beauty that initially suggested putting toothpaste on your lips, it could actually be quite damaging. Many people will have heard, from their mothers and grandmothers over the years, that toothpaste dries out the skin. Because of this, lots of people are convinced that it suppresses breakouts.
“While this may or not be true, the drying aspect certainly is, which is why it isn’t a good idea to have toothpaste on your lips for longer than necessary. Toothpaste contains sodium lauryl sulfate, allowing it to foam and thoroughly clean your teeth. However, this is not so good for your skin.”
Another trend taking TikTok by storm is that of lip massages. A video posted by @_jadync showed her ‘pinching’ the outside of her lips to encourage them to look bigger, and she scored a whopping 152.1k likes and 798 comments… but does it genuinely work?
“Pinching your lips is unlikely to be damaging to them, but it is doubtful that this hack will create long-lasting results. This kind of lip massage causes more blood to rush to the lip area, offering a short-lived but undeniably plumped-up pout.
“Despite this, the original creator of this trend, aesthetician Danna Omari from New York, insisted in her 2020 TikTok video that the massage, known as orbicularis oris exercise, does actually work. As the orbicularis oris is a muscle, Omari revealed that ‘kneading’ it would make it stronger, more toned – and, of course, juicier-looking.
“The TikTok video received mixed reviews, with some claiming that it worked in the long-run and others highlighting that they had not seen any results at all,” says Karen.
“Some people even confessed that the massage had left their lips red and irritated, suggesting that there is still some risk of inflammation with this technique.”
A more commonly-known TikTok hack is overlining. This involves, as the name suggests, drawing over the natural line of your lips to give the aesthetic of a fuller pout. There are hundreds of different TikTok content creators that swear by the trend, including maximalist icon @lolfashionshit and makeup guru @urporcelaindoll.
“While overlining your lips is an absolutely classic technique, it is not for everyone. For example, if you use a lip liner or lipstick that isn’t dark enough, the illusion of fuller lips can be lost. It can also be very difficult to keep the lip liner on each side of your mouth even, which could give the impression that you did your makeup in the car… or the dark.
“There is also always the risk of smudging or dryness. If you have opted for a matte lipstick paired with a lip liner, there is a chance that the formula will become crumbly and flaky. To avoid this, a lot of people opt for permanent makeup.
“Lots of people on the prowl for more luscious-looking lips also experiment with lip blush, which involves adding coloured permanent pigments to the lip line and border. This encourages the illusion of pinker, more defined lips, and lasts a lot longer than lip liner, massages or toothpaste hacks. In fact, lip blush can last several years if taken care of properly, especially with colour touch-ups in between