I tend to veer away from lip plumping products, only because with most products in the category there tends to be at least one of several main issues.
First, many of these products contain histamine ingredients that trigger allergic reaction, resulting in lip swelling, as well as burning or tingling. Some are formulated with a lot of glitter or shimmer, which isn’t a personal preference. And some seem to simply not work, no matter how much product is applied. But despite the concerns with a lot of products in this category, there’s still an underlying desire to somehow mimic the Angelina Jolie pout sans any surgical procedure. While I don’t have thin lips, it’s always nice to see a subtle enhancement, at least on occasion or before a special event.
After reviewing LANCER’s primer (with stunning results but a hit to the bank account), I decided to try their Volume Enhancing Lip Serum, because, why not give my credit card another workout? At $42, it certainly runs on the pricier end, but I will note that the sizing is generous and a very small amount of product is needed, so it ended up lasting about 2 months even with frequent daily use, and I would imagine it would last even longer for most, as I could have used it more conservatively. I really enjoyed using it as it actually works in creating a fuller appearance that offers long wear and strong hold, and there isn’t any tingling or burning following application. The aesthetic is a natural-appearing enhancement, free of any artificial quality.
No histamines are used in the formulation, and the brand opts to supplement this with high quality ingredients that are more natural and more effective in providing visible results. This review covers some main features of the products, as well as some positives and negatives to bear in mind prior to purchase.
The Main Features
The Lip Enhancing Serum is 15ml (this lasts longer than you’d expect though), and is formulated with Hyaluronic Acid Microspheres, a plant-based humectant that attracts moisture to the lips, creating the appearance of volume and density, Croton Lechleri Sap, which is known as “dragon’s blood” by Amazonian tribes and contains antioxidants and polyphenols to nourish delicate skin, as well as Pal-GHK Peptide and Brown Seaweed Extract, which condition lips to smooth out the appearance of lip lines and restore moisture.
In addition to the enhancing features, the product is quite hydrating and there is no need to use any other balm or treatment product along with it. It doesn’t sting, burn, and creates a naturally enhanced aesthetic, rather than a “bee-stung” appearance. It’s definitely superior in it’s enhancing than any other product in the category I’ve tried so far, and I’ve tried many. While the brand Too Faced carries a popular enhancement product in this category at half the cost, it’s actually quite painful to use, and results in burning and stinging. That product actually spread to the skin around my lips and turned the area purple (past red). With that in mind, I’d happily invest in a higher quality formulation less often than I would a lower cost item that is designed to promote allergies and likely shouldn’t even be considered safe for use.
The main drawback with the product that I’ve found a lot of customers have also experienced is the cap. When closed, product still leaks into the inside of the cap and then creates quite a mess when opened. Mine even leaked outside of the cap itself while closed, which seems to defy science but it happened, and into my purse, getting other items sticky and messy. It was quite the clean up, and I ended up putting it in a small plastic bag. While it seems crazy, I did invest in another serum after trying out the first, just because the product is that good, and provides benefits with use that just can’t be matched. You may opt to put the product into a small clean jar, but it’s best to be informed of this prior to purchase. In terms of it actually working and benefits with use, it’s really outstanding. It creates a fuller look instantly and glides on easily. Minimal product is needed as it lasts for quite some time and provides a long moisture hold, so you can easily get several months of continual use.
I would forewarn new users to resist the temptation to overuse it, it looks so good and also feels great on the lips, so it’s tempting to reapply sometimes even if it’s not needed.
Positives and Negatives
While most features are overwhelmingly positive, the main letdown with this product (an a commonality for most who try it), is the cap does not function properly. When you close the cap, product spills into it, and can get on to your purse or other items near it. I had to ultimately carry mine around in a plastic bag. I suppose you could squeeze the product into a different small container or jar if desired, but at the price point it really should be manufactured correctly without these defects, and it’s frustrating to lose product this way or have it get on other items. With that in mind, it’s the best lip plumping product I have tried, and the shelf life seems to add value. Here is a look at some key positives and negatives to bear in mind prior to a purchase:
- It’s often quite difficult to find a product in this category that actually works, but this one absolutely provides benefits with use and plumps the lips
- Natural aesthetic: the lips look naturally plumped free of any artificial quality
- Product acts as a lip balm as well, and provides intense hydration with a long moisture hold
- Did not irritate the lips at all and does not cause any burning or stinging following application, as other products in the category can often do (based on ingredients used)
- Does not contain any sparkle or shine
- Does not feel greasy or sticky after use or on the lips
- Can be used as a standalone product or under a different lip color (generally it is best used alone, as use with other products can cause smudging sometimes)
- Formulated with high quality ingredients that are suitable for the lip area, and free of any parabens, sulfates, or irritating additives (does not contain histamine)
- Cruelty-free company: company does not test products on animals or use any animal product during its manufacturing processes
- Adds a healthy shine to the lips while plumping and creating a more vuluminous aesthetic
- Unlike other products in the category, the plumping is not created by any histamine or allergic reaction, traditionally lip enhancing products employ products designed to irritate the skin on the lips, which in turn can create burning, stinging, tingling, and an artificial “bee stung” appearance
- Free of any color, glitter, or shimmer, to enhance a more natural look
- Product longevity: even with continual daily use or use twice-daily, you can expect the product to last you for several months, which adds value
- The worst con I experienced with the product was the liquid spilling into the cap even when it was closed, which would subsequently spill over other items in my purse, and I ended up having to store it in a plastic bag (this also creates product waste), considering the cost there should not be any issues with product leakage or functional defects, and this was a common complaint amongst other reviewers as well, so it definitely needs to be addressed by the manufacturer
- Price: At $42, the product is certainly steep for the category, however it does last several months even with continual daily use, and offers longevity, particularly if you go in with the knowledge of the cap malfunction
While I did not experience issues, concerns or reactions to the lip enhancing serum, and feel it is suitable for very sensitive skin, allergy is always possible and unique to everyones individual makeup. In this case, the manufacturer, LANCER, has a strong return and exchange policy that honors full refunds upon dissatisfaction or allergy, and this policy favors the consumer, both new and returning. If you are dissatisfied with the use of the serum, or it does not provide any enhancement to the lips, or you experience any product allergy or reaction to the formulation, you may elect to return it at any time. In this case, you will receive a full refund equal to the entire purchase price of the item. It is important to note that the ingredients in the formulation are high quality and not designed to trigger allergy.
If the item was received as a gift (without receipt or with a gift receipt), the policy then only applies for an even exchange.
The Final Verdict
Aside from the issues with the cap function, this is a really amazing product that provides visible results and it’s a very rare find in the category, which is often rich with products that are harmful to the lips or skin around your lips. I would recommend this to anyone seeking a natural (yet noticeable) enhancement of the lips and moisture, if the cap issue is not going to deter you. Even considering the price and cap, I continue to use and love this product, just because it’s vastly superior to other products I’ve tried claiming similar benefits, it actually works, and it’s formulated with high quality plant based ingredients and free of any parabens, allergens, sulfates, or irritating additives. It does not hurt, burn or sting, and actually feels quite nice to apply. While I encourage conservative use to maximize product longevity, I will also say one of the best features of the product was how long it lasted. I did not anticipate that given the size and how frequently I reapplied it on a daily basis, and this was one of the main driving forces in my repurchase decision.
Recommended, but it’s also recommended that the manufacturer ensures the cap feature is perfect, considering the price point!