Whose lips plumped up the most with this K-beauty brand lip gloss? We find out!

These days the technology of makeup has advanced so much that there are products out there that can completely change the way you look, including “eye putty”, which can apparently change your eye shape from a monolid to a double lid. In Japan, one of the most popular products right now is lip plumping gloss, which is formulated to make the lips appear thick and plump, in line with current beauty trends.

Our Japanese-language reporter Mariko Ohanabatake learned that one of the best brands of plumping products is a gloss by K-beauty brand Keybo called “Lip Plus Plumper Grand Master”, which has finally made its way to Japan. Mariko decided to test it out, not only on herself but on everyone in the office, and found the product had some interesting results!

Mariko first wanted to know what lip plumpers actually do, so she did a bit of research before buying. Apparently, they have menthol and an ingredient that contains hot peppers, which stimulates the lips with a prickly and cool sensation. This serves to increase blood flow and cause the lips to swell. Basically, it’s like taking the effect of eating spicy food and putting it into cosmetics.

Keybo’s Lip Plus Plumper actually has three stimulus levels, which are marked by pepper symbols like on a menu at a Mexican restaurant.

Level 1, the “Original” Lip Plus Plumper, has three chili peppers, while Level 2 “Master” has four and Level 3, “Grand Master”, has a whopping five pepper symbols.

“It might be really spicy…” thought Mariko, who was a little scared to try it. But it was a respectable brand used by many people, and besides, the lip plumpers she’d tried before hadn’t been that bad. The ratings were probably just dramatic for marketing purposes.

With that in mind, Mariko bought the Grand Master.

The Lip Plus Plumper has no color and is instead a clear lip gloss. Mariko gave it a sniff, and it smelled sweet and minty. She couldn’t decide if it had a faint hint of spiciness or not. It didn’t seem like it would be particularly brutal, so, feeling confident, Mariko applied it to her lips.

The coolness of the menthol came first. Mariko thought it did feel a bit stronger than other lip products she’s tried. But then, 20 seconds later…

It really hurt!!!

Her lips were attacked by a stinging sensation similar to what you would experience when eating super spicy ramen! And when she made the mistake of licking her lips, her tongue stung with the spiciness. It was as strong as super spicy food, and it didn’t go away after a moment–it continued for a long time.

Mariko endured this while waiting to see what effect it would have. After five minutes, her lips now looked both redder and plumper, so it seemed to really work!

The throbbing lasted for about thirty minutes, but the pain might have been worth it, as the effect it left on the lips remained for two to three hours. Mariko even applied a matte lip color on top to see how it would look, and the result was pretty pleasing.

Of course, this kind of product may have differing effects on different people. Mariko needed other test subjects to see if it works on everyone, so she recruited the entire office to try it out. As it turned out, that day, only men were in residence, but they were willing enough to give it a try.

For hygiene’s sake, she had them use cotton swabs instead of the applicator that came with the product, but otherwise, she had them apply it just as she had.

Afterward, Mariko left them to their own devices for a few minutes while the plumper went to work. At first, they were all quiet, then gradually they began to remark that it hurt or that it made their lips go numb. Five minutes later, she returned to see the results. The person who experienced the biggest change was Ahiru Neko, who you see on the left here.

His lips transcended sexy and got so plump that they almost looked cartoonish.

Those whose lips were already pretty full to start with, like our otaku reporter Seiji Nakazawa, didn’t see much difference between the before and after. In the end, it seemed the office was divided into two parties: those who saw major results, and those who didn’t.

Regardless of the effect, Mariko couldn’t waste an opportunity to have our reporters ham it up, so she had them make kissy faces for the camera with their freshly plumped and glossed lips. Perhaps we can use the resulting photos in next year’s company calendar.

If you’re dissatisfied with the plumpness of your lips, then you may want to try this product — if you don’t mind thirty minutes of stinging numbness or extremely spicy flavors. Mariko got her Lip Plus Plumper Grand Master for 2,400 yen (US$18.12), and says they can be found at variety stores like Loft, where you can also find cosmetics like the instant facelift. Definitely check it out if you’re interested!

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