I love Sephora. It smells good, the staff is friendly and they sell almost everything you could wish for in the world of store-bought beauty. And best of all, they let you try almost everything on for free–a perk I used to abuse regularly back when I was poor and Parisian. But these days, it’s rare that I go to an actual Sephora. My shopping trips are *sigh* more focused on toddler-wrangling than on primping for Le Queen.

Last spring, however, I hit the jackpot at a Las Vegas Sephora: no kids, no husband and two gift cards. My original intent was to choose a self-tanner, but after realizing that an in-store demonstration was going to leave me looking like a Bengal tiger (and not in a sexy way), I re-directed my questions toward lip therapies, finding myself in front of LipFusion XL–one of Sephora’s best sellers and a celeb favorite. A few salesgirl sound bytes later (collagen! repair!) and I was sold. I opted for the smaller dual-wand package with both LipFusion Clear and LipFusion XL (and a much gentler $18 price tag compared to the $50 XL).

This was back in May, and though I have been using the product every day, I haven’t really seen any dramatic changes. However, folks on Sephora.com love this stuff–dozens of reviews from women of all ages describe a noticeable increase in lip fullness. The science behind LipFusion Clear and XL involves dehydrated collagen and hyaluronic acid spheres that stick to your lips and absorb an ungodly amount of water, creating a plumping and hydrating cosmetic effect. In theory this effect should only last as long as the product is on your lips, though many users report plump morning lips following a bedtime application. It’s targeted toward ladies who’d like to plump up their pout a little, but for whatever reason (pain, money, Lohan) are not interested in physician-administered collagen injectables.

My experience: easy-to-use, non-sticky, smells like oranges. Gives you a little tingle. To me, it basically just acts and feels like a really nice lip gloss, perfect for a quick freshen-up. I’m not a lipstick wearer, so a quick swipe with this product gives a nice natural lip finish to my make-up routine (all five minutes of it). I’d probably even buy it again since I’m sure as hell not planning on sticking any needles into my lips any time soon.

Overall, though I wish the effects lasted a bit longer, the product does look great on my lips. It’s actually one of the four beauty products I reach for every morning. I think my only real complaint is that it’s not good for kissing–far too gooey. Otherwise, it really does create the perfect (though temporary) plump Parisian pout. Bisous!

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About the Author

Sarah Gupta

Sarah Gupta is a recent medical school graduate and the inventor of the Buff Cuff.

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