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I tried 'gym lips,' TikTok's easy makeup hack for a fuller pout. Here are the 5 products I used to nail the look.

Side-by-side collage of author wearing Clarins Lip Comfort Oil and Rare Beauty Kind Words Lip Liner on the left, and Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Lip Liner and Hourglass Phantom Volumizing Glossy Balm on the right
I tried the 'gym lips' makeup trend two different ways with some of the most popular products on TikTok.
Mollie Davies/Insider

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  • 'Gym lips' is the latest trend taking over TikTok, started by makeup artist Kelli Anne Sewell.
  • It's a natural-looking makeup hack that enhances the look of lip volume without fillers.
  • I tried out the trend and found the best makeup products to get the look.

Between lip filler, tingling plumping glosses, and suction devices, the lip enhancement market is a popular one – and constantly turning out new products. Back in 2015, Kylie Jenner talked about lip filler and her famously plump pout, and soon after, the market for lip enhancements saw a huge rise. It seems we all want a juicy, plump pout and will go to great lengths to get it.

I've tried plenty of lip products and trends, from glosses that have given me allergic reactions to electric plumpers, and lots of them have left me with dry, sore lips, bruising, and, more often than not, no results at all. When I heard about the new 'gym lips' trend, I assumed I'd have to get on a treadmill for 30 minutes, or that the look would be focused around the sweaty upper lip you get after getting your heart rate going. But, I was more than pleasantly surprised to find that no needles, cinnamon, or obscure-looking devices were involved.

On her Instagram, makeup artist Kelli Anne Sewell shared her super easy trick to achieving a naturally plump pout, and social media has gone wild. Since the trend started, the hashtag #gymlips has received over 860 million views.

@victorialyn The Gym Lips trend‼️👄🏃‍♀️Comment below what your lip liner/lip treatment combo is⬇️💕IB: @Kelli Anne Sewell ♬ Feel No Ways - Drake

All you need to achieve 'gym lips' is a lip liner that matches your own lip shade, in order to overline them, and a similar colored lip balm or gloss to add a flush of color and hydration to the middle of the lips. Effortless, instantly plumper-looking lips without the pain? Yes, please. I set out to find out whether the trend actually works, and what the best products on the market to achieve it are.

To start, I created a foundation by using a lip mask and adding liner.

Side-by-side of author wearing the Tatcha The Kissu Lip Mask at two different angles
Mollie Davies/Insider

Beauty and skincare lovers know that in order to achieve flawless makeup, you need to ensure you have a great base and have completed a thorough skincare routine. So to start off, I used a lip scrub to get rid of any dry skin on my lips and added some moisture back in with the Tatcha Kissu Lip Mask. The mask is designed to plump the look of fine lines and lock in moisture to the lips, so I applied a thin layer before focusing on the rest of my makeup.

Side-by-side collage of author applying Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Lip Liner on the left and the applied makeup on the right
Mollie Davies/Insider

The first lip liner I tried was the Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Liner in Supersize Me. I overlined my lips but paid particular attention to the cupid's bow area, which is naturally quite straight, and so I was able to enhance the shape a little using the pencil.

Then, I added lip balm to lock in moisture, but I felt like the look was too full-bodied.

Side-by-side of author applying Hourglass Phantom Volumizing Glossy Balm on the left and the author wearing the Glossy Balm with the Charlotte Tilbury lip liner on the right
Mollie Davies/Insider

Using Hourglass' Phantom Volumizing Glossy Balm in a very thin layer of the shade Trace, I was able to deliver hydration to my lips, while adding to the overall shape. Although the color was very natural and the balm was incredibly hydrating, blending perfectly with the liner, the pigment perhaps made the final look a bit too full-bodied, and less like a natural flush.

Next, I tried a more natural-looking combination.

Next up, I used the Rare Beauty Kind Words Lip Liner in Creative, which blended beautifully with my natural lip color. Using my fingers to smudge the liner in, I was able to give more definition to my lips. The liner is a soft matte, so I didn't feel as though I was dragging the color when blending it out.

I wanted to apply hydration in a more natural-looking form this time around, so I opted for the Clarins Lip Comfort Oil in shade 10 Plum. TikTok has gone especially viral over this product in the last few months for its ability to deliver incredible hydration to the lips while packing in just the right amount of color.

Side-by-side collage of the author wearing the Rare Beauty Kind Words Lip Liner and Clarins Lip Comfort Oil from two different angles
Mollie Davies/Insider

I applied the product to the middle part of my lips, focusing mainly on the cupid's bow of my lips, and blending outwards with my fingers to drag the excess of the oil across to each corner.

Pretty impressed with the finished look, I spent a good few minutes looking in the mirror at how much plumper my lips looked after applying these two products. My upper lip is the one that especially lacks definition, and it looked not only bigger in size but also more firm and defined.

I'm officially hooked on the 'gym lips' trend.

I had recently been considering getting lip fillers, as I'm noticing my lips have started to lack definition, but I've changed my mind now. It's very rare that I'll get sucked into a trend on social media that suggests it can rival something that usually only an aesthetician can deliver, but there was little to risk when trying out the 'gym lips' trend — low cost, no downtime, and high reward if it goes right.

I was so pleasantly surprised to find that something as simple as a liner and a bit of gloss or balm, was able to make my lips look a way that I only imagined a needle could. I'm officially sold to the trend of 'gym lips,' and I'm amazed that it took all of us in the beauty world just this long to figure out that two products could achieve such a great finish.

Products I used to get the 'gym lips' look:

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