Can Charlotte Tilbury's New Lip Gloss "Double the Size" of Your Lips?

'Marie Claire' editors put the tingly product to the test.

charlotte tilbury plumpgasm
(Image credit: Future)

Lip plumpers have always been a divisive topic in the beauty world. In one camp, there are people who crave a gloss that sets their skin on fire with an intense tingle for immediately plumper lips. In the other camp, there are people who don’t quite understand the appeal of the sensation—even if there are results on the other side.

I typically fall into the latter category. Then, Charlotte Tilbury updated her Big Lip Plumpgasm gloss in two variations of her fan-favorite PillowTalk color range. And Tilbury herself promised me that this version has a more “comforting” than “scary” effect. I was intrigued. Skeptical, but intrigued.

charlotte tilbury plumpgasm campaign

Charlotte Tilbury PillowTalk Big Lips Plumpgasm, available now, retails for $35.

(Image credit: Charlotte Tilbury)

Big Lip Plumpgasm vows an instant 93 percent plump improvement, and 77 percent smoothing factor. More importantly, it's defined as a hyaluronic acid-powered lip treatment and retexturizer rather than an irritant-fueled, lip-swelling gloss. “This feels very comforting and fresh, like a gorgeous breeze going across your lips,” Tilbury tells me exclusively via Zoom, removing and re-applying the entire left side of her lip to emphasize the dramatic before-and-after effect.

“Look,” she says, “it’s like someone’s taken patent leather or vinyl and gotten rid of any texture on your lips, exaggerating them to nearly double the size.”

Even with a front row seat to Tilbury's demonstration, I needed to know how it felt for myself. Armed with a bag full of Big Lip Plumpgasm, I—along with three other editors on the Marie Claire team—set out to see just how “innovative” this new-to-market-plumper is. Read on for our honest reviews.

Samantha Holender, Beauty Editor

I’m a rule follower, so I followed Charlotte’s instructions word-for-word. I started by lining my lips with the new PillowTalk Lip Cheat in Fair, which according to the makeup artist, “houses the Plumpgasm perfectly.” Then, with the plush tip covered in product, I swiped a layer on the center of my lips, making sure to use the wide doe-foot applicator to "really get into the corners." As promised, the texture was thick and the tingle, despite my skepticism, was refreshing. It had a subtle menthol breeze, but by no means caused any pain, discomfort, or eye-watering. Zero out of 10 on a burn scale, if I do say so myself.

Beauty editor Sam Holender wears Plumgasm

Beauty Editor Samantha Holender wears a full face of Charlotte Tilbury PillowTalk products, including Big Lip Plumpgasm, Push Up Lashes Mascara, and Luxury Palette.

(Image credit: Samantha Holender)

My lips looked fuller, but the smoothing effect impressed me more than the volume enhancement. I went into my application with chapped and raw lips. But when I turned to a mirror, any flaking or dryness was invisible—I even took a photo for proof. The gloss was suspended in a layer above my lips and, as promised, looked like patent leather. The formula stayed put and retained its subtle tingle for well over 40 minutes.

Will this replace my PillowTalk Fair Matte Revolution? I’ll be honest, nothing can. But from here on out, you will find me swiping Big Lip PlumpGasm on top. It might even be one of my all-time favorite Charlotte Tilbury products.

Ashlyn Delaney, Associate Social Media Editor

Oh, she's spicy, but in a good way. This lippie is not only plumping, but ultimately hydrating! As a woman with larger lips, I didn't think the art of plumping would work, but this product proved me wrong.

ashlyn delaney wears plumpgasm

Marie Claire's Associate Social Media Editor Ashlyn Delaney wears PillowTalk Big Lip Plumpgasm in shade Medium/Deep.

(Image credit: Ashlyn)

I love how the formula seamlessly glides with a little tingle and lots of shine. I also appreciate the product's pigment. Usually, glosses do not have profound pigment on the lips, but the Medium/Deep shade is the perfect everyday pink for brown skin.

Halie LeSavage, Senior News Editor

By no stretch of the imagination do I have full or plump lips: I’m probably a textbook candidate for a lip lift. And even though I’m still figuratively scarred from experimenting with Lip Venom in middle school, it gets my attention when makeup brands claim they can give me more volume with nothing but a tube of a tingly lip gloss formula. Obviously, I was first in line when Sam Slacked the team to test drive Charlotte Tilbury’s version.

The fair/medium shade looks a little like a clear gloss on me; on the medium/deep end, I get the mauve effect of the original Pillow Talk lipstick. I alternated between the two versions for five straight days, wearing the fair shade during the workday and saving the medium shade for a few events and dinners.

halie lesavage wearing plumpgasm

Halie LeSavage, Marie Claire's Senior News Editor (Beauty & Fashion) wears the Charlotte Tilbury PillowTalk Big Lip Plumpgasm in shade Medium/Deep.

(Image credit: Halie LeSavage)

Both formulas glide on with a cool, prickling sensation. It looks as shiny as a glazed donut and it’s maybe just as sticky: When I wore it alone, it transferred to most straws and cups it came into contact with. It had an easier time staying in place when I layered the gloss over a coat of the standard Pillow Talk lipstick. Not that I minded reapplying it: I honestly loved the feeling of the Big Lip Plumpgasm formula going on.

I don’t know if I’ve had the full “plumpgasm” promised in the name, but I do think my lips look ever-so-slightly more rounded after a few days of use. Talk to me in a few years about really going in on a lip enhancement—for now, I’m good with these in my makeup bag.

Lucia Tonelli, Associate Director of Social Media

This is the ultimate "starter" lip plumper, though I can imagine plenty of people end their search here, too. In terms of feel, it skews more cool mint than cinnamon spice (which is how the tingle of other plumpers are often described), requires only a thin swipe of product to work, and isn’t tacky, gloopy, or dehydrating.

charlotte tilbury plumpgasm

Associate Social Media Director Lucia Tonelli wears Big Lip Plumpgasm in shade Medium/Dark.

(Image credit: Lucia Tonelli)

The plumping effect is noticeable but not extreme, so you can be a little clumsy with application and not have to worry about plumping your surrounding skin. The best part, in my opinion, is that it just evaporates over time—versus smudging or drying up—without taking my lips’ natural hydration with it.

Shop Charlotte Tilbury's PillowTalk Big Lip Plumpgasm

Samantha Holender
Beauty Editor

Samantha Holender is the Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, where she reports on the best new launches, dives into the science behind skincare, and keeps up with the latest trends in the beauty space. She has previously written for Us Weekly, Popsugar,,, and Philadelphia Wedding. Follow her on Instagram @samholender.