Tarte Maracuja Juicy Lip Plump Review
TikTok, I don’t understand your obsession with these lip plumpers
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TikTok has influenced several of my beauty purchases this year. Case in point: the floral-scented Sol De Janeiro Beija Flor Elasti-Cream, the under-eye brightening Givenchy Prisme Libre Loose Powder, and the radiant Nars Light Reflecting Advanced Skincare Foundation—mind you, that list is only a small sampling of the products that the app’s put onto my radar.
Recently, TikTok made me curious about the Tarte Maracuja Juicy Lip Plumpers, thanks to beauty creators like Mikayla Nogueira and Meredith Duxbury singing their praises about its juicy sheen and vibrant color impact. But is it really all that great, or is it just another ordinary lip gloss? I know where I stand now.
What are the Tarte Maracuja Juicy Lip Plumpers?
Since its debut in 1999, Tarte has become a fixture in stores such as Sephora, Ulta, and Macy’s. Over the years, it has introduced the world to several beloved makeup products, like the Reviewed-approved Tarte Shape Tape Concealer, in addition to a skincare line.
Recently, the brand has been making waves on TikTok with its Maracuja Juicy Lip Plumper, an “all-in-1 plumping balm, gloss, color, and treatment” that claims to provide the lips with “a tingle-free plump” and “stained-glass finish.” Its formula includes hyaluronic acid to hydrate, maracuja oil to brighten and smooth, and peach to aid in collagen production.
The lip plumper comes in nine shades in full-size tubes and two shades—“Primrose” (dark pink) and “Cherry Blossom” (light pink)—in mini tubes. A full-size tube retails for $21 while the mini goes for $12.
What I like about the Tarte Maracuja Juicy Lip Plumpers
Bright color payoff
Tarte and TikTok creators were not lying when they said this lip plumper imparts a “stained glass” and “full-coverage” finish, respectively. For a lip color that claims to be a mix between a gloss and a balm, I expected these to look sheer, but when I swiped the shade “Mixed Berries” (“mauve berry”) over my lips, the color payoff resembled that of a lipstick. “Mixed Berries” is an exact match to my natural lip color, but I’m not complaining, as it gave my lips an additional touch of color and sheen sans the heavy coating of a lipstick.
One head-scratcher though: “Primrose,” a dark pink shade, looked the same on my lips as “Mixed Berries” despite appearing lighter in the tube and, of course, being a different shade altogether. These two colors may be a poor comparison and other hues may have a starker contrast, but the lack of variation between the two I tested was disappointing.
Makes lips feel soft
Many lip products—balms included—leave my lips feeling depleted of hydration post-application, which means constantly re-applying them for temporary relief. But fortunately, the Maracuja Juicy Lip Plumper delivered on its promise to hydrate the lips and kept mine feeling pillow-soft throughout a day’s worth of wear (about eight hours).
What I don’t like about the Tarte Maracuja Juicy Lip Plumper
Subtle plumping effect
What intrigues many to try this product in the first place is its supposed lip-plumping benefits, and honestly, I wasn’t blown away by this effect. I could tell the gloss was doing something because it made my lips feel as if they were being punctured by tiny needles for a few minutes post-application, which was then followed by an an hour or so of numbness, but it didn’t do much appearance-wise other than make my lower lip appear bigger than it actually is. Even though it can somewhat create the illusion that my lips are bigger, it’s very subtle and anything but monumentally transformative. Then again, I’m not in pursuit of bigger, fuller lips, so I’m fine with the subtlety.
Is the Tarte Maracuja Juicy Lip Plumper worth it?
It depends on what you’re looking for in a lip product
Out of everything this product has to offer, I’d say that the best part is its lipstick-like color payoff without the tacky finish of one. If you’re looking for a lip color with an opaque color impact, then I’d snag this product for sure. But if you have your sights set on dramatic lip-plumping results, I’d suggest you save $21 and put it elsewhere toward a lip color that adds the illusion of volume, such as the Sunnies Face Fluffmatte Lipstick, which retails for $16.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.