This article is part of our series Battle of the Brands, in which we compare category-leading products to their counterparts to determine which are actually worth your money.
Celebrities and social media have made big, full lips a lasting trend. While some turn to lip flips and fillers to get the effect, products like the popular Dior Addict Lip Maximizer Plumping Gloss and Buxom’s Full-On Plumping Lip Polish can help you achieve a pillowy pout without any needles.
Formulated with ingredients that “irritate” the lips, you’ll feel the glosses give a tingling sensation — but does this actually mean they are visibly plumping the lips? I put the glosses to the test, comparing how they look and feel side by side.
This plumping lip gloss comes in a bunch of shiny shades — sheer, semi-opaque and with or without shimmer.
Shiny and sparkly, Buxom's Full-On Plumping Lip Polish gives sheer to medium color in more than 60 shades.
How they compare
To compare the two products, I tested one clear shade and one pigmented shade of each. For the Dior Lip Maximizer, I first tried the clear holographic shade 002 Opal. The formula has a cooling, tingly sensation that lingers as you wear the gloss, thanks to the menthoxypropanediol (a synthetic derivative of menthol). It doesn’t have an overt flavor, but it has a slightly minty, sweet scent.
I’m not usually a lip gloss wearer because I don’t like the sticky feeling, but I found the Dior Lip Maximizer to be smooth and nourishing. It contains cherry oil, jojoba esters and hyaluronic acid, which give it that moisturizing effect. The clear shade left a shiny finish and I found that my lips looked a bit pinker and plumper the longer I wore it.
The Buxom Full-On Plumping Lip Polish delivered a similar effect. I tested the clear shade Dominique, which has visible shimmer in the tube. When I applied it, however, it didn’t look sparkly on my lips, instead leaving a high-shine finish that I found gave more of a lacquered effect than the Dior Addict Lip Maximizer. It also felt tingly due to menthol glycerin acetal. It had an overall stronger cooling effect than Dior’s gloss, but I didn’t find that it necessarily made my lips look plumper (just more glossy).
Moreover, Buxom’s Plumping Lip Polish has a much stickier feeling than the Dior Lip Maximizer. It feels thicker, and although it contains hyaluronic acid, it left my lips feeling dehydrated when I wiped off the gloss. It also has a sweet vanilla scent that you can taste on your lips.
For the next shade, I wanted to compare reds. I chose the Dior Addict Lip Maximizer 028 Dior 8 Intense, a bold semi-opaque brick red. The color payoff was fantastic, giving a super-glossy color that lasted throughout the day. Even after removing the gloss, some of the pigment was left on my lips. The bold color also made my lips appear the plumpest out of any of the glosses I tested. Like the clear shade, it had the same comfortable, smooth feeling with a lingering tingle.
Buxom only offers sheer reds in its Plumping Lip Polish, so I tried the shade Natalie, a juicy cherry red. In product photos online, it looks like a deeper berry red, so I was surprised to see that it is a bright cherry red. In fact, it looks pretty close to the 028 Dior Intense shade in the tube, but when applied it has a sheer finish, just giving a light layer of color to the lips that looks more pink than red. The flexibility of the sheer shade means that you could layer it on top of red lipstick for a bolder color. Alone, it gave my lips a juicy look, but not necessarily more plump than the Dior option.
You get more choices with Buxom, but might not find exactly what you’re after
Even though Dior continues to expand its shade offerings of the Dior Addict Lip Maximizer (there are now 23), Buxom has it beat with a whopping 67 shades of the Full-On Plumping Polish. Buxom’s range particularly focuses on a variety of nudes and pinks, but it also has some purple and red tones. The variety includes shimmer, sparkle and iridescent finishes.
If you prefer a shiny lip gloss that’s still sparkle-free, however, Dior has better options. The Dior Addict Lip Maximizer has nine shades without shimmer, from sheer fuchsia to semi-opaque nude rosewood to the bold red that I tested.
It’s also worth noting that Buxom recently released the Plump Shot Collagen-Infused Lip Serum as another option for those after the full lip effect. It contains the same menthone glycerin acetal, plus cassia oil (found in cinnamon) and capsaicin (found in chili peppers) that magnify the tingly sensation.
I tested the Plump Shot too but found that the Full-On Plumping Polish was the closest comparison to the Dior Addict Lip Maximizer in look and feel. The Plump Shot’s tingly effect is initially stronger than the Plumping Polish, but it subsides after a few minutes. It does, however, have more nourishing ingredients than the Plumping Polish — like avocado oil, jojoba seed oil and collagen — so it feels more smooth than sticky on the lips, similar to the Dior Addict Lip Maximizer.
The Buxom Plumping Lip Polish is a worthy choice for those who want ultra-juicy lips, and at $25 you’ll save some money over Dior’s gloss, but based on how the product feels, Dior’s formula is much more comfortable to wear. It feels moisturizing and light even with the tell-tale tingle. Plus, if you’re after a shiny, pigmented pout without the shimmer, Dior’s shade range has plenty of options. And while the plumping effect was not super transformative for either of the products, you can amplify the effect with some strategic lip liner before applying the plumping gloss for an enhanced look.