ESC, Kailey Lips Article

Jenna Williams for E! Online

"You don't have an upper lip. All the big models have full, voluptuous lips right now, so we're going to pass," said an intimidating, pseudo authority on beauty.

I was 14, sitting in a modeling agency in Cincinnati and just had my appearance picked apart. 

Prior to this moment, I'd never paid any attention to the volume of my lips; the look hadn't yet infiltrated pop culture. But as stars' lips proportionately grew, a little self consciousness seemed to sprout with it.

So now, deep into my twenties, at a time when having full lips and being full-lip aware is de rigueur, I think, "Welcome, world. Welcome to my own personal insecurity. I am no longer alone in my obsession."

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ESC, Kailey Lips Article

Jenna Williams for E! Online

I've never taken any real action to acquire bigger lips. Lip balm, lip liner, lip-plumping gloss—sure, but not an invasive procedure more. However, I recently asked my brother about his thoughts on lip injections, and he offered the endearing, "Don't let Hollywood get to you." Still, curiosity was swelling like my lips never had.

After some light research (meaning, I clicked on a link within an article about Kylie Jenner's lips), I discovered Fullips Lip Enhancers. It took sharing a bottle of wine with friends to get me to order the plastic, suction cup-like devices, but order them I did.

YouTubers promised hours of full lips after just one use. The mother-daughter duo behind the device even incorporate Fullips into their daily beauty routines. It seemed innocent and effective enough, so once my three-pack—priced at $35.99—arrived, I sat on my couch with confidence that I, too, could have full lips without any lasting negative side effects.

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ESC, Kailey Lips Article

Jenna Williams for E! Online

The hard, plastic cups are designed to protect your lips, unlike, say, a shot glass. Starting with the smallest device, I placed the rim within the natural line of my lips in order to avoid any bruising. I gently sucked and held Fullips in place for about 15 seconds. My pout started to grow.

To see how far I could push it, I moved onto the lip enhancer in medium oval, which was a complete misfit for the shape of my mouth. Finally, I tried the largest round lip enhancer for about 20 seconds. I removed the cup to find a significantly plumped pout.

To a degree, I can have full lips anytime I want now. The effects don't last for long for me personally; with a layer of my go-to gloss (Lip Smacker in Bubble Gum for a daily dose of #TBT), my enhanced lips last only 30 minutes to an hour. However, with matte liner like Revlon ColorStay Lip Liner in Mauve, friends noticed my larger lips two hours after I'd enhanced them.

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ESC, Kailey Lips Article

Jenna Williams for E! Online

Without any pain, injections or bruising, I had the inflated lips needed to buoy any adolescent-aged deflated ego...except it didn't.

The strangest thing happened when I tested out my new mouth on a Friday night in West Hollywood. I felt oddly self-conscious, as if all people were looking at were my lips. I am of the less-is-more beauty school, so having one stand-out facial feature felt foreign and somehow embarrassing. It turned out the upper lip I'd always wanted made me feel less like myself and more like an imitation of someone else.

I'll probably use Fullips every now and then just for fun—like falsies or anything that emphasizes my features—but my thin lips will always be my go-to. And I'm perfectly fine with that.

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