Getting lippy over celeb selfies: has 2016 been the year of the plump pout?

As pouts replace smiles in our Instagram selfies, lips seem to be this year’s biggest trend (literally). Are celebrities promoting a plumper lip and is it having a negative effect on young girls? Enhancing our features to achieve our individual perceptions of what ‘beauty’ is, is becoming more popular due to celebrity idolisation.

With stars such as Kylie Jenner, Charlotte Crosby and Megan McKenna opting for fuller lips, fans are left feeling that their own lips aren’t plump enough which has led to an increase in lipstick sales and lip enhancement procedures in the last year.

Lipstick is the diamond of makeup and is certainly a girl’s best friend, in every clutch bag, or handbag there is a 90% chance a lipstick will be nesting.  Lipstick has always been the most popular cosmetic and enhancing our lips has always been a trend, lipstick has come a long way and the ingredient used in our fave lippy is very different to what it used to be (if you’re squeamish, look away now) – to think Cleopatra wore a mixture of crushed carmine beetles and crushed ants to paint her lips. Rest assure the ingredients used in today’s age definitely do not contain crushed insects.


Kylie Jenner- or King Kylie to fans, has certainly built her cosmetic kingdom with her make-up brand, Kylie Cosmetics, with her sell-out lip kits. With 78 million followers on Instagram Kylie Jenner wields influences on her fans and in May 2015, Jenner admitted to having lip fillers and filler clinic, Transform saw a 400 per cent increase of traffic on their site and it was no coincidence as Dr Leah Totton of Dr Leah Clinics reported a ‘70% rise in lip filler enquiries ‘, in the 24 hours after Jenner revealed that temporary filler was behind her plumper lips. In a bid to get King Kylie’s look, fans participated in a dangerous trend that went viral called ‘The Kylie Jenner lip challenge’; the craze involved girls sucking on items such as shot glasses and bottles causing their lips to swell and increase in size. The disturbing trend causes vessel engorgement, setting off an inflammatory cascade of chemicals in your lips which causes the swelling.  Doctors warned long-lasting and permanent bruising and scaring and some fans were left with badly swollen and bruised lips.

Rosanna Cohen from Manchester who works for the NHS said: ‘I feel lip fillers for young people are not necessary because up to the age of 25 they are at their plump best due to natural collagen production. This collagen decreases after the age of 25 but only at a small rate. Also young people, due to cost, may seek out a cheaper injector and get a poor job which can lead to possibilities of complications such as infection or death of tissue due to poor technique.’

Although copying our favourite celebs may seem harmless, the rise of cosmetic surgery that celebs are undergoing, such as lip fillers is having negative effects on young girls, encouraging them to do whatever it takes to gain their idols look. Those who tried to keep up with the Kardashian’s and took part in the Kylie Jenner lip challenge were unaware of the risks and danger behind the challenge and subconsciously put themselves in danger. It begs the question if celebrities are a bad influence on young girls? 80 per cent of surveyed surgeons reported that celebrities were a major influence in their patient’s decision to alter their appearance. Analysis shows that celebrity selfies make girls critically look at themselves and want to change themselves in order to conform to celebrity trends such as lip enhancements.

Sarah Coleman, 21, from Newcastle says celebrities didn’t have an influence on her recent decision to have her lips plumped, she says: ‘’I wanted to get them done as I have really small lips and lots of my friends have them so I thought I would go for it. It hasn’t made a massive change at all and if anything it’s made me want to get them done more! It was completely painless because they were numbed. I wasn’t influenced by celebrities; I got them done as my job is based on my appearance.’

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Since the ‘selfie’ was added to the dictionary, the pressure of taking a great selfie is a real matter for many of us, just like our idols we want to look flawless.  Social media has become a way of life for our generation; a life without it is an unbearable thought for many of us. With the rise of the digital age, young girls aged 17-24 spend more than 27 hours a week on the internet.  Scrolling through Instagram is becoming a ‘selfie catalogue’ and girls feel like they need to swap their own lips for celebrities, just as Rosanna Cohen said, girls who can’t afford the cost of a professional procedure may end up with a botched job by an amateur practitioner.

Make-up vlogger, Karolina Maria’s video has recently gone viral with over one million likes on Instagram, after highlighting the pressure of taking ‘the perfect selfie’ and comparing it to that of celebrities. In the caption she says: ‘I think It’s just so crazy that plastic surgery and fillers have become so normal… don’t you ever compare yourself to someone else and think you are less, because only YOU are you and you are beautiful just the way you are’.

Megan Mckenna, who rose to fame after appearing on MTV’s Ex On The Beach is now a TOWIE regular and one of the most influential reality stars this year, with her own clothing range for Miss Pap and more recently attempting to compete with Kylie Jenner, has brought out her own lip kit range called Mouthy- and of course her pout has been plumped with fillers. With many young girls watching TOWIE and following her social media accounts, they too may feel they have line and colour their lips with the same product as Megan to gain the perfect pout they see in her selfies.  Earlier this month Made In Chelsea’s reality star, Lucy Watson has also released her sell-out lipstick line called ‘Basic Bitch’ which like Megan’s lip kit, is in high demand.


In order to ‘get the look’ without cosmetic surgery, sales in lipstick have sky rocketed this year and Mintel suggests sales could rise to £306 million this year.  All us girls are guilty of owning an impressive collection of lipsticks and are forever losing them and having to replace them- no wonder sales have rocketed.  Although there is speculation whether or not celebrities are a bad influence, it could be that celebs such as Megan Mckenna and Lucy Watson have introduced their lip kits as an alternative to lip fillers; as you can still achieve a plumper lip with the magic of a lip liner.

Figures and Instagram posts prove that lips have undoubtedly dominated celeb selfies this year and with the release of celeb lip-kits, it’s unlikely the growth of the trend (and lips) isn’t going to stop anytime soon.






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