Here's Everything To Know Before Getting A Lip Blushing Tattoo
The perfectly pigmented pout no longer requires regularly applying your favourite lipstick. Luscious lips have been one of the defining beauty trends of the 21st century. While filler injections took centre stage over the past decade, lip blushing offers a more natural-looking alternative to the cosmetic treatment craze. Lip blushing, also known as lip tattooing, is a semi-permanent makeup treatment that involves injecting pigment into the top layer of the skin (epidermis) with a micro-sized, mechanical needle. Thanks to modern-day advancements, this procedure offers a subtle wash of colour compared to older, traditional methods using tattoo ink to saturate the lips.
Lip blushing tattoos offer both corrective and enhancement benefits. The treatment helps even out the pigments and symmetry of your lips and create a slightly fuller appearance. These results can reduce signs of scars or aging in the area. Lip blushing also provides a built-in convenience factor as a smudge-proof alternative to your favourite lip makeup shades. While you can still wear lipstick or gloss over your lip treatment, this semi-permanent colour saves you time for everyday activities.
Read on to discover more about the full lip blushing tattoo experience, from preparation to your appointment details and best aftercare practices.
How To Prepare For Lip Tattooing
In the days leading up to your appointment, exfoliation and hydration are key. Include a lip scrub and moisturizing balm into your daily skincare routine to prime the area. Walking into your session with smooth, soft lips ensures that the pigment maintains an even, vibrant appearance and aids the healing journey.
Avoid drinking alcohol for at least 24 hours before your appointment.
If this is your first lip blush session, meet with your technician for an initial consultation and do a patch test to prevent any preventable side effects from the cosmetic tattooing process.
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Important Pre-Consultation Considerations
Like microneedling, lip blushing tattoos require you to take certain medical precautions beforehand. You should not undergo this procedure if you’re currently on a blood-thinning medication or are suffering from chronic cold sores or lip dryness. These conditions often indicate a weaker immune system and can make you more susceptible to getting an infection from the procedure. Chapped lips can be caused by seasonal factors, such as harsh winter temperatures or prolonged sun exposure during the warmer months. In this case scenario, it is best to wait out the weather and allow your lips to rehydrate before booking an appointment.
Women who are pregnant or nursing also should avoid lip blushing and any other permanent makeup treatments. The risk for infections is even greater during these times and hormone changes could affect how the pigment shows up on your skin.
What To Expect At Your Appointment
The entire session should take approximately 60-90 minutes. Customize your new semi-permanent pout and allow your artist to perfect your vision for luscious lips.
Pick and Choose
The first, arguably the most fun, step is to select your lip tint colour. After a brief discussion, your artist will blend you a custom shade based on your natural pigment and desired look. For the most versatile look, it is best to stick with a hue that is very similar to your natural lip colour that mimics your favourite “your lips but better” makeup shade. This cosmetic treatment is designed to enhance your existing features and should only change your lip colour by a couple of shades. Remember that you can still apply lipstick or a gloss for occasions where you want to rock a red lip or another bold hue.
Once your custom colour is crafted, the cosmetic tattoo artist will outline your desired lip shape. This process is typically done with a lip liner or lipstick before your lip blushing specialist using the mechanical needle device. Like your selected shade, a more natural shape is always a safe bet for optimal results.
Some Pain, Mostly Gain
Lips are a highly sensitive area. However, experts frequently apply a topical numbing cream to reduce the pain level significantly. The numbing cream is left on for approximately 20 minutes before the procedure begins.
Along with the transition from synthetic ink to organic pigments, many artists now seek to provide lip blushing experiences with fully natural products – like Zensa Numbing Cream. It features 5% lidocaine for maximum strength, has a natural PH formulation to cater to sensitive areas, including the lips, and does not contain any vasoconstrictors that prevent the ink from properly settling.
Once the technician begins the procedure, the needle device should feel like small pricks on the skin and should be low to moderate on the pain scale, depending on your personal tolerance.
Results and Aftercare
The pigment will appear the most vibrant immediately after your session, however this hyper-saturation will diminish throughout the healing process. "The healed colour will appear about 30 to 50 percent lighter than the initial results" Shaughnessy Otsuji, cosmetic tattoo artist and cofounder of Studio Sashiko, explained to Byrdie.
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As Otsuji explained to the beauty outlet, lip blush tattooing is done similarly to “whip-shading or pepper-shading techniques seen in traditional tattooing.” Therefore, many of the aftercare practices will be similar to those created with permanent ink.
The initial healing process should take approximately five to ten days. Expect some swelling, especially for the first 24 hours. Icing your lips can reduce this side effect along with the accompanying tenderness. After this period, the dryness and tightness should subside.
Cleanse and Hydrate
Like with any wound, it is essential to keep the area well-cleaned and moisturized to allow it to fully cover and prevent any irritation or infection. Wash the tattooed area with water or a fragrance-free cleanser on a cotton pad. Wipes with a similar formula also should work well.
For maintained moisture, Otsuji suggests applying an occlusive ointment or balm – either Aquaphor Healing Ointment or Zensa Healing Cream. The latter product includes shea butter and cucumber extract to soothe and hydrate the area. It also contains sunflower seed oil to brighten and preserve the ink’s colour.
Take A Hands-Off Approach
Flaky skin and lip peeling are a normal part of the healing process. During this stage, it is essential not to pick at the scabs and let them fall off naturally. Like with permanent ink tattoos, this inference can lead to scarring and pigment loss throughout your lips. Sleeping on your face could also lead to premature peeling.
Scabbing should last up to a week. Keep in mind that it could take up to four weeks for the ink to settle and the top layer of skin to completely heal.
Turn The Heat Down
While your lip tattoo is still healing, avoid any activities or lifestyle habits that could potentially cause sweating or skin irritation. Stay away from high-intensity exercising, saunas, swimming, kissing, and eating spicy foods. Direct sun exposure and wearing any beauty products on your lips are also off-limits.
Final Results and Pigment Concerns
After your appointment, it is recommended to schedule a follow-up consultation approximately eight weeks from your treatment date. Throughout the healing process, do not worry if the colour seems to have disappeared for some time. This side effect is normal, as healing skin can become slightly thicker than usual and conceal the ink. Once the wounded skin recovers, the colour should “return” and become fully visible again within a few weeks.
If you have any additional concerns, contact your artist to address your questions and see if you need to schedule another appointment.
Lip Blush Tattooing Quick Facts
On average, each lip blush tattooing session costs between $500-$1,500. While your local area, artist and cosmetic studio selection contribute to the price, keep in mind that a pigmented pout is likely to cost a pretty penny. Similarly, ensure that your artist has the licenses and certifications required in your area to perform permanent makeup services. These common licenses include an esthetician’s license and a blood-borne pathogen certificate. Make sure to also thoroughly research your prospective artist online via social media, Yelp, Google reviews, etc. Come prepared for your consultations and ask informed questions to ensure this artist and their work is the right fit for your desired results.
Each lip blushing tattoo treatment lasts on average between two to three years without touch-ups. However, various factors determine the longevity of your lip blush tattoo treatment. Your pigment is prone to fade more quickly if you have more oily skin, an iron deficiency or frequently exfoliate your face. Smoking and sun exposure also will accelerate the fading process.