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What You Need to Know About Lip Blushing, a "Tattoo" for Fuller Lips

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What You Need to Know About Lip Blushing, a "Tattoo" for Fuller Lips

ROSDIANA CIARAVOLOGETTY IMAGES

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If you have been on social media in the past five years aesthetically it’s clear the lips have it in the past lip injections were often an undiscussed augmentation then again most aesthetic alterations were hush-hush until the online beauty renaissance now there is over 1.6M hashtags on Instagram with tagged photos of lip injections and lip fillers and Google searches for lip injections near me have continued to increase since 2014 people discuss their injectors openly in short filler provides major lip service for the non-invasive aesthetics industry.

From injecting filler directly in the lips to plump to adding filler under the bottom lip to make what you already have look more pronounced there’s several options out there for increasing your lip real estate including tattooing it’s not a new service by any means permanent makeup has been around for decades but gone are the days of the stark fade to blue lip liner tattoos meet lip blushing the tattoo that not only color corrects but enhances the shape and size of your lips as well.

What is Lip Blush?

“Lip blushing is a form of semi-permanent makeup. Essentially, it is a cosmetic tattoo of the lips that enhances the beauty of the natural lip color improving the shape of the lips giving definition and the illusion of fullness” said Christina Son owner of Sugarin Studio in Los Angeles. “This treatment delivers very natural results once healed filler is great for creating volume in your lips but lip blush delivers a more natural look and give the illusion of fuller lips.”

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Lip blushing before and after at Sugarin Studio in Los Angeles.
Here's how it works a tiny mechanized needle deposits pigment into the lips that builds layers of color son explained that it can be a corrective service to help even out the tone of the lips but it can also help with asymmetry the service can cost anywhere between $500-$1500 per appointment depending on where you live.

Unlike traditional permanent cosmetic tattoos lip blushing is an evolved service that’s meant to provide natural looking long lasting results christopher Drummond, licensed aesthetician and cosmetic tattoo master at PFRANKMD Skin Salon in New York that has been offering permanent makeup services for the past seven years has seen the evolution first hand.

“Traditional permanent makeup uses a strong machine synthetic pigments and is embedded deep in the dermis the permanent makeup of today is very different we use organic pigments and modern digital tools” he said. “The results are much more natural looking.”

“Nowadays the industry has developed great new techniques like gentler machines and advanced semi permanent makeup pigments” mimicked Son. “I use high quality vegan line pigments in the past traditional carbon based tattoo ink produced harsh results that would age to an unappealing color.”

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Lip blushing before and after from PFRANKMD Skin Salon in New York.

How Permanent Is It?

Similar to a cosmetic service like microblading that utilizes a blade to manually create small cuts in the skin that are then filled with ink the results vary person to person generally lip blushing can last several years although your lifestyle contributes to how well it maintains smoking and sun exposure can speed up the fading process and if you are oil-prone have an iron deficiency or use a lot of exfoliating products in your skin regimen the pigment could fade more quickly as well.

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A tattoo on the lips sounds painful especially for someone that might be looking for an alternative to getting injected with filler son said most of her clients rate it 3 or 4 out of 10 with ten being the most painful Drummond said his clients say there is little to no discomfort both numb the lips prior to the service if you are worried about your pain tolerance a pain reliever like Tylenol can be taken prior to the appointment should avoid aspirin and ibuprofen though becaue they can thin the blood and cause more sensitivity. Drummond also suggests avoiding fish oil and vitamin E.

What to Expect From Your Appointment

So what happens in an appointment? First there is pout prep a topical anesthetic is applied to pre-numb the lips for 20 minutes the technician will draw the shape of the new lips so that you can evaluate and make any changes.

“Generally I love to make the cupid’s bow a little more pronounced and add fullness to the sides of the lips as sometimes the natural color is lost in those areas once the client is happy with the shape we begin the actual tattooing” said Son.

The procedure takes place over the course of an hour to an hour and a half if not longer depending on the look you are going for once the appointment is completed your lips may be swollen it is a tattoo, after all so you can ice them if necessary. Over the next week your lips will start to heal meaning they may scab so it’s essential to time this carefully around your schedule.

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Lip blushing before and after at Sugarin Studio in Los Angeles
“For the first 24 hours I advise my clients to gently blot their lips with a wet cotton pad and let them air dry this is to keep the lips clean and remove any body fluids that have surfaced and prevent the fluids from forming scabs.”
When it comes to scabs it’s important that they fall off naturally picking them can result in scarring or loss of pigment in those areas Son also suggests avoiding workouts and sun exposure for 2 weeks a great excuse to avoid the gym if we do say so ourselves and if you plan on getting injections wait a full month sleeping on your face could also cause the scabs to fall off prematurely an occlusive ointment like Aquaphor should be worn to keep the lips properly moisturized but then again Aquaphor should always be worn because it’s a god-send.

Initially the color will be super vibrant, almost like a lip stain. “It is important not to be misled by the immediate after results the immediate results look nothing like when the lips are healed once healed the color fades approximately 30-50% and also blends in with the natural lip color” Son said.

Scabbing typically lasts 5 to 7 days and after four weeks the lips should be fully healed to completion but Son suggests a touch up appointment around six weeks in the event the client wants to alter the shape of the blush or to fill in areas that may have rejected pigment although it’s not mandatory.



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Lip blushing before and after from PFRANKMD Skin Salon in New York.

How to Find a Trained Technician

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To find a trained specialist it’s important to ask the right questions and not base your decisions off of social media always ask the technician how long they have been performing semi permanent makeup procedures the longer the better if they have a Yelp profile check for reviews within the last 6 months regarding the service you are looking to get. Some states require technicians to obtain a blood borne pathogen certificate or a body art/esthetician license but each state differs so check your state board to learn what qualifications cosmetic tattoo artists require.

“If they have further experience in other forms of semi permanent makeup that’s always a bonus” said Son. “If you have any skin or medical conditions especially if it’s related to your lips you should always inform the artist.”

For example if you have a history of cold sores or herpes the procedure could trigger an outbreak. Prescribed anti-viral medication should be taken in advance of the appointment and it has to be noted that cold sores can affect the healed results of the lip blush.

Instagram is a perfect discovery tool when it comes to learning about these procedures and potentially finding a technician to work with but take caution and look at the tech’s body of work not just one or 2 photos.

“It is a good idea to review before and after photos especially healed photos. Do not make a decision to work with an artist based off one photo the artist’s work should be consistent and cohesive throughout” said Son.

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