Everything You Need To Know Before Getting A 'Lip Blushing' Tattoo

A little color on the lips can liven up your entire look. Perhaps that's one of the reasons red lipsticks are so hot. According to Psychology Today, men are drawn toward women with red lips because the color contrast "enhances perceived femininity and attractiveness." In fact, a 2012 study published in the International Journal of Psychological Studies in which women wore red, brown, pink, and no lipstick at a bar found that women wearing red were approached more than their counterparts (via Psychology Today). As lovely as it is to wear lipstick to look more beautiful, it can be a pain to keep reapplying it to make it look perfect all the time. There are long-lasting lipsticks and lip tints that last longer than regular lipstick, but even those fade within a few hours. That's where permanent makeup comes in, and it's more common than you would think.


One of the most popular permanent makeups is microblading, in which you receive semi-permanent brows tattooed onto your face, but on the rise now is lip blushing. This trend can save you a ton of time while doing your makeup, and it means that you'll always wake up with your lips ready to go. But there is still plenty you need to know before committing to lip blushing.

What exactly is lip blushing?

Lip blushing is to the lips what microblading is to the brows. In fact, Melissa Pruett, founder of Melt by Melissa studio in Scottsdale, Arizona, tells Allure, "This super-natural, semi-permanent cosmetic tattoo builds consistent color and defines your shape for fuller lips without filler and a more polished pout." Lip blushing is also known as lip tinting and a lip tattoo.


What's more, Shaughnessy Otsuji, cosmetic tattoo artist and cofounder of Studio Sashiko in Langley, British Columbia, Canada, tells Byrdie, "Using a single needle and a quick, consistent hand motion, we are able to create a series of dots as opposed to a solid line as the needle goes in and out of the machine, penetrating the skin." The result is a bright flush of color that fades over time like you are always wearing a lip tint or stain. You can even choose from a range of shades like pinks, nudes, or mauves based on your preference.

If you want to wake up every day with lips that look lightly bitten, you need to try lip blushing. In addition to adding color and redefining your lips, lip blushing can make your lips look more symmetrical. It can even help combat aging. As New York City-based lip blushing master artist Savannah Kondratyev tells PopSugar, "As we lose collagen and elasticity in our skin, we lose shape, and the color starts to disintegrate into our skin." Therefore, lip blushing can also make your lips look fuller and younger.


How to get the best results after lip blushing

Like you get instructions from your tattoo artist after getting a tattoo for proper healing, it's important to follow directions after your lip blushing appointment. In fact, master artist Savannah Kondratyev in New York City tells PopSugar, "With this procedure, because of the injury that it causes to the lips, it can cause the dormant virus to come out." She recommends taking antiviral medication before the appointment and skipping skin regenerating products for a couple of weeks so the pigments last longer.


"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," Christina Son, owner of Sugarin Studio in Los Angeles, tells Elle. Son recommends protecting your lips from direct sunlight and avoiding the gym for about two weeks so that they fully heal.

It's also essential to care for your lips once they're healed to maintain the color. On this, dermatologist Shilpi Khetarpal, M.D., tells the Cleveland Clinic, "Lip blushing is something that would need to be repeated at certain intervals to maintain the results." Once it's completely healed, you can also wear lipstick over it. Depending on the individual, it usually lasts about two years, but the sun's UV rays and smoking can lighten the color faster. To make it last, keep your lips hydrated and protect them with SPF-infused lip products.


Who shouldn't try lip blushing

Lip blushing works for all ages and skin tones, but there are certain situations when you should avoid it. In fact, Shaughnessy Otsuji, a cosmetic tattoo artist, tells Byrdie, "If you have severely chapped lips in the winter or if you're a sun goddess in the summer, it's a good idea to wait out the season and allow your lips time to recover." She recommends only trying it on healthy and hydrated lips, so it takes the color and heals properly. Otsuji also doesn't recommend the procedure for anyone who is pregnant or nursing, those who are on Accutane, steroids, and blood thinners, have cold sores, or are prone to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation/hypopigmentation.


Moreover, Randi Davis, a licensed cosmetic tattoo artist who specializes in lip blushing, tells Women's Health that he doesn't recommend lip blushing for people with a blood clotting disorder or those who are prone to keloid/hypertrophic scarring. If you're uncertain whether or not lip blushing is right for you, check with your physician before booking your appointment.

Side effects of lip blushing

Like with all cosmetic procedures, there are potential side effects involved with lip blushing. "With any form of permanent or semi-permanent makeup, there are risks of infection, allergic reactions, and poor technique resulting in an uneven application," Suzanne Friedler, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist for Advanced Dermatology in New York, tells Byrdie. Friedler strongly recommends only going to a licensed technician with extensive experience who only uses sterile pieces of equipment. Meanwhile, Veronica Tran, founder of Pretty in the City Lash & Brow Bar in Toronto, tells the outlet, "There is some swelling immediately after the procedure," adding that you might notice some redness and bruising.


Since you're tattooing your lips, there will be some pain. On this, New York City-based master artist Savannah Kondratyev from First Class Cosmetics tells PopSugar, "The pain level is different for everyone. Pain-wise, some people are more sensitive, and usually, those are the people who didn't follow the precare rules, by drinking alcohol and caffeine." To alleviate the pain, the artist or technician will apply a numbing cream to the area. If you take the right precautions and go to a certified technician, you're less likely to have severe side effects.

The cost of lip blushing

The cost of beautiful, natural-looking, and tinted lips isn't cheap. If it is cheap, you may have stumbled upon a sketchy artist or business. According to PMUHub, the average cost of initial lip blushing appointments in the United States is $590. However, the outlet notes that it can range anywhere between a little less than $300 and $1,800 depending on several factors, including where the licensed technician got trained, their popularity, and their location.


Overall, lip blushing is a safe procedure to get fuller-looking tinted lips for those whose budget allows it as long as you choose a reputable office. Your touch-ups can be cheaper than the initial appointment, often ranging between $100 and $350 per appointment, though some places may still charge the initial amount for touch-ups as well. Ultimately, do your research, don't fall for cheaper beauty scams, and only trust your lips with the best in the business.