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Lip Blushing - The Most Popular Lip Tattoo Technique

The semi-permanent lip tattoo is a great long-lasting solution for anyone who wants to give their lips an attractive pop of color, an illusion of extra volume, and camouflage minor imperfections. It can recreate the look of wearing virtually any type of lip makeup, from lip liner to matte lipstick, but it doesn’t come off or smudge for years.


The most popular cosmetic lip tattoo style is lip blushing. That’s what most clients go for. It’s a very versatile, completely customizable treatment that can be done in many colors with different degrees of opacity.

Keep reading to find out all about the lip blush tattoo.


What Is Lip Blushing?

Lip blushing is a form of permanent makeup for the lips that implies tattooing pigments of natural origins in the shade of your choice into the lips. The color injected stays in the skin for a couple of years, and it gradually fades until it’s invisible. The semi-permanent lip blushing will give your lips an enhancement that will last you a long time. Since the color is underneath the skin, it can never smudge as regular makeup does, so you can eat, talk and kiss as much as you want without worrying about your lips.

How Is the Lip Blush Treatment Done?

As a form of cosmetic tattooing, the lip blush treatment is done by breaking the surface of the skin and depositing color into it. But don’t worry, it’s nothing like a regular, decorative tattoo done on the body.

Permanent makeup is done with specially formulated pigments rather than ink. They can be broken down by the body and extracted, so the results gradually fade until they’re not visible anymore. So it’s not actually permanent, although it lasts a long time.

 Cosmetic tattooing doesn’t go deep – the color is injected just underneath the surface of the skin of the lips, from where it’s slowly exfoliated as your skin goes through its natural regeneration cycle.

Using an electric needle device, the artist tattoos a million tiny dots on the lips, gradually saturating them in pigment. They will probably go back and forth in several passes, but 1 session usually lasts about an hour and a half.

Depending on the desired opacity, the effects are achieved over several lip blushing sessions. If you want a sheer, transparent pop of color, 1 or 2 sessions will be enough. But if you want the color to be more dramatic, you may need some additional appointments.

How Long Does Lip Blushing Last?

Lip blushing can last anywhere from 2 to 5 years, depending on how well your skin holds pigments, how hard your system works to extract them, and your lifestyle – sunlight exposure and frequent swimming in the ocean accelerates fading, as do certain skincare products.You can prolong the effect by getting lip blush touch-ups. Most clients get them once a year.

Does Lip Blushing Hurt?

The lip blush treatment isn’t exactly painful, because a topical numbing cream is applied before the needling starts. That said, it may be a bit uncomfortable, as the lip area is quite sensitive. You might feel some light scratching, but if you feel like it’s getting painful at any point of the procedure, tell your artist. They may be able to add more numbing.

What’s Lip Blush Healing Like?

Since the lip blush treatment entails having the skin of the lips pierced over and over again, the area needs some time to recover and close up the micro-wounds. The injected pigments take some time to settle into the skin and fade into their true color.

Here are the lip blush healing stages day by day:

Day 1: Your lips are swollen and the color is very intense

The piercing of the skin triggers swelling – some people experience significant swelling, some experience none at all. An ice pack should help. The freshly injected pigments look very dark, but they’ll fade into a lighter shade within a few days. You may experience some pain, so check with your artist whether it’s okay to take a mild painkiller.

Day 2: Swelling should subside, but dryness kicks in

Your lips should go back to their normal size by day 2 nightfall. They may feel a bit tender or numb, and they’ll definitely start feeling dry and tight. Your artist will prescribe a moisturizer. They may start to chap, and a light scab may appear.

Day 3: Chapping and heavier scabbing begins

Your lips probably feel very dry. Keep applying the prescribed moisturizer. You will probably notice a scab has formed, especially around the lip edges. As you move your lips, the scab may start cracking, which is not a pleasant feeling, but it’s normal.

Don’t pick at the scabs! You may ruin the results and put yourself at risk of infection.

Day 4: Peeling and flaking

Lip blushing heals quite fast, so the scab should start coming off in flakes on day 4. Let it fall off at its own pace. It may not look very nice, but it’ll be over soon. They’ll probably feel sensitive, so don’t touch them.

Days 5 – 10: Some more light peeling and extreme dryness

Most of the scabs should have fallen off by now, but you can expect some more light peeling. Dryness is also to be expected. The color is now much lighter than on day 1 and it’s close to its true tone.

After day 10: Back to normal

This is very individual, but the lip blush healing process should be over somewhere around 10 – 14 days after the treatment. All the scabbing and the flaking is through and your lips don’t feel dry anymore. You can start wearing lip products other than the prescribed aftercare.

6 – 8 weeks after the treatment

It takes about a month and a half for the skin to heal completely, although the symptoms disappear sooner. It also takes this long for the pigments to finally reveal how they settled.You can go back for your lip blush tattoo touch-up now.

Lip Blush Aftercare

The lip blush healing requires a special aftercare routine.

Wet Healing

Wet healing implies keeping your lips covered with a layer of aftercare ointment basically all the time.

On day 1, blot off the lymph with a damp, sterile cotton pad as frequently as your artist advises – usually every 30 minutes. The less lymph is built up, the thinner the scab will be.

From day 2 until the peeling is over, you don’t have to clean your lips so often, it should be enough to just clean them after eating and drinking, or at least once a day. Wash them with a very mild soap that doesn’t contain alcohol. You will, however, need to keep them moisturized with the prescribed ointment. Reapply the moisturizer whenever you feel the need to.

Once the scabby film has peeled off completely, you can start using other lip makeup and care products. It’s advisable to get fresh tubes, though – your old ones may be contaminated with bacteria your freshly tattooed lips can’t fight off.

Pros: Keeping the lips moisturized prevents heavy scabbing. Your healing symptoms won’t be too uncomfortable, and you’ll get more even pigment retention.

Cons: You have to stick to the schedule and carry your aftercare ointment with you.

Don’ts of Lip Blush Aftercare

Here’s what you should avoid until your lips stop flaking:

  • Don’t touch your lips or pick at the scabs.

  • Don’t get your lips soaking wet.

  • No long, hot showers, no swimming, no extreme workouts, no saunas or steam baths. Drink through a straw.

  • Don’t eat or drink anything too hot or too cold. This will cause discomfort, and heat can trigger more swelling. Don’t drink alcohol – it will dry out your lips further.

  • Don’t eat spicy food. It will sting.

  • Don’t expose your lips to sunlight. Sunlight can cause the pigments to change color.

  • Don’t wear makeup or any products other than the prescribed aftercare.

What Lip Blush Colors and Styles Are Available?


Lip blushing is a customized treatment, so there’s a very wide range of colors to choose from. The colors available are every shade of red or pink under the sun, plus they can be mixed into a custom shade that will work best with your skin tone and undertone. The most popular are rosy, flesh-colored tones that give the your-lips-but-better look. There are also reddish and orange shades, or peachy nudes. Clients like to go for a more neutral tone they can modify with regular makeup when they feel like it. Bear in mind that the true color is only revealed once the lips have healed completely. They won’t stay as dramatic as they are right after the treatment.


The lip blushing technique is very versatile, so different effects can be achieved with it. It implies softly outlining the lips and coloring them in, but the finish is more sheer than the look of wearing lipstick. It’s more like a lip tint or stain. That said, it can be as subtle or as dramatic as you want it, depending on the shade you choose and how much the area is saturated in pigment.

Ombre Lip Blush

A very popular style of lip blushing is ombre lip blush, which implies an ombre gradient created from the edges of the lips towards their centers. The artist will make the outline more saturated and darker and gradually inject less and less pigment. This technique can make the lips look much fuller than they actually are. Some artists do a shaded lip liner which is very similar to ombre lip blush but gives a more defined outline.

Aquarelle Lips

Aquarelle lips are a form of lip blushing that’s become so popular it’s now considered a separate treatment. It gives a more subtle look, since the edges of the lips are not defined, and the technique gives a blended effect inspired by watercolor paintings.

How Much Does Lip Blushing Cost?

The average lip blushing cost is around $400 – $500 for the initial session, after which you may need some additional ones to build up the color.

Lip Blushing – Main Takeaways

The semi-permanent lip blush is a very popular style of permanent makeup for the lips that gives very natural results. It’s done by blending PMU pigments in a customized shade into the skin of the lips, where it stays for up to 5 years.The lip blush is a great option for anyone who wants to enhance their lips, give them the illusion of thickness, and fix any imperfections such as asymmetry or minor scar

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