Big lips are in, and though the current trend might be responsible for the explosion in people who want to perk up their pout, many will be surprised to learn that natural permanent lip color has been doing the rounds in the beauty world for a few decades now. However, the modern advances in pigments and tools mean that today’s lip tattoos are a lot more natural than the harsh lines and solid colors of yesteryear. Nowadays, lip tattooing generally results in a soft sheer stain that could easily be mistaken for natural lip color.

What are the Benefits of Lip Tattooing?

The main reason clients want natural permanent lip color is to boost and define their lips. Uneven or asymmetrical lips can be effectively corrected with lip tattooing, making it a good option for those suffering from vitiligo and other pigmentation issues. Enhancing the edges of the lips also masks the appearance of fine lines, giving a more youthful appearance. Moreover, it’s important to note that natural permanent lip color not only gives the lips better definition and color, but it can also create additional volume for a natural, permanent fullness that temporary lip fillers do not provide.

How Can I Choose the Correct Color?

Less is more when it comes to choosing a natural permanent lip color, so it’s not advisable to opt for anything too strong or bold. Soft peach and petal pink tones are popular because they are subtle and exude youthful innocence. Going for a more natural shade also leaves you with the option of being able to apply gloss or lipstick over it, so you’re not stuck with the same color day in day out. Subtle lip tattoo colors can always be built upon in the future if necessary. And if you already like your existing lip color but feel that you could just use a little more lip, your own color can be matched with the same tone and extended to give your lips more definition and volume without having to go darker or change color.

There are a number of different lip tattooing techniques used, depending on the desired result. During the initial consultation, your practitioner will discuss your expectations with you, and match a suitable color accordingly.

How Do I Prepare for a Cosmetic Lip Tattoo?

If you have ever suffered from cold sores in the past, you must commence a course of antivirals prior to getting a lip tattoo to help prevent an outbreak. Find out more information here. Along with this, excessive stress should be minimized in the days leading up to your treatment. An OTC pain reliever such as Tylenol is also recommended to minimize any discomfort.

What Happens During the Tattooing Procedure?

Using the appropriate lip color, the technician will draw over your lips to demonstrate an idea of what you can expect the color and shape to look like. (The volume comes in over the next few weeks as the stimulation of collagen takes place.) Once the client is satisfied with the drawing, a topical anaesthetic gets applied to the lips and after its effects can be felt, the lip tattoo commences. The length of the session depends on the type of lip tattoo being performed. A lip line enhancement will be quicker than a full lip tattoo with the lips being reshaped. In general, the lip tattooing process can take up to 45 to 60 minutes.

Does Cosmetic Lip Tattooing Hurt?

It’s literally the question on everyone’s lips. Given that it is such a sensitive area of the body, you may experience some and discomfort during the tattooing session. However, you will be well-numbed and any discomfort will be short-lived and temporary.

What Is the Recovery Like?

The lips have the fastest recovery time out of all the permanent makeup procedures. They generally take about 1-3 days for the initial strong show of color and any swelling to recede. In the weeks following, it’s important to diligently keep the lips moist and occluded to prevent them from becoming dry and chapped as they continue to heal. The results from a single procedure can usually be seen after 4-6 weeks.

In the days immediately following the treatment while the lips are visibly healing, abrasive, exfoliating or drying chemicals should be avoided on or near the tattooed area. It’s also important to avoid picking or unnecessarily rubbing the lips to help promote the best results as well as avoid any risk of infection.

A follow-up appointment should be scheduled 6 weeks after the initial procedure to ensure that the color and shape are headed in the right direction. Each additional lip tattoo session will continue to build additional color, volume, and definition to the lips.

How Long Does Natural Permanent Lip Color Last?

Depending on lifestyle factors, you can expect certain aspects of your permanent lip tattoo – especially the new shape and volume – to last indefinitely. Only the color may fade as all colors ultimately do after a good many years unless it is maintained with a touch-up to refresh the color every decade or so. Factors that cause premature fading of cosmetic lip tattoos include prolonged sun exposure, frequent swimming in chlorinated pools and the repeated use of skin exfoliants or harsh chemicals. Using a sun-blocking lip balm will help protect the lips from the elements.

Cosmetic tattoo camomflage before and after results in San Francisco