How a Lip Blush “Tattoo” Can Give You a Fuller Pout
Consider it a semi-permanent lip stain.
Augmenting your lips is still one of the most popular cosmetic procedures worldwide, with over 2.1 million people seeking hyaluronic acid fillers in 2019 alone. Not a fan of injectables? Well, there’s also the lip lift and the lip flip to consider, not to mention lip threading to increase volume and add definition. And while there are still new innovations debuting within this category (like the longer-lasting Restylane Kysse, which became available earlier this year), fans of a fuller pout have recently turned their attention to another option—lip blushing, a semi-permanent tattoo that not only changes the shade of your lips, but can also define them (and help them look bigger).
“The goal of lip blushing is to boost your natural lip color, so you feel like you have a little color to your pout,” says Josh Beeler of Shen Beauty and lip blush practitioner. “The end result is a perfected pout, [which] leaves lips subtly blushed and enhanced. It gives you the ‘just woke up like this’ look and is super low-maintenance. If you have heavily pigmented lips naturally, it probably wouldn’t be an ideal service for you simply because you don’t need to add pigment to your lips”—however, if you have pale or skin-toned lips, lip blushing is ideal for providing your desired boost of color.
Beeler explains that the machine used for the lip blush procedure is tattoo grade, as are the needles. The main difference between blushing and traditional tattoos is the pigment. “I use a natural mineral pigment that slowly fades away over a six-month time period,” he says. In terms of needles, he uses a combination to achieve the desired look—a single needle for lining the outer edge of the lips, followed by a five-pin needle for filling in the remainder of the color, and a rounded three-point needle for more detail work.
Similar to the great wide world of lip products, your color options for lip blushing are fairly limitless since custom shades are mixed for each client. Says Beeler, “I choose a shade that will liven and brighten your natural lip shade, and use a color-correction method to tone and customize your lips. I delicately crisp up the outer edge of your pout and then fill the whole lip in with the same shade of organic mineral pigment.”
You can determine the best color for your lip and skin tone during your pre-appointment consultation (when your artist will also assess if you’re a good candidate). Finding an artist with plenty of experience—especially for darker skin tones, which have a higher risk of scarring—is a must, and be sure to confirm that they’ve received their state-mandated licensing for the procedure.
Once you’ve decided on your color, the actual blushing session itself is about two hours total. You’ll receive a numbing cream to help minimize discomfort, and although you’ll likely see some increased volume after the procedure, that swelling will go down after a few hours. The initial session can range from $500 to $800 (at Shen Beauty it’s $525), and Beeler also sees his clients for a free 30-day touch-up session, which lasts about an hour and a half, to ensure the color is even. As he explains, “The procedure will last up to six months because your body metabolizes the natural pigment. That being said, if a client wishes to keep the blushing effect, they will require bi-annual touch-ups.” Considering that most lip fillers will dissolve in three to six months (depending on your body’s metabolism and how much hyaluronic acid was injected) and are priced at roughly the same amount as blushing per vial, lip blushing might be an ideal option for more long-term, lip-defining results.
Top photo: Getty
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