Want a gorgeous, fuller pout without having to constantly reapply lipstick? Lip tattoos done with a permanent makeup machine allow you to enhance your natural lip shape and color with semi-permanent ink. Read this article to learn all about this cosmetic tattoo procedure - how it works, what to expect, results, aftercare, and finding the right artist. Get ready to achieve the lips of your dreams!
What Are Lip Tattoos?
Lip tattoos, also called permanent lip makeup, lip blushing, or micro-pigmentation, are semi-permanent tattoos applied directly on the lips. They involve depositing non-toxic tattoo ink into the lips using tiny tattoo needles punctured into the skin via an electric pen machine. This allows an artist to enhance the natural lip color, create fuller-looking lips, correct asymmetry, or hide scars or discoloration.
Unlike regular body tattoos, lip tattoos don't go nearly as deep into the dermis layer of skin. The ink particles sit closer to the surface, so they gradually fade over time, unlike the lifetime permanence of most body tattoos. Properly done lip tattoos typically last 1-5 years before needing a touch-up. The results create the look of wearing lipstick or a natural lip stain without the hassle of having to constantly reapply!
Why Get a Lip Tattoo?
There are many great reasons to consider getting semi-permanent lip color applied via tattoo:
- Make lips look fuller and more defined. Lip tattoos can create a beautiful, sexy, pillowy pout by enhancing, shaping, and defining the natural lip line.
- Balance uneven or asymmetric lips. Carefully deposited ink can correct unevenness between the upper and lower lips for a more symmetrical look.
- Get the look of wearing lipstick without constant reapplication. Wake up with perfect lips every day! The color stays put, with no smudging or fading.
- Hide scars, vitiligo, or uneven lip coloration. Skillfully applied tattoo pigment can disguise old scars, uneven skin discoloration, or vitiligo spots for smooth, flawless-looking lips.
- Enhance fading lip color as we age. Our lips can lose definition and vibrancy with age. Lip tattoos can rejuvenate shape and color.
- Correct 'lipstick bleed' lines. Ink artfully traced just around the lips' edge can camouflage those little lines that can form over time from lipstick seeping into tiny wrinkles.
What Is a Tattoo Pen Machine?
A tattoo pen machine is a handheld electric device used to perform permanent makeup procedures like lip blushing. It contains an oscillating needle module that moves up and down quickly, puncturing the skin and depositing ink into the dermal layer of the lips.
The pen-like body allows excellent control over the needle, letting the artist easily perform the meticulous work required to create natural-looking lip enhancement. Modern devices have adjustable speed and depth settings to fine-tune the needles' penetration into the skin. This allows customization based on each client's comfort, skin type, thickness, and the areas being tattooed.
Advanced tattoo pen systems may have various needle configurations for shading, contouring, and detail work. Some also have convenient features like wireless foot pedals to easily start/stop the oscillation during application. High-end machines from brands like Permanent Makeup Systems or Digital Perfection provide excellent precision, speed, and safety.
How Is a Lip Tattoo Done With a Pen Machine?
Getting your lips tattooed is a gradual, systematic process done by a trained permanent makeup technician. Here are the general steps:
- Numbing cream applied. A topical anesthetic cream is put on the lips about 30 minutes prior. This reduces discomfort during the procedure.
- Lips stretched taut. The artist gently holds the lip firm while working to provide a smooth surface for the needles to glide over.
- Ink deposited with pen machine. Using the oscillating needle, the technician makes multiple passes over each section of the lips, slowly building up the color to reach the desired hue and shape.
- Shading, contouring, and lining. In addition to the base color, the artist may also use various pen needle configurations to add shading or contouring that enhances the shape of the lips and Cupid's bow. The liner can also be applied along the edges.
- Both lips completed. The technician works on both the top and bottom lips to ensure symmetry and an overall cohesive look.
- Touch-ups scheduled. Initially, the color will look extra dark. As it fades over the first week, a follow-up is scheduled to tweak and perfect the results.
Does Getting a Lip Tattoo Hurt?
There's no way around it - getting your lips tattooed is going to involve some discomfort. This is a very sensitive part of the body densely packed with nerve endings. The good news is that a numbing cream applied beforehand keeps the pain at a tolerable level for most clients.
While the sensation of the pen depositing ink varies from person to person, it's usually described as a tingling, vibrating feeling. Some areas, like the very center of the lips, may feel more irritating. The outline is typically more uncomfortable than the interior shading. There's often some residual soreness in the first few days as the lips heal. Ibuprofen and ice packs help relieve post-procedure swelling. Within a week, any discomfort subsides.
Many technicians agree that beauty is pain and that the ends justify the means when it comes to achieving gorgeous, perfect lip color that makes women feel beautiful and confident. For some, the minor pain involved is a small price to pay for lips they love seeing in the mirror each morning!
How Long Do Lip Tattoos Last?
With proper care and maintenance, semi-permanent lip color applied via an experienced technician's pen machine can typically last 1-5 years before requiring a touch-up. However, results vary based on the individual's skin type, lifestyle factors, and frequency of maintenance sessions.
Those with very oily skin that tends to shed pigment quicker will be on the shorter end of that timeline, while drier skin types may retain the color longer. Certain habits like smoking cigarettes or excessive sun exposure can speed up fading. The type of ink used also plays a role, as do medication side effects.
To keep lip tattoos looking vibrant, most people need a touch-up every 1-2 years. This refresh restores the shape and color. Regular touch-ups are key for longer-lasting lip bliss!
How to Care for Lip Tattoos During Healing?
The proper aftercare in the first 7 to 10 days after getting lip blushing is extremely important for quick healing and optimal results. Here are some crucial do's and don'ts:
- Avoid sun exposure completely until fully healed. The sun fades pigment.
- No swimming, hot tubs, or saunas - bacteria is a risk until healed.
- Absolutely no makeup, lipstick, gloss, etc., on the tattoos until healed.
- Use a gentle antibacterial mouthwash two times per day during the healing period.
- Avoid super spicy, salty, or acidic foods that may irritate the tender skin.
- Drink lots of water and use a hydrating lip balm with vitamin E.
- Take ibuprofen if needed for swelling and discomfort.
- Absolutely no picking or peeling! Let any flakes detach naturally.
- Follow up within four weeks for your touch-up session to perfect the color.
What Are the Risks and Side Effects?
When proper procedures and aftercare are followed, lip tattoo risks are low. However, as with any tattoo, there are some possible side effects to consider:
- Infection: Unhygienic equipment or aftercare can lead to bacterial, viral, and fungal infections. Reputable studios follow strict sterilization and hygiene protocols to prevent this.
- Scarring:If the skin is not allowed to heal properly, scarring of the delicate lip tissue can occur. Pick crusties/flakes off too soon, and you may remove color and cause scarring.
- Allergic reaction: In very rare cases, a person may discover they have an allergy to the metal in the needles, the ink pigments, or the numbing agent. Do an allergy test well before your full lip procedure.
- Granulomas:Small, raised bumps can occasionally form around embedded ink pigment. Usually resolves with ointment.
How to Choose the Perfect Tattoo Pen Machine?
The quality of the tattoo pen machine used dramatically impacts your lip tattoo results. Investing in the right equipment ensures precision line work, minimal trauma to the skin, and consistent ink deposit. Here are key factors to look for when selecting a lip tattoo pen machine:
- Adjustable speed and depth settings - This allows the artist to customize the needle depth and speed to suit each client. Slower speeds are better for detailing lips.
- Needle configuration - Machines that accommodate groupings specifically designed for lips will provide the most accuracy. Common configurations are a 3 Round Shader or 5 Round Liner.
- Short stroke length - Look for a machine with a stroke length of 3.5mm or less. This prevents oversaturation since lips are a small area.
- High-grade craftsmanship - Choose a machine from a reputable brand known for durability, sterility, and quality testing. This ensures precision and safety.
- Proper maintenance - Well-maintained machines with recently replaced grips, grommets, and cords will operate smoothly and consistently. Ask when it was last serviced.
Investing in a high-caliber pen machine tailored for lips is worth the extra cost for stunning results you'll love for years.
Get the Lips You've Always Wanted!
If the idea of waking up every day with gorgeous, flawless lips excites you, it may be time to look into getting permanent makeup at a reputable lip-blushing studio near you. A skilled technician can accentuate your natural lip shape, enhance the color and give you the fuller pout you've always desired. Be sure to follow aftercare guidelines for optimal healing. Read reviews and check credentials to find an exceptional artist. With this semi-permanent makeup procedure, you can finally achieve picture-perfect pillowy lips!