Does Lip Blush Hurt? What Lip Tattooing Feels Like

By Emily M.| Last updated on March 29, 2022
does lip blush heart in general
⏱️ 4 min read

One of the first questions clients who are considering a lip blush treatment ask is what the treatment feels like. We agree, the sound of having a needle going over your lips back and forth for several passes doesn’t sound very pleasant, but it really sounds much scarier than it really is.

Okay, there’s nothing more frustrating than having your question Does lip blush hurt? answered with a short and simple No. Not very reassuring, is it?

PMUHub knows that it’s not enough to just claim it’s not that bad, so we’ve collected the experiences of many clients and we’re giving you a detailed description of what the lip blushing treatment feels like.


How Exactly Is Lip Blush Done?

You probably already know that all permanent makeup is done by opening up the skin and depositing pigments into it, but you may not have researched the technicalities yet. To save you the trouble, here’s a quick recap.

Lip blushing is done with a PMU machine, a pen-shaped handheld device which features a thin needle on top. The needle goes in and out at a high speed, creating tiny little punctures on the skin of the lips as it’s moved over the lips’ surface.

The needle will make countless incisions, but they will be very shallow. The needle penetrates quite shallow into the tissue, as the skin of the lips is very thin – thinner than the rest of facial skin. The nature of this application requires doing at least 2 sessions and multiple passes at each to build up the color saturation.

The shallow implementation depth combined with the very small diameter of the needle is what makes the treatment relatively pain-free.

If you want more information on the lip blushing procedure, head over to this guide.

How is lip blush done?Image source: Freepik

Does Lip Blush Hurt?

The question of does lip blush hurt isn’t a yes or no question since every client has a different pain threshold and a different definition of pain, but generally, it may hurt a bit.

But the artist will do everything in their power to minimize the pain into just slight discomfort.

The treatment is always done with a topical anesthetic. Before any needling is done, a layer of numbing cream is applied and left to sit for about 20 minutes. The artist will start the treatment only when you feel your lips have gone numb.

Everybody reacts to topical anesthetics differently, though, so you may need more or less time.

Then, the first pass is done, and clients claim that the first round is more uncomfortable than any needling that comes after that. The reason for this is the fact that once the skin is broken, the artist can use a secondary anesthetic.

Secondary numbing works much faster and it can give you a much more intense numbness. After the first pass, the tech will cover your lips with a different numbing cream and leave it on for 2-3 minutes – this is enough since the skin has been broken.

This will eliminate any pain that you may have felt during the first round. It’s smooth sailing from then on.

For most, the Cupid’s arch and the corners of the lips are the most uncomfortable areas, while they hardly even feel the central areas.

If you feel any major pain during your treatment, you have to tell your artist. They may be going too deep with the needle, or your numbing may have worn off. Communication is important and you should be vocal about what you’re experiencing.


Artists have different tricks they use to maximize the effect of the numbing cream. Don’t be surprised if they apply a plastic wrap over your lips to lock in the numbing cream, or if they exfoliate your lips lightly before they apply it.

does lip blush hurtImage source: Freepik

If Lip Blushing Doesn’t Hurt, What Does It Feel Like?

So now we’ve answered the question of does lip blush hurt, but let’s explain what it actually feels like.

According to clients who’ve had lip blushing done, it can feel like:

  • Hard pressure on the lips
  • Pinching
  • Scratching
  • Like a mosquito biting you over and over again

The predominant sensation you will feel is the vibrations of the machine. This can be compared to an electric toothbrush and it’s nothing unpleasant.

Does Lip Blush Hurt After the Treatment?

After your lip blush treatment is over, you will experience some tenderness in your lips since the effects of the numbing have worn off. This is usually accompanied by swelling. All this should be over within 48 hours or so, and you can apply a cold compress to minimize the discomfort.

Over the next few days, your lips will feel tight and dry. A thin scabby film will form over the lips, and making sudden and major motions with your lips may cause an uncomfortable sensation, as the film cracks. So you should keep your lips moisturized at all times, and be mindful of your motions – cut your food up into tiny bites. It’s also useful to drink through a straw.

The scabby film will flake off within a few days, and you won’t have to pay attention to your lips anymore.

lip blush healing processImage source: Instagram @madebymchl

Anything Else I Need to Know?

Apart from tenderness and the icky cracking sensation, you should also know that, for a few days, your lips will sting if they come into contact with certain foods and drinks.

So, avoid:

  • Spicy foods
  • Sour foods
  • Fruits and veggies which contain a lot of vitamin C
  • Alcohol

Food with a lot of salt can further dry out your already dry lips, so you might want to limit your sodium intake for about a week, and drink more water than usual.

Final Notes on Does Lip Blush Hurt

At the end of the day, does lip blush hurt is a really tricky question to answer, and clients sometimes get frustrated with artists telling them they won’t feel any pain, when in reality, the treatment can be uncomfortable. It’s not the artists’ fault – for some clients, the numbing can only work to a certain point. So we hope our objective description of the treatment will help you prepare for it mentally.

You’ll see, it will all be worth it!

Cover image source: Freepik



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