Here’s How to Choose the Perfect Lip Tattoo Color

By Emily M.| Last updated on August 11, 2022
lip tattoo color for lip blushing guide
⏱️ 5 min read

Finding the perfect lip color to wear for years can seem intimidating. But if you’re someone that hates having to reapply lipstick, a semi-permanent lip tattoo could be the perfect low-maintenance solution for you.

So to make choosing a permanent lip tattoo color seem less daunting, there are a couple of things you can do to ensure you and your artist are on the same page about the desired results. Knowing what to expect might help ease your nerves a bit.

Here are a few tips you can follow to make your decision easier.

A Quick Overview of the Lip Blushing Process

Before you pick your permanent lip tattoo colors, you should become familiar with the process of lip tattooing.

Understanding how the pigment color changes over time is very useful during the selection process of the lip tattoo color. This will help you be realistic about the results and help you stay motivated through the aftercare process.

It’s important to know that color vibrancy changes throughout the healing process. Right after the procedure, the lip tattoo color will be much brighter (even over 50%) than what you’ve aimed for.

The color will gradually fade and at around day 5, when the peeling starts, the pigment might seemingly “disappear”. Don’t worry, it will come back. The reason for color’s “disappearance” is related to scabbing. Scabs cover the lip pigment but as they heal the color starts showing up again with the fresh new layer of the skin.

lip blushing processImage source: Instagram @inbeaute_

How Long Does a Lip Tattoo Color Last?

Results depend on the individual but usually, lip tattoos last from 1 up to 5 years.

A few factors can affect the durability of the lip tattoo. Skin type is a primary factor. For oily-skinned people, color fades a bit faster as sebum extracted from pores around the lips pushes out the pigment.

But general lifestyle plays a very important role too. If you are sweating, swimming, and being exposed to the sun a lot, your results might not last as long. Skincare products (especially retinol and acids) can also cause accelerated fading.

Permanent Lip Tattoo Colors

It may seem difficult to choose the ideal color. During the consultation, your permanent makeup artist will help you understand how permanent makeup pigment implementation works.

Since pigment interacts with your already existing, natural lip color it will not look the same in a bottle as it will on your lips. The final result will only show up once the lip is completely healed so trust the process!

But still, it’s easier said than done. Unlike other cosmetic tattoos, in this case, what you see is not what you get. So making sure you and your permanent makeup artist are on the same page about the color is of the utmost importance. There are a few things you can do to ensure that.

permanent lip tattoo colorsImage source: Instagram @blushed.pmu

Become Familiar with Color Theory

To ensure a complete understanding of what exactly it is you want, you can come to your consultation already prepared with knowledge. We have a short guide explaining how PMU color theory works, which you can read before your consultation.

Use Your Makeup as a Reference

When figuring out what colors you gravitate the most toward, take a look at your makeup bag. What colors do you have the most of? Which products do you always pick? Pay attention to the undertones of each color as well.

This information is a valuable insight you can share with your artist during the consultation. Sharing this creates a clearer picture for them, and helps both you and your artist visualize results. They can then accurately estimate how that shade can be achieved and how many sessions you will be needing.

How to Choose the Perfect Lip Tattoo Color

Whether you are looking for a bold lip, a natural-looking lip blush, or want an everyday “your lips but better” shade, the color should flatter your features.

Here are a few things you should keep in mind when choosing your permanent lip tattoo colors.

Be Realistic About the Color

Lip blushing acts the same as long-lasting lipstick; It just doesn’t wash off at the end of the day.

Keep in mind, you can always apply any lip product over a healed lip tattoo. That’s why the majority choose to do a more natural lip blush. Doing a very unique color can seem fun, but what if you get bored of it? It’s not always easy to make it as versatile, so just think about what suits your daily lifestyle the best.

Match Your Lips to Your Complexion

Your skin undertones – pink, yellow or neutral – help determine whether you should lean towards warm or cool-toned shades. Picking a shade that is the most flattering to your complexion helps it look more seamless.

Pale Skin

Pale-skinned people should lean towards light nude colors and avoid selecting darker nude, browner, or more burgundy pigments as they are a stark contrast and can look unnatural.

Olive Skin Tone

Olive-skinned people look best with warm neutral tones like coral, amber, and orange-based reds. Darker shades like brown, burgundy, and deep reds are creating contrast and should be avoided.

Pale to Olive Skin Tones

Complexions in-between pale and olive with yellow undertones are best suited for brown-based neutrals or blue-based reds. Some of the colors include beige and fleshy tones, terracotta, bronze, cool-toned pinks, and reds. On the other hand, mauve, dusty rose, magenta, plum, and other purple-based colors can make your complexion seem too yellow.

Skin Tones with Pink Undertones

If you’re not quite olive but not pale either and your skin has pink undertones, you should strive towards neutral peachy pinks. Orange-based or dark red shades are great if you are looking for something bold. Just make sure to avoid reds with cool (blue) undertones.

Darker Skin Tones

Those with dark complexions should avoid pale pinks and beige colors. They look best in coral, burnt orange, or orange-based reds. Even though dark complexions have a wide choice of lip colors, to achieve the desired color, most people with darker skin complexion have to do dark lip neutralization first.

lip tattoo color guide - lip blushing guide matching lip blush colors with skin complexion

Dark Lip Neutralization

So how does lip blushing differ on dark lips? Well, since the tone of the lips interacts with the pigment applied during lip blushing, firstly it needs to be canceled out with an appropriate color.

This means several sessions are needed to achieve desired results. Selected lip tattoo color is applied only when undertones have been corrected and a more neutral base has been achieved. This requires good knowledge of color theory so make sure you see a professional.

dark lip neutralizationImage source: Instagram @krushartistry

In Conclusion

A wide range of permanent lip tattoo colors may make you overwhelmed at first, but we assure you, the color selection process doesn’t have to be that hard. If you follow the above-mentioned tips you can come to your consultation already prepared!

Booking an appointment with a licensed professional, someone who has knowledge of color theory and can tell you how you can achieve the best outcome is the key. Visualizing the goal lip tattoo color together ensures you know exactly what to expect and don’t have to worry about if you’ll get what you want.

Cover image source: Freepik



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