Aquarelle Lips

By PMUHub Editorial Team| Last updated on December 20, 2022

Find out all about the aquarelle lip blush – how it’s done, what colors are available, what the healing entails, and why so many clients love it!

Aquarelle Lips - All About the Most Popular Lip Blush Technique

Image source: Instagram @maryna.nas

The lip tattoo comes in many styles, the most popular one being lip blush. It gives the lips a dose of color and makes them look fuller and fabulous, and the best part is, it doesn’t come off for up to 5 years. This cosmetic tattoo technique is so versatile many looks and effects can be achieved with it. One of them is aquarelle lips.

If you’ve been looking into getting a cosmetic tattoo for your lips, you’ve probably heard about this treatment. But what exactly is it?

We answer all your questions about the aquarelle lip tattoo.

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What Is the Aquarelle Lips Technique?

Aquarelle lips are a form of lip blushing that blends the color of your choice into the lips in a soft airbrushed effect similar to a lip tint. It doesn’t define the edges of the lips as much as other techniques do. In fact, that’s what differentiates aquarelle lips from regular lip blushing.

The aquarelle lip blush doesn’t outline the lips into a defined shape, but rather gives the illusion of wearing no makeup, like your lips are naturally that color. This is achieved by a shaded, blended edge that’s less saturated in color than the center of the lips.

Of course, different artists do the treatment in different ways, and the results can be adapted to your wishes, so you can have a more or less defined finish. But the inspiration behind this lip blushing pattern are watercolor paintings, so authentic aquarelle lips give a blended, soft effect.

The look of aquarelle lips is very subtle and it’s appropriate for every occasion, from everyday activities to special events.

Want to find out more about the lip tattoo? Follow the links:

Lip Tattoo – The Ultimate Guide
Lip Tattoo Cost
Lip Blush Technique

What Is the Aquarelle Lips Technique?Image source: Instagram @julia_craftmaster_academys

How Are Aquarelle Lips Done?

As with any semi permanent lip tattoo, the aquarelle lips are done by opening up the skin with an electric needle device and depositing color into it. So it’s technically a form of tattooing, but it doesn’t last forever.

The aquarelle lip tattoo uses PMU pigments rather than ink which are formulated in such a way that the body can break them down, and the color fades until it becomes invisible. This is a gradual process, so you can get up to 5 years of enhanced lips from an aquarelle lip tattoo.

The results can be prolonged by getting a color boost and replenishing the pigments.

The aquarelle lips technique implies a soft blending of color into the lips, so the color is built up in several passes to achieve the blurred, airbrushed effect. Depending on your wishes, the PMU artist will saturate different areas of the lips more or less.

The results are less opaque than with full lip color, so it won’t completely hide the texture of your lips, but rather enhance them. Clever shading can give the illusion of fuller lips and make their shape look more symmetrical.

NOTE: Lips don’t retain pigments as well as the rest of the skin, so a touch up session might be necessary if you want an intense color. It’s done 6-8 weeks after the initial session, once the lips heal completely.

Does the Aquarelle Lip Tattoo Hurt?

The treatment doesn’t really hurt, but it is a bit uncomfortable.

Before the tattooing starts, your lips are covered with a numbing cream that should eliminate any pain. You will, however, feel pressure and a scratching-like sensation. After all, the skin of your lips is pierced over and over again, albeit with a very thin needle.

If you start feeling pain at any point during the procedure, you can ask your artist to add more numbing.

What you should know, though, is that the aquarelle lips healing process entails some discomfort.

What’s the Aquarelle Lips Healing Process Like?

Although permanent makeup is generally quite non-invasive, as it only treats the superficial layer of the skin, it still implies some trauma. Countless tiny little micro-wounds are made on the skin to implement the pigments inside.

The skin needs to recover from the tattooing and that brings about several stages it will have to go through.


The immediate side-effects of the treatment include swelling and tenderness. Your lips can swell up to double their size, but this is nothing to worry about. You may feel a bit silly for 24-48 hours, but they’ll go down soon.

Once the numbing cream stops working, you may feel some pain for a few hours, but nothing a mild painkiller won’t solve.

DAYS 2-10

The next few days are marked by dryness and itching, and then peeling. Your lips will form a scab film, which will then peel off, and once it does, your lovely enhanced lips are revealed.

In order to allow your lips to heal properly, you have to follow an aquarelle lips aftercare routine of regular cleaning and moisturizing. Luckily, it’s all over within 10 days.

For a detailed aquarelle lip tattoo aftercare routine, visit our Lip Tattoo Aftercare page.


It’s important to note that the pigment color intensity changes as your lips heal. They’ll look very dark in the first 48 hours, then they’ll look too light. The true color is only revealed about 3 weeks after the treatment, and it’s 40-50% lighter at that point. If you want to go darker, you can book a touch up session.

What’s the Aquarelle Lips Healing Process Like?Image source: Instagram @rahilbeautyart

How Long Does Aquarelle Lip Blush Last?

The longevity of your semi permanent lip tattoo depends on many factors, like the oiliness of your skin, your lifestyle, and the overall properties of your system. But the average aquarelle lip tattoo longevity is from 2 to 5 years.

Frequent sunlight exposure and activities like swimming in the ocean can accelerate pigment fading. Some skincare ingredients can affect PMU pigments, too.

The color can be refreshed at any moment with a quick color boost touch up.

What Color Can Aquarelle Lips Be?

Pigments used for aquarelle lip blush come in many shades of pinks, reds and nudes that can be further mixed for a custom shade adapted to your wishes and skin tone. Take your artist’s input into consideration – they know their color theory – and bear in mind that the color is very intense right after the application and will fade up to 50% during healing.

So if you want, for example, a baby pink, the artist will use a darker pigment that may not be the exact shade you wanted, but it’ll settle. Trust the process!

The most popular choice are rosy, flesh-colored tones that blend into the lips’ natural color. Those look great at every fading stage.

What Color Can Aquarelle Lips Be?Image source: Instagram @gislainerf

How Much Do Aquarelle Lips Cost?

A session of aquarelle lips tattooing costs around $500. It’s generally a bit cheaper than full on lip color, but more expensive than permanent lip liner.

The price can vary significantly depending on your location and the experience and exclusivity of the artist you choose, so you may come across a very wide price range. It’s important to base your decision primarily on the skillfulness of the artist, and not the price alone.

Some salons charge per tattooing session, while some include the touch up into the initial price. Check their policy before booking to avoid misunderstandings.

For more detailed information on lip tattoo pricing, visit our Lip Tattoo Cost page.

Who Is the Treatment For?

Aquarelle lip blush can enhance anyone’s appearance, but it’s most popular among people whose lips are pale and they wear some sort of lip makeup often. It can give a very subtle look that matches anyone’s style, or create a more dramatic effect for those who love the classic red lip.

There are, however, some contraindications:

  • Diabetes
  • Psoriasis, Rosacea, or similar skin conditions in or near the treated area
  • Auto-immune diseases
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Anemia (pigment may not be retained properly)
  • A history of keloid or hypertrophic scarring
  • Ongoing chemotherapy
  • Ongoing blood thinners therapy
  • Pregnant or nursing women

This list is not final. If you have any medical conditions, inform your artist and consult your doctor.

IMPORTANT: If you’ve ever had cold sores or herpes, you’ll need to take antiviral medication before and after the aquarelle lip treatment. The tattooing process can cause a cold sore flareup, and that could disrupt proper healing. Consult your doctor!

Aquarelle Lips – Main Takeaways

Aquarelle lips are a spin-off on the regular lip blush treatment which gives your lips a more subtle, airbrushed look. It’s usually done with a soft, blurred edge, without the crisp outline of basic lip blushing, but the application technique is the same, so the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably. Their results also last about the same, from 3 to 5 years.

The results can be customized, so you can choose the color you want, and how dramatic you want the end result to be.

It’s a great lip tattoo style which suits anyone and fits any occasion.



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