How Much Does a Lip Tattoo Cost?
The price of the lips PMU treatment depends on many factors. Read through the results of PMUHub’s market research to find out how much does a lip tattoo cost?
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2019. Updated in July 2022.
The PMU industry offers treatments for recreating anyone’s favorite makeup look.
The semi permanent lip tattoo is a long-lasting solution for anyone who loves accentuating their lips in any way – you can choose between the subtle permanent lip liner, lip blush or aquarelle lips for a tint effect, or full lip color if you’re a fan of the good old lipstick.
Permanent lip color techniques give you accentuated lips for up to 2 years, which sound like a huge relief. But how much does it all cost?
Keep reading to find out how much does a lip tattoo cost, what factors determine the price, and how to get the most bang for your buck.
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What Is the Average Lip Tattoo Cost?
The average lip tattoo price is $590.
The price varies according to many factors, so it can cost much less, or much more than this. In this article, we’ll try to explain why the price varies so much from one salon to another and help you decide on the best salon according to price.
What Is a Semi Permanent Lip Tattoo?
The semi permanent lip tattoo is a permanent makeup treatment for the lips that recreates the look of wearing regular makeup, but it doesn’t come off for months and even years. It’s a smudge-proof, waterproof solution for enhancing the lips.
Just like there are countless regular makeup products that give a whole range of lip-enhancing effects, there are many styles of permanent lip tattoo: lip liner, shaded liner, lip blush, permanent lipstick, etc. These techniques can improve the shape and look of the lips, hide any imperfections, and even neutralize melanin-rich lips into a warmer shade.
These effects are achieved by tattooing PMU pigments into the surface layer of the skin of the lips, where they stay for 2-5 years, after which they fade. Of course, you can refresh the color and prolong the result.
Want to find out more about the semi permanent lip tattoo? Follow the links:
Image source: Instagram @luxurybeautystudioacademy
How Much Does a Lip Tattoo Cost in the USA?
In the chart below, you can find the results of PMUHub’s research into the lip tattoo cost in various cities and towns across the USA.
According to the research, the average lip tattoo cost in the US is $590. The price range is quite wide, and you can find treatments at $300 or even less, but they can go as high as $1800.
The average permanent lip color cost is lowest in Jacksonville, FL – $427, and highest in Los Angeles, CA – $950.
The prices in the chart mostly refer to 1 session of lip tattoo micropigmentation. Some salons offer a complimentary 1st touch up, while others charge separately, so take the prices below as a starting point, and check whether your salon charges extra.
NOTE: The sample includes prices for the most expensive technique salons offer – predominantly full lip color. The less dramatic lip tattoo cost is somewhat lower.
DISCLAIMER: Taxes and additional fees may apply.
|City/State||Average Lip Tattoo Cost|
Lip Tattoo Price Range
|Chicago, IL||$715||$550 – $850|
|Aurora Area, IL||$685||$500 – $850|
|NYC, NY||$725||$400 – $975|
|Albany, NY||$466||$400 – $600|
|Portland, OR||$565||$200 – $800|
|Houston, TX||$825||$400 – $1800|
|San Antonio, TX||$430||$400 – $495|
|Dallas, TX||$430||$400 – $495|
|Fort Worth, TX||$566||$425 – $800|
|Cleveland, OH||$503||$300 – $650|
|Columbus, OH||$615||$495 – $750|
|Miami, FL||$584||$275 – $1050|
|Jacksonville, FL||$427||$300 – $650|
|Palm Beach, FL||$440||$400 – $500|
|Seattle, WA||$650||$400 – $900|
|Olympia, WA||$630||$490 – $840|
|Los Angeles, CA||$950||$595 – $1500|
|San Diego, CA||$545||$400 – $775|
|San Francisco, CA||$625||$360 – $1000|
|Phoenix, AZ||$430||$300 – $650|
|Tucson, AZ||$450||$395 – $550|
PMUHub’s research – USA Lip Tattoo Cost
What’s Included in the Lip Tattoo Price?
The initial lip tattoo cost usually includes only 1 session of lip micropigmentation, and an aftercare kit. For many clients, this is enough to achieve a sheer, pop of color effect of the lip blush, but a large portion of clients need more than that to get the color built up to what they want.
So some salons also include the 1st touch up in the initial lip tattoo cost, but many of them charge for this session additionally, although much less than the initial price. At the 1st touch up, done 6-8 weeks after the 1st session, more color is added and any patchiness that may appear after healing is fixed.
After the 1st touch up, any further sessions are charged extra. Their price varies depending on how much additional work is done, i.e., how long it’s been since the last session. Most salons offer discounted prices for annual touch ups, but some charge the full price whenever you come for a color boost.
What’s the Price of the Lip Tattoo Touch Ups?
If it’s not included in the initial price, the cost of the 1st lip tattoo touch up is $100 – $350. The higher the initial price, the higher the touch up price. Always check with your artist beforehand to avoid any misunderstandings.
Further touch ups are usually charged about 60% of the full price, but some salons either charge more as more time passes between sessions or only give a quote after consults.
The frequency of your touch ups depends on your skin type and your lifestyle. For instance, clients with oily skin and those whose lips are exposed to the sun and water often will need more frequent touch ups to maintain the color. It also depends on which lip tattoo technique you’re getting, and how bright and solid you want the color to be.
Most techniques require an annual touch up to stay fresh and attractive.
Image source: Instagram @nofilterbeauty_syd
What Does the Lip Tattoo Cost Depend On?
The main factor that determines the lip tattoo cost is style. Different lip tattoo techniques are charged differently, as some take less time and skill, while others are more difficult to do and require more pigments.
The most expensive variation is permanent lipstick, or full lip color, which recreates the look of wearing opaque lipstick and lip liner. It implies saturating the whole surface of the lips in pigment and outlining them, so it takes a lot of time as multiple passes have to be made, and more pigment. It also requires more frequent touch ups to stay fresh, so the total can get quite high within a few years.
Dark lip neutralization is generally priced the same as permanent lipstick, but if you want to add a color on top of the neutralization, that’s charged extra.
The lip blush and aquarelle lip techniques are somewhat cheaper. They’re usually priced at $100 – $200 less than the full lip color. If you want to add the ombre effect, some artists charge extra.
The cheapest techniques are regular and shaded lip liner, the latter being a bit pricier. These only imply outlining the lips and adding an optional blended shade effect, so they take less time, and cost less. They usually cost around $300.
Just like with all permanent makeup, the lip tattoo cost can vary significantly from one city to another. A general tendency is for artists working in large cities to charge more than artists working in smaller towns, due to a higher demand, their rent being higher, etc.
However, this is not always the case. A more important factor than the location itself is the competition.
Competition in the Area
Salons form their prices according to the number of providers in the area. In large cities where the demand is high, you can find a wide range of prices, as there are clients on various budgets, and they won’t have trouble getting booked whatever they charge. In smaller towns and areas where only a handful of artists practice, their prices are more similar.
Experience of the Artist
Artists who are just starting out naturally charge a lower lip tattoo cost than experienced masters. This is because they don’t have many works in their portfolio and are still perfecting their skill. So if you come across a suspiciously low price, this is probably why.
You should be careful when going to an artist who charges significantly lower than the area average. Just because someone’s starting out doesn’t mean they’ll do a bad job, on the contrary, but make sure they’ve completed their training with an acclaimed trainer and have their license.
Exclusivity of the Salon
Not all salons are created equal. Some of them emerge as more high-end and charge a significantly higher lip tattoo cost than less renowned salons. This usually means you’ll get great results, but an artist charging less can do an equally good job without overpricing the service.
Will My Skin Type Affect the Lip Tattoo Cost?
Even though the price of the initial treatment is the same for everyone, some properties of your system will dictate how often you need to have touch ups, which are charged additionally.
If your skin is oily, the lip outline will fade away faster. Also, people who have an iron deficiency tend to lose color more quickly.
If you don’t fall under these categories, an annual touch up will be enough to keep your permanent lip color fresh. But if you do, you’ll need more frequent color boosts and your total permanent lip color price will be higher.
Image source: Instagram @alobeautybar
How Do I Choose an Artist Based on Lip Tattoo Price?
First thing’s first – never go to an uncertified, self-taught artist no matter how low their lip tattoo cost is! A suspiciously low price may mean that the artist is performing illegally and could endanger your health and safety, plus give you a botched job.
A fool-proof way to choose a salon based on lip tattoo price is to check the prices in your area (take our chart as a starting point, or do your own research) and book with someone who charges around the same. That way, you can be sure you’re not being over-charged, yet that your artist has at least some experience.
Of course, your number one indicator shouldn’t be the lip tattoo cost, but rather the artist’s portfolio, and ideally, recommendations.
If you’re on a budget, you can try finding a talented beginner, or book with a student/apprentice working with a renowned trainer.
How Much Is Lip Tattoo Removal?
In case you’re not satisfied with your lip tattoo, there are ways to remove it.
The best option is to wait out until it fades on its own and cover it up with makeup in the meantime. But if you’re not willing to wait, it will cost you. The permanent lipstick removal is usually done with laser therapy and the prices start at $150 per treatment. Saline removal is another option, and that costs about the same.
Both methods require multiple sessions, so they can get pricey.
Image source: Instagram @boleynstudio
Does the Semi Permanent Lip Color Cost Pay Off?
The semi permanent lip tattoo is a good investment for those who wear some sort of lip makeup every day and want to save time and energy. The lip tattoo enhancement will last for years, with just an occasional touch up.
It’s also a good option for fixing any insecurities you may have – it can camouflage scars, fix asymmetry, or warm up the bluish tone of melanin-rich lips. And it’s a way to give your lips an illusion of volume without fillers.
So although the permanent lip color cost is not a small investment, it can give you a priceless confidence boost.
Lip Tattoo Cost – Main Takeaways
The average permanent lip color price is $590 for more dramatic effects and slightly less for more subtle techniques. You can find the treatment at much lower, and at much higher prices due to the exclusivity of the salon, the location, and the competition in the area. The initial price usually only includes one session of lip micropigmentation, so be aware that you’ll probably need several more if you want a more opaque color.
You should take the lip tattoo cost into consideration, but don’t base your decision only on that.
The lip tattoo is a great way to get a long-lasting lip enhancement – it can modify the color of your lips into whatever shade you like, plus it can correct any imperfections.
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