Lip Blush - Ultimate Guide 2023
A detailed guide through the lip blush treatment. Learn how it’s done, what effect it gives, how much does lip blushing cost, and discover the best before & after examples.
Updated September 2023.
A cosmetic lip tattoo is a great long-lasting solution for anyone who wants to give their lips an attractive pop of color, an illusion of extra volume, and camouflage minor imperfections.
It can recreate the look of wearing virtually any type of lip makeup, from lip liner to matte lipstick, but it doesn’t come off or smudge – for years!
The most popular cosmetic lip tattoo style is lip blush. It’s a very versatile, completely customizable treatment that can be done in many colors with different degrees of opacity.
Here’s all about the lip blush tattoo!
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What Is Lip Blush?
Lip blush is a form of permanent makeup for the lips that implies depositing PMU pigments in the shade of your choice into the skin of the lips, using an electric permanent makeup machine.
Since the color is underneath the skin, it can never smudge as regular makeup does, so you can eat, talk and kiss as much as you want without worrying about your lips.
The color stays in the skin for a couple of years, gradually fading until it’s invisible unless it’s refreshed.
The effects of lip blush can be more or less dramatic. The color saturation can be sheer or more opaque, depending on the style you want. You can have a defined lip outline, or a softer blend.
Image source: Instagram @zoe.pmu
Lip Blush for Cool Lip Neutralization
The lip blushing treatment is a common solution for dark, cool-toned lips. It can neutralize unwanted cool tones, and warm up the lips into the desired shade.
This is a more complex treatment and not all artists are equally skilled at this. But when done right, the results are great.
Image source: Instagram @foxelle.pmu
Lip Blush for Scar Camouflage
Apart from purely cosmetic, lip blush can have restorative effects. Scars in the lip area can be successfully disguised with the lip blushing technique.
Image source: Instagram @rvbeauty___
How Is the Lip Blush Treatment Done?
As a form of cosmetic tattooing, the lip blush treatment is done by breaking the surface of the skin and depositing color into it.
The permanent makeup technician uses an electric PMU machine with a needle that vibrates in and out of the skin, implementing pigments.
The artist tattoos a million tiny dots on the lips, gradually saturating them in pigment. They will probably go back and forth in several passes, but 1 session usually lasts about 2 hours.
The colors used are specially formulated pigments suitable for use on the face.
Once implanted into the skin, they are gradually broken down by the body and extracted. They’re also slightly exfoliated out over time, as the skin naturally renews itself.
So the results gradually fade until they’re not visible anymore. So it’s not actually permanent, although it lasts a long time.
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How Long Does Lip Blush Last?
Results of lip blush can last anywhere from 2 to 5 years, depending on:
- how well your skin holds pigments,
- how hard your system works to extract them,
- and your lifestyle: sunlight exposure and frequent swimming in the ocean accelerator fading, as do certain skincare products.
You can prolong the effect by getting lip blush touch ups. Most clients get them once a year.
Image source: Instagram @allegria_studio
Does Lip Blushing Hurt?
The lip blush treatment isn’t exactly painful, because a topical numbing cream is applied before the tattooing starts.
That said, it may be a bit uncomfortable, as the lip area is quite sensitive.
You might feel some light scratching, but if you feel like it’s getting painful at any point of the procedure, tell your artist. They may be able to add more numbing.
Image source: @blushed.au
What’s Lip Blush Healing Like?
Since the lip blush treatment entails having the skin of the lips pierced over and over again, the area needs some time to recover and close up the micro-wounds.
The injected pigments take some time to settle into the skin and fade into their true color.
Here are the lip blush healing stages day by day:
Image source: Instagram @pmuhub
Day 1: Your lips are swollen and the color is very intense
The piercing of the skin triggers swelling – some people experience significant swelling, some experience none at all. An ice pack should help.
The freshly injected pigments look very dark, but they’ll fade into a lighter shade within a few days.
You may experience some pain, so check with your artist whether it’s okay to take a mild painkiller.
Day 2: Swelling should subside, but dryness kicks in
Your lips should go back to their normal size by day 2 nightfall. They may feel a bit tender or numb, and they’ll definitely start feeling dry and tight.
Your artist will prescribe a moisturizer you should use to hydrate the lips and ease the symptoms of healing. Find some good ones in this article.
They may start to chap, and a light scab may appear.
Day 3: Heavier scabbing & chapping
Your lips probably feel very dry. Keep applying the prescribed moisturizer.
You will probably notice a scab has formed, especially around the lip edges. As you move your lips, the scab may start cracking, which is not a pleasant feeling, but it’s normal.
Don’t pick at the scabs! You may ruin the results and put yourself at risk of infection.
Day 4: Peeling and flaking
Lip blush heals quite fast, so the scab should start coming off in flakes on day 4. Let it fall off at its own pace. It may not look very nice, but it’ll be over soon.
They’ll probably feel sensitive, so don’t touch them.
Days 5-10: Some more light peeling and extreme dryness
Most of the scabs should have fallen off by now, but you can expect some more light peeling. Dryness is also to be expected.
The color is now much lighter than on day 1 and it’s close to its true tone.
After day 10: Back to normal
This is very individual, but the lip blush healing process should be over somewhere around 10 – 14 days after the treatment.
All the scabbing and the flaking is through and your lips don’t feel dry anymore.
You can start wearing lip products other than the prescribed aftercare.
6-8 weeks after the treatment
It takes about a month and a half for the skin to heal completely, although the symptoms disappear sooner. It also takes this long for the pigments to finally reveal how they settled.
You can go back for your lip blush tattoo touch up now.
Image source: Instagram @jasminediebelius_pmu
Lip Blush Aftercare
The lip blush healing requires a special aftercare routine.
There are 2 general types of lip blush aftercare – dry and wet healing, the latter being much more common and more effective.
Dry healing means you keep your lips – dry.
With this routine, you’re supposed to avoid getting them wet and refrain from putting any products onto them until the peeling is over. All you have to do is clean off the lymph during day 1.
Pros: You don’t have to do anything much.
Cons: Heavier scabbing, which is not only uncomfortable, but can also lead to patchier pigment settling and affect their retention. No way of relieving the dryness.
For all these reasons, hardly anyone prescribes dry healing anymore.
Wet healing implies keeping your lips covered with a layer of aftercare ointment basically all the time.
- On day 1, blot off the lymph with a damp, sterile cotton pad as frequently as your artist advises – usually every 30 minutes. The less lymph is built up, the thinner the scab will be.
- From day 2 until the peeling is over, you don’t have to clean your lips so often, just clean them after eating and drinking, or at least once a day. Wash them with a very mild soap without alcohol. Keep them moisturized with the prescribed ointment. Reapply the moisturizer when you feel the need to.
Once the scabby film has peeled off completely, you can start using other lip makeup and care products.
It’s advisable to get fresh tubes, though – your old ones may be contaminated with bacteria your freshly tattooed lips can’t fight off.
Pros: Moisturizing prevents heavy scabbing. Your healing symptoms won’t be too uncomfortable, and you’ll get more even pigment retention.
Cons: You have to stick to the schedule and carry your aftercare ointment with you.
PMUHub’s Lip Blush Aftercare Ointment Suggestions:
Don’ts of Lip Blush Aftercare
Here’s what you should avoid until your lips stop flaking:
- Don’t touch your lips or pick at the scabs.
- Don’t get your lips soaking wet.
- No long, hot showers, no swimming, no extreme workouts, no saunas or steam baths. Drink through a straw.
- Don’t eat or drink anything too hot or too cold. This will cause discomfort, and heat can trigger more swelling.
- Don’t drink alcohol – it will dry out your lips further.
- Don’t eat spicy food. It will sting.
- Don’t expose your lips to sunlight. Sunlight can cause the pigments to change color.
- Don’t wear makeup or any products other than the prescribed aftercare.
Image source: Instagram @canelbeautyacademy
What Lip Blush Colors and Styles Are Available?
The lip blush treatment is totally customizable, so there’s a very wide range of colors to choose from.
Lip Blush Colors
The colors available are every shade of red or pink under the sun, plus they can be mixed into a custom shade that will work best with your skin tone and undertone.
The most popular are rosy, flesh-colored tones that give the your-lips-but-better look.
There are also reddish and orange shades, or peachy nudes.
Clients like to go for a more neutral tone they can modify with regular makeup when they feel like it.
Bear in mind that the true color is only revealed once the lips have healed completely. They won’t stay as dramatic as they are right after the treatment.
Image source: Instagram @lipblushbygeorgia
Styles of Permanent Lip Blush
The lip blush technique is very versatile, so different effects can be achieved with it. It can be as subtle or as dramatic as you want it, depending on the shade you choose and how much the area is saturated in pigment.
Image source: Instagram @pmuhub
You can get a defined look that implies a crisp lip liner effect, or a more blended effect.
The natural look is the most popular, but there are also some more statement styles you can get, like:
Ombre Lip Blush
A very popular style of lip blushing is ombre lip blush, which implies an ombre gradient created from the edges of the lips towards their centers.
The artist will make the outline more saturated and darker and gradually implement less and less pigment. This technique can make the lips look fuller than they actually are.
Some artists do a shaded lip liner, which is very similar to ombre lip blush but gives a more defined outline.
Image source: Instagram @luxedayspasoho
Aquarelle lips are a form of lip blushing that gives a more subtle look, since the edges of the lips are not defined, and the technique gives a blended effect inspired by watercolor paintings.
Some artists use this term, others don’t, so if you want this look, just explain you don’t want a defined outline.
Image source: Instagram @marina_larechina
How Much Does Lip Blushing Cost?
The average lip blushing cost is around $600.
You can find the treatment priced at lower than this, but you can also find artists who charge much more.
Lip Blush – Main Takeaways
Permanent lip blush is a very popular style of permanent makeup for the lips that gives very natural results. It’s done by blending PMU pigments in a customized shade into the skin of the lips, where it stays for several years.
The lip blush tattoo is a great option for anyone who wants to enhance their lips, give them the illusion of thickness, and fix any imperfections such as asymmetry or minor scars.
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