Written by Jayna Costello @atelierrougeboston
For Boston-based lip blush specialist Jayna Costello, the road to mastering lip blush was paved with challenges – which she successfully overcame. Along the way, she learned a couple of valuable lessons.
Here’s her unfiltered story of mastering the technique and becoming the skilled artist she is today.
How I Discovered My Passion for Lip Blushing
Between constant consumer demand, rapidly developing modern techniques, and varying professional development niches, the desire to become a cosmetic tattoo artist began to grow on me.
My exposure to the industry began with a longstanding mentorship under Diandra L. Dente of DLD Brows.
I started interning for DLD in the spring of 2021, where I was first introduced to the artistry, business plan, and branding.
I instantly fell in love with the industry and knew I wanted to find my own angle to grow in it.
My Lip Blush Training and Skill Development
The next few years working for DLD flew by, and upon learning more about lip blushing, she referred me to another reputable studio to take my first steps toward becoming an artist myself.
I spent 2023 completing my training in Miami and Manhattan, with the ultimate learning goal of understanding the “why” behind every step I was taking and every decision I was making during appointments with lip blush clients.
Though this is critical for becoming a strong artist, it was not so simple.
The Most Important Lesson I Learned
As a lip blush artist, it’s important to recognize that there is no “one size fits all” method or solution when working on a client.
Each client is unique, so each client deserves a personalized experience.
I knew from the start that I had to build my skill set off of this approach.
Having a strong foundation of knowledge in Lip Blush Color Theory is essential for treating each unique client.
How I Mastered Lip Blush Color Theory
Understanding proper color theory does not happen overnight, and it is not an easy process.
Being able to determine any client’s hue, undertone, temperature, saturation, and value was necessary before I could start booking clients.
I tested my knowledge of color theory for hours, days, and months on end before I was confident enough to begin booking models.
Image source: Instagram @atelierrougeboston
It was critical for me to ensure I could create pigment mixes that would heal naturally in the clients’ lips.
Finding My Way with the Tools and Techniques
Like color theory, it was essential for me to properly understand my tools before working on clients.
I needed to hone down on each step of the lip blushing process to understand the effects of what I was doing.
How I Learned to Control My Tools
I practiced mapping out my friends’ and family’s lips for hours.
I really believed that if I couldn’t properly map a client’s lips, I certainly could not tattoo them. I did this for months.
In the meantime, when I couldn’t recruit anyone to let me practice my mapping, I would practice tattooing on latex. During this time, I exposed myself to all different experiences.
I adjusted my machine speed and needle hang, I used various needle configurations, and I practiced different shading methods.
I made it my goal to truly understand how different tools and approaches worked when lip blushing, so that when I am working on clients, I am able to make informed and educated choices.
Facing My Biggest Fears and Building Confidence
Once I built confidence in my knowledge of my tools and color theory, I had to face my biggest fear — actually touching down on the client with the needle.
As opposed to the skin, the lip membrane has very few layers. Thus, ensuring that I tattoo in the proper layer is essential for client safety.
Knowing I could cause necrosis by tattooing just one layer too deep, my biggest fear became inflicting trauma on the client. This fear manifested so much that I hesitated to book models.
So, I practiced on latex sheet after latex sheet until I finally was confident enough in my depth to practice on models.
My Best Advice to All New Artists: Practice Makes Perfect
In the PMU industry, success doesn’t come easy; there’s no shortcut. I firmly believe there is no way to reach artistry or business goals without hard work.
My journey has taught me that pushing through those initial struggles comes down to one thing: practice.
So, to my fellow artists, here’s my golden piece of advice — roll up your gloves, be relentless in your efforts, and put in the hard work because that’s your ticket to success.