Top Lip Blush Tips – How to Improve Your Technique

By Emily M.| Last updated on August 15, 2023
lip blush tips
⏱️ 5 min read

Lip blush has really only gained significant popularity in the last couple of years, and there’s been a huge surge of artists learning this skill and adding it to their service list. But, as you all know, getting certified doesn’t magically make your technique perfect.

You have to practice and experiment continually!

So, we’ve compiled a list of useful lip blush tips and tricks you can try to help you improve your technique and get the perfect results every time.

PMUHub’s Ultimate Lip Blush Tips

Here’s a collection of lip blush tips and things to bear in mind in order to ensure your lip blush doesn’t only look good, but it’s also perfectly executed.

Advise Your Client on Proper Prep

Advise your clients to moisturize their lips in the days before the treatment. The condition of their lips can affect the healing results to a great extent. Dry and chapped lips will retain pigment poorly.

So, tell them to apply a moisturizer regularly and generously and to exfoliate their lips at least 3 days before the lip blush appointment. Drinking enough water is also a good tip, because it will help them stay hydrated, which will affect the condition on their lips.

lip blush tips preparation for lip tattoo
Image source: Instagram @jennyinkslv

Set Your Outline with Setting Powder

Lip blush is not something you can freehand – you need your outline. So you need to draw it on with something that will stay on and won’t smudge as you inevitably touch it as you’re working.

The general consensus is that using something light, like a white eyeliner or a thicker concealer is perfect, as it provides contrast and allows you to clearly see the shape you’re going for.

But whatever you’re using, try setting it with a layer of setting powder. It’ll make it much more resilient to smudging, even if you’re numbing halfway through the procedure.

Just make sure no powder gets on the area you’ll be working on, so go with a thinner layer and clean everything up.

lip blush outline
Image source: Instagram @modernbelleza

Use a Cotton Pad as a Mouth Guard

Place a cotton pad in your client’s mouth, between their lips and their teeth. Yes, this sounds icky and uncomfortable, but your client will have to muscle through it for the sake of the treatment.

This does 2 things:

  • It keeps the pigment from getting into your client’s mouth
  • It provides structure and sturdiness when you’re working – the lips will move around less and allow you to determine your working depth with more precision.

As you’re pressing the client’s lips, it’s much easier if they’re moving less, and a cotton ball will provide some resistance.

@seduireacademy How to place a Lip Blush Mouth Gaurd folding a cotton pad in thirds with a splash of distilled water 💦 Follow to learn more PMU tips! #lipblushtattoo #liptattoo #pmutips #pmutipsandtricks #lipblushtraining #lipblushcalifornia #liptattoochallenge #pmustudent ♬ Sunny Day - Ted Fresco

Light First Pass, Then Secondary Numbing

Lips are really sensitive, so chances are, pre-numbing alone won’t do much.

More and more artists are skipping the pre-numbing altogether, but since lips tend to hurt a lot, we recommend doing some initial pre-numbing to take the edge off the first pass, and doing it light.

Then, switch to secondary numbing, or if your numbing cream is suitable for use on both broken and unbroken skin like the Zensa Numbing Cream, apply a layer of that. This will give your client a sufficient numbing sensation.

lip blush tips Light First Pass, Then Secondary Numbing
Image source: Instagram @serendripitystudios

Do the Outline in Short Strokes

The outline is the first portion where you’ll be implementing pigment, and it’s also the most prominent element of a lip blush – if the outline isn’t perfect, the whole look will be off.

Most artists do the outline with a 1RL needle, and the best technique for it is doing super short strokes, going back and forth several times over one spot, and checking how well the pigment is being implemented in each portion.

Make sure the outline is well-saturated. If you check the saturation and it’s not sufficient, go over it again.

Work Section by Section, and Finalize Each Before Moving On

When you move on to shading, divide the lip into small sections. Attempting to do the first pass over a large area will lead to uneven saturation and patchy results.

Work through the sections one by one, finalizing each before you move on to the next one. Meaning, do several passes on 1 section, until you reach the desired saturation, and only then start working on the next section.

This approach is better than doing the first pass on the whole lip and then going over the whole area, because, by the time you get to the next pass, the lips may start swelling.

A Firm Stretch Is Vital

The lip area is much larger than it looks. The anatomy of a lip has folds and crevices, and every spot has to be saturated evenly.

To do that, you need to stretch out each section firmly and have it completely taut before you start shading. The 3-point stretch is extremely important here, but it can be tricky, especially on clients with fuller lips.

So don’t be afraid to place your fingers directly onto the lip. Each of your fingers needs to stretch in opposite directions, and the surface has to be as flat as possible. This is the only way to achieve an even pigment implementation.

Cross-Hatch for Better Blending

To achieve a nice blend and make sure there’s no visible pattern, do cross-hatch shading. This means going over an area with back-and-forth motions in one direction, and then going over it again in an opposite direction.

lip blush tips Cross-Hatch for Better Blending
Image source: Instagram @anjakonecnikkosmetik

Mind the Vermilion Border

The vermillion border is the thin stretch of tissue where the skin of the lips blends with the skin of the face. This junction features a stretch that’s paler than the lip, but smoother than facial skin.

The vermillion border ends where pores and hair appear.

Lip tattoos must never go outside of it, because the skin of the lips has different properties than facial skin, and pigments won’t behave in the same way on these 2 types of tissue, leading to inconsistency and unattractive fading.

The good thing here is that you can actually go outside of the natural lip color, but only by a bit. This will give the lips some extra fullness, without causing complications.

You’ll get clients asking you to overdraw their lips further, but that’s something you should never do. Explain the long-term effects and stand your ground.

lip blush tips
Image source: Instagram @tesstattoo

Final Lip Blush Tips

Lip blushing is hard – it’s one of the trickiest PMU techniques for most artists. It takes time, practice and patience to master. So if you’re feeling frustrated and not 100% satisfied with how your work is turning out, don’t worry, it’s not you, it’s the technique.

So don’t give up. Keep practicing and searching for lip blush tips and tricks that will help you. You can also look into certain mini-courses that teach certain aspects of the technique, like lip color theory, or lip mapping. These are usually affordable but can be of huge help.

Cover image source: Freepik



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