Finding the perfect lip colour to wear for the next few years can be intimidating. However, if you’re seeking a low-maintenance way to go lipstick-free, lip blushing could be right for you. Lip blushing tattoos are a form of semi-permanent makeup that deposits coloured ink into the lips using a single mechanical needle. The treatment uses a quick hand motion and dotting technique – similar to whip-shading or pepper-shading techniques in traditional tattooing. There is a lot of information available on lip blushing before and after photos, what to expect during treatment and best after-care practices. The lip blushing colour selection process, though, often gets glossed over. Yet, finding the perfect pigment shade is essential to love your long-term results.
A well-trained expert will be invaluable during the consultation to help you understand how different shades will interact with your natural lip colour and what the final results will look like. Entering into your appointment informed with knowledge on which colours suit your skin tone and your pigment preferences can help your technician better guide you towards your ideal shade.
Credit: Bloggang/Pinterest (Right after lip blushing)
Read on to learn more about the lip blushing colour selection process, what to expect during the healing process and more.
Manage Your Expectations
Lip blushing tattoos enhance – not transform – the colour of your lips. Often, the goal of the procedure is to smooth and even out the pigment through the area. Lip blushing also allows you to inject a wash of colour into your lips – especially if the skin is particularly pale or dark. Even with the brighter pigment available, these shades typically look fairly subtle by the end of the lip blushing healing process.
Credit: Shop Muskoka/Pinterest (Lip blushing before & after)
You know the final results look right when your pigment looks natural – whether it evens out the tone of your existing lip colour or looks like a berry stain from the actual fruit. Seek out a nude “your lips but better” look, or a wash of colour that resembles the ideal lipstick you wish you could wear forever.
Note that every expert should create a custom shade for you after your initial consultation.
Know Your Skin Undertones
Identifying your skin undertones (pink, yellow or neutral) helps determine if warm or cool-toned shades will be most flattering against your complexion. Check the colour of the veins on your wrists. If they appear blue, you have pink or cool skin undertones. If they appear green, you have yellow or warm skin undertones. If your veins have a bluish-green hue, you likely have a neutral skin tone.
Lip pigment shades with blue or purple-based hues are most flattering for cool-toned complexions. Lip colours with orange or golden-based undertones best suit individuals with warmer complexions. If you have a neutral complexion, shades with either undertone should work well for you.
Another way to determine your skin undertones is through the jewelry test. If you find gold jewelry to best complement your skin tone, you have a warm complexion. If you find silver jewelry to be most flattering, you have a more cool-toned complexion. If gold and silver jewelry equally suit you, you likely have a neutral skin tone.
Consider Your Skin Shade
Individual shade preferences and recommendations vary. Generally, though, you want to consider whether you have pale, olive, medium (with yellow or pink undertones) or a darker complexion before selecting your semi-permanent lip shade.
For pale skin-toned individuals, peach tones and light nude colours are the most universally flattering. They pair well with a clear or similar neutral gloss for a simple “your lips but better” shade. Avoid selecting a darker nude, brown or burgundy pigment. These colours will look stark and create too much contrast.
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Individuals with olive skin will look best with soft and warm neutral tones like coral, amber or a lighter orange-based red. Skip darker shades like brown, burgundy or deep red to avoid creating contrast.
For those with light Asian skin, natural coral shades should be high on your consideration list. This pigment brightens your face while being subtle enough for every day. A dusty rose or bold red colour will also flatter your skin tone. Avoid beige or brown shades because they will look flat and appear washed out.
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If your skin tone is in-between pale and olive with yellow undertones, stick with brown-based neutrals and blue-based reds. Some great options include beige and flesh tones, terracotta, bronze and cool-toned pink or red shades. Avoid mauve, dusty rose, magenta, plum or any purple-based pigment as they can make your complexion look too yellow.
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For individuals with skin tones in-between pale and olive with pink undertones, neutral peach or peachy pink tones will often look best. Opt for an orange-based or dark red shade if you’re looking for a bolder hue. Blue-based reds and similar colours can make your lips appear too purple.
Individuals with dark complexions will have to jump through several hoops to get their desired lip shade. The process often takes more sessions for someone with melanin-rich lips. Noticeable blue or purple subtones on the lips make it more difficult for the pigment to show up properly. To counteract this, your technician will likely use a lip neutralization pigment during their first session before working towards your desired shade at your follow-up appointment. This priming colour will be a warm-based pigment. It is often bright orange but will vary depending on your unique colouring. During this next session, work with your permanent makeup expert to select the right shade for you. Coral, burnt orange or orange-based red shades best complement your complexion.
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Explore Your Makeup Drawer
Lip blushing tattoos act similarly to a subtle, long-lasting lipstick that doesn’t wash off. You can still use lip cosmetics after your lips heal. However, experimenting with your favourite products help you understand which tones and shades best suit your natural lip colour. Apply a light coat of each of your go-to lipsticks, lip liners and glosses to see the colour palette you gravitate towards the most – whether that’s nude, pink, coral, brown or red shades. Pay attention to the undertones of these swatches as well. Does a wash of a blue, purple or green-toned colour blend well into your natural lip shade? What about a more orange or golden-based hue? How do they look against your skin tone – does it make your skin glow or wash you out?
While these findings might not lead you to your perfect lip pigment shade, this information helps relay helpful insights to your technician, so they can visualize your desired results. With this clearer picture in mind, an expert can inform you how (and whether) this specific shade is achievable and the number of sessions needed to achieve your ideal look.
Educate Yourself On The Lip Blushing Process
Knowledge is power, especially when you’re looking to create the perfect pout. Understanding how the pigment colour changes over time can inform your shade selection process, manage expectations and motivate your future self to stay diligent with your after-care routine. Throughout the healing process, the colour’s vibrancy will change considerably. It will be the most vibrant immediately after the lip blushing procedure ends and remains bright for up to around 48 hours after your treatment.
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Once the peeling stage starts at around day 5, it is normal for the lip blushing pigment to “disappear” for some time before the colour “comes back” around 4-6 weeks into the after-care period. During the final stage of the healing process, the scabs form and can cover your lip pigment. Once the wound heals, the colour will show through again once a fresh new layer of recovered skin comes to the surface.
Learn everything you want to know about the lip blushing healing process HERE.
Lip Blushing Tattoo FAQS:
How much does lip blushing cost?
Typically, each lip blushing session will cost around $500-$1,500. Factors including your location, vetted expert and cosmetic studio selection contribute to the price of your treatments. There’s no denying that lip blushing is a costly procedure. However, if you want to try out lip blushing, it is not worth cutting corners to find a more affordable option. When it comes to semi-permanent makeup treatments, you truly get what you pay for and need to see the upfront cost as an investment in your future self.
How long does lip blushing last?
Most lip blushing treatments last on average between 2-3 years without touch ups. Lifestyle factors, including smoking, sun exposure, iron deficiency and frequent skin exfoliation, can accelerate the pigment’s fading process. Individuals with more oily skin are also prone to see the colour fade more quickly.
Is lip blushing painful?
The lips are a naturally sensitive area, so it is understandable to worry about how much lip blushing can hurt. Fortunately, most experts apply a topical numbing cream, which should reduce the pain level significantly. The numbing cream is left on for approximately 20-30 minutes before the treatment begins.
Many artists now seek to provide lip blushing experiences with all-natural products – like Numbing Cream. It features 5% lidocaine for maximum strength, has a natural PH formulation to cater to sensitive areas, including the lips, and does not contain any vasoconstrictors that prevent the ink from properly settling.
How does lip blushing differ on dark lips?
Lip blushing treatments often work well for many individuals with darker lips. Although, you will likely need more frequent treatments to see comparable results to those with lighter lips. For individuals with darker skin, your lip blushing treatments typically last 1-2 years without touch-ups and require 2-3 initial appointments, including a lip neutralization and follow-up session.
What are the side effects of lip blushing?
Swelling, minor bruising or bleeding, itchiness, redness and pain are common side effects that should go away in the few days following the procedure. If you experience more severe side effects, such as excessive swelling, increasing pain or any pus oozing from the lips, contact your doctor immediately. Prevention is the best method to protect against these harmful side effects. Make sure that your technician has all of the necessary licenses and certifications. Follow all of your expert’s after-care instructions carefully.