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What to Know About Permanent Lip Tattoos, Called "Blushing"

What to Know About "Lip Blushing" Tattoos

What to Know About Permanent Lip Tattoos, Called "Blushing"
Image Source: Getty / Johner Images

Unless you're getting an ephemeral tattoo — which is made to fade after a year or so — it's pretty well understood that tattoos are meant to be forever. The only other exception is semipermanent cosmetic tattooing, an increasingly popular option that replaces a step in your makeup routine. Most common is microblading for your brows, but there's another that's emerging all over social media: lip "blushing."

Lip blush tattoos transform your lips by enhancing your natural color and providing more shape and definition. In fact, just a few scrolls down a rabbit hole of #LipBlushing photos on Instagram, and you'll see that this form of semipermanent makeup is simply an enhanced version of your natural lips. That means you can wake up in the morning and skip lipstick, balm, stains, or liner, which is ideal for people who rely on lip products for a kiss of color.

If you're curious to learn more about the lip blushing process, we spoke with master artist Savannah Kondratyev from First Class Cosmetics in New York City. Keep reading below for everything you need to know before your first appointment.

What Is Lip Blushing?

Lip blushing is a semipermanent makeup tattoo designed for your lips, which allows you to enhance your natural color and shape, or camouflage some minor corrections like asymmetry, scarring, or hyperpigmentation. "As we lose collagen and elasticity in our skin, we lose shape, and the color starts to disintegrate into our skin," says Kondratyev.

You might've noticed the procedure popping up on Instagram, but the treatment has actually been around for years. Kondratyev, who is a state-certified educator within the cosmetology field, has been doing lip blush tattoos for almost three years after learning and training from Russian artists. "Lip blush pigment is different from traditional tattoo ink. It's a lot less opaque, and the finish is always natural. When you're first tattooed, it looks very bright — almost too bright — but when it heals, it heals to be 50 percent lighter. Cosmetic tattooing is different from traditional tattooing in that it's implanted only on the surface layers of the skin. I use Evenflo pigment, which is vegan-friendly and nontoxic."

How Should I Prepare For My Lip Blushing Appointment?

Your precare before getting tattooed is very important. You want to make sure you're hydrated — the more hydrated you are, the better results you'll have. The night before your appointment, try to exfoliate your lips lightly and put on a lip mask. You'll also want to skip that afterwork glass of wine at least 24 hours before. If you're someone who gets cold sores, you'll need to take an antiviral medication at least three days before and at least three days after your lip blush.

"With this procedure, because of the injury that it causes to the lips, it can cause the dormant virus to come out," Kondratyev says. "It's supereasy to avoid — just take an antiviral medication prior." Lastly, you're going to want to also hold off on skin regenerating treatments and serums a couple of weeks prior: "Because the tattoo is on the surface layer of the skin, all those wonderful treatments that keep us young will take the tattoo off. So it's just important to give it a break two weeks before."

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