What Is Lip Blushing?

Medically Reviewed by Jabeen Begum, MD on August 24, 2022
4 min read

Permanent and semi-permanent makeup is popular lately. The perks of properly applied permanent makeup are appealing. It’s easier to get up and go, and you always look your best. 

Lip blushing is a new trend that’s generating a lot of interest. It’s a semi-permanent tattoo, usually in a natural color, that’s applied to your lips. It can give your appearance a boost and help fix imbalances and cover signs of aging in the lips. 

Lip blushing isn’t lip filler. Only color is deposited on the surface of your lips as part of this procedure. Lip filler, on the other hand, is a type of injection that makes the volume of the lips fuller. 

There is a lot to consider before undergoing a lip blushing procedure. You should weigh the cost, risks, and benefits before making an appointment. Understanding the procedure and knowing what to expect can also help you choose a high-quality technician to apply your lip blushing. 

What causes someone to undergo lip blushing? The procedure offers benefits that are attractive to a lot of people. 

It’s convenient. If you always have color on your lips, you don’t need to apply or reapply lipstick or lip color every day. A lip color that’s always on can enhance your face and give you the put-together appearance that you may like. 

It can complement your natural features. Lip blushing can enhance the shape of your lips and help them appear fuller and more symmetrical. The technician who applies the tattoo will usually create an outline around your lips first. This outline can help define any areas where your natural lip color has faded, and it can make your lips look like a more defined and pronounced part of your face.  

It can make you look more youthful. Thinning lips can affect some people as they age. A defined lip outline can provide a more youthful appearance. 

The process of lip blushing is similar to getting a conventional tattoo but with some key differences. It’s usually performed by an esthetician or a tattoo artist who uses a small machine.

The machine could be one of the following: 

  • Permanent cosmetic pen rotary
  • Coil machine
  • Linear device
  • Digital rotary machine

All these machines are meant to perform the same function. They create small cuts in the lip and then deposit the colored ink into the cuts. 

The color of your lip blush should be determined before you begin the procedure. It can range from a shade or two away from your natural color to a deeper, intense color of your choice. 

Lip blushing can last up to two years, depending on several factors: 

  • How much time you spend in the sun. Sun exposure can cause tattoos to fade at a faster rate. 
  • Whether or not you smoke. Smoking can make your lip blushing fade fast. 
  • The color you choose. Different colors have their own pigmentation makeup. Some colors fade faster than others. 

If you decide that lip blushing is right for you, a technician will typically book a consultation to assess your current lips, talk about what you want, and show you what they can offer you. 

They may ask you about your color goals and if you’re going for a natural or dramatic look. They will also need to know if you want to enhance the shape of your lips in any way. 

If a dramatic, pigmented look is your goal, you may have to undergo several sessions to achieve that look. The color is typically added in layers until the desired result is achieved. Your lips may need to heal after several layers of color have been applied, though, before you can continue. 

Your technician may ask if you experience cold sores or any type of lip blisters. It’s important to disclose this information, as they might ask that you speak to your doctor before the appointment to obtain some medication. 

For your own part, make sure your technician complies with all local and state laws in your area. Certificates and diplomas should be displayed in a public place. 

Keep in mind that lip blushing takes time to heal. You shouldn’t undergo the procedure right before any important events. 

What to Expect at the Appointment

Lip blushing isn’t considered a very painful procedure, but you may opt for a topical anesthetic to numb your lips. 

The technician should use a sterilized needle or blade to perform the blushing procedure. The process usually takes 30 minutes to an hour. The outline will be drawn first, and then the lip color will be filled in. 

Swelling, bruising, chapping, and dryness are normal after the procedure. The color might look quite vivid at first but should soon fade to the desired color. You’ll need to apply a moisturizing product to help your lips heal afterward. Your technician may have some recommendations.  

Be sure to follow the aftercare instructions, though, to avoid any complications. 

Lip blushing is an elective procedure that isn’t covered by insurance. The typical cost is $500 to $1,500. 

Where you live and the qualifications and experience of your technician are often factors in the price. 

Semi-permanent makeup is a tattoo of sorts, and there is always a risk that you won’t like the final result. It’s important to go to a reputable licensed tattoo artist or esthetician who follows proper procedure. Always look at pictures of their previous work and see if it’s what you’re looking for. 

There’s also a small risk of infection and scar tissue with any cosmetic tattoo. An unskilled artist or unhygienic practices could increase that risk. Research your technician thoroughly and ask about their sanitization procedures before booking your appointment.

An allergic reaction to color is also something to be aware of. If you’re on the cautious side or have a history of allergic reactions, you could request a small amount of the pigment to be tattooed on you ahead of the appointment to rule out the possibility of an unwanted reaction.