Lip Blushing: Exploring the Procedure and Safety Considerations

If the term lip blushing is new to you, don’t be surprised since the term, though present for a long time, has recently picked up popularity. It is a semi-permanent tattoo that changes the appearance of the lips. In this article, we’ll dive deep into understanding lip blushing and whether it is worth exploring.

Key takeaways:

What is lip blushing?


Think of lip blushing as a technique to get your favorite lip color tattooed for an extended period. Lip blushing is a semi-permanent tattoo technique that is generally used to enhance the color and contour of the lips. This is usually done to give the lips a brighter and fuller appearance. This helps reduce the time and money spent on daily lip makeup.

One must note that lip blushing is very different from lip fillers. While lip fillers consist of injecting gels made of hyaluronic acid, lip blushing is similar to tattooing the area without injecting substances into the lips. The purpose of lip blushing is primarily to create an illusion of more extensive and plumper lips without actually adding any volume. In contrast, lip fillers mainly add volume and do not affect the color of the lip.

How is lip blushing done?

The procedure involves depositing color into the lips and along the lip line to improve appearance. The color is deposited through a tattoo pen, but unlike regular tattooing, this procedure is considered to cause only mild discomfort. Topical anesthesia is almost always used. This helps numb the area and ensures you are comfortable throughout the process.

The desired lip color and the contour of the lip color are decided before the procedure. After that, tiny cuts created through the tattooing machine’s blade deposit the ink into the cuts.

The procedure is generally performed by a licensed tattoo artist or an esthetician, and it is essential to ensure that you get the procedure done by experts in the field who have enough experience with the technique. Do not shy away from knowing the expert before going for the procedure. This will allow you to know their expertise and better understand the procedure, the clinic, its sterilization techniques, and other related matters.

What to expect during lip blushing

If you are considering lip blushing, here are a few things you should know:

  • Minimal blood. Though this technique uses tiny blades, there is usually minimal to no bleeding during the procedure.
  • Time commitment. The entire procedure may take between 45 mins to 1 hour.
  • Immediate effects. Right after the procedure, you may experience soreness, swelling, and increased lip redness, which will settle within 24–48 hours. Applying cold compresses may help.
  • Flaking. You may also experience peeling or flaking lip skin after a few days.
  • Infection risk. Since tiny cuts are being created, there is a risk of potential infection. Follow all aftercare instructions that are provided.
  • Color fading. The lip color will appear much brighter initially. The color fades, and it can take 3–4 weeks until the desired color is obtained.
  • Duration. The color usually lasts for 2–3 years. A touch-up session can be done after a year if the color has faded too quickly.

Are there any side effects?

It is important to note that since this is a tattooing technique with ink being deposited into the body, the side effects of tattooing also apply here. Foreign body reactions and allergic reactions to the deposited ink are common adverse effects to watch out for. If you have known allergies or tend to develop hypertrophic scars or keloids, it is better to avoid this procedure altogether.

Red color, the most common dye used for this procedure, is a common allergen, and you should watch out for any signs and symptoms of allergies or other side effects, as every individual reacts to it differently. A case of lichenoid bullous pemphigoid, a rare autoimmune disorder where tense water boils develop, was reported in a woman after red ink was used for micropigmentation of the ink into the lips.

Suppose you want to enhance your cupid’s bow to make lips appear more lively or even more symmetrical without undergoing significant surgeries; in that case, lip blushing is a technique you can consider. However, as with any procedure that involves manipulation of a body part, there are risks and downsides to this procedure if not done correctly and if adequate precautions are not taken. Always consult your healthcare provider before the procedure and if you experience any discomforting signs after.

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