lip tattoo

All You Need to Know About Lip Tattoos

Lip tattoos, a form of cosmetic tattooing, offer a long-lasting solution for individuals seeking enhanced lip color that won’t fade quickly. Unlike traditional lip makeup, which tends to have a short-lasting effect, lip tattoos provide a semi-permanent solution for achieving well-defined and enhanced lips. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the treatment, techniques, and aftercare associated with lip tattoos. Whether you desire a full-on lipstick look or a more natural appearance, a lip tattoo can be a viable option for achieving lasting results.


  • All You Need to Know About Lip Tattooing
  • The Ins and Outs of the Lip Tattoo Treatment
  • Preparing for Your Lip Tattoo Procedure
  • Navigating the Lip Tattoo Healing Process
  • Enhancing Your Lip Tattoo with a Touch-Up
  • Understanding the Possible Side Effects of Lip Tattooing
  • Exploring Your Options for Lip Tattoo Removal
  • Lip Tattooing: How Much Does It Cost?
  • Lip Tattoos: Key Things to Know

All You Need to Know About Lip Tattooing

Lip tattooing, a cosmetic procedure, entails the insertion of pigments into the surface of the lips. Various techniques can be employed, including opaque permanent lipstick, shape-perfecting permanent lip liner, lip blushing, or aquarelle lips. This procedure not only enhances the natural lip features but can also lighten dark lips, provide a warmer color, and camouflage visible scars.

Despite its semi-permanent nature, the pigments used in lip tattoos will gradually fade over time. To maintain the desired look, occasional touch-ups are necessary. This characteristic allows individuals to adapt and modify their lip color or shape as needed.

Who Isn’t a Good Candidate for a Permanent Lipstick Treatment?

You might want to avoid getting treatment if you relate or have any of the following:

  • Under 18 years old
  • Pregnant or nursing
  • Undergoing chemotherapy
  • Hemophilia
  • Major heart problems or pacemaker
  • Organ transplant
  • Uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Psoriasis, eczema, rosacea or other skin conditions close to the treatment area
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Anemia
  • History of keloid scarring or hypertrophic scarring
  • Cold sores
  • Taking blood-thinning medication
  • Taking accutane or steroids

Make sure to discuss with your doctor to check if they will allow you to get a cosmetic lip tattoo.

Tip: If you have ever had cold sores or herpes on your lips, you will need to take antiviral drugs prior to your lip tattoo treatment.

These must be recommended by your doctor. For around two weeks, the most usual pretreatment therapy is Zovirax or Valtrex. Otherwise, the tattooing will aggravate your herpes.

Can I Get a Lip Tattoo If I Have Lip Fillers?

Lip tattoos can be performed even if you already have lip fillers. However, it’s advisable to get the lip tattoo first, as it tends to have a longer-lasting effect compared to fillers. If you already have fillers, it’s recommended to wait approximately 2 to 6 weeks for the fillers to settle before scheduling your permanent makeup (PMU) lips appointment. While there is a minimal chance of fillers migrating during the tattoo procedure, adhering to the recommended waiting period helps ensure optimal results.

The Ins and Outs of the Lip Tattoo Treatment

The PMU lips treatment, a form of micropigmentation or cosmetic tattooing, involves the insertion of pigment into the skin of the lips using an electric needle instrument. The procedure typically includes the following steps:

STEP 1: Consultations

During consultations, the technician discusses the client’s desired lip color and shape. A patch test is often performed to ensure the client is not allergic to the pigments.

STEP 2: Preparation

The technician cleans and prepares the area to be treated.

STEP 3: Pigment Application

Using a hand-held device with a small, sterile needle, the technician deposits pigments into the upper layers of the skin on the lips. Careful attention is given to creating a natural-looking shape, and the color is evenly distributed.

STEP 4: Aftercare

The technician provides aftercare instructions for proper healing and to prevent infection. It’s crucial for clients to follow these instructions closely. After the procedure, the lips may appear swollen, and the color will initially be more intense than the final result. The color gradually fades over the next few days as the skin heals.

Does it Hurt when Getting a Lip Tattoo?

The pain level during a PMU (permanent makeup) lips treatment can vary from person to person. While some clients may experience discomfort, most find the pain to be tolerable and consider it worth the long-lasting results. It’s important to communicate any severe pain or discomfort to the technician so that appropriate measures can be taken to alleviate it.

Choosing a Lip Tattoo Artist

When selecting a lip tattoo artist, thorough research is essential. Schedule a consultation to discuss your preferences and ensure the artist follows strict safety and hygiene protocols. Look into their background, experience, and portfolio to gauge their style and reputation. Trust your instincts and choose an artist with whom you feel comfortable and confident. Remember, selecting a qualified and experienced artist is a long-term investment that can enhance your overall satisfaction with the procedure.

Choosing a Permanent Lip Color

Choosing the right color for a lip tattoo depends on personal preferences, individual style, and skin tone. Factors to consider include the natural lip color, the desired shade, and undertones that complement the skin tone.

For a natural look, it’s recommended to choose a color that matches the natural lip color. Additionally, selecting a color that complements the skin tone, whether warm or cool tones, can enhance the overall appearance. It’s crucial to discuss these preferences with the tattoo artist during the consultation to achieve the desired and flattering outcome.

Preparing for Your Lip Tattoo Procedure

Preparing for lip tattoo treatment involves several steps to ensure the best possible outcome.

Wearing Makeup After Lip Tattoo Treatment

It is recommended to avoid wearing any makeup on the lips for at least two weeks after the lip tattoo treatment. Applying makeup can cause irritation and infection, which can lead to poor results. Once the lips have healed, it is safe to use makeup, but it is essential to avoid products that contain harsh chemicals or abrasive ingredients that can damage the skin.

Navigating the Lip Tattoo Healing Process

The lip tattoo healing process is crucial for achieving a beautiful and long-lasting result. Typically lasting up to 2 weeks, this period requires careful care to prevent complications.

After the procedure, it’s normal to experience swelling, redness, and tenderness for a few days. Applying an ice pack and using a healing ointment can aid in faster recovery.

Throughout the healing phase, it’s essential to avoid certain foods and drinks, keep the lips moisturized, refrain from touching or picking at the lips, and avoid direct sunlight. The artist may schedule a follow-up appointment to assess the healing progress and touch up any areas that may have faded or require additional pigment.

Strictly adhering to the aftercare instructions provided by the artist is key to achieving the best possible outcome. For more details, you can refer to our comprehensive Lip Tattoo Healing Guide.

Enhancing Your Lip Tattoo with a Touch-Up

The first touch-up is essential to achieve the desired pigment and ensure client satisfaction. However, for individuals opting for a transparent colored tattoo, the touch-up may not be necessary.

Lip tattoos, like all tattoos, might require a touch-up after the initial procedure to ensure even color and long-lasting results. It is advisable to wait for the completion of the healing process, which typically takes up to two weeks, before scheduling a touch-up appointment with the artist.

Depending on factors such as skin type and pigment color, subsequent touch-ups may be required every 1-2 years to maintain color vibrancy. Individuals with oily skin may need more frequent touch-ups, as well as those frequently exposed to sun and saltwater, as these factors can accelerate fading.

What Affects the Durability of the Lip Tattoo?

The longevity of a lip tattoo can be influenced by various factors, such as the quality of pigments, individual skin type, lifestyle, and aftercare practices.

Using high-quality pigments and following proper aftercare instructions are crucial for extending the lifespan of the tattoo. People with oily skin may notice faster fading compared to those with drier skin. Lifestyle choices, including sun exposure and smoking, can contribute to quicker pigment fading. Regular touch-ups and diligent aftercare routines are essential for preserving the color and durability of a lip tattoo.

Different Styles of Lip Tattoos

PMU lip tattoo offers several styles to enhance the appearance of the lips, including full lip color, shaded lip liner, lip blush, ombre lip blush, aquarelle, and dark lip neutralization.

Full Lip Color

This technique involves fully coloring the lips with a single color pigment, resulting in a bold and vibrant look. The color can be customized to the individual’s skin tone and preferences. It is the most opaque and dramatic style which also involves the most touch-ups to maintain.

Permanent Lip Liner

This procedure is simply a lip outline. It frames the lips to add definition and symmetry. It can be slightly darker than the natural lip color or a lipstick shade that complements your skin tone.

Shaded Lip Liner

This technique involves creating a subtle gradient effect by shading the lip liner towards the center of the lips. The result is a natural-looking, defined lip shape while giving a volumizing look.

Lip Blush

This technique involves adding a subtle wash of color to the lips, resulting in a natural-looking, “just-bitten” appearance. It can enhance the natural lip color and shape without appearing too bold. Lip blush is the most popular style of lip tattoo.

Ombré Lip Blush

This technique involves creating a gradient effect by blending two or more colors together, resulting in a soft and natural-looking transition from light to dark.


This technique involves using a watercolor-like effect to create a soft and subtle lip color. It results in a very natural-looking effect that enhances the lips’ natural shape and color.

Dark Lip Neutralization

This technique is designed to neutralize the natural pigmentation of dark lips by using a flesh-toned pigment. The result is a natural-looking, even lip color that enhances the lips’ natural shape.

Understanding the Possible Side Effects of Lip Tattooing

Is it Safe to Get a Lip Tattoo?

Generally, lip tattoos are safe when performed by a trained professional in a sterile environment. However, like any tattoo, there is a small risk of infection or other complications.

Can You Be Allergic to Permanent Lip Color?

Yes, there is a possibility that some individuals may be allergic to the pigments used in lip tattoos, which can cause a reaction ranging from mild irritation to severe allergic reactions.

This is why it is important to do a patch test before the procedure.

Possible Side Effects of Lip Tattoos

Some common side effects of lip tattoos include swelling, redness, tenderness, and bruising immediately after the procedure.

In some cases, there may be minor bleeding, scabbing, or flaking during the healing process. Less common side effects may include infection, scarring, and allergic reactions.

Following proper aftercare instructions and choosing a reputable and experienced artist can minimize the risk of side effects. Contact your artist if you notice the side effects do not settle down after 10 days.

Exploring Your Options for Lip Tattoo Removal

The process of lip tattoo removal is similar to tattoo removal from other parts of the body. If you are not satisfied with the treatment you can have it removed. You may also opt to get it fixed in your touch-up session.

There are several methods for lip tattoo removal, including laser removal and saline removal. Both methods require more than one session which can take time and be costly. There is also additional time needed for the skin to heal.

It is important to carefully consider the decision to get a lip tattoo before proceeding with the procedure.

Lip Tattooing: How Much Does It Cost?

On average, a basic lip liner tattoo can cost around $590, while a more complex full lip color tattoo can range from $500 to $1000 or more.

The cost can vary depending on several factors, including the geographic location, the experience and reputation of the artist, and the specific technique used.

It is important to note that the cost of a lip tattoo may also include touch-up sessions, as well as any aftercare products that are needed to promote healing and maintain the tattoo’s appearance. Additionally, it is not recommended to choose an artist based solely on cost, as the quality and safety of the procedure should always be the top priority.

Lip Tattoos: Key Things to Know

This procedure involves tattooing pigments into the skin to enhance its appearance. Different lip tattoo styles include full lip color, lip liner, lip blush, and ombré lip blush, among others.

Aftercare is crucial to ensure proper healing and to maintain the appearance of the lip tattoo. The cost of a lip tattoo can vary depending on several factors, including the geographic location and the experience and reputation of the artist.