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The Cosmetic Procedure You Didn't Know You Needed Is Lip Blushing

Lip blushing has become the new semipermanent makeup trend for everyone's lips. Lip blushing, like other semipermanent makeup techniques such as brow microblading and tattooed eyeliner, allows you to wake up with picture-perfect, gorgeously flushed lips without using any lipstick, balm, or gloss. Lip blush tattoos aren't cheap, but enthusiasts rave about how natural-looking the results are and how much time they save.

We spoke with renowned cosmetic tattoo artists and skincare experts to discover more about this popular service—and why it isn't what you would think.

What Is Lip Blushing and How Does It Work?

Lip blushing is a sort of cosmetic tattooing that uses a mechanical needle to deposit colored ink into the lips for a semipermanent enhancement of lip color. Thanks to recent developments in semipermanent makeup, the resulting lip tattoo is subtle rather than saturated.

Lip blush tattooing is akin to traditional tattooing's whip-shading or pepper-shading techniques. We use a single needle and a quick, consistent hand motion to create a sequence of dots rather than a solid line as the needle passes in and out of the machine, penetrating the skin.

The final tattoo imbues lips with a pleasing shade, similar to a stain or balm, and normally lasts two to three years. You can still wear lipsticks and lip colors to change up your look after receiving lip blush, although many lip blush clients prefer to go without lip makeup.

Lip Blushing's Advantages

Lip blushing creates a beautiful, barely-there flush on the lips without the commitment of a typical tattoo. Lip blushing has a number of advantages, including:

Lip color that lasts a long time

Pigmentation boost for pale and aging lips

The capacity to change the color of your lips

Lips that look fuller without the use of injectables or surgery

Lip symmetry is improved.

Scars and uneven pigmentation can be colored-corrected.

Lip blushing is comparable to many improvements in brow artistry in that the goal is usually to enhance one's characteristics rather than to appear made up.'

It's also suitable for a wide range of complexion tones. "When done by an experienced practitioner, lip tattooing can work effectively on all different skin types," says Otsuji. "When working on lips that are high in melanin, extra caution is required because there is a larger risk of hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin) if the area is overworked."

Lip Blushing vs. Lip Color (Permanent)

Lip permanent and semipermanent cosmetics isn't a new concept, but today's lip blushing isn't the same as what was available in the 1990s and early 2000s.

"In the last ten years, cosmetic tattooing has come a long way!" According to Otsuji. "A smooth, diffused wash of color that complements your natural skin and lip tone has replaced the hard, dark tattooed lip liner that was formerly trendy."

"Previously, permanent lipstick artists employed tattoo inks injected deep into the skin to obtain vibrant pigmentation and long-lasting results," says Suzanne Friedler, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist at Advanced Dermatology, PC in New York. "Lip blushing, on the other hand, employs natural pigments applied to the skin's surface to generate a semipermanent and mild augmentation of the lips."

The Takeaway

Lip blushing is a basically zero-maintenance cosmetic therapy that can save you valuable getting-ready time each day if you can afford the expense and healing period. However, before you take the plunge, be sure you've done your homework. Feel free to email me, Sumiko Lui, at or book your appointments here.

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