Permanent Lip Color
Using the Art of Tattooing to enhance and correct
What to Expect
The lips are a sensitive area to tattoo since there are more nerve endings surrounding the treatment area. This is why we allow a full half hour to let the numbing cream sit before we begin the procedure.
Depending on the location, we can arrange for a dental block to be performed by a nurse prior to the procedure for an additional charge. This is only recommended for extremely sensitive individuals. Most people are just fine with the topical numbing cream. While you are numbing, we set up everything needed to perform the procedure and begin mixing the pigments. We recommend bringing your favorite lipsticks so we can see what you are used to wearing on a daily basis. Some color swatches can also be done on the day of procedure if you are not sure of the shade you want. Our goal is to find the best color to complement your skin.
Once your lips are numb, we take "before" photos and stencil in the outline of the lips with a pencil. With this procedure, we can correct misshapen or uneven lips to ensure symmetry. We can slightly augment the lips to make them look fuller or we can define them without changing the shape at all. Once you are happy with the shape, we can begin the procedure.
We start by using an ultra-thin needle or needles to outline the lips. We make the outline on top of the pencil tracing, which is the predetermined line. Once that is complete, a larger needle grouping is used to fill in the lips. Like a painter who uses different brushes for different purposes, we use different size needles depending on the result we want. It is faster to use a larger needle grouping when filling in the lips. This technique applies more color, reducing the number of passes and time working on the skin. Less time in the skin equals less trauma. Less trauma equals less pain and better results.
Once we have finished the procedure, we take our "after" photos and an aftercare ointment is applied. Lastly, you will be given instructions to care for your lips and an ointment to take home with you. The lips will swell a bit, even after using the most gentle technique since they are made of a different type of tissue than the rest of your facial skin. Icing the area and taking an anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen can reduce the swelling post-procedure. We usually tell clients not to make any social plans the evening of the appointment. Swelling typically lasts about 24 hours. You should expect the color on the lips to look more intense in the weeks following the procedure. This is normal and you should lose 30-50% of the pigment once the lip is fully healed.
It usually takes about 5 days to heal from this procedure.
First day: the lips will look bright and swollen.
Second and third days: the lip will look like you’re wearing a bold lipstick.
Fourth day: the lip will feel very chapped and the color begins to shed.
Fifth day: a soft color remains.
After healing, your lips will still feel a little delicate and dry, so you will need to continue to moisturize the lips multiple times a day. It is normal for you to think the color is too light, but the color comes back a little stronger about 2 to 4 weeks after the procedure. If the color is still too light, we can add more pigment during your follow-up appointment.
If you have ever suffered from a cold sore or fever blister, it is important that you get an antiviral prescription prior to your procedure. We recommend taking antiviral medication the day before your appointment and to continue every day until your lips are fully healed. Depending on your location, we can arrange a prescription for you. It is fine to fill it on the day of your appointment if you intend to get the prescription from our office. In this case, take the antiviral medication immediately and continue to do so until the lips are healed. This procedure requires a bit more downtime, and it is a little more intense compared to other cosmetic tattooing procedures. However, the process is well worth it because it gives great results. Having beautifully shaped lips with color does wonders for your overall appearance. It brightens your skin and eyes, making you look years younger.
Post Procedure Care
After the procedure, you will be sent home with an ointment to use on your lips as they heal. Your lips will most likely feel a little tender and dry for the next few days, so we recommend applying the ointment multiple times a day. You may also ice the lips after the procedure for ten minutes at a time. This usually brings some relief and reduces swelling.
It is recommended that you wash your lips with a mild soap, preferably an antibacterial one. Make a lather in your hands and gently massage the lips. Rinse with water and pat dry, wait 10 minutes and apply a small amount of ointment like Aquaphor.
Avoid while Healing:
excessive moisture, such as steam or saunas
swimming or excessive sweating
any and all types of active skincare like Retin A, glycolic or alpha hydroxy acids, and exfoliants of any kind
pets near your face
excessive sun exposure
touching with dirty hands
makeup and makeup brushes