Creating Perfect Lip Blush

You learned how to do permanent makeup lip blush procedure but you can't always get perfect results: Here is couple tricks from our school. 
Let’s look at a few things that can make lips problematic. 

  1. Lip skin is different type of canvas, not even close to eyebrow area in texture.   
  2. Lips are like our thumbprints, everybody is different depending on age, ethnicity, and the life style. 
  3. Lips are prone to swelling and bruising. 
  4. Cold Sores (Herpes) shows if there is trauma to lips
  5. Lips are number one mussel that we use all day everyday either to talk or to drink and eat. 

How To Get Instagram Worthy Lip Blushing 

1. Differentiating the types of skin and how to tattoo them properly.

The largest area of the lip, and the part that is to be tattooed is the vermillion. As this area transitions into the mouth, you can see a clear difference between the lip skin and the mucous membrane. The inside of the mouth is smoother, wet, and doesn’t have the markings of the lip (lines and wrinkles). The mucous membrane doesn’t take pigment easily and has poor retention.

Solution? As you approach the inside of the mouth, start to decrease saturation so you do not leave a visible line of demarcation.

The face skin is entirely different than the lip skin.  It is generally taught not to exceed the vermillion border when tattooing the lip, however. There are times when this is necessary, i.e., correcting asymmetry, or recreating lips after surgery.

Solution? Remember that the skin of the face has color, whereas the lip is relatively clear and gets its color from the blood supply below. 

Sometimes you need to use a color that is slightly darker on the face skin (I like to use the lip color with a drop or two of a darker tone) so that when healed, it will match the lip color (don’t forget to consider the over/undertones of the skin when choosing the colors). Good saturation is required here and as you reach the vermillion border you can transition to the lip color and adjust saturation for the look/technique you are using. 

2. Plumpness. Youthful lips have a lot of collagen and appear full, plump, and much warmer in tone. 

This will vary based on ethnicity, however, as we age, we all lose collagen, and the lips start to deflate.  When this happens, the distance between the surface
 of the lip gets closer to the blood supply underneath, causing the lips to become much cooler in tone. This can look very pale with loss of color or very cool with purple tones.

Solution? Choose colors that have a strong orange base.  I like to call this insurance.

The orange will neutralize the cool tones and produce a pinker lip.  Most clients are wary of the orange color, but it is necessary to raise the temperature of the color.  Many artists like to add a few drops of insurance (orange modifier) to any lip color just to be on the safe side.  If the lip has a deep purple tone go for a modifier with some yellow in it. If I am working on a lip that is extremely cool, I sometimes do a session of modifier only to neutralize the temperature before adding in a target color.

3. Lips are generally delicate, and that will increase with age. 

Leaving your client with a great deal of swelling or bruising may turn her (and her friends) off to service.  While some people are just naturally prone to swelling or bruising, there are a few things you can do to mitigate this. (Note: lips with cosmetic fillers tend to swell more than those without. Take this into consideration when laying out your game plan.

Solution? If the client is taking blood thinners, daily aspirin, vitamin E or fish oil supplements ask them to speak with their doctor to find out if it’s ok for them to stop taking their meds 1-3 days before the procedure. 

It is SUPER IMPORTANT that they discuss this with their doctor since stopping prescribed medications can result in serious medical complications! Never, ever tell your clients to stop medications without medical clearance. If they know they are likely to bruise/swell, you can have them start taking an arnica supplement prior to their appointment (again, have them consult their medical professional to be sure there are no drug interactions).

Ask the client to not drink caffeine prior to their appointment or alcohol at least 24 hours prior.
Use a good quality anesthetic and don’t skimp on the time. I typically let my lips numb about 25 minutes. Use a secondary numbing agent with epinephrine, which is a vasoconstrictor. This will reduce swelling and bleeding. Keep ice, or cold packs available to sooth the lips.

And finally, if you see that you client is swelling or bleeding excessively, do your best to lay a basic foundation of color and send them home to heal. It’s better to layer the color in slowly (even if that means an extra touch up appointment) than to try to pack it all in at one appointment.  When we try to pack in too much color at one time, we are creating unnecessary trauma to the skin.  This will result in a more painful procedure as well as a longer, more uncomfortable healing time. Take it slow, your client will appreciate it!

4. Cold Sores happens.

Tell your clients that even if they haven’t had one for years, it is still present in their body and tattooing can wake up the virus.  Since there is some stigma with cold sore. Most people carry the cold sore virus simply because we often contract it as children and that if anyone in their family (i.e. parents, spouse, children) have it, then it’s likely they are carrying it as well, but they just never had an outbreak. Nothing is worse than trying to heal a lip procedure while also dealing with a cold sore outbreak!

Solution? I always inform my clients that if they KNOW they have a history of cold sores or suspect that they might, they should ask their doctor for an antiviral prescription to take prior to their appointment.
If they are unsure, but still want to take a precaution against it, I advise them to look for L-Lysine in the vitamin section of the local drug store (and of course, ask their medical professional if there are any drug interactions associated with it). In my consent forms there is a line item that specifically states, “I have been informed of, and aware of the risks of a cold sore outbreak after a tattooing service. I spoke with a medical professional and have taken the necessary precautions.” 

5. Healing.  If we could put our clients in a bubble and have them sleep for a week all their PMU would heal perfectly every time. 

Unfortunately, that’s not possible.  Lips are particularly difficult to heal because we must talk, smile, eat, and drink. All this movement and irritation adds to the length of the healing process.

Solution? I advise my clients to pick a time where they have a few days of lower than usual activity (long weekend, no social gatherings, etc.)

I have them drink from a straw to avoid liquid touching their freshly tattooed lips and eat foods they can cut into small bites. I find that having them use ice instead of trying to constantly moisturize them is more soothing. I do not recommend petroleum-based products as they suffocate the skin and can cause weeping. I give my clients a grapeseed oil product to moisturize with, along with cold compress for the first 2-3 days, and then a non-petroleum-based tattoo aftercare ointment to use thereafter. Using this regimen, my lips typically take 3-5 days to completely heal with no crusting and little scabbing. The faster you can get them to heal, the more color retention you will have - and a happier client!

Additional Tips:

  • Have your client use a sugar scrub (dip a wet finger into some sugar and gently massage the lips for 10-20 second) each night, starting about a week or two before their appointment. This will exfoliate dead skin and give you nice, fresh lips to work on.  After the scrub, apply a moisturizing product for lips.
  • Set your template quickly.  When outlining the lips, you want to set the template quickly before the lips start to distort from inflammation.  When I make my first pass to set the template, I am not looking for a perfectly solid line, I just want to implant something, so I do not lose my drawing. Once that is set, then I go back and reinforce my outline.  
  • Don’t over numb.  Applying too much anesthetic during the procedure will affect retention and can cause bruising.
  • Work in small sections and move on.  Often you can over work the area by trying to implant too much.  If you give the area a little time to settle down, you will see the irritation dissipate and realize that you have more color implanted than you thought.
  • Purchase disposable toothbrushes (I get ones that some with toothpaste on the bristles in individual packages) to give them after the procedure.  This will get any pigment off their teeth so you can take a nice after photo! 

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published