Move over lip fillers – lip blush is here! I’ve never really considered having any kind of cosmetic procedure on my lips, they’re relatively even, pretty well defined and I wasn’t bothered about having filler.  Then I was introduced to lip blush by Nicola Bishop, my nail technician and semi-permeant makeup artist, and I’m so glad I was! 

What is lip blush?

If you’re not sure what lip blush is, it’s basically a semi-permeant lip tattoo which accentuates your natural lip colour.  Although lip tattooing has been around for a while, it was generally a harsher lip liner which was tattooed. Although this helped with definition it didn’t always look natural without any lipstick to fill the rest of the lip in.  

Lip blush is much more natural, and involves all of the lip being shaded with a mechanical needle, creating lots of small dots of colour rather than solid lines.  This gives a subtle, shaded look up to a couple of shades darker than your natural lip colour. 

Lip blush before and after
Image from Instagram @nicola_bishop_brows

What does lip blushing do?

Although lip blushing isn’t going to replace your entire lipstick collection, since my first session I’ve only worn lipstick a handful of times.  The rest of the time I stick to a quick slick of lipgloss or leave them totally bare. I’ve found when I do wear lipstick it’s so much quicker thanks to me not having to concentrate on correcting my lip line!

Some other perks of lip blushing include:

  • More pigment for faded or pale lips
  • A more defined & symmetrical lip line
  • Fuller-looking lips without fillers
  • Colour correction and scar covering

Lip blush lasts for about 2-3 years without needing a top up – so although it can be a bit pricy it really does have staying power! 

How is lip blush applied?

First, you need to chose your colour with your artist.  It’s customisable and is created by mixing different shades together.  I don’t tend to go for pink lipsticks so my shade was a nude base with a bit of pink and a drop of cinnamon.  

Next up your artist will map out, or draw, where the colour is going to be placed.  One thing which I loved about lip blushing was that the mapping used my natural lip line – no overdrawing here! You then have the opportunity to check it and to ask you artist to make any changes.  

Once you’re both happy it’s time for the numbing cream to be applied. Insider Tip: Try not to talk too much so you don’t get it in your mouth & end up with numb gums!

Now it’s time to lie back, try to relax and let the lip blushing begin! The machine is much quieter than a standard tattoo gun, it’s only really noticeable when it’s turned on or off.  Your artist starts off by building up the outline, and then moves to filling in the lip.  Throughout the process I had numbing cream reapplied in-between the excess pigment being wiped away.  

Altogether it took about an hour and a half for my first appointment, and around 45 minutes for my top up 8 weeks later. 

Lip blush before and after
Image from Instagram @nicola_bishop_brows

Does lip blushing hurt?

I’ve had a few tattoos, and although I was ok they’re in some really painful places (looking at you feet bones!). So when I had my first appointment I was a bit nervous about having that amount of vibration and pain on my lips.  I was really pleasantly surprised at how manageable it was though.  The numbing cream helped, and although for some reason my cupid’s bow was closer to feeling painful, the rest of my lips felt like small scratches.  You’re not going to be relaxed enough to fall asleep through it but it was nowhere near as bad as I thought.  

What aftercare is involved?

It takes about 5 days for lip blushing to heal, although after my first appointment they were looking much better after about 3 days.  Although they were quite swollen at first, this had gone down within the first 24 hours. It’s advisable to use a straw to drink for the first couple of days too, so get yourself a couple of metal ones before your appointment.  

Nicola gave me Bepanthan cream to use after my initial session and my top up, which did a really good job at calming any soreness and helping them heal evenly.  They’ll start to peel but it’s so important not to pick them or you could end up with the pigment looking patchy.  

Would I recommend lip blush?

Absolutely! It saves me so much time, and although it is a subtle difference it definitely makes me feel more confident when I’m bare faced.  

I’d definitely recommend checking your artist beforehand, and lip blush can look quite different between it being fresh and healed so look for pictures in their portfolio which show both.  If you’re in the East Midlands & Leicester area I’d definitely advise seeing Nicola Bishop for your lip blush!