Your Guide to Cosmetic Lip Tattooing

For lips that make you smile!

With more of us wearing face masks these days, having your favourite lipstick shade applied to your lips with semi-permanent makeup means no more colour smudging on your mask, or having to reapply every time you take your mask off.  

How? With cosmetic lip tattooing.

What is cosmetic lip tattooing?

This is a semi-permanent make-up procedure using small needles to insert colour pigments into your skin.

As well as no more smudging on your mask, teeth or clothes, lip tattooing can:

  • save you time applying makeup 
  • give you more defined, bigger-looking lips that look more natural than with lip filler injections.
  • even out your lip skin tone
  • correct uneven lip shapes
  • conceal scarring from cold sores
  • rebuild and reconstruct lip shape after surgery.

And with a semi-permanent lip colour, you don’t have to wear lipstick every day or ingest the chemicals it contains. It’s estimated wearing lipstick daily, you swallow around 24mg of it! 

Which lip tattooing method is right for you?

Depending on what you want to achieve, you can choose from three different lip treatments: 

Lip Blush (also known as lip blend)

This method suits people with an undefined or uneven lip shape, pale or sun-damaged lips, or who simply want to emphasise their mouth. Lip blush gives you fuller lips with a soft, natural colour. 

Lip Liner Tattoo

This is for people who love their lip shape and want to enhance it, with just the lip outline coloured. The lip liner shade can be soft and natural, or a dark, bold outline with pale fill – a popular European look.

Full Lip Colour

This is the ideal time-saving cosmetic lip tattooing method. The finished colour looks like a lip tint in your favourite shade, so you only need to gloss ‘n’ go! This method makes your lips bigger, enhancing pale or uneven lip colour. 

What to expect in a lip tattooing treatment

Cosmetic tattoo expert and leading practitioner at Sydney Permanent Make-up Centre, Rita Porreca, will discuss with you what you’re after and advise the lip shape and colour to best suit your face and skin tone. Rita uses over 60 shades and can custom blend them to achieve a lip colour you’ll love.

Next, she draws an outline of this shape before applying a topical numbing cream to lessen any discomfort. “A dental local anaesthetic can be organised if you prefer, but this is only for full lip tattooing treatments. However, a dental block causes lips to swell more than topical numbing cream, and your colour may not take as well,” Rita advises.

Depending on the lip tattooing method you choose, the procedure takes around 1 to 1.25 hours.

How to prepare for your lip tattoo procedure 

If you’re prone to dry or peeling lips, gently exfoliate and hydrate them for two weeks beforehand. This will help the colour take better. And if you get cold sores, use lysine for two weeks before your appointment. 

Results and how to care for your lips 

“Your colour will be 60% brighter for the first five days after treatment,”

Rita says:

“Your lip skin may start peeling, but will settle down with regular moisturising. Apply a lip healing cream regularly for four weeks after treatment. You will notice the colour keeps changing in this time. After the four weeks, you will see the true colour.”

To help your lip colour last longer, Rita advises:

“Avoid strong active skin care and harsh cleansers. If you swim regularly, apply Vaseline to protect your lips from the dehydrating salt water or chlorine. And take cold sore medication if needed.”

Your lip colour will fade depending on how you look after it and also the shade you choose.

“Darker colours tend to last longer than lighter, which will need touch ups more frequently,” Rita explains. “Generally, your lips will need a colour refresh or re-do within one to two years. If you need a colour adjustment, they are done within two months.”

Why choose cosmetic lip tattooing over filler injections?

Dermal lip fillers plump up your skin, giving your lips more volume, whereas a lip tattoo creates the appearance of bigger, well-defined lips.

When considering one over the other, Rita advises:

“Volume may not be what you need, you may simply need a wider outline that goes outside your natural lip line to enhance its shape, give more definition and a larger lip look. But cosmetic lip tattoo and filler can work well together.”

For hassle-free, smudge-free, lovely lips, consult a cosmetic lip tattooing professional. Rita’s expertise will help you achieve a lip look that will make you smile.


Let’s discuss your new look today!