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The Truth About Lip Shading

By Oreoritse Tariemi
06 December 2021   |   3:30 pm
Ugly lips don’t exist anymore, not with a technique like lip shading. If you don’t like the colour of your lips, or if you’d like them to look much better than they currently are, lip shading is the way. What Is Lip Shading?  Lip shading, also called lip blushing or lip tattooing, is a semi-permanent…

Lip Blush | Laurel

Ugly lips don’t exist anymore, not with a technique like lip shading.

If you don’t like the colour of your lips, or if you’d like them to look much better than they currently are, lip shading is the way.

What Is Lip Shading? 

Lip shading, also called lip blushing or lip tattooing, is a semi-permanent cosmetic procedure that can change the colour and the shape of your lips. 

To create this effect, an aesthetician uses tiny needles to deposit a pigment in your lips through a process called pixelation. The pigment is filled in dot by dot until your entire lip is completely shaded and the dots are undetectable.

Typically, procedures last between one or two years, depending on the kind of pigment used, the techniques used by the cosmetologist, and your skin specifics. 

What to do before the procedure

As with every procedure, you should do a few things and a lot more you shouldn’t do before getting a lip shade.

As the exact metabolism of the pigment remains unknown, it is advisable to consult your doctor before booking an appointment, especially if you are pregnant or nursing a child. 

Once confirmed, you should begin prepping for your procedure as early as 6 weeks before the due date. Follow these tips to keep your lips and body in prime shape for your procedure: 

Avoid steroids: Using steroids before your procedure can cause inflammation and your lips to swell after the procedure. Avoid both oral steroids, such as prednisolone and topical steroids, such as hydrocortisone. If any steroid is included in your medications, consider a temporary alternative.

Avoid retinoids: Retinoids, Vitamin A, increase the turnover of your cells making them shed faster, thus bringing out fresher, younger-looking skin. While this is an extremely desirable cosmetic effect, this may not be the perfect time for that. Retinoids may increase the chance of experiencing a side effect from lip shading.

Avoid lip sores and injuries: This goes without saying. If you want to get brighter coloured lips, start by taking good care of what you’ve got right now. When the weather is dry, slather on an extra layer of lip balm. Know when to use gloss and when to use a balm. Glosses look and feel great, but lip balm has more protection. Who says you have to pick just one? Use some lip balm, then top it off with gloss, so you feel beautiful and stay healthy at the same time.

Prepare your pocket: Nothing good comes easy, and it doesn’t come cheap either. A proper lip shading procedure is not as pricey as a BBL, but as a semi-permanent makeup; it never comes cheap.

Get to know your favourite lipstick shade: Obviously, you don’t want your lips to turn red or mauve for the next two years. You have to familiarise yourself with the numerous shades of nude and pink and see what shade looks best on you. Your aesthetician will ask you to pick a shade when the time comes, and you have to be prepared for it.

Part of woman’s face. Woman’s lips and nose. Soft skin | Getty Images

How To Find The Right Person For The Job

One mistake, and you may be stuck with swollen lips for the entire holiday. While searching for a lip artist, zero your mind on finding an aesthetician or cosmetologist that is duly trained and certified.

Avoid going to a traditional tattoo artist. Even though they may get the job done, and you may trust them, lip shading is much more than ordinary tattooing. It conserves the natural lip colour and prevents lip ageing. Getting your lips done with an aesthetician is safer and better for you in the long run.

Certifications aside, you also want to be sure that they have the experience. Demand a portfolio of their previous works before you pay.

How Much Does It Cost?

Typically, your aesthetician may use over one layer of pigment. This makes your lips fuller, your lip tone more even, and your pocket emptier.

Extra layers mean extra cost. Depending on who your provider is, one layer may cost anything from $400-$800.

What To Expect

Pain: The procedure itself isn’t so painful, and that’s because your provider will apply a topical analgesic to your lips, so you don’t feel any pain. You may feel the needle going in and out, but it only causes a slight discomfort. People have various levels of pain tolerance, so what you think is painful may not bother someone else. If you sense that your pain tolerance is low, take one or two tablets of Acetaminophen a few minutes before the procedure.

No drastic changes: It’s not going to look like lipstick. In fact, if it does, then the procedure went wrong. It should look like your natural lip hue, but brighter, in some sense. So people may not notice that you just got your lips done, but they’ll notice that they look better and healthier than before.

You’ll need to heal: Lip shading has a lot in common with a tattoo. After the procedure, you’ll need to heal your new lips. Avoid any mechanical scrub during this period and apply lots of lip balm. The healing process may take 5-10 days.

Side effects: This doesn’t happen very often, but you’ll need to watch out. If your cosmetologist or tattoo artist is inexperienced, you may end up with botched lips that are more swollen on one side or paler on the other. Again, always ask for a portfolio.

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