Intended mainly as a way to form speech and sound… and get food in our mouth without it falling back out; our lips are also a tactile and sensory organ that can be viewed as a symbol of sensuality, sexuality and youthfulness. In this modern age of ‘selfies’ and ‘social media’, looking your best has shifted from an every now and then event, to a 24 hour – look great even when you just woke up with 10 dogs in your bed – marathon and lips are at the centre of the action. So it’s no wonder that, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in the USA, cosmetic treatments for lips grew in double-digits in 2015 with almost 27 500 lip implant procedures performed… that’s 1 every 19 minutes!
A not so new Lip procedure that is coming back into popularity is Cosmetic Tattooing of the lip. Offered in most countries since the early 80’s, Cosmetic Tattoo of the lips is ideal for women (or men) wanting fuller, more defined lip contours; having a lip line or sheer shade permanently tattooed onto your lip saves the hassle of reapplying your lipliner or lipstick throughout the day and gives your lip that natural, youthful once-upon-a-time look.
Cosmetic Tattoo of the lip is a better option for those who have fading or uneven lip borders (this issue can not be fixed with injectable lip fillers, which can sometimes make the problem look worse) or for those who have a generally faded or purplish hue to their natural lip colour. It’s also a fantastic complimentary procedure for patients who have had Cleft-Lip surgery or lip grafting, aiding in the reconstruction of a natural looking lip boarder.
Although referred to as ‘permanent’ the Cosmetic Tattoo of the lip will generally last for 3-5 years depending on the colour and pigment used and the individual skin metabolism. Some technicians will refer to it as Semi-Permanent however, personally this term makes me a little nervous because it give consumers the idea that if they don’t like it, it will completely disappear and this may NOT be the case. You may always have some remnants of the colour or it may last a very long time, which if you are not happy with it, may as well be an eternity.
SO, as always, if you are considering having your lips cosmetically tattooed then do your homework. This procedure is not recommended for people with dark coloured lips as the risk of Hyperpigmentation (darks patches) is very high (although some technicians will run the gauntlet).
Also keep in mind that if you suffer from Cold Sores (Herpes Simplex) then a post procedure outbreak is possible so check with your GP about good preventative medication before having your procedure.
And lastly but not least, DO NOT have or agree to have the lip boarder tattooed outside your natural lip edge as this will only end in tears. Also, stick with non-opaque colour choices (colours without ‘white’ as the base) as these can be very unpredictable and lead to undesirable results once tattooed into the lips.
Check out the following images for the yes and no’s of Cosmetic Tattooing of the lip…