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Lip tattoo FAQ

Updated: Aug 7

Read more about lip tattoo faq below. Everything you need to know about the lip tattoo.

1. How long is the lip tattoo procedure?

You should consider around 3 hours for the whole procedure, some cases it can take longer. Procedure includes consultation, filling paperwork, choosing colors, pre drawing, numbing the lip, tattooing and going through the aftercare instructions.

2. What technique is the best ?

OptiBrow offers three different techniques:

  • Lip contour with shading (ombre)

  • Lip blush (full lip tattoo)

  • 3D lips (contour is slightly darker than inner part of lip)

3. Can I choose the color ?

Absolutely! I recommend taking few of your favourite lipsticks with you or send us a picture of your preferred tone. It's best if you choose at least 2 shades darker or lighter comparing to your own natural lip tone.

4. Can I just get a lip contour only ?

You can, however it might not look as natural as other techniques will. I recommend having a lip contour with shading instead, blends in better and the result is more effective.

5. Is lip tattoo same as getting a real tattoo?

All permanent cosmetic procedures are a form of a tattoo. However in a cosmetic tattoo we use different techniques, pigments and also our machines are specially made for a cosmetic tattooing.

6. Is it safe/hygienic to get a lip tattoo ?

In OptiBrow all cosmetic tattoo procedures are done in a sterile environment.

We use sterile, single-use disposable needles, tattoo tubes and microblading handles. Tattoo cartridges are sealed in sterile packages and opened in front of you. All disposable ink caps, skin cleaning instruments, gloves, masks, hair nets, cloths, plastic barriers are single use only and changed after every client. Tattooed area is cleaned before every client. All needles have a safety membrane. Pigments and other liquids used during the procedure are marked with expire dates.

7. What are the contraindications for getting a lip tattoo?

If you are prone to cold sores, you will be required to take oral antiviral medication for 5 days prior to treatment and 5 days following to prevent any outbreaks (skip the appointment day).

  • Under the age of 18 years

  • Pregnant or nursing

  • Diabetic on the needle (will require doctor’s clearance)

  • Have an autoimmune disease (will require doctor’s clearance)

  • On blood thinners

  • Have epilepsy

  • Have infections (localized to the area or systemic) and/or diseases or are sick (cold/flu)

  • Have major heart problems

  • Had an organ transplant

  • Have skin conditions (eczema, psoriasis) or irritations (rashes, sunburn, acne, etc.) in or near the procedure area

  • Prone to keloid scars or hypertrophic scarring

  • Used Accutane in the past year

  • Undergoing chemotherapy or radiation (consult with your doctor)

  • Have sensitivities to dyes/pigments or local anesthetics (patch testing is available)

8. What to avoid BEFORE your lip tattoo procedure?

  • Avoid using long lasting lipsticks, or anything that dries your lips. Having dry lips on the day of your procedure can alter the end result. Condition of your lips is important for the best results, keep them healthy, keep them moisturized- drink lots of water prior your appointment and exfoliate your lips gently at least once in a week.

  • Avoid using retinols- retina/retina A, C vitamin and others skin care products in the lip area, that can make the area more sensitive.

  • Do NOT consume alcohol, caffeine or blood thinners (Aspirin, Ibuprofen, other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication, fish oil ((week prior)) turmeric, Niacin, Vitamin E) 48 hours before your procedure, to avoid excess bleeding, which directly affects color retention.

  • Avoid sun/tanning bed exposure for 30 days BEFORE and AFTER your procedure. As your skin exfoliates from a sunburn, it will take the tattoo pigment with it. If you show up for your appointment with a new tan or a sunburn, you will need to reschedule and will forfeit your deposit.

  • It is recommended to plan any vacations a minimum of 14 days after the procedure.

9. Does it hurt?

Levels of discomfort vary upon each individual’s pain threshold and sensitivity. To ensure maximum comfort during the procedure, a topical anesthetic (4-5% Lidocaine and/or Tetracaine) will be applied before and during your treatment. Please note, if you are on your menstrual cycle you may be more sensitive to pain. Sleep, stress and caffeine can also play a factor in pain sensitivity.

10. How does my lips look straight after the procedure?

Your lips might be slightly swollen straight after the procedure. I recommend using an ice pack/zip lock bag on the treated area in the first 24 hours for at least 20 minutes ( 5 min on, 5 min off), that's when it is most effective. Color changes in the next 3-30 days, the real result you will see after 3-4 weeks.

11. Can I use a regular lipstick/gloss after getting my lips tattooed?

You definitely can, make sure your lips are healed.

12. How long do they heal for ?

The healing process for the outer skin of lip last around 6-8 days (they look dry and slightly peeling). However it takes around 3-4 weeks for the inner part to heal and to see the final result.

13. If I already have a filler can I still get a lip tattoo?

Yes you can, if you have lip fillers, it is recommended to wait 8-10 weeks before getting your lips tattooed. If you implant colour too soon you will be implanting colour above the natural line. When the lips shrink and return to normal size, the lip line will be off. Let your PMU artist know about your treatments .

14. I am planning to get a lip filler and lip tattoo both, which one should I do first and why ?

There's pros and cons to both. I recommend having the filler first.

Why? If you get the tattoo first and then filler, it will stretch your lips and tattoo might look odd. However injectable treatments will change the symmetry and contours of you face, so when it wears off your face goes back to your 'normal' face that this results in asymmetry and makes your semi-permanent make-up look all askew. As well as looking odd, this could be costly to rectify as any repeat injectable treatments will be trying to achieve their anti-ageing results, as well as over-correct for apparent asymmetries incurred by having the tattooing done over your first-time injectable treatment. By having the cosmetic tattoo done first, you ensure that it is being done on a natural skin surface – plain slate – which has not been artificially enhanced or distorted away from your normal features. Your anti-ageing treatments can then be done and the two will synergistically give you the result you are looking for, which can be consistently maintained.

Also tattoo doesn't stay on the inner part of skin soft tissue (inside the mouth).

15. How long should I wait after lip tattoo before I can get a facial or any other cosmetic facial treatments?

It is recommended that your lip tattoo is completely healed (inside out) and make sure you mention to your technician that you have had a cosmetic tattoo procedure, so they can keep away from the area or cover it . In some cases with direct contact of the tattooed area too soon, the color might go dull, lighter or fade.

16. If I get my lips tattooed close to my natural color does that means the tattoo lasts less?

Choosing more natural tones or similar to your own lip color means that the tattoo fades faster and you might need tattoo refreshing more often. When body temperature warms up, the lip color will appear to be warmer and brighter. As body temperature cools down, lips will appear to be bluer.

17. Will lip tattoo change my eating and speaking habits?

It does not change the way you speak. However when it comes to eating and drinking you have to be more cautious with freshly tattooed lips, use a straw and try to bite with your teeth without touching your lips.

18. Can you make lips bigger by tattooing over the natural lip line ?

The goal is to balance the asymmetry in lips and to add more color to your existing lip tone. Maximum that we can tattoo over the lip line is 2mm. If we go any bigger, the tattoo looks like a smudged lipstick on skin, because the skin texture of the lip and face are different. 3D lip tattoo technique can make your lips look visually bigger (tattooing with 2 different colors). Otherwise filler will do the job.

19. How long does lip tattoo lasts for?

Around 2-5 years, it slowly starts to fade. The lasting depends of a color choice, lifestyle , used skincare products etc.

Other things that can contribute to premature fading:

Frequent exercising & sweating / Oily skin / Fast metabolism / Iron deficiency / Hypo/er thyroidism / Hormone replacement medications / Other daily medications / Smoking / Sunbeds & sunbathing / Not using sun protection / Excessive exfoliating /

Harsh cleansers or anti-aging products.

20. Does smoking affect lip tattoo ?

Smoking should be limited if you have had a lip procedure. The filter when placed against the new lip colour can pull off the tattooed skin. This can affect the color. You can always purchase a cigarette holder that distances the filter from your lips.

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