In this article, I`d like to tell you about Semi-Permanent Makeup (SPM) for lips.
All of us, cosmetic tattoo artists, have our own style and signature technique. In this article, I will explain what I use and how it works.
Semi-Permanent Makeup is the process of putting pigment beneath the surface of the skin.
I put the pigment into the bottom layer of the epidermis. About 0.05-0.1mm deep.
For Lips I use certified, FDA approved hybrid (a blend of minerals and organic pigments) semi-permanent pigments. Vegan-friendly and cruelty-free. These pigments have a different chemical composition than tattoo ink and are made from iron oxide.
These pigments have great quality and stability. The pigment just becomes lighter and disappears over time (3-10 years). The retention depends on a number of factors, including skin type, age, lifestyle, health condition, sun exposure, etc.
For lips SPM I use a machine and professional, sterile Kwadrone needles. This ultra-fine needles gently deposit the colour throughout the lip area.
My signature technique is watercolor tattooing, which is a soft and natural-looking shading.
The shading technique looks different from artist to artist, have a look at an example of my signature shading technique:
The shading method gives a soft tinted look. Once healed, it is soft and natural-looking. Shading gives great definition and depth to the lips. It can last from three to ten years.
There are 3 options for Lips Cosmetic Tattoo:
- Lip Outline (Contour): that is used to define the shape of the lips, make the lips look fuller, and cover up uneven pigmentation or scars on the outline.
- Lip Blush (subtle effect): that is used to add colour and definition to the lips with no obvious outline to enhance the natural beauty and colour. Produces a more natural-looking result.
- Lipstick Effect: with an outline for definition and a more brighter look (like you have a rich shade on the lips).
Lip tattoos are meant to enhance lips, not create actual fullness.
This procedure is designed to define lips, not to create volume or puffiness. It will just give you the appearance of a full lip. Since part of the process is outlining right on the border of the lip, I’m only helping to give your lips the appearance that they’re fuller. It’s all about the illusion. I do an outline on the border of the lip, but I also shade the colour down into the middle of the lip to give it more of a blended look.
Once again, I don`t work on the skin to make your lips fuller, as the healed result looks like in this pic (not my work):
If you would like to have fuller lips you would need to have fillers done.
If you are planning to have both SPM and fillers done in the future you have to do SPM first as this is a longer result cosmetic treatment. The fillers wear out in 6-12 months and the SPM 3-10 years.
If you have just had fillers done wait 2 weeks before SPM, this will allow enough time for the lips to heal.
The Lip SPM doesn’t affect the fillers as we are working on a different skin layer.
With Lip SPM we can bring some definition to the outline as usually after the fillers, the outline may look blurred.
Fordyce spots are small raised bumps that appear on the lips or other body parts. They can be pale red, yellow-white, or skin-coloured. They are also known as Fordyce granules.
If you have Fordyce spots on your lips and you’re unhappy about the way they look, permanent makeup is one of the options to cover them up.
The Fordyce granules are enlarged oil glands. They are completely normal, harmless, and painless.
They aren’t painful, itchy, or infectious.
Lip SPM can be performed on different skin tones. I am expertly trained and have experience in the art of permanent makeup application for all skin tones.
The appointment usually takes approximately 1.5 to 2.5 hours. On the day of the procedure, we will have a consultation and discuss your desired lips. Following the consultation, I will begin drawing the shape of your lips to build a frame, so that the lips look even.
I always follow the natural shape of the lips to enhance your natural beauty. We will work together for the shaping, styling and colour selection of your lips. You will have the opportunity to see the shape and colour before doing any actual tattoo work. Once all is approved, we will proceed with the shading of the lips.
Immediately following the procedure, your lips will appear slightly swollen and brighter. This is the initial healing process and it can last up to 3-4 days. During the first two days, you can expect a brighter, like lipstick-on look of your lips and then on the 3rd and 4th days – some flaking or dry skin appears. It is very important not to pick or peel at the dry skin as you need to allow the skin to come off naturally on its own to prevent premature pigment loss. All the flaky skin is shed by the end of the fourth day. Once the dry skin has fallen off, the lips will appear softer and lighter. The complete healing process takes about four weeks at which time the true colour and density of the lips are clearly revealed. During the follow-up touch-up, adjustments can be made.
What is the aftercare like?
It is essentially relaxing and do nothing! For best-healed results, the client should avoid working out, sweating, any makeup around the lips for at least two weeks. Most importantly, do not to pick at the flaky/dry skin (day 3 and 4). The skin needs to shed naturally. It is also recommended to stay out of heavy sun exposure and avoid any facial treatments throughout the healing process.
After the procedure, Apply Lucas` Papaw Ointment or any new lip balm/cream with no preservatives and colouring after washing the treated area.
During the first 4 days after the treatment it`s good to use a straw for red wine/coffee/tea and do not eat bright coloured food (like berries, beetroot) as it can colour your healing skin (refer to day 4 of the pictures above)
The follow-up touch-up is usually within 4-8 weeks and the cost is included with the initial session*. During the touch-up, we can add more definition and density and make other adjustments as necessary.
*Being offered a free touch-up doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take care of your new tattoo. If it’s clear you haven’t been trying to take care of your fresh SPM, a tattoo artist might not touch it up for you.
How many different colours are offered?
I use a couple of brands for shading and mix colours to best match the client’s desire, skin tone and lip colour.
Does it hurt?
The pain level varies from person to person. A medical-grade topical anaesthetic will be used for numbing before and during the procedure to make you feel comfortable and as pain-free as possible.
Feedback from my clients is that 50% experience mild pain (5/10). I always check my clients are comfortable, if you are experiencing any pain, we can apply more anaesthetic.
Very Interesting Facts About Lip SPM
During the day the colour of the lips SPM slightly changes. In the morning the colour looks brighter, deeper and then softens by lunchtime, depending on the lighting and your body temperature.
4 steps to prepare yourself before Lip SPM treatment:
- Start to use lip balm/cream/Vaseline a couple of days before the treatment to make your lips soft and smooth. If there is dry skin, it won’t be possible to put the pigment in those areas;
- Don’t consume vitamin C a day before the treatment;
- On the day of the treatment refrain from drinking tea/coffee, alcohol (they are blood thinners and can cause swelling)
- If you have a history of COLD SORES or any type of sore on the lips, you may have a recurrence after Lip SPM. For best results, ask your Doctor for a Prescription for Zovirax, Famvir, or Valtrex. Start to use the pills on the day of the treatment.
- Paracetamol reduces pain and helps reduce inflammation so if you`re worried take two before your treatment.