Lip Tattoos: What You Need To Know Before Getting Inked

One Word Inner Lip Tattoo @empirerotterdam

When you’re talking about lip tattoos, the two most common types often referred to are inner lip tattoos and permanent lip tints (also known as lip blushing). Both of these tattoo types have become popular over recent years for different reasons.

Inner lip tattoos are subtle inkings that are easy to hide, whereas lip blushing can enhance your natural lips if you don’t want to get lip fillers. If you’re experiencing FOMO and want to get either an inner lip tattoo or lip blushing, keep reading – there are a few things you should know. 

What Are Inner Lip Tattoos?

Inner lip tattoos are inkings that appear on the inside of the bottom lip. They can only been seen when the tattooee folds down their bottom lip. 

This type of tattoo became trendier with celebs such as Kendall Jenner, Madison Beer, and Paris Jackson pulling down their bottom lips to show theirs. 

Kendall Jenner Inner Lip Tattoo @jonboytattoo

Tattoos in this placement are on the smaller side, and simple designs are recommended. 

Jade Jay, a professional tattoo artist at The Tattoo Temple in Zaandam, the Netherlands, told Byrdie,

“Simple designs definitely work best. I’d say [go] as simple and bold as you can. Small details are more likely to disappear.”

Popular designs for the inner lip placement include words and small symbols.

Are Inner Lip Tattoos Painful?

Yes, this is known to be a painful spot to get a tattoo. This is due to the many nerve endings in the lip and the thin skin. 

However, pain is relative – everyone has a different tolerance, so if you really want an inner lip tattoo, don’t let the idea of pain stop you. Tattoo artist, Anthony Pereira, told Bustle that people can always ask their tattooers to take a break and for some topical medication to numb the area if the pain is too much. 

What can be uncomfortable during an inner lip tattoo is that you need to fold down your lip for the entire process. 

Apocalypse Inner Lip Tattoo @u.lym

What Is The Healing Process Like For Inner Lip Tattoos?

Aftercare is key for every tattoo, and inner lip tattoos are no exception. 

The aftercare process is different to other tattoo placements. 

For most tattoos, you need to wash your ink with antibacterial soap to stave off infections and keep the area moisturized. You can’t do this for inner lip tattoos.

“You normally can’t rinse your mouth with soap, so you can use an antibacterial mouthwash to rinse your tattoo. You should also avoid some food like spicy food to prevent additional injury,”

Saved Tattoo

Inner lip tattoos can be particularly vulnerable to infections because of the amount of bacteria in the mouth.

“Since the lips come into contact with saliva, food, and drinks, this can also increase your risk for infections. Inner-lip tattoos are most susceptible because of moisture and bacteria inside the mouth,”

Face Inner Lip Tattoo @facetattoocrew

So, it’s essential to rinse your mouth with an antibacterial, alcohol-free mouthwash twice a day.

One of the pros of an inner lip tattoo is that it heals quickly because of the fast cell turnover rate in the mouth. 

Do Inner Lip Tattoos Last?

Not long compared to other tattoo placements. In fact, many people consider inner lip tattoos to be more on the side of temporary tattoo status. 

The rapid cell turnover in the mouth that makes inner lip tattoos heal quickly? Well, that also causes them to fade fast. 

An inner lip tattoo can last between one to five years before it starts fading.

This can be a pro or a con, depending on how you look at it. This can be great if you grow to dislike your tattoo, but not so much if you get a meaningful tattoo that you want to be a part of your body forever.

Let Go Inner Lip Tattoo @pan.imus

If you fall under the latter group, you may want to get your inner lip tattoo touched up every few months, however some artists don’t recommend this. 

Tattoo artist, Gianna Caranfa, told Bustle,

“The ink starts to spread under your skin and can wind up looking like a bruise.”

The more you go over your tattoo, the larger it gets. Plus, doing this also increases the risk of infection since adding more ink is like opening up an old wound.

Let’s move on to the next type of lip tattoo: Permanent lip makeup.

Lip Blushing Progression @_mooncompany_

What Is Lip Blushing?

Permanent makeup has undergone a renaissance in the last few years alongside cosmetic procedures such as fillers. 

If you don’t want to get lip fillers to get a more pronounced lip look, you can undergo lip blushing, a tattoo over your lips that enhances the color and fullness. 

Christina Son, owner of Sugarin Studio in Los Angeles, explained to Elle,

“Lip blushing is a form of semi-permanent makeup. Essentially, it is a cosmetic tattoo of the lips that enhances the beauty of the natural lip color, improving the shape of the lips, giving definition and the illusion of fullness.”

The procedure involves small needles that deposit ink in your lips; the color can have an impact on both the shape and shade of your lips. 

Lip Blushing End Result @artistry_by_lena

Is Lip Blushing Painful?

As discussed above, pain is in the nerves of the tattooee. If you have a lower pain tolerance, then lip blushing will most likely be uncomfortable for you. However, your permanent makeup artist can apply numbing cream to minimize any discomfort. 

Healthline recommends,

“You may consider taking acetaminophen before your appointment to decrease your chances of feeling pain. Avoid taking naproxen, ibuprofen, or aspirin beforehand, as well as supplements like fish oil, garlic, gingko, and vitamin E – these can increase bleeding and bruising.”

Lip Blushing Before And After @minibrow_

What Is The Healing Process Like For Lip Blushing?

It’s essential to follow aftercare instructions. On the first day, your lips will be swollen and will secrete fluid which you can dap away. From day one, it’s important to keep your lips moisturized. The whole healing process can take up to six weeks, but lips should stop peeling by the seventh day. 

Microblading LA says,

“Between [days four to seven], lips will begin and end the process of peeling, and color will lighten by 30%-50%. Do not pick or rub your lips and let the peeling happen naturally. Continue keeping your lips moist!”

Lip Blushing End Result @nhude.artistry

After every meal, clean your lips and reapply moisturizer. During the first two weeks of healing, you’ve got to avoid excessive sweating, tanning, UV exposure, swimming, and too much alcohol.

Does Lip Blushing Last?

Lip blushing is a semi permanent cosmetic tattooing procedure, so it won’t last forever. 

“Typically, lip blushing lasts between two to three years and will gradually lighten and fade over time, until your lips slowly return to their natural hue,”


You can go back to your provider yearly for touch ups. 

Natural Lip Blushing Before And After @tesstattoo

Lip tattoos – whether inner lip tattoos or lip blushing – is best done by a professional with experience in this type of tattooing. It may seem simple, but it’s not. Choose an experienced tattooist and pay attention to aftercare instructions for a healed tattoo you’ll love.

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