Adding New Meaning to "Lip Tattoo"
It’s not news that full, luscious lips are ~in~. Thus, I’m not going to bore you with a history lesson on why we’re so fascinated with a well-defined pout. Simply put, big lips are gorgeous, and small lips are gorgeous. You do you.
However, for those of us who have smaller lips and wish to size up, we have a few options; and if having lips à la Lana Del Rey is your new MO, tattooing might be your best option.
For a while, I was rocking the slightly-overdrawn-with-a-nude-lip-pencil look. It worked for me, but I was tired of the constant worry that my lip pencil—and my fuller lips—were slowly disappearing throughout the day. I needed a change, and had been saving up with the idea that lip fillers were my best bet. It’s not a bad option, albeit a bit pricey (anywhere between $500-$2,000 per session) and requires a touch up every 6-9 months. I was curious about alternatives, and after extensive research, I found out about permanent makeup: essentially, I could tattoo on my lip liner. I realize this sounds crazy to some, but as a girl with a few tattoos herself and a relatively blasé attitude about big life choices, I was intrigued. With results that last up to three years, “permanent makeup” isn’t exactly permanent, but it’s certainly going to keep you pouty longer than any lip filler (i.e. less money spent in the long run! Thrifty?). That being said, your tattooed lips aren’t going to technically make your lips bigger—they’ll just give the appearance of slightly fuller and more even-looking lips. I’m a low-maintenance girl with a high-maintenance look, so this was a no brainer. I was in. I’d heard good things about Emilia Berry’s Permaline Cosmetics office in Manhattan and went ahead with booking the earliest appointment… three months in advance.
For whatever reason, I couldn’t find very much information on the internet about life post-procedure, other than accounts of pretty severe peeling, dry lips, and (gulp) cold sores.
The procedure itself was pretty simple. Upon arriving at the office, I had my lips slathered in numbing cream and left to wait for about 30 minutes. I then met with Emilia, and after a brief consultation where we decided on the color and shape of my lips, she got to work. The numbing cream did its job pretty well, especially with Emilia reapplying it every few minutes. After about an hour, I was done and out the door. I was told that I could get back to my normal life, as long as my normal life didn’t include eating spicy foods or getting toothpaste all over my lips (toothpaste makes the color fade, FYI). I was also told to drink everything with a straw and essentially be as delicate and careful with my face as possible. No kissing for two weeks! (My single self believed that this rule in particular would be difficult to maintain… I was wrong). My lips felt dry and crusty, and it looked as though I had used wet, magenta paint as my lipstick. I was told to constantly moisturize my new pout with A+D ointment.
I was cautioned that my lip color would fade after peeling, and then develop into the color that I chose when I was fully healed. This was true, and I can now safely say that I’m very happy with the results. The change is subtle, and not something I think many people notice, but that’s okay with me. Permanent makeup should look natural, and, if you go to the right specialist, you’ll look like a slightly upgraded, “did you change your hair?” version of yourself. If you’re looking for a dramatic, Kylie Jenner change, lip fillers might be a better option.
Images courtesy of Emilie Wilde and PermaLine Cosmetics
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