Permanent lip liner and colour is fast becoming a hot trend all over the world. Here in the UK, year on year there are more women choosing permanent make up as a time saving alternative, and permanent lip pigmentation is a popular treatment.
Getting your lip colour tattooed on might sound a bit scary, but it’s not quite like a regular tattoo. Lip pigmentation uses a much kinder, less invasive method of colour implantation, which will not fade out to blue in the way a regular tattoo usually will. It is a great way of adding definition, colour and perceived volume to your lips, making you ready for anything all day every day.
When you decide to get your lip pigmentation done, one of the first questions will be what colour to choose. Here we discuss which colours suit which skin types, as well as the things you need to know about lip tattooing before choosing your colour, so that you can make the right choice when you come to have your treatment.
Things to remember about permanent lip pigmentation
Lip tattoos can be an amazing investment, one which will reward you daily with healthier looking, beautiful lips. However, it’s important to understand a few things about lip pigmentation, particularly when you’re selecting your colour shade.
- It’s an enhancement
Lip tattoos are designed to enhance your natural lips, and to give the impression of fullness. Using advance 3D make up techniques, we can help your lips look fuller, using shading around the edges and a lighter colour in the middle. But a lip tattoo will not actually plump up your lips, so don’t expect a completely new look.
- You can still use lipstick
Your new lip tattoo is designed to act as a beautiful base, but it doesn’t mean you should throw out your lippy collection at all. You should never use lipstick during the healing process, but once everything is fully healed up, you can use lipsticks, glosses and balms as usual. You may need to experiment to see how your colours look over your new base colour, but you can still create your own looks with lipstick over the top.
- The colour will fade
Because we use skin safe pigmentation in our permanent make up process, which is not the same as traditional tattoo inks, there is a certain degree of fading to be expected. Colours that are very close to your natural colour will probably need touching up once a year, whereas if you go two to three shades away from your natural colour, the touch up may not be needed for a couple of years or more.
- You can pick more than one colour
Most good permanent make-up practitioners will use shading techniques to give your lips a more natural look. They may start with a darker shade as a lip liner, fading it inwards in circular motions to give a natural, attractive appearance. This can be followed by the application of a second colour for the infill, blending it perfectly for a plump, healthy and natural finish.
- The end result will depend on your skin tone
Not only will the end result vary depending on the base colour of your natural lips, it will also depend on how your skin tone reacts to the pigmentation process. Some people with very dark skin have experienced a condition known as hyperpigmentation when trying to apply permanent lip tattoos. In this situation, their lips could actually end up darker than they started off, even if they picked a lighter colour, so it’s important to consult fully with your practitioner prior to making any decisions.
As with any permanent makeup procedure, it’s important that you go into this with your eyes wide open. Side effects and complications are rare, but do discuss with your practitioner any health conditions or other worries you might have about the process.
What shade will suit your skin tone?
Some faces can get away with bold, bright red lips, but let’s face it, most of us look like a clown gone wrong when we attempt the big red look. The colours you can get away with will depend heavily on your own skin tone and complexion, so it’s important to understand colour theory before making any decisions on your skin pigmentation shade.
As a general rule, your skin tone is fairly easy to define and will help you pick your lip pigment with ease:
- Identify your undertone: Look at the veins on your wrist. If they are blue, you have cooler, pink undertones, if they are green, you have warmer, yellow undertones. If they are both blue and green, you’re a lucky neutral who can get away with pretty much anything.
- Understand which shades go with which tone: Yellow undertones work well with warm colours, and pink undertones look great with blue or purple hues.
- Trial and error: Have a play with some of the lipsticks in your collection, and start thinking about which ones are more flattering on your skin. Think about the hues that are present in that lipstick; is it cooler blues, or warmer oranges or yellows?
This basic test is a great place to start narrowing down your options for lip pigmentation colours, but of course your personal preference comes into play too. If you love a particular colour but it doesn’t ‘fit’ with your skin tone, it’s still your choice if you want to go for it or not.
Narrowing down your colour choice for lip tattoos
OK, so you know whether you’re going for warm or cool, but with potentially hundreds of precise pigments to choose from, what else should you take into account to help you choose the ideal tone? Thinking about your skin colouring can help a lot too, and whether you’re naturally perfectly pale or richly tanned, you can find a great colour for you.
Super pale skin
If you’re very pale, your best bet is to go for a nude toned colour. Think peachy shades that you can overlay with a nude gloss for a perfect daytime look. Avoid dark shades of brown or burgundy, as they’ll contrast too much with your pale skin.
Very dark complexions have a wide choice of lip colours, lucky you! Try out coral shades or pigments with an orange element for a fun pop of colour. Stay away from chalky colours or those with too much white in.
If you’ve got a lovely olive complexion, you’ll do well in warm, natural tones. Look for sunset reds, perky coral and warm amber too complement your skin. Avoid purple as it will bring out the yellow in your skin and make you look sallow. Brown will look too monochromatic.
If you’re not quite olive but not pale either, you’ll look great in blue based reds. Flesh tones and bronzes also work really well, but steer clear of purple if you don’t want to look too yellow.
Again, if you’re between pale and olive but have pink undertones, stick to peach tones for a natural look. For a more eye popping combination, try brick red or orange based reds, but don’t go for blue based reds as they’ll clash horribly.
Light Asian skin
You’ll no doubt have lovely full lips and a natural coral undertone to your skin, so complement this with beautiful coral lips and plenty of highlighting lip gloss. You can get away with bold reds too, but don’t bother with the nudes as they’ll just make your skin look pasty.
Super Dark and South Asian Skin
For those with much darker or Southern Asian skin, choosing a lip colour can be a tough decision. You have natural blue subtones to your lips which could result in a colour not being quite the shade you had hoped for. To accommodate this, we usually apply a bright orange colour at the first appointment, which will bring a warmth and richness to your lip colour you’ll love. This base layer can help you achieve the colour your looking for at the second appointment, but it can be tricky to get an exact colour match for you. Tell our experienced practitioner what you’re hoping to achieve, and we’ll figure out how to make it work for you.
Remember, it’s a good idea to go a couple of shades away from your natural skin colour if you want something that’s going to last and will not fade out too quickly. Talk to us for more advice on picking your perfect lip pigmentation colours.
Contact us today
Talk to us today to find out more about how micropigmentation could help you. From eyeliner to eyebrows and more, here at MW Aesthetics our goal is to make you the best you can be.
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Marek is a fully qualified semi permanent artist specialising in hair stroke eyebrows, shaded eyebrows, 3d lips, eyeliner, scalp micropigmentation and breast areola reconstruction