If you haven’t heard of ‘permanent lipstick’ then it’s likely you aren’t an Instagram or a TikTok user. The tattoo make-up treatment, also called a ‘lip blush’, is having a moment thanks to a host of celebrities ranging from TOWIE’s Ella Rae Wise to former Geordie Shore star Charlotte Crosby and their gorgeous results from having their lips semi-permanently tinted.
I’ve been debating the treatment since I first heard of it a couple of years ago, and I decided to take the plunge and try it out for myself two months ago when Tracie Giles, celeb-approved semi-permanent make-up experts, invited me to give theirGloss & Go lip blush tattooa try.
In summary (and if you’re new to the concept of lip blushing) the treatment involves having a custom-made pigment semi-permanently applied with a needle. Numbing cream is used so that any discomfort is reduced, and it takes around two hours for the professional to draw out the lip lines and fill in the new colour.
My request was for a Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk-like rosy neutral. I wanted something around two shades darker than my natural lip colour, and definitely not anything too bold that I might get bored of after a few weeks. I was delighted when my practitioner mixed me up this exact shade – hello, Pillow Talk lips for my morning gym workouts.
The initial treatment and a top-up treatment – which you’ll need to head back to the clinic for around six weeks later – costs £595. Now if you’re a regular lipstick wearer like me, a Pillow Talk purchase will set you back£27 here(I like shade medium). The tattoo pigment lasts on lips for up to two years before you need to head back for another session (though yearly maintenance is encouraged), so if you think about it, you’re saving yourself that repeat purchase of £27 lipsticks. The maths makes sense to me, anyway.
What you all probably want to know is how painful it was. I can confirm it was only about a 3/10 on the ouch scale, and anything I did feel was more of a scratchy sensation than a sting. Much more comfortable than getting an actual tattoo done.
After the treatment, your lips may swell for the next 24 hours. They’ll peel before healing, so the colour you leave the clinic with isn’t the one you’ll end up with. The final results are visible seven days later. As you can see from my during, before and after snaps, my lips settled into a Pillow Talk Medium shade after around a week. I did need to head back for a top-up session because I felt the borders of my lips were a little darker than the inner shade.
Now, eight weeks on from my first session, my lips are fully healed and do indeed look like I’m wearing Pillow Talk at all times. So many of my friends have asked what lipstick I’m wearing, and I take great pleasure in telling them I’ve got nothing but a gloss on my lips.
For appointments at Tracie Giles, head here. If you’re not local to London, lip blush tattoo treatments are available at specialist clinics nationwide.
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