Also known as permanent make up, cosmetic tattooing was once used only in a medical capacity to offer clients the chance to recreate or enhance features lost through illness, accident or surgery. Now, this provision of permanent make up has caused an increase in the number of regular women that venture into a tattoo parlour, searching for eternal beauty. Lip lining, eye lining and other procedures are now being performed regularly around the world.
Just as with any other tattoo the procedure involves the introduction of pigment into the dermis, to enhance lips, eyebrows and any other facial feature. The procedure was pioneered in the 1930’s by a tattooist named George Burchett. Many women actually received the procedure without their knowledge. Told that they were going to receive some beauty enhancing treatment by the staff in their beauty salon they were actually injected with vegetable based dyes that would enhance the colour and tone of the skin. One of the most common modern procedures is to the eye area where eyebrows and top lid eyeliner are permanently tattooed. For clients wishing to make their existing brows fuller and better defined, a ‘powdery’ technique is used rather than hairline strokes. The top eyeliner acts as enhancement to the lashes so that though the eyes look shaped and defined whilst the overall look remains natural.
Lip tattooing gives lips definition and shape and of course restores colour where the natural pigmentation has been lost. Lip tattooing eliminates the need for lip pencils and liners and reduces the need for application of regular lip cosmetics. It can restore symmetry to the mouth and for clients that have had reconstructive facial surgery for example to correct a cleft palate, lip surgery can hide scarring and restore regular balanced features. Techniques vary from a blended lip line, which looks like regular lipstick that has started to wear off, to fully coloured and contoured lips which, with a slick of gloss look like regular lipstick.
The initial lip tattooing procedure will take approximately three hours and you should take with you your favourite shade of lipstick and liner to aid in choosing a colour matching your tattooing pigment. Lips are numbed with local anaesthetic and a template design is drawn that is agreed with the client before any permanent marks are made.
Following the procedure the lips will be swollen and tender, occasionally with bruising and at first the new colour may look shocking and harsh, though it will lighten once your lips have peeled and the colour will soften over the next couple of weeks and the pigments stabilize. The tissue of the lip is different to the skin on other areas of the body and a lot of the initial colour will be lost which is why a second application is often recommended to adjust any areas you feel need reshaping or more colour added. The common recommendation is that you have your lip tattoo ‘topped up’ every two to three years to keep your lips looking at their pouting best.