Permanent Full Lip Makeup: the pain comes later!

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*Treatment results may vary

I decided to go to a well regarded cosmetologist...

I decided to go to a well regarded cosmetologist (I guess that's what you would call them) duo. They're both welcoming, lovely, and have been doing their thing (permanent makeup) for a long time! Having already have my eyebrows tattooed here, I felt comfortable going under their needle once again.

The salon I went to is their headquarters, and it is exceptionally clean and professional. Plush chairs, discreet but easily navigated entrance, pretty decor.

One of the pros of choosing this particular business for your permanent make up is that the pigment used is free of iron oxide, and thus will not heat up and potentially sting or burn in an MRI scan or similar should you require this kind of radiation in future. Most permanent make up pigments do contain iron oxide, so it can be something to ask about.

On the day of my treatment I arrived at 2pm and we discussed the colour I wanted, the expected outcome, all the health risk possibilities, the details of the procedure, and the possible discomforts.

Then we took a couple of pre-procedure lips, and I lay down to have numbing cream applied & then a lip liner drawn on to guide the tattooing. We examined and approved the shape ( paying attention to the way my natural lip line runs into my surrounding skin at two points, noting the freckles on the borderline of the lip, and deciding whether to take the corners of the mouth wide or directly into the corners). Then I lay down and did some work on my phone as the numbing cream settled in.

The cream is great, but it doesn't not work 100% until your skin has been broken. Drawing that first edge is a little stingy feeling. Once the cream gets into your lips however, you feel very little. It is as if you are being coloured in with a pen. Occasionally there was the odd nervy spot where the numbing cream just doesn't seem able to best my powerful pain transmisserd in those spots!

Apart for that, I could almost swear I was asleep for about half the procedure. whenever anything started hurting my technician would massage in some more numbing cream and the pain would subside soon.

We finished up about two and a half hours later, with very swollen lips! It was as if I had gone in for lip injections! Speaking clearly with enunciating was now in the past. The numbness lasted a while, but about an hour later, seemed to be completely gone. The pain began to set in, and whilst it is certain not unbearable, it is deeply uncomfortable. Sipping was not a good time. A straw was out of the question as pursing my lips was too painful, eating was constrained to carefully placing one macaroni at a time into my mouth.

I dabbed my poor enormous, purpled with swelling lips with cold cotton pads and applied bepanthen cream as advised.

One day after procedure

I woke up this morning with lips just as enormous, but less purple and more red (I had a lighter colour applied, so we aren't there yet. The lips do seem to be beginning to heal.

At work no one said anything , which was kind seeing as my lips are enormous!!! Was deeply uncomfortable most of day and found it very difficult to eat lunch. In the present moment I have managed of eat a more finely cut dinner than usual. Expect to possibly lose weight!

Lips are still sore, but hopefully another night will give the skin time to heal a little more. I am really looking forward to the final colour once the tattoo finishes up its process.

Day two of recovery

My lips are deeply uncomfortable today. They look really gross and raw, though a lot of the swelling is gone down.

Really happy with how clearly you can see my upper lip now! A darker colour was used on the top lip because it was so so light before.

Colour is still not quite accurate, as to be expected with all the trauma!

I'm so hungry. :'(

Image of lips right after procedure.

Day three of recovery

A bunch of my skin dropped off in the night/morning, so today I look like I'm wearing half worn off lipstick. Nice. Feels tight, but no longer stings.

The colour has sort of disappeared from the healed spots for now, which is fairly normal for tattoos. Hoping for more healing soon! I'm going to the gym for the first time since Monday. :'(

Day four of recovery

Most of bottom lip has finished peeling & and a bit of upper too. The inside edge healed super fast. Regardless, everything is still feeling tight and sore like sunburn. I can eat almost normally now and drink from a straw just fine, but I've been sticking to cutting food to small bite size and putting it in my mouth carefully. I have added a couple of pics of my lips before the tattooing, and one new image.

Seven days later almost perfect!

The lips are almost healed! There is still just a touch of tightness but I can eat almost anything without discomfort now.

The colour is starting to come up properly, and it really is an exact match for my natural lips on a good day!

Two weeks into recovery

Just about there! Very slight irritation now, when applying balm generally. The colour is really cute with gloss on. I almost forget my upper lip used to be so invisible!

Touch up appointment done!

Oh no, it wasn't over, friends. I had to go to my mandatory (well, it was already paid for so...) touch up appointment! Back into the maw of the beast.

Seeing as I had gotten another tattoo to the forearm on the Saturday prior I figured everything would be a piece of case on the Tuesday for the lips! I was ready & nicely desensitised.


In pre-consult, we decided my lips hadn't held the colour super well, decided to colour wider on the upper edge, and went just slightly darker pink. All good. Then the pain. It was WAY WORSE than the first appointment jfc. I must have the world's touchiest nerve in my lower lip because I was jumping like a cat the whole time & begging for more numbing cream.

Let's put this into perspective again. I had literally laid stock still & mostly at ease for two hours straight the weekend before whilst being tattooed on the arm. Lip tattoo pain is on ANOTHER LEVEL. The second application/touch up is definitely the worst.

On the bright side however - as is my skin's nature - this heal was super fast! I swelled up far less than the first time, and was much less gross & gooey. I could drink through a straw from day zero, which was a great improvement. A+ work, skin.

I'm very happy with the adjusted shape and colour. My lips look really naturally defined and pink! I love them but, as I may have already said, I wouldn't do it again, simply based on the painful healing process.

I will look into eyeliner next!
Wake up with makeup

Auckland practitioner, very careful and thorough.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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