Due to the amazing advances made in the professional cosmetic industry, you can now wake up and walk out the door without applying a stitch of makeup yet still look like you've stood in front of a mirror, artfully touching up your face for the greater part of the morning. It's treatments like microblading, eyelash extensions, filler, and even tattooed eyeliner that semi-permanently alter your appearance just as a makeup pencil, concealer, and mascara wand would, but for an extended period of time and no removal and reapplication necessary. Each is expensive, to be sure, but imagine the time you'd have back every day that you normally spend getting ready. And what if you could extend that laissez-faire approach to your lips? Think a daily wash of lipstick that never wipes off, come coffee or high water. According to Christopher Drummond of PFrankMD Skin Salon in New York City, this is possible with a procedure called lip blushing.
Permanent or semi-permanent makeup for your lips isn't a novel concept (and no, we're not talking about '90s-era tattooed lip liner). Enhancing the colour of your lips with a long-lasting pigment has been explored previously in the media like here, here, and here, but after we met with Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank (who owns PFrankMD Skin Salon, and, by the way, is Madonna's go-to derm) last week to learn about the future of cosmetic dermatology, it sounds as though lip blushing is going to make serious waves in the coming months.
What exactly is lip blushing?
First off, it isn't like the permanent makeup of the aughts. "Traditional permanent makeup (PMU) uses a strong machine, synthetic pigments, and is embedded deep in the dermis," explains Drummond. "The PMU of today is very different. We use organic pigments and modern, digital tools. The results are much more natural looking." By deepening the colour of your lips, you're essentially creating a fuller, healthier look.
Lip tinting treatments have historically followed more of a "colour within the lines" type of procedure, but Drummond uses a methodology native to PFrankMD Skin Salon. "While others offer lip tattoo, we exclusively offer this special technique, which includes shading, lining and pixilating (small dots)."
How do you choose your shade?
Drummond suggests a "light tint" for that subtle, plumped effect—like your lips, but better. "Each shade is customised to match your lip colour, and what you want," he tells us. "As a professional makeup artist, I work with you to create your perfect custom shade." It's also suitable for all skin tones.
How long does it last?
Drummond tells us you can enjoy a lip tint for up to two years without any retouching. If you don't like the shade that was chosen for you, it can be adjusted after the healing process is over, which takes up to five days.
Is there any pain?
A topical numbing cream is applied, so you'll feel only a light stippling sensation as the pigment is applied. As for side effects, Drummond says that if you're working with an experienced professional, you won't have any issues.
How much does it cost?
Here's the kicker: It's pretty pricey, unfortunately. Drummond tells us that depending on how much pigment you need, it could cost over £1000.
How long does the treatment take?
You may be in the chair for about an hour and a half, according to Drummond, so be sure to block out an extra long lunch break.
Not ready to book your appointment just yet? Here are some of Byrdie's favourite subtle lip colours to test in the meantime.