How Getting My Lips Tattooed Transformed My Look

Face tattoos. What used to be a scary concept (or something reserved for the emboldened few, like Mike Tyson) is now as common as waxing or eyelash extensions. Only these days, we refer to the treatment as "microblading" or "semi-permanent face makeup."
Obviously, putting a tattoo gun anywhere near your face requires more of a commitment than throwing a long-lasting lip stain into your shopping cart at Walgreens. So why splurge the $400-$1K it takes (depending on your locale) to get it done? To make your AM regime that much quicker. Duh. For Alyssa Cranmer, that was the main reason she wanted to get her lips tattooed at Elite Permanent Makeup & Training Center in L.A.
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"I love the idea of waking up effortlessly beautiful and simplifying my morning makeup routine," she explains. "My natural lip color is very pale — without lipstick on, I look like I don't have lips. So there's nothing like waking up or stepping out of the shower with full, pink lips already there." If you're curious about the process, Cramner walks us through exactly what you can expect (which you can also watch for yourself in the clip below).
Courtesy of Alyssa Cranmer
Before: "The night before the procedure, I did a lip scrub — I used sugar and Vaseline — and exfoliated my lips with a toothbrush. The day of, I also kept them hydrated with Vaseline, since softer, smoother skin retains pigment better than dry, flakey skin."
During: "I wouldn't say the procedure was painful as much as it was uncomfortable. They used a numbing cream beforehand, so it felt like a vibrating toothpick being scratched along my lips. Some areas were more sensitive than others, like the upper parts of the lip. It did vary, though — sometimes I felt nothing and other times I felt a poking sensation."
After: "For the first week after the treatment, the color was quite dark. But now that the skin has healed and the color has faded, people are very surprised to hear that I've had my lips tattooed because it looks so natural — they just assume I'm wearing a nice lipstick. I'll go in for a touch-up in four to six weeks to adjust any uneven healing that may have occurred, and I'll keep getting them tattooed every one to two years."
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