Permanent lip makeup has risen up the ranks as one of the most popular permanent makeup procedures, and it’s no surprise why. No longer having to constantly reapply lip color throughout the day, no more worrying about lipstick accidentally getting onto your teeth… what’s not to love? Permanent lip makeup has a lot of benefits, but just like with day to day lip color, one of the most frequently asked questions is:

How long does permanent lip makeup last? Permanent lip makeup can last anywhere from a year to ten years from its initial application, although touch-ups are recommended every year or two to keep it looking fresh and full.

There are a few reasons why permanent lip makeup lasts as long as it does, and they’re important to know. Below, you can read all about permanent lip makeup, how long it lasts, and why.

Permanent Lip Makeup and How Long it Lasts

A lot of people might have an idea what permanent lip makeup looks like, but they may not be clear on what it actually is. Permanent lip makeup is a cosmetic procedure in which micro-pigments are applied to the top layer of the skin to recreate the look of normal, day to day lip color.

In order to understand why permanent lip makeup lasts as long as it does, it’s important to understand things like how it’s applied, why permanent makeup may fade in the first place, and any tips that may affect how long it lasts.

How Permanent Lip Makeup is Applied

Permanent makeup on the lips is applied by permanent makeup artists who are trained, licensed and/or certified in the art of permanent makeup. Permanent makeup artists generally use machines or small hand held machines or tools with small, hollow needles attached to apply permanent makeup.

Through the small needles, micro-pigments are applied to the top layer of the skin in the desired area and shape in order to mimic the look of normal lip color or lipstick. Permanent makeup artists also generally use numbing creams or gels to make the process of applying permanent lip makeup more comfortable.

Lips are a little different from the skin because they are muscles and more vacuous. This means that during the process of applying permanent lip makeup, they may be more tender than other areas. Additionally, it’s important to get permanent lip makeup applied by a trained permanent makeup professional to ensure the pigment is applied correctly and well.

Why Permanent Makeup Fades in the First Place

When you think of permanent makeup, you may immediately think of a classic body tattoo. While the two are similar, they have some key differences. These differences play into the reasons why permanent makeup tends to even fade in the first place.

Permanent makeup is permanent, as the pigments in it stays in the skin or desired area forever. However, the look of it fades, and there are a few reasons why. The first reason permanent makeup fades is because of the pigment that’s used. The pigment used in permanent makeup is different from that of classic body tattoos, containing elements that are meant to break down over time.

The second reason permanent makeup fades is because it isn’t applied as deeply in the skin as other tattoos. Permanent makeup is generally only applied to the first layer of skin, which means it sits closer to the surface of the skin and is more exposed to the elements.

This can actually be a great thing; trends change, and people who have gotten permanent makeup may decide they want a different look or want to get their permanent makeup removed. For those who may be worried about their permanent lip makeup fading, don’t worry: it can easily be touched up.

How Long Permanent Lip Makeup Lasts

Everyone is different, and therefore how long permanent lip makeup lasts can be different too. However, permanent lip makeup can last anywhere from a year to ten years after its first application.

Touch-ups are recommended for permanent lip makeup to keep it looking fresh, even and like it did after the first application. Permanent makeup artists may request that clients who get permanent lip makeup come in for their first touch-up four to six weeks after the initial procedure to see how the pigment settled and to even out any spots lacking in pigment.

After the initial procedure and after any touch-ups closely after the initial procedure, more touch-ups are recommended. Touch-ups for permanent makeup can be done after a year, two years, three years or more depending on how the pigment holds and how one is satisfied with their permanent lip makeup.

Tips for Making Permanent Lip Makeup Last Longer

While permanent makeup does eventually fade, there are some tips that could potentially help permanent lip makeup last longer. They are:

  • Try not to exfoliate lips
  • Keep lips moist
  • Avoid overexposure to sunlight
  • Avoid picking or peeling skin from the lips

Additionally, permanent makeup artists may have tips on how to take care of your permanent lip makeup and to potentially make it last longer. It’s always best to seek advice straight from the source and from the experts!

Making the Most of Your Permanent Lip Makeup

After seeking out a permanent makeup artist, paying for the procedure, and getting the procedure done in order to get beautiful permanently pigmented lips, there’s no doubt you’ll want to take care of them, too!

Permanent Lip Makeup Aftercare

Part of making the most of your permanent lip makeup is following the aftercare tips set by your permanent makeup artist. Practicing good aftercare can lead to less that needs to be touched up on your lips, or even none at all. It can also help take care of your permanent lip makeup to ensure it looks its best for longer.

It’s helpful to know that following an initial permanent lip makeup procedure, your lips will most likely be tender and a little swollen. The pigment will also be much brighter than the end result will actually be (sometimes resembling a medium or dark lipstick), and will fade out as the lips heal. This is completely normal and expected.

While your permanent makeup artist will tell you what aftercare tips to follow, and maybe even provide you with aftercare products, there are some general permanent lip makeup aftercare tips to follow:

  • Continue taking an antiviral medication as prescribed by a doctor (if needed)
  • Avoid picking at, peeling or scrubbing the lips
  • Avoid overexposure to sunlight for a few weeks
  • Use a straw to drink anything for several days
  • Avoid eating overly salty or spicy foods for several days
  • Apply a protective ointment to the lips before brushing teeth
  • Avoid drinking alcohol for several days
  • Keep the lips moist throughout the healing process

Getting Touch-Ups

Touch-ups are an important part of making the most of your permanent lip makeup and keeping it looking great. Make sure not to neglect touch-ups, and keep in contact with your permanent makeup artist to see when it’s a good time to get a touch-up, or if it’s necessary for you at the time.

Keep in mind that touch-ups may be an additional cost aside from the initial procedure. The costs of touch-ups tend to rise for every year since you’ve had the initial procedure or a touch-up; for example, if you had your initial permanent lip makeup procedure and wait three years to get a touch-up, your touch-up will likely cost more at the three year mark than it would have at the one year mark.

Regardless of the cost, though, making the most of your permanent lip makeup will keep your lip pigment fresh, even and looking great!

Learn More

If you are interested, here is a link to the Makeup section on Amazon.