Cosmetic Lip Tattoo

Evidence Basedcheckmark

Cosmetic lip tattoos create the illusion of fuller, more pigmented lips. Candidates with undefined vermillion borders or with an ill-proportionate red lip show may seek a cosmetic lip tattoo as a permanent option for a fuller appearing pout.

Cosmetic Lip Tattoo Overview - 713

The Skinny

Average Recovery

1 weeks








$50 - $800

The Specifics

What is a cosmetic lip tattoo?

A cosmetic lip tattoo (like other permanent makeup techniques) is a minimally invasive, semi permanent procedure to augment the borders of the lips, the color of the lips, and the definition of the lips. The goal of a cosmetic lip tattoo is to improve, refine, and define the "red" part of the lips. The red lip is the pigmented part of the lips, and is separate from the "white roll", or vermillion border of the lips, which is the border between the red lip and the skin surrounding the mouth.

What cosmetic concerns does a cosmetic lip tattoo procedure treat?

  1. Lip Shape: A cosmetic lip tattoo will create the illusion of fuller lips and more pigmented lips through the application of tattoo ink complementing a patient's existing skin tone and lip colour.

Who is the ideal candidate for a cosmetic lip tattoo procedure?

Ideal candidates for a cosmetic lip tattoo are 18 and older looking to refine and define the vermilion border, and create a fuller lip with a natural appearing lip colour. Lip lifts are not recommended for those with infections in and around the mouth (like cold sores), smokers unwilling to quit around the time of the procedure, and those who are pregnant or nursing. Cancer survivors are advised to wait six months post treatment before considering a lip tattoo. Those actively undergoing cancer treatments will need special approval from their medical provider.

What is the average recovery associated with a cosmetic lip tattoo procedure?

Temporary side effects from a cosmetic lip tattoo usually resolve almost entirely within 10 days. Many patients can resume most normal activities within 24 hours. Precautions around the oral area will need to be taken for one week during aftercare.

What are the potential side effects of a cosmetic lip tattoo procedure?

Possible side effects from a cosmetic lip tattoo include bleeding, bruising, scabbing, scarring, and exacerbation of chronic lip infections.

What can someone expect from the results of a cosmetic lip tattoo procedure?

A cosmetic lip tattoo will provide immediate, semi-permanent results. Maintenance sessions will be required, however, timing is entirely dependent on the individual.

What is the average cost of a cosmetic lip tattoo procedure?

This is a semi permanent non-surgical procedure that can cost anywhere from $50 to $800. The actual cost of the procedure is dependent upon location, provider, and length and involvement of the procedure.


  • Short Recovery
  • Quick Results


  • Maintenance Sessions
  • Unsatisfactory Results
  • Unnatural

Invasiveness Score


Invasiveness is graded based on factors such as anesthesia practices, incisions, and recovery notes common to this procedure.

What to Expect

Cosmetic lip tattoos create the illusion of fuller, more pigmented lips. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after a cosmetic lip tattoo.

The Takeaway

A cosmetic lip tattoo is a semi permanent cosmetic tattooing procedure to enhance lip colour and create fuller lips. Tattoo ink is selected to match a patient’s skin tone and natural lip colour. Aftercare is straightforward and typically lasts about one week. Touch-up appointments and maintenance treatments will be required.

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Source List


AEDIT uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Maloney, BP. “Cosmetic Surgery of the Lips.” Facial Plast Surg, vol. 12, no. 3, 1996, pp. 265–278.
  2. Johnston, MC, Millicovsky G. “Normal and Abnormal Development of the Lip and Palate.” Clin Plast Surg. 1985 Oct;12(4):521-32.; 1985-10-01


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