ASCP Skin Deep


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Listen to the ASCP Esty Talk podcast at 39 Lip Blushing by Maggie Staszcuk BEAUTY IN THE AGE OF COVID has been all about the eyes. Everything from eyebrow serums, mascaras, and eyeshadow pallets to brow lamination and lash extensions saw a huge spike in sales. But what about the lips? During 2020, sales of eye cosmetics from brands such as Bobbi Brown and Dior saw growth of 40 percent while lip products saw a rise of just 2.2 percent. 1 That's no surprise—mask mandates do not pair well with a beautiful red lip or a shiny pink gloss. Now that lockdowns have ended, mask mandates are loosening, and people are getting back to the business of being in the world, we'll see the demand for lip color rise again, but it may be for alternative lip treatments. Enter lip blushing. WHAT IT IS Lip blushing is a semipermanent cosmetic tattoo that deposits pigment into the dermal layer of the lips. It is sometimes referred to as the aquarelle lips technique, which is intended to give a shiny, lip gloss appearance. Aquarelle, a style of painting with watercolors, is where this technique gets its name. 2 The pigments chosen are often subtle nudes and pinks that give a soft blush to the lips and appear almost transparent. Unlike a traditional permanent makeup lip, there are no harsh lines, saturated colors, or "lipstick" look. Using a single needle and a permanent makeup device, the technician applies layers of pigment into the lips until the desired outcome is achieved. 3 Thin layers result in a subtle appearance. The more layers of pigment, the denser the result. WHAT TO EXPECT After the initial treatment, the lips will heal and be about 30 percent lighter on the lips postprocedure than the pigment seen in the bottle. 4 A required follow-up occurs at 6–8 weeks to fill in pigment that may have dissipated or peeled away in the initial healing process and to correct any unevenness. The pigment will fade over time, but it can last up to ADVANCED MODALITIES four years depending on your client's lifestyle. Factors such as sun exposure, smoking, and exfoliation can contribute to the pigment fading more quickly. Post-care is basic and involves avoiding all the things that dry the lips and cause peeling. As with all tattoos, the lips should be kept moisturized. Clients should avoid lip products with petroleum jelly, which can cause pigment to fade. 5 It is also advisable to use a lip product formulated with a broad-spectrum SPF, at least while lips are healing. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, tanning beds and sun lamps are known to fade tattoos and may even react with some pigments. 6 Your client should avoid tanning for the sake of their lips (and the health of their skin). And, it goes without saying, exfoliating lip scrubs will diminish the life of the lip blush. CONTRAINDICATIONS Lip blushing is a great treatment for just about anyone who is looking to create a natural, semipermanent blush to their lips or wants to create the look of fullness.

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