Lip Blushing Gone Wrong: Causes, Prevention and Recovery

Getting your lips tattooed, also known as lip blushing, can give you gorgeous, defined lips. But sometimes, even the best procedures can go wrong. Read on to learn all about lip blushing, why it can go wrong, and what to do if you have a botched lip blushing.

What is Lip Blushing?

What Is Lip Blushing

Lip blushing, also called lip tattooing, is a cosmetic tattoo procedure where a technician uses a needle to implant semi-permanent pigment into your lips. This enhances the shape and color of your lips, making them look fuller and more defined.

The purpose of lip blushing is to add subtle color and dimension to the lips. It can make thin or uneven lips appear smoother and more symmetrical. The results typically last 1-3 years before fading.

Reasons Why Lip Blushing Can Go Wrong

While most lip blushing procedures go smoothly, there are a few key reasons they can sometimes go wrong:

Poorly Performed Procedure

An inexperienced or unqualified technician may improperly perform the lip blushing. This can lead to:

  • Uneven or blotchy color
  • Overfilled lips that look unnatural
  • Scarring or damage from abrasions

Lack of proper hygiene can also cause infections or other issues.

Allergic Reactions

Some people may have sensitivities or allergies towards certain ingredients in the pigments used for lip blushing. Common allergens include:

  • Metal salts like nickel or cobalt
  • Carrier agents
  • Preservatives

This can lead to redness, swelling, itching, and other reactions.

Bacterial Infections

Dirty tools or contaminated pigments can introduce bacteria during the tattooing process. Improper sterilization can also cause infections. Symptoms may include:

  • Redness and swelling
  • Pus or discharge
  • Severe pain

Signs of Lip Blushing Gone Wrong

Signs Of Lip Blushing Gone Wrong

Watch out for these common signs that your lip blushing procedure didn’t go as planned:


Red, itchy skin or rashes around the lips may indicate an allergic reaction. This is often caused by incompatible ingredients or poor hygiene.

Burning Sensation

A burning feeling, especially one that persists, could signal an underlying issue. This may be from incompatible pigments or inadequate sterilization procedures.


Noticeable swelling and inflammation around the lips is not normal. It may stem from irritations, allergic reactions, or infections.


Some redness is expected right after a lip blushing session. But if it worsens or persists for days, it likely indicates damaged capillaries or a more serious reaction.

Health Risks of Lip Blushing Gone Wrong

Botched procedures come with risks for your health and appearance:

Bacterial Infections

Breaking the barrier of your skin introduces a risk of infection. Symptoms like swelling, redness, pain, and pus/discharge signal a bacterial infection. Proper sterilization and hygiene by technicians is crucial.

Allergic Reactions

Those with sensitivities may experience redness, itching, swelling, and burning after lip blushing. Doing a patch test and consulting your aesthetician beforehand can help avoid this.

Getting a Diagnosis

If you suspect an infection or allergic reaction, promptly visit your doctor for an evaluation. Here is how they will diagnose:

Bacterial Infection Diagnosis

The doctor will examine the infected area and may take a swab for lab testing. They’ll then prescribe antibiotics or antiseptics to treat it.

Allergic Reaction Diagnosis

Your doctor will try to pinpoint the allergen trigger. You’ll need to avoid lip products with those ingredients. Antihistamines, cold compresses, topical creams can provide relief.

Preventing Lip Blushing from Going Wrong

While you can never guarantee perfect results, these tips will minimize risks:

  • Choose a qualified technician – research the salon and ask for examples of their work.
  • Do a patch test – have a tiny bit of pigment applied to your arm to check for reactions.
  • Discuss allergies – tell your technician about any sensitivities.
  • Follow aftercare – carefully follow provided instructions for healing properly.

What Causes Lip Blushing to Go Wrong?

A few key causes lead to poor outcomes with lip blushing:

  • Incorrect tool usage – harsh or abrasive tools can damage and irritate lips.
  • Untrained technician – lack proper training in safe, effective application.
  • Poor product quality – low standards can cause bad reactions or damage.

Consequences of Lip Blushing Gone Wrong

Botched procedures lead to frustrating and concerning results like:

  • Skin damage – abrasions, redness, swelling, scarring.
  • Discoloration – uneven colors or unwanted shades.
  • Allergic reactions – ingredients triggering rashes, itching, etc.

Preventing the Procedure from Going Wrong

You can avoid many issues by:

  • Finding an experienced, licensed technician.
  • Using only high quality pigments.
  • Discussing any allergies beforehand.
  • Considering an allergy test patch.
  • Closely following provided aftercare.

Fun Lip Blushing Alternatives

If you’re wary of permanent lip blushing, try these fun options instead:

Lip Tattooing

Get semi-permanent or permanent lip tattoos from qualified pros. Ensure proper aftercare for best results.

Permanent Makeup

Enhance eyes, brows, and lips with micropigmentation. Vet artists carefully for safety and hygiene.


Play up your lips with flattering shades to suit your complexion and style.

Laser Treatments

Non-invasive lasers can improve lip shape and skin. Research clinics thoroughly first.

Natural Lip Balm

Moisturize and protect lips with nourishing balms. Whip up DIY balms using natural ingredients.

How Long Does Lip Blushing Last?

Results typically last around 1-3 years before fading. Factors like your skin type, sun exposure, smoking, and genetics impact longevity.

Can You Use Lip Liner With Lip Blushing?

Yes, you can still use lip liner even with semi-permanent lip blushing. Carefully apply liner just outside the blushed area to define and enhance your lips’ shape.

What to Do if Lip Blushing Goes Wrong

If you have a botched lip blushing, here are your next steps:

  • Determine the cause – infection, allergic reaction, etc.
  • Get medical advice and treatment.
  • Consider laser removal of the botched tattoo.
  • Treat any swelling, pain or other issues.

How to Fix Botched Lip Tattoos

Options to fix an improperly done lip tattoo include:

  • Laser tattoo removal – breaks up pigment over several sessions.
  • Tattoo camouflage – adds new ink to mask the bad tattoo.
  • Surgical excision – cuts out the botched tattoo.
  • Saline or glycolic acid removal – fades tattoo over time.

The Takeaway

When done properly, lip blushing can beautifully enhance your lips. But poor technique, products, or hygiene can lead to botched results. Look for qualified technicians, do patch tests, and follow aftercare to avoid problems. If something does go wrong, consult a doctor to diagnose and treat any reactions or infections. With some patience and care, negatively impacted skin will return to normal.

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