Gabrielle Rainbow garnered a ton of buzz a few years back when her “freckle tattoos” went viral. Then, the Atlanta cosmetic tattoo expert set up shop in another permanent makeup arena with the “lip blush,” which she shared her clients were completely “obsessed” with—even in the early stages.
Now, it seems like the rest of the world has gotten wind as well, with Yelp predicting the “trend” as having a big moment in 2022—with searches for the “lip fix” up by 130 percent, according to its recently released 2022 Beauty Trend Forecast Report.
Coined the “Lip Blush” technique, Rainbow and her partner, Erick Holguin, designed the procedure to offer a nontraditional take on lip tattooing, with an end result that the duo describes as more of a “full-lip enhancement, rather then a lip liner or full-lipstick look that brings color and youth to the lips.”
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“We wanted to create something new that would replace the traditional lip tattoos we are used to seeing. The process depends on a couple of factors, but we essentially use a pigment and tattoo the full lip,” she says. “We can define the lips a lot more and give them overall a prettier tone, which gives them a more plump and fuller look. We were aiming for more of a lip-tint look, something more natural that emphasizes without being overdone.”
Rainbow says the best part about the procedure is that she can guarantee you’ll have to wear less makeup—a major reason why most clients choose to do it. “All you need to do is apply a little bit of gloss and you are set! We have a range of colors to choose from [she has 30 different colors, they can be mixed and most clients bring photos or a lipstick that they want the shade to mimic], so we can go with something more natural or subtle, or have something brighter, more like lipstick.”
While getting your lips tattooed might sound incredibly painful, Rainbow describes the discomfort level as virtually none.
“I use two anesthetics. We numb you initially and then continue throughout the procedure. Most of my clients have agreed that it is less painful then microblading their eyebrows. Of course, there will be some swelling, which typically lasts between 24 to 48 hours. There could also be minimal bruising.”
The service isn’t cheap and it’s not super fast; Rainbow typically charges between $500 and $650 and it takes about two hours to complete. In most cases, a follow-up appointment isn’t necessary, but minor touchups may be needed.
The final product is also not fleeting, and lasts between three to five years, depending on the person.