The perfect amount of pressure when the needle touches the lip line, it should feel like it’s dancing or almost bouncing off the
skin, very shallow. You never want it to feel as though it’s too aggressive or stabbing into the skin. My name is Carolyn Staples and I am getting aquarelle lips done today. I was really wanting to enhance my lips. The color was fading as I’ve gotten a little bit older, so I’ve been wanting to enhance my lips but a lot of old ways of doing it don’t leave your lips looking natural. Pia has worked for me for the past six or seven years. She’s always been doing cosmetic tattooing but there’s been so many changes over the last few years and once I saw those changes and the boom of microblading, Pia and I got to talking and we decided to go in together on a new business venture called Brow House. I think it’s one level to go into partnership with somebody that’s for business purposes but then when you go to the next level of
having them tattoo your face, I think that’s a whole different level of trust. Now more than ever, the industry is going towards very natural, realistic results. The aquarelle lip technique has been around for the past couple years. The technique is designed to create a very gentle, soft contour of the lip to enhance the borders and give a really symmetrical design without those harsh lip lines that you see with traditional full lip tattooing. As we age, we also tend to lose some of the pigment in our lips, so it gives a very natural, kissable, very plump result. I think a lot of misconceptions about permanent makeup are kind of accurate because you can really get it done by the wrong person, and it can be done the wrong way. I’m very sensitive to pain. I remember getting a really terrible tattoo when I was 16 years old, and that really, really hurt so I’m just a little hopped up on anxiety a little bit. I cleanse her lip, to clear away any bacteria. Then I apply numbing cream that sits on her lip for anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes. I feel like a blowfish. I feel like I’m spitting everywhere. Oh my gosh. We are now designing her lip cause we are going to stay only in her lip line. So we need to find and enhance her lips. Because the lip tissue is very different from the skin tissue. From there I contour her lip using an acupuncture needle, which is essentially a very thin, single needle and a machine designed for the cosmetic industry. I go around the border of her lip using a very nude, natural color and then I blend it in. Working very, very lightly kind of filling in and shading in the area using, again, a very light, soft color. Cool! They look really good! Overall I think she did such a good job at making my lips symmetrical, making the lines very nice and clean and even. After I got my lips tattooed, they were super puffy and I looked like I got lip injections. My boyfriend was like, “What the heck did you do to your mouth?” It just feels like somebody’s scratching your lips really hard. If I felt anything it was like, “Oh my gosh!” You know? So if there was just a little spot that wasn’t all the way numb I was freaking out. My first initial reaction to Carolyn’s final look was how perfect the shape of her lips are, and how soft and natural they are gonna heal to be. She’s the perfect canvas to work on. She’s so smart and driven and fun and it’s fun to be able to work on someone you’re so close to. The after care for any lip cosmetic tattoo is you want to cleanse them very well to get any limp that the body starts to produce, so there’s no scabbing, and this will minimize any peeling. And you will follow it with a specific ointment given to you by your artist. I can really tell the difference when I wake up in the morning. I really feel like I have a really pretty pink tint to my lips and it just– it’s a really pretty girly, young color and I think it looks really good and it makes me feel awesome! I like the way they look a lot. Our goal is to enhance your natural beauty. Not to change it, not to overdue it, not to make you look too extreme in any way. I would love for my lips to be like this forever, so if I ever have to get them touched up in the future I definitely will. Thank you for watching Refinery29. For more videos, click here. And to subscribe, click here.