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Get the Gloss | Lip Blushing

The trending semi-permanent makeup treatment that makes lips look fuller.

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Move over microblading, now the latest long-lasting makeup treatment is lip blush. The results can be surprisingly natural if you know who to see.

Dr Sarah Tonks is a cosmetic doctor who’s done plenty of lip filler treatments, so when I clocked her recently with particularly good-looking, but seemingly entirely natural lips, I had to ask her what kind of filler technique she’d been subjected to (or subjected herself to – yes, some doctors do jab their own faces!).

“That’s not filler,” came the answer. “That’s lip tattooing.”

I was mesmerised. I’ve seen some horrid tattooed lip liner in my time, but Tonks’ lips were a gentle, very real-looking pink all over, with the beautifully crisp and defined outline that most of us naturally have in our teens and twenties. They looked naturally full as well, despite this superficial tattoo technique obviously not adding any volume the way fillers do.

“Making the lip line look crisper has a transformative, age-reversing effect, and so does adding colour that flatters your skin tone,” says Tonks.

Frankly, I much preferred her look over the majority of lip filler jobs I see, which are so rarely as ‘natural’ as people seem to think they are.

Because it can look so natural, more people are having the treatment. Campaigner Katie Piper and nutritional health coach Madeleine Shaw (known for her almost makeup-free look) have both had the procedure at Tracie Giles.

Yet, according to research by and, lip blushing, which unlike actual tattooing is a semi-permanent procedure, is the fourth most concern-causing beauty treatment in the UK, with almost 2,500 searches a month regarding botched lip blushing (the preferred term for the practice) treatments, after lip fillers, thread lifts and toxin injections such as Botox.



What can lip blushing do for you?

Adding pigment to the lip has a remarkable range of benefits – which is perhaps not so surprising if you consider how much we rely on our lipsticks.

Like lip liner, lip blushing enhances the shape, symmetry and borders of the lips, but the ‘shading’ technique a good technician will use can also create ‘3D’ definition and make lips look more voluminous,” says make-up artist and facialist Nathalie Eleni (@nathalieeleni_beauty), who’s had the procedure done for over ten years at Tracie Giles.