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What Are the Different Types of Lip Tattoo?

By Christina Edwards
Updated May 21, 2024
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As its name suggests, a lip tattoo is a type of mouth tattoo that is applied to the lip. Some lip tattoos are cosmetic tattoos, and these are done to enhance the shape and color of the lips. Other lip tattoos are considered types of body modification, and these are usually placed on the inside of the lips. Temporary lip tattoos are also available, which last a few hours and come in a number of unusual designs.

Cosmetic lip tattoos are meant to enhance the features of the lips, and they are a type of permanent makeup. This type of lip tattoo can be used to even out an irregular lip line, for instance, or they can even be used to enlarge the lip line. A cosmetic lip tattoo can also be used to enhance lip color as well. Women who get these types of tattoos often do so to stop applying makeup every day.

This type of lip tattoo has some disadvantages. Along with being quite painful, they may also be very expensive. Since the results often fade over time, touch ups are also usually necessary. If they are not done properly, they can also look unnatural or form scar tissue on the lips.

A person may also get a lip tattoo as a type of body modification. Most people who get these types of lip tattoos usually get them on the inside of one of their lips, usually the bottom lip. The only time these tattoos are visible is when the bottom lip is pulled down. A tattoo in the mouth is usually hidden very easily, but it is also typically very small. Many people who get these types of tattoos get short words, initials, or small simple pictures.

Inner lip tattoos have disadvantages as well. There is a chance of infection, for example, if the area isn't kept clean. Until these tattoos heal, mouthwash should be used after eating, drinking, or smoking. Inner lip tattoos also have a tendency to fade, and frequent touch ups are usually necessary.

Some temporary tattoos can also be placed on the lips. Temporary lip tattoos add an edgy look, and they typically come in several colors and unique designs, like animal prints and stripes. They must usually be cut to the shape of the lips before being transferred to the lips with water. These tattoos are relatively inexpensive, but they usually only last for around five hours.

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Discussion Comments

By MrsPramm — On Sep 15, 2014

@bythewell - Not all face tattoos are extreme though. I don't see why someone should be judged more for having a little star on their face than if they have tattooed their lips so that they don't have to apply lip-liner.

It's not something I'd want to do myself because of the pain and the difficulty of healing anything on the face, particularly the mouth. But I wouldn't judge anyone who happened to have one.

By bythewell — On Sep 14, 2014

@croydon - You'd have to be so sure of your actions to get a face tattoo that was going to be clear and visible to everyone. I think that's why people tend to get them on the insides of their lips, if anything, because it's not apparent to anyone.

But having a tattoo on your face is just so unacceptable in our society. I don't think that's a necessary perception myself, but it persists anyway. If you have a tattoo on your face, you are pretty much always going to struggle to find work or to be treated reasonably in public, because people will assume that you are an extreme kind of person.

Which is why they are so popular among gangs, because they have that reputation.

By croydon — On Sep 14, 2014

There are also types of traditional tattoos that are done on the lips, as a means of enhancing looks, usually on women. Moko tattoos, for example, are often done on the face and may even involve completely coloring in the lower lip so that it becomes black.

It must be a very difficult place to heal a tattoo, since lips tend to be difficult to heal at the best of times, but it is extremely striking, which is usually the point.

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