This TikTok Technique Is Like a Needle-Free Alternative to Lip Blushing

It gave me the full, rosy lips of my dreams.

Woman with flushed lips

@charlottetilbury / Instagram

As much as I love each of the products in my carefully edited routine, I will also never stop searching for treatments that can replace every one of them. From lash extensions to keratin hair straightening, I've tried a plethora of beauty services in my quest to cut out steps in my morning regimen. Basically, I won't rest until I've explored the whole gamut of "I woke up like this" treatments, and as of recently, one particular service has shot to the top of my beauty bucket list.

Lip blushing—the in-office procedure that promises to semi-permanently deliver plush, rosy, and perfectly tinted lips—has experienced a serious spike in popularity of late, with the experts at Yelp predicting it will be one of the biggest treatments of 2022. I've been curious about lip blushing since I first heard about the procedure a few years ago, but it wasn't until it started popping up on my TikTok For You page that I seriously considered making an appointment.

However, the only thing stronger than my desire for pigmented lips is my lifelong fear of needles. Which is why when I came across a technique on TikTok that gives a similar tinted lip look sans-prick, I was immediately on board. Ahead, get all the details on the lip blushing alternative, and read my honest review.

The Technique

In late December, TikTok content creator Dana Patterson shared her go-to technique for achieving “juicy lips that last all day.” In the video, which has racked up well over a million views and 150,000 likes, Patterson points to a photo of a model with full, rosy, and seemingly naturally pigmented lips. “If you’re like me and you’re not blessed with super pigmented lips like this, I’m going to show you guys how to get this look,” she says, noting that the finished effect will last all day, even through eating and drinking. 

You only need two products to achieve a pigmented lip look that won’t fade off within the hour, says Patterson. The first key product? “Good old-fashioned Benetint.” She recommends applying a generous coat of the iconic Benefit Cosmetics Benetint Cheek & Lip Stain ($18), a rose-hued tint that’s been one of the brand’s best-selling products for years. The classic stain has been around since the ‘70s, when, according to the brand, it was first created for an exotic dancer. Chances are, you’ve had a bottle of Benetint rolling around in one of your bags at some point or another.

“This product will last you all day and it feels like you have absolutely nothing on your lips,” Patterson says, pointing out that while the stain can look intense when first applied, it blends in seamlessly once patted in.

The stain alone leaves behind a rosy, just-bitten finish that makes it look like you were blessed with tinted lips. However, to take the effect one step further, Patterson recommends reaching for another iconic product you likely already have in your stash: the Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Liner ($24). She uses the Hot Gossip shade, but any rosy or light pink liner you have on hand will work. While it may feel foreign to apply lip liner as a second step rather than as a base, Patterson promises this method will have you “shook to the core.”

She’s right—applying the liner after the tint takes her lips from subtly flushed to full-on juicy. The liner adds a layer of dimension that mimics the look of naturally full lips. And yes, it’s not groundbreaking to use liner to make lips look plumper than they actually are, but the difference with this technique is that applying the Benetint as a base allows for a weightless wash of color (versus the texture of a traditional lipstick). The finished product looks like it could actually be your own lip color.

While Patterson doesn’t actually mention lip blushing in her TikTok, I was immediately struck by how similar the end result looked to many of the “after” photos I’ve seen from people who received the treatment. Plus, her promise that the look lasts all day had me intrigued—I’ve managed to achieve the popsicle-stain effect with other lip products before, but it rarely lasts past my first cup of coffee. Eager to see if this technique could tide me over while I debated the pros and cons of lip blushing, I grabbed a bottle of Benetint and a lip liner to try it out for myself.

The Review

Byrdie editor trying TikTok lip blushing hack

Karli Bendlin / Unsplash

There are two reasons why lip blushing is so appealing to me, First off, I’m lazy, and would love nothing more than to wake up with rosy lips sans-product. Then, there's the fact that I hate the feeling of traditional lipstick. Anytime I apply one, I am hyper aware of its presence until the moment I take it off. Unless a product is truly weightless, I can’t help but feel it on my lips all day long, and am constantly checking to see whether it’s smeared on my face, hands, or pretty much any surface I come in contact with. However, I’m also never one to voluntarily come in contact with a needle, which is why I’ve been holding out on the lip blushing procedure.

Normally when I see a TikTok trend that piques my interest, I’ll save it, make a mental note to try it someday, and continue on my merry scroll through my FYP. However, immediately after viewing Patterson’s two-product technique, I nearly ran to my vanity to try it out myself. After layering on the Benetint stain and outlining my lips with a dusty rose liner, I was immediately in love. My lips really did look naturally flush and juicy, but best of all, it felt like I had absolutely nothing on at all.

And yes, since the actual lip blushing procedure uses tattoo ink to deposit color into the lips, the results from this TikTok trick don’t last nearly as long. However, I was floored when after a long day of meetings, two meals, and several coffee refills, the color hadn’t budged from my lips. I might not be able to wake up with rosy lips every day with this technique, but I am able to achieve the same look in minutes without requiring any touch ups or the dreaded prick of a needle. Needless to say, I’ll be stocking up on Benetint for months to come.

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