I might never get a tattoo on my body (I have all the edge of a Skittle), but call me Mike Tyson, because I’ve got several on my face. But, the tattoo parlor I visit, Browhaus, is actually a salon in Soho that caters to a much more fashion-forward set compared to the Ed Hardy-sporting crew. I first tattooed my eyebrows last month with a semipermanent vegetable dye with the salon’s Brow Resurrection treatment, which restores your brows to their former glory. But, I didn’t stop there. Three weeks ago, I returned for Browhaus’ two-hour Lip Define service, and, well, it’s an activity you will need to see. Click through to continue reading about what it was really like to get a (kind of) lipstick tattoo.

Since Kylie Jenner did for lips what Cara Delevingne did for brows (i.e., jump-started the oversized feature trend), people have been looking for the one product or procedure that will help them reach that goal same plumped-up look. Jenner’s lips are the result of injections, but there’s another treatment that’s equally as notable (and completely non-invasive): tattoos of lips.

After the semi-permanent trend began picking up steam some time ago, we decided to understand more about the procedure. We asked Amy Kernahan, a lasting-makeup artist in The Big Apple who’s tattooed brows, eyelids, and lips for longer than 10 years, to fill us in (no, not literally). Here are the ten things you should know if you decide to enter the world of permanent makeup, in accordance with the expert.

Lip tattoos are designed to enhance lips, not create actual fullness. This process is made to define lips, to not create volume or puffiness, says Kernahan. “It will just give you the appearance of the full lip,” she says. “Since part of the process is outlining right on the border in the lip, I’m only helping give your lips the looks that they’re fuller.” It’s everything about the illusion.

The tattoo doesn’t go around your lip like traditional lip-liner application. “I really do an outline on the border in the lip, but I’m also shading the colour down into the center of the lip in a circular motion to give it much more of a blended look,” says Kernahan. “I leave the inner portion of the lip without color.”

It’s possible to obtain a color that’s near your natural lip color – but which means it won’t last for as long.

“The greater natural the color, the better frequent your touch-ups will be going be,” says Kernahan. “If someone comes in and says, ‘I love my color; I simply would like it to become a hint more,’ they’re probably going to need to can be found in once a year for touch-ups to refresh that color.” Kernahan suggests tattooing your lips 1 or 2 shades darker or brighter according to your natural skin.

Most places use pigment as opposed to traditional tattoo ink (which explains why it fades). In the past, permanent makeup was applied with regular tattoo ink. That’s why many times, it looked so unnatural. “When you airxoe a body tattoo, it’s usually done with ink, that has a very watery consistency,” says Kernahan. “Pigment is thicker, so that it gives more and more natural powdery finish. However it does exfoliate away from your skin after 12 to 18 months. And also since you take in and drink with your lips, it’s going to happen faster.”

Yes, it’s painful. Lips are especially sensitive, therefore if you’re considering getting this done, you may want to pay extra for the anesthetic to bar the pain. “Since lips are extremely vascular, I share work place using a plastic surgeon and my patients have the option of paying an extra $150 for that,” says Kernahan. “Should they choose with an anesthetic, I could have the procedure done considerably faster.”

The recovery process takes about ten days. Kernahan advises her patients getting lip tattoos to schedule the procedure for any Thursday, to allow them to allow the swelling and dryness die down over the weekend. “The lips can look very dry and chapped because they heal,” says Kernahan. “The color gets lighter, and then since the skin heals, it appears back. You typically begin to see the full, truest color after about two weeks.”