You may have already read our blog post on what are the 'best needle cartridges and pigments for brows'. Like with brow treatments, our DM’s are also constantly flooded with questions from budding lip artists about which are the best permanent makeup cartridges and pigments to use for lips.

Similar to brows, or any PMU treatment, we would always suggest a beginner in lip treatments to speak to their trainer first. Always read the small print as your training course may already include some starter equipment like needle cartridges and pigments. Your trainer may also have a preferred brand they would like students to use, which compliments the PMU techniques they are teaching.

However, like brow training, you are not obliged to stick to the brand or brands that your training academy recommends. Recommendations are always useful, but once you are qualified and confident in your skills, you are free to try other brands of needle cartridges and pigments to find out what works best for you and your clients.


In this blog we will give you a run down on all the important factors to consider when trying out new PMU cartridges or pigments for your permanent lip treatments. We have also included some of our best sellers, which come highly recommended by Killer Beauty sponsored artists!

What are the best needle cartridges for lips?

Which needle cartridges you opt for will depend on the technique you use in your lip treatments and which part of the lip you are working on. For example, you will probably use a different configuration when creating the lip line compared to the needle you will use to shade the body of the lip.

For the lip border, most artists will use a round liner in a small diameter, depending on how fine they want the line to be. 1 round liners in 0.20 and 0.25mm are mega-popular for creating an ultra-crisp lip line and we have had some incredible feedback on the Killer Beauty cartridges for this stage of lip blushing.

For shading the body of the lip, some artists will use shading needles such as round shaders, flat or curved magnum configurations. However, other artists still prefer to use round liners to shade the lips – in configurations such as 3 round liners and 5 round liners. Some would even prefer to use a 1rl for the whole treatment! It really does come down to personal preference, tried and tested methods, and what works for you.

We would always suggest trying a sample pack, like those available from Vertix and our own Killer Beauty PMU cartridges. Sample packs provide artists with the opportunity to try out multiple configurations and needle diameters on latex skins and then on clients.

Once you get a feel for which configuration and style you like best, you can go ahead and order those specific needle cartridges to use them more regularly!

What do I need to look for in PMU cartridges?

We have covered all the important factors you need to consider when choosing needle cartridges over in our blog ‘what are the best needle cartridges and pigments for brows?’. Head on over there to read more information about choosing safe, high-quality cartridges!

To summarise, the main features you need to look for are:

  • Sterile Blister Packaging
  • Safety Membrane
  • Stainless Steel Needles
  • Transparent Tip
  • Universal Connection (or whatever connection is compatible with your machine)

When choosing a cartridge, you may also have to decide between a long and short taper needle. The taper refers to the length of the ‘point’ of the needle and the shorter the taper, the faster the needle will implant pigment in the skin. However, short tapers do create a larger puncture in the skin and can inflict more trauma to the area.

Most PMU cartridges from reputable brands include medium to long tapers, which are less traumatic to the skin and can still effectively implant pigment across multiple passes. However, artists who prefer to complete a treatment in 1-2 passes might opt for a short taper needle.

What needle cartridges are PMU artists loving?

As mentioned above, we have had some great feedback from artists about the Killer Beauty PMU cartridges for lip treatments – especially the 1rl 0.20 & 0.25 for creating the crisp lip border. The needles within these cartridges are sturdy enough for the artist to apply gentle pressure across multiple passes, which is a popular technique in lip blushing due to the delicate nature of the lips.

The Kwadron PMU Optima cartridges are also a firm favourite amongst lip artists and are extremely sturdy thanks to the unique needle stabilising system within them. Like the Killer Beauty PMU cartridges, the Kwadron cartridges are suitable for all skin types and minimise any trauma to the skin, while implanting pigment accurately.

What are the best pigments for lips?

Similar to brow pigment collections, lip artists will need to have a range of colours in their kit to ensure they have shades to suit a range of skin tones and colour preferences. We have a whole blog post dedicated to colour theory, which covers all the main factors you need to consider in pigment selection – from undertones to skin type to modifying.

Once they begin working, most lip artists will find that they have specific shades in their kit which are hugely popular with their clients. Experienced artists who offer lip neutralisation treatments will require modifying and correcting lip pigments in their kit alongside standard lip pigments. We have more information on this in our modifiers and correctors blog post here.

Like with any treatment, when you try out new pigments, we would always suggest practicing on latex first to get a feel for the pigment and how it works with your techniques. At Killer Beauty, we even offer eyes and lips contour pads which allows you to try out new pigments on a more realistic lip shape.

What to consider when choosing pigment?

As above, we have covered this topic in detail, and you can read a more in-depth guide to selection pigments in our blog post here.

We advise all artists to consider the below factors when selecting pigments:

  • Fully Tested and Approved
  • Pigment shades & modifying
  • Organic vs. Inorganic

A lot of lip pigments will have an organic or hybrid formula, which is designed to create a high colour pay off on the lips. However, bright colours like an organic red or wine shade are advised for use by experienced technicians only, due to intensity of the colour.

When working with organic pigments, artists tend to work lighter to avoid oversaturation of the lips. You may also wish to check if the pigment they are using contains titanium dioxide – as this is only recommended for highly-experienced artists too.

What to consider when choosing pigment?

For beginners, we would always suggest investing in a pigment set with a range of colours that will provide a variety of options for warm, cool, and neutral-toned clients. Investing in a mixture of very neutral and more bold lip shades will mean you have enough choice to suit every client’s preference.

Some of our best-selling lip sets include the Lust & Envy collections by Tina Davies Professional, in collaboration with Perma Blend. This set offers a mix of iron oxide and organic pigments and includes a diverse shade range. It also comes with a corresponding lip pencil and lip stain for each pigment which is perfect for trying out multiple shades on indecisive clients and for accurate colour matching for beginners.

For longer-lasting organic shades, Perma Blend does some really versatile sets such as Six for Lips or the Inga Babitskaya Lips Set. Another best-seller is the Evenflo lips set which comes with 5 beautiful lip pigment shades with a machine optimised formula, which is designed to work flawlessly with machine method.

At Killer Beauty, we also stock individual pigments from a lot of these sets, meaning that you can easily re-purchase your more popular shades individually when they run out, without having to wait to buy a whole new pigment set.

There you have it! Our guide to the best permanent makeup needle cartridges and pigments for lip blushing treatments. If you are in the market for some new cartridges or pigments but you have some questions first, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our customer service team or on social media! We are happy to answer any questions you might have about the products we stock at Killer Beauty.