"It took me like three hours just to do the shading on the top lip."
Whats unusual about this particular piece is that I worked from bottom to top (as opposed to shooting the line work first) and light to dark. Instead of an outline phase I just shot the patches of dark red first and feathered the edges to lighter reds. After the lips were colored I added the black inside the mouth. This is a pretty big no-no in tattooing since black ink can get into the pores of the rest of the tattooed skin and muddy up the hues. Since I wanted a little bit of black in the bottom of the top lip I globed on loads of vaseline to the bottom lip to keep the black ink off it and let the ink smear into the top lip a little.
Intenze, One, Bubble Gum Pink (Starbrite) and Kuri Sumi in skin.