by Kolapo Olapoju
‘Fine boy, come do pink Lips’! ‘Guy how far, you want pink lips’!
If you’ve ever walked past the Allen end of Ikeja Bus stop, you’ll probably hear the calls being addressed to you or someone around you.
Don’t be bemused, those fellas are simply trying to eke out a living.
How do you like your lip colour, real or artificial? Any shade of pink, red or crimson you want, you’ll get from the young men who hang around the famous ‘Ikeja under-bridge’ hustling for prospective customers for their volatile pink lips business.
These young men whose ages range from 18-30 attract clients within the same age bracket, who are so knee-deep into pop culture, that they see ‘pink lips’ as another form of ‘freshness’. As from 2010, it became commonplace to see many artistes flaunt fresh ‘pink lips’ in their music video, which inadvertently started the fire of the craze within some of the youths, whose lips have turned black for one reason or the other.
And since the entertainment pop culture, whether farcical or real, tend to affect the setting, mindset, leaning and attitude of the society, it was only natural for the youths (especially those of this generation whose lips have darkened from habitual smoking) to begin to desperately yearn for the kind of pinkness they see their favourite artistes flaunt on television.
Lagos is not called an enterprise hub for no reason, because as soon as the pinking agents recognized the demand and yearn, they swiftly moved to fill the vacuum and started the business of helping Lagosians have baby-pink lips, whether permanent or temporary.
Permanent and temporary pink lips procedure
There are two major procedures of getting the pink lips done, namely permanent and temporary.
The temporary pink lips doesn’t require the use of the gel-applying machine, instead the artist only lays the gel on the surface of the lip after having thoroughly scrubbed out the lips. After the gel is put on the lips, it usually takes 25-35 minutes before desired colour is visible. This temporary procedure can only last from 2-3months before the lips reverts to its natural colour. For a die-hard ‘pink lips’ fan, this shouldn’t be so disappointing as it costs a token of
N2,000 to get the temporary pink lips.
The permanent pink lips on the other hand is a bit more complex and a tad more dangerous, especially if it is done by an amateur or a quack, worse still, done with a bad machine.
To get the permanent pinkness, the scrubbing of the first layer of the skin is done, after which the handy machine is used to apply the gel on lips. Although it is called permanent and expected to last forever, but there is a catch, which is that customers who go for this one will have to purchase a recommended ‘lip balm’ which will be applied on the lips for months after the procedure to maintain and make permanent its pinkness.
This one goes for
N5,000 and like the temporary, can also revert to its natural colour if the customer is a habitual smoker.
Alternative pink lips procedures
However, there are those who have gone into those beauty parlors in search of pink lips, and came out with damaged lips. While some customers manage to have their desired shade of ‘pink lips’, others are not so lucky, especially, if they fall into the hands of quacks and amateurs who do not really care about following the right process. With pink lips, you never know, sometimes you are scarred for life, sometimes you get pinky.
As expected, others have recognized this shortcoming of the pink lip’ business, which has led to the rise of ‘natural pink lips without painful tattoo surgery’. There are many of these pink lips cream available all over the city, one of which is “Goochie 7 days pink up” cream, which the customer is expected to apply three times a day and overnight for 1-2weeks. According to the makers, the ‘Goochie’ product tones the colour of the lips to pink. The cream, which is priced at N7, 500, is made from Korea skura plant pigment and they say it has no side effect.
Why you might need pink lips
If you are in the habit of smoking regularly, it goes without saying that it will naturally make the color of the lips black.
Besides smoking, another reason behind the dark color of the lips is excessive consumption of tea, coffee and other beverages.
Dehydration is another factor that doctors say is behind the ‘lip darkening’.
For some people, the lips gradually gets darker as they age.
Anyone who falls into the aforementioned categories and is uncomfortable with ‘dark lips’ can easily get the ‘pink lips’ procedure done, but where safety is an issue, there is always the natural route.
Natural ways of getting pink lips
For those who want pink lips, but cannot afford to take the risk of going for the ‘hand machine’ procedure, there are several natural ways of getting it done.
To get soft pink lips, you need to scrub your lips with a soft bristled toothbrush every night after you are done with brushing your teeth. This will help in removing the dry and chapped dry skin around your lips and make it look fresh.
Some also prescribe orange peel and cucumber juice as a cleanser for the lips to lighten the dark skin tone of the lips.
At the end of the day, ‘pink lips’ is a possibility, but there are different ways of getting it done. Whichever works for you, go for it.