Tattoo Tips

--- July 2018 ---


I once heard someone say, “my body is a canvas, I want to decorate it.” If you think about tattoos in this way, it’s almost inspirational. I love body art and learning about people through their tattoos. If you ask the meaning behind someone’s tattoo, you can find out a lot about them. 

If you DON’T have tattoos and DON’T want tattoos, that’s totally fine too! Let’s all accept each other as individuals :) Most people have a strong reaction when they find out I have tattoos (especially the fact that I have tattoos…). It’s really annoying when people say, “you don’t seem like the kind of girl who would have tattoos.” Who are you to judge that? What is the “type of girl” to have tattoos? If you’re interested in seeing my current tattoos and learning the meaning behind them, check out my Tattoo Diary video!

Below you will find my tips and tricks for getting a tattoo: 

Think Long & Hard

Yes, there is such thing as tattoo removal. However, that’s extremely painful and even more expensive. So, I 100% recommend thinking about what tattoo you want before getting it. Have someone draw it on you in marker and see if you like the size, location, design, etc. Honestly, I got a few henna tattoos and airbrush tattoos in the spot of my first tattoo before taking the plunge. This way I knew I’d love it BEFORE it became permanent. 

Ask yourself questions like: Do I love this tattoo? Does it have meaning? Will it negatively affect my life? Will it positively affect my life? Does my career field frown upon visible tattoos? Is this a good location for a tattoo?

I’ve had so many people ask me “are you still going to love that tattoo when you’re old?” My answer is yes, but make sure yours is too. My tattoos have become a part of me and who I am, my identity. To be honest, I don’t even really see them when I look at pictures or the mirror. This is especially true for my side and back tattoos, which I don’t see that often. I also have people ask what they’ll look like when I get ‘old and wrinkly.’ Quite honestly, I don’t plan on being in a bikini when I get to that age, so really only I’ll see the ones that could potentially be affected. 

Research Your Artist

This is just as important as deciding what you want to have on your body forever. If you choose a not-so-great artist, you’re not going to be happy with the new tattoo that’s permanently on you. I like to check out the artists social media (they usually have an Instagram!) and see what kind of work they do. You can also often find reviews, if you’re interested in looking for those. I also suggest checking with your friends. Where do they get theirs done? Do they suggest going there?

Four of my tattoos are from the same artist, because I trusted him and knew he would do good work. One of my tattoos I got on a whim and don’t exactly love what he did with it. Make sure you stick up for yourself and what YOU want, not what the artist thinks will look better. After all, it’s on your body, not theirs. That being said, most artists know what they’re doing. So, if they have advice on sizing or detail, take it into consideration. My other tattoo is from an artist I researched and really liked the work he did. I’m definitely going to be going back to him for my next one! His detail was amazing and he made sure it was what I wanted and would love. 

Saving Up Money

Tattoos are NOT cheap. If your shop is offering you a cheap tattoo, I’d do some more research. Most tattoo shops have a ‘minimum’ which is what you’ll have to pay, no matter how small your tattoo is. The shops I have gone to have been around $70 for the minimum.  In my mind, they DO last forever, so it’s worth the price. Price also depends on if you’re getting black or colored ink. All 6 of my tattoos are only black ink. I’ve been told that colored ink fades quicker and I also have OCD about matching, so would probably stress about that if I got a colored tattoo. 

To give some reference, my tattoos have ranged from $60 to $200. If you watch my Tattoo Diary video on YouTube, you can see the range of sizes of my tattoos. 

Drink & Eat Before

People don’t stress this one nearly as much as they should. Make sure you hydrate and eat something before going in to get your tattoo. You don’t want to be passing out when you’re getting a tattoo! For one of my tattoos, I was feeling very light headed before getting on the tattoo table. My mom ran to the gas station and grabbed a candy bar and a soda and I was ready to rock and roll! Even if you aren’t nervous and totally confident, you may be subconsciously anxious about the process. Take care of yourself and plan ahead to grab a juice and snack.

During the Tattoo 

When people ask me what tattoos feel like, I describe it as a cat scratch on a sunburn. Weird way to explain the feeling, but it seriously feels like that! Yes, it’s painful, but it’s only temporary. My best advice is to distract yourself during the process. If you’re afraid of needles, simply don’t look at it! I do that when I’m getting blood drawn at the doctors, I never look. I find bringing someone along to be helpful so that you can have a conversation and not focus on the needles being poked into your skin. I also LOVE to talk to the tattoo artists. Some may not be chatty and want to focus, but I’ve had good luck with my artists and talking with them. I usually ask questions like how long they’ve been tattooing, what got them interested in it, their favorite thing to tattoo, what they tattoo the most, etc. I encourage you to strike up a conversation!

Tattoo After Care 

Taking care of your tattoo is incredibly important. More often than not, your tattoo artist will give you advice on how to do this or you can google different tattoo care ideas. It also depends on where you go, the artist, the placement of your tattoo, and the size on how you’ll be taking care of it. Most, but not all, artists will wrap your finished tattoo up in clear plastic wrap. You can take this off after an hour or two (or keep it on longer if you’re traveling/not home). Once you take it off, wash your hands immediately BEFORE washing your tattoo. Clean your tattoo in a CLEAN sink with CLEAN hands and UNSCENTED soap. Scented soaps can irritate the tattoo and you don’t want that. 

For the first few days or a week, I use Aquaphor on my tattoos. I apply it after washing/drying my tattoo in a thin layer, in a circular motion. Personally, I wash my tattoo once in the morning and once at night before bed and I apply the Aquaphor 3-4 times a day. After a week or so, I use UNSCENTED lotion in a thin layer. Remember your tattoo is essentially an open wound, so you don’t want to get it infected. After a while, your tattoo is going to kind of bubble up and start to peel. DO NOT peel your tattoo! It’s going to be so itchy but do everything you can not to itch it. Let it peel naturally. Once this is done, you have your new beautiful tattoo! Make sure you use sunscreen if you’re going in the sun to avoid fading and keep it hydrated as often as you can.

Honestly, after several of my tattoos I went to the lake or camping. I don’t recommend this, if you can avoid it. But on the same note, don’t not do anything with your life if you do end up getting your tattoo in the warmer months. You WILL survive, I promise! 

You’ve probably heard that once you get one tattoo, you’ll want to get more, right? For me, this was absolutely true! I got one when I was 18, 19, 20, 21, 24 and 25. I constantly crave getting a new one or searching through Pinterest for new ideas! Just because you have one and you’re practically a pro now (lol), make sure you still go through these steps before getting your next one! 

Don’t be afraid to message me on Twitter or Instagram or comment down below if you have any questions about getting a tattoo! You’re being stuck with needles over and over again, it’s NORMAL to feel nervous! 

Do you have tattoos? What tattoos do you WANT?!


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Comments

  1. Great post with excellent advice! I was the same with tattoos - once I got one, I just wanted more (which is funny, because I had been against getting one for a long time before I decided to do it!)

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  2. Thank you so much for this post! I really want to get a tattoo but I'm really focused on finding the 'right thing' to get. Definitely keeping this bookmarked!

    chloexlizabeth ♡

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  3. First, great advice! Choosing a tattoo is hard and definitely should be something that is thought over and not taken lightly. I have two tattoos and I definitely want more but my tattoo artist has moved out of state so I have to find someone else that I trust and love their work.

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  4. Great advice which you need to really take into consideration when planning and booking a tattoo. Especially finding a good artist! I've not got any and tattoo's aren't something that I really want right now. Maybe in the future but at the moment I'm happy without any. Maybe it's because I've not found something that I truly want on me.. forever, quite yet!

    Carly xx
    www.prettystyleofliving.wordpress.com

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    1. And that's totally fine! Can't rush into something that'll last forever :) Thanks so much girl!

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  5. These are such great tips! Sooo true about finding the right artist and saving up money! I would love to get my sixth tattoo but I just dont have the money yet. But one can dream! Great post for tattoo newbies!!

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    Replies
    1. Oooh, do you have a post about yours?! I'd love to see it if you do! But yes, money is definitely the struggle of tattoos. Gives you something to look forward to!

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