Come With Me To Get My First Tattoo
Okay okay okay - I did a thing.
I mean I did this thing a little while ago but it's still relevant, right?
This past month I actually went and got my first tattoo (bet you didn't guess that from the title!), this is something I've had planned and booked in for a while and the date finally came around!
I felt like it was only in true Laura style that I write all about it, and show the real journey of what it's like to go and get one, from planning to actually getting the needle on your skin.
Oh! Before I start going into all the shit that went on, I just want to say there's like no real intention or meaning behind this, much like everything else I do, I loved it and just decided to go for it.
Sit back... enjoy, and start planning your own.
The Planning Process
I feel like planning for this is something that took a long time for me to finish. For anyone that knows me, you'll understand just how much of a control freak I actually can be, which was only fitting when there's something going onto my body forever.
In true basic white girl fashion, I got the majority of my inspo off Pinterest (click here to follow me) and saved a couple of options. These options were either pictures I'd get without making any changes, some I'd mould together and some I'd love the style of but not the actual design.
It did actually take me a good couple of months to come up with a concept and placement that I knew I loved because I did often overthink the significance of it all. For this reason, I booked my tattoo 2 months before I planned on getting it, just to make sure that I was 100000% on the design and wasn't about to change my mind.
I honestly admire the people that just go with whatever and do crazy impulsive designs, but that's just not me ig.
Leading Up To It
I remember sort of counting down the days and weeks when I first booked my tattoo, but that slowly fizzled into an almost forgotten memory until the day before.
One of the worst things I can remember leading up to getting it is the honestly heartbreaking fake-tan ban that you have to go through the week or so before. I remember smothering myself in oversized hoodies (what's new?) even more so than normal to try and hide the inevitable paleness that was underneath.
This also made me realise just how much of my make-up doesn't match my skin colour... Is this a problem? Maybe. Am I fussed? Absolutely not.
Meeting My Tattoo Artist
This is the most nerve-racking part for me believe it or not.
My tattooist was the lovely apprentice Nick Denton from Skins and Needles in Middlesbrough, Denton has like 20+ years of design experience from what I can remember him telling me, and moved onto tattooing as a new venture - love it!
I wasn't 100% sure what to expect when I met him tbh, I do think from the word apprentice you automatically think 18 year old fresh out of college, but it was sooooo reassuring to know it was someone that was actually experienced in the way I'd hoped.
I just want to add, I do think that it's extremely important to give everyone a chance, which is exactly why I went with an apprentice. Everyone has to start somewhere, and I'm just glad that he got the extra little portfolio work and I got exactly what I hoped for.
Finalising The Design
He met me in the reception and we sat and looked over some of the drawings he'd come up with and if I wanted any changes/my thoughts. He actually drew up something completely different than what I had in mind, and considering my design was basically from Pinterest (again... follow me here) I loved the fact that I could add his touches in and make the work his rather than just someone else's.
After we finalised the design, he popped it on the transfer paper and then we began to talk about sizes and placement... what was my maximum and what did I just not want. He took extra care to make sure that everything was lined up properly and that the placement would only pair with the end result in terms of accuracy.
He left me to look over it in the mirror and gather my thoughts whilst he went for a quick break, and when he came back we started.
I wasn't nervous about this at all, I think it was something that I'd thought of for that long that I just wanted to get on with it tbh.
Denton started off with doing a simple dot on my arm, so I could get to understand my pain tolerance and that if I did decide to call off the tattoo there and then, I'd be left with what looked like a freckle rather than a huge line across my lower arm. Simple things like this just let me know that I was in the best of hands and that his work and my comfort were his biggest priority.
I was in the chair for about 3-hours and let me TELL YOU it got worse as it went on. This is because (and I didn't know this) my arm actually swelled to the point where he couldn't continue and we had to pop Aloe Vera on and take a break.
I wouldn't necessarily say that the tattoo itself hurt (I did start to fall asleep towards the end), it just got more and more sore as the session went on and I found myself finding distractions, especially when it came to shading and the final details.
Aftercare Is a B*tch
Okay, so he'd finished the tattoo... now what?
Well after sort of obsessing over the TikTok videos of people getting their own tattoos, I had a basic (and I MEAN basic) idea of what aftercare would look like and what would happen directly after he'd finished.
I had a layer of Second Skin popped on top and sent on my way with clear instructions to keep it clean and dry and another lot of Second Skin to change the next day.
Oh my GOD I will never ever forget the pain of taking off that first layer of Second Skin, I swore, cried and bloody fought my way through changing that thing. It did get better with the next pack, but not by much, so thank Christ that's over with.
I've kept it moisturised with Palmer's Cocoa Butter, which I think has actually limited the issues with the dreaded itchy phase.
So that's about it!
The good news is that I'm FINALLY able to wear fake tan again (CLICK HERE to read my current ultimate tan routine) so that's a massive bonus! I no longer feel like a milk bottle.
I have a couple more ideas planned, and I know they're not everyone's taste so pls keep that opinion to yourself.
Until the next one!