"a guide to getting inked"

Thursday, May 19, 2011

These days, tattoos are as common as grass. People are more open to tatts and stereotypes against tattoos being gang/mafia-related still exist, but are not as dire as before. Whoever said that perceptions change with time, was a wise one.

However, the one thing that has NOT changed are the bad-taste in tattoos a lot of people have. The proof is all over Google images itself when searching for the term 'tattoo'. Some tattoos are too idiotic for words.

Personally, I really dislike tattoos that are cartoon-like, overrated, too complicated to boot and/or demonic-looking. The overrated ones are the worst - hearts, stars, skulls, dragons, demons, four-leaved clovers, you get my drift. Whenever I see tattoos like these, I'd wonder what the heck was this person smoking when they got that done? But, to each his/her own. I got my first tattoo last year, and it's definitely not the most unique tattoo around but it is one of its kind and it holds a specific meaning to me. I designed it myself and so I have a certain attachment to this piece of body art, and I know deep down that there will never be a moment in my life when I will want to have this removed.

So, here's a little piece of advice for all the ink-virgins out there (especially the younger ones), just so you don't get a permanent mark that you will regret one day.

Yes, I know thinking something over is not what many young people are very good at, but in this case, please do. Think about what it means to you, or how much it represents you. Are you only getting it because your favorite celeb has the same one? Is it even gonna be worth it years from now? Put your inner teenager that keeps screaming "I want it, I want it" aside, and just be honest with yourself.

This looks good, but not advisable for all you first-timers.

If it's your first tattoo, it's unwise to go all out and get your whole arm tattooed. Once you've settled on a design, keep it to a maximum size of a cigarette box. You don't know what your pain threshold is like yet and you don't know how your body may react to it. Be as discreet as you can, have it done in a place where it isn't so obvious - like your face or your chest. Remember, positioning is also just as important as the design itself. You won't want to live with a permanent regret.

Listen to your mother - never get your boyfriend/girlfriend's name tattooed onto your skin. Tattoos are permanent, partners are not. Never get them in obvious places (especially your face, like that horrendous face tattoo). Trust me on this.

Some people have more sensitive skin than others. If you have sensitive skin, be sure to consult your dermatologist or doctor before you have your tattoo done because there are cases where skin problems occur due to allergies to the ink pigments and you could wind up with a permanent scar. Don't risk your skin for nothing - you'll still have to pay the tattooist and also foot your own medical bills.

It's always cooler to have your favorite phrase tattooed instead of someone's name.

Okay, I'm a total hypocrite but please get your parent's approval before getting a tatt. I didn't and I think my mom was really disappointed with me the moment she accidentally discovered it. Don't worry, she's over it now. :D However, I got it when I was 22, so it wasn't like I didn't think it over thoroughly. Especially if you're 18 and below, get that permission before you proceed. Most tattoo parlors these days require kids under 18 to have your parents sign a slip anyways. Rather than to go through forgery (it's a federal offense, no joke, you could go to jail for that) it's easier to just convince your parents or at least wait till you're older.

I won't lie to you, I have a very low tolerance for pain. I screamed cold bloody murder the moment the needle buzzed, before it even touched my skin. So be sure you are mentally prepared to face the pain. I thought I was, but then I was so scared I nearly backed out. If it wasn't for my friends who were there to support me, I would've said no. If I could make it through, I don't see why you can't.

The person who tattoos you matters, A LOT.

Lastly, be sure to pick a reputable tattoo artist because mistakes cannot be undone when it comes to tattooing. Remember to ask for a thorough explanation on tattoo care - the skin on the tattoo will shed during the first week and it will be really itchy. My tattoo artist gave me a cream to ease the itchiness so be sure to ask for that.

When it's all good and healed, you'll have no reason to not flaunt it. :)


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  1. awesome choice of pics,really brings the grim n cheer of doing a tattoo.great post mish.

    ps:why the girl in the mirror dnt have the sparrow tattoo?:P

  2.  Hey, thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I don't know why but I think it looks pretty as it is now. :)


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All images and text here are the intellectual property of Michelle Lim, owner of the blog site www.coquettishmish.com, and related third-party ownerships. Any use, reproduction or re-quoting of the materials here can only be done with expressed permission from the blog owner, and should be duly credited where necessary.