This is a guest post from my dear friend and blogger extraordinaire MJ Valentine. Make sure to check out her gorgeous lifestyle and beauty blog after reading this post! You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
Getting a tattoo is really exciting. Once you’ve made the decision, you begin to count down the days until your appointment, butterflies mounting. I woke up at five am the morning that I was getting my second tattoo done, and I felt like a little kid at Christmas time. There’s something about making the decision for yourself and all the social stigma that goes with it that’s not really like anything else.
Once your tattoo is finished, it’s in your skin forever (without considering options like laser removal, of course). There’s no reason you can’t carry on the excitement you felt for your tattoo on that first day for the rest of your life – considering just a few factors before getting inked will make sure that the love for your tattoo, as well as the tattoo itself, lasts a lifetime.
♥ Create a design that reflects your story
A tattoo should be an expression of your life at one particular time. It should draw on the memories and experiences that make you who you are. Even if your design reflects a relationship that you won’t be in in ten years time, it shouldn’t matter – your tattoo is like a time stamp of the experiences, thoughts and emotions that you feel today. Not getting a tattoo because it won’t be relevant in twenty years time is like saying you won’t bother taking photographs because those memories won’t be relevant in twenty years time. Creating a design that reflects your current story means that your tattoo will always be a special representation of this time in your life.
♥ Use original artwork
Take ideas for your design to a tattoo artist, have an artistic friend draw something for you or have the work commissioned – even if that tattoo is only small. Reputable tattoo artists will not directly copy another artist’s work anyway and may slightly change colors or small details to ensure the work is unique. Besides, do you really want to have the exact same design as someone else?! Boring! Using original artwork means that your tattoo is yours and yours alone. Plus, original pieces will carry far more artist merit than flash designs.
♥ Make sure you can afford it
Coming from personal experience, there is nothing worse than having the line work completed for a larger piece and then running out of cash to pay for the color! Somehow, my priorities got a little bungled and coloring in my ink kept getting pushed further and further down the list. It’s no big secret that tattoo can get pretty expensive, so make sure you have your budget sorted out before you start. A half-finished tattoo is like a half-finished piece of chocolate cake – not quite as pretty as it should be and just a little bit sad!
♥ Consider where the tattoo will go
This is not relevant to everybody, but if you’re a bit worried about the dress code where you work or your parents, just consider exactly how visible the tattoo will be. If you don’t care, then brilliant! Go for it! But if you do, think about where on your body would be an easy spot to conceal. Also, keep in mind that depending on your design, the artist may not be able to place it where you want it to go – a lot of artists won’t tattoo hands unless the client has 50% tattoo coverage or more and won’t do small, fiddly designs on the ankles, feet or hands as the skin won’t hold the ink as well. The best places to get tattooed are the larger expanses of softer skin.
♥ Take care of it properly
Once your ink’s all done and you’re feeling like a million dollars, keep your tattoo clean and moist for a week or two. Bepanthen cream (from a pharmacy) seems to be the most popular way to do this, otherwise tattoo wax (available from your tattoo parlor) is a great option too. Follow the aftercare instructions provided to you to the tee – this is likely to include avoiding going swimming in the ocean or choline for a few days, keeping it out of direct sunlight and possibly using antibacterial sprays or the like to prevent infection. The most important tip I can offer is to make sure you always slather your tattoos in sunscreen when you’re baring all on sunny days – tattoo ink will fade and feather a lot faster if it is exposed to a lot of sun!
I hope you found these tips useful! Do you have any tattoos? What would be your number 1 tip for someone who’s thinking about getting one?