Thinking about getting a tattoo? I’ve shared my experiences from getting both of my tattoos and what you can expect when getting yours!
Before I got my first tattoo, I had heard from a lot of people that tattoos are addictive. I hadn’t taken any notice until I got my own – but I think it’s true!
My First Tattoo
The first tattoo I got was this star on my right hip. I got it while I was living in York for university on my 20th birthday, so nearly 6 years ago! Whilst I much prefer my second tattoo, I don’t hate this one and I don’t regret getting it. If I hadn’t had the experience of getting it, I wouldn’t have had the guts to get my second bigger one. Contrary to popular belief, I didn’t know until afterwards that Avril Lavigne has the exact same tattoo in the exact same place!
I don’t remember much about getting my first tattoo. My friend came with me and talked to me the whole time to keep me distracted. I was nervous the night before but by the time I was lying on the table I was more excited. As far as I can remember it took around 30 minutes. The first four points of the star didn’t hurt much at all. It just felt like my skin was being scratched over and over again, but it was more like an irritation than pain. The final point of the star hurt more, because the pressure of the needle was directly on my hipbone. I was glad to get that part over with.
In terms of healing, I just put regular coats of Bepanthan over it. It healed pretty quickly and I didn’t experience any problems in the healing process.
My Second Tattoo
I got my second tattoo in June 2017. I had wanted this dream-catcher design for years, but I had talked myself out of it a few times because I was scared it was too generic. In the end, I threw caution to the wind and I’m so glad I did.
The tattooist was Mick Cage from India Street Tattoo, Belfast. He now works at 366 Tattoo Crew, which is also in Belfast. You can check out his portfolio of work on his website or on Facebook.
It took around 2 hours to complete. I had prepared myself for pain because the ribs are meant to be one of the most sensitive places to get a tattoo. I must have a high pain threshold because it turned out to be fine. However, I must say that the last 15 minutes were significantly more painful than the rest but only because my skin had been worked on for nearly 2 hours so it was red raw already!
As you can see from this (terrible quality, sorry!) photo – my skin was SO red by the end.
Mick was really good at keeping me chatting and distracted all the way through, so I would highly recommend that you check him out. Especially if you’re into mandalas and/or dot work.
In terms of healing, because it was a bigger tattoo – it was really itchy for the first week while it settled and scabbed. This is completely normal. I treated it with regular applications of Bepanthan and after that first week it was perfect.
I’m hoping to someday revisit this tattoo and get some colour through it but I’m in no rush because I’m still really happy with it !
My Tips for Anyone Getting a Tattoo (or considering getting one!)
- Obviously you don’t need me to tell you that tattoos are forever (unless you’re willing to deal with the pain and expense of getting it lasered off). Make sure that you’re 100% sure about what you want before you make the commitment. Also, if you get to your appointment and change your mind, don’t be scared to back out. You’ll thank yourself later when you haven’t got a tattoo you regret for the rest of your life!
- Consider the size and placement of your tattoo – does your workplace/school allow tattoos? If not, can it be easily covered up?
- EAT – before you go in for you tattoo. Getting tattooed puts your body through a lot more strain than you’d expect. If you’re not well-fuelled, you could end up feeling light headed very quickly
- Tattoos are expensive BUT price often reflects quality. I’d rather pay more for an amazing tattoo than get a cheaper one which might not match up to your original design. Once again, tattoos are FOREVER.
- Research not just your design, but the artist you want to instruct. Try to find someone who specialises in the type of design that you want. For example, someone who is great at tribal designs, may not be so good at portraits!
I’d love to see pictures of your tattoos and hear about your experiences. Please leave me a comment on here or any of my social media’s!