April Mood Board

Pinky swear you won't fool us? Either way - here is our April Mood Board. No joke.

4 Tips For Picking a Tattoo Salon

A craftsman is only as good as his tools and when those tools are going to be putting something permanent on your body, it’s best to do your research not only on the artists, but on their shop. Sure, smoky, dimly lit, and open 24 hours has a certain rebel appeal, but your health and safety is way cooler as second-rate tattoo artist can lead to infections. So, here are just a few tips on things to find the perfect shop for you.

1. Cleanliness

Take a look around and trust your gut - is this place clean? If it feels dirty, it probably is, but it’s helpful to know which details to pay extra attention to.

  • Clean benches and seats, organized ink boxes, and well-lit procedure areas are all good signs.
  • Look for new, sterile needles. They should be removed from fresh autoclave bags right in front of you only once the tattoo is in progress.
  • Nothing that the artist uses should ever be put back into a container - it’s either tossed or sorted for sterilization.

Note: An autoclave is an electric sterilizer that uses steam to thoroughly clean the needles and other reusable supplies. But just because your tattoo salon has one doesn’t mean it’s in use. Ask for a recent autoclave certificate to be on the safe side.

2. Trained and Certified Artists

Many states require tattoo artists to have a license before they can perform on anyone, but for those whose states do not, ask if they can produce proof of being trained under another artist. And when we say training, we don’t just mean skill. Make sure any artist you’re considering has taken a course in safe and hygienic practices.

3. Comfortable?

While you and your artist don’t have to become best friends (kudos if you do), you should have a mutual respect and feel comfortable around them. Communication is key, and if you ever feel uncomfortable, belittled, or like you aren’t a priority, you may want to move on.

4. Relevant Work

Check out the portfolios and past work on display in the shop or on their website/ social media. While they are displaying their best, it’s still a great indicator of the kind of work you can expect to have done on you. However, if your artist can’t show you any of their personal past work in an album of sorts, you may be taking a risk with choosing them.


 

 

Call Yourself Lucky - Our March Mood Board

Happy March! It's a time for basketball, the start of spring, and four leafed clovers. This month, our mood board celebrates all the ways people look to bring luck with them wherever they go - as a tattoo!

How To Protect Your Tattoo Ink

We all care about the tattoos we invest in, but It’s important to protect that investment by protecting your ink from fading over time. Everything from the sun to the kinds of moisturizers you use play a role in keeping it as bright as the day you go it. So first, we’ll take a look at the things that put it at risk and then, we’ll give you tips on how to protect yourself against them. 

Bright Ink Is happy Ink

Risk Factor #1: Where It Is

While tattoos are permanent, certain parts of your body hold the ink better than others. Areas like the lips, feet, and fingers are known to fade faster because the skin is slightly different and in more active places on your body. 

Pro Tip: If you’re looking for something to fade over time, these places are just for you. If not, think about moving your design to somewhere else on your body like your arms, legs, back, or chest. Just remember, the more that tattoo comes into contact with other things, the more likely it is to fade. 

Risk Factor #2: Not Following Healing Instructions

Tattoos, at their core, are wounds that need to heal. Our previous post outlines the importance of the healing process. Between avoiding infections, not over exposing it to the sun, and allowing it to properly set, the first month is critical to the life of your tattoo.

Pro Tip: Follow these 5 tips to make sure you allow it to heal the right way and start the life of your tattoo on the right foot.

Risk Factor #3: UV Exposure

Ultraviolet rays from the sun or tanning salons damage your skin and more specifically your ink. That’s because most of the compounds that make up the pigments used in the tattoo are negatively affected by UVA and UVB rays.

Pro Tip: Some UV is unavoidable, but if you know you’ll be outside for long periods of time, you can protect yourself. Cover up or use a natural sunblock like Save Your Tattoo.

Risk Factor #4: A Bad Tattoo Artist

It’s important to do your homework when choosing a tattoo artist. The straightness of their lines, consistency, cleanliness, and precision all play a part in the lifespan of the final product.

Pro Tip: We can’t stress this one enough - do your research. Nothing is worse than having your designs poorly executed, only paying to get it touched up too soon down the road.

Risk Factor #5: Aging

Unfortunately, this one is unavoidable. Our skin naturally changes with time and this will most likely affect the way your tattoo looks.

Pro Tip: Choose places on your body that are less like to stretch or sag over time. 

Risk Factor #6: Bad Skin Care

Healthier skin = healthier tattoos, so it’s only obvious that not taking care of your skin is bad news for the longevity of your ink.

Pro Tip: Wouldn’t it be convenient if you were on a sight that would help you do that already? Oh wait. 

5 Tips to Help Your Tattoo Heal

Congrats! You’ve just made the amazing decision - to get a tattoo. Whether you’ve been planning it for years or were just feeling spontaneous, the healing process is important to ensuring a vibrant life for your new ink. While Save Your Tattoo isn’t for fresh tattoos, we’re here to help with 5 things to do after you get your tattoo to keep it looking fresh for life.

1. Keep the Covering On - No Peeking!

We know it may be tempting to look underneath the banadage, but leaving it on is an important first step in the process. Removing it too soon can cause it to over expose, heal improperly, or get unwanted blood or ink on your clothes. While most artists agree that the minimum time to leave it on is 2 hours, your tattoo artist will be to tell you exactly how long you should wait depending on the size and placement. When it’s time to remove the bandage, soak it with warm water first to help it come off easier.

2. Keep it Clean

Gently wash the tattoo with lukewarm water and unscented, mild soap 2 or 3 times a day for a few weeks. Do NOT use a washcloth, loofa, or any sponge as these can harbor bacteria. Also, avoid holding the tattoo directly under the water as the stream may be too harsh on your healing skin. Splash water on the inked area and gently rub with your hands. Then, pat it dry with a paper towel and allow it to breathe for 30 minutes before covering it again.

3. Moisturize

Using an ointment after washing your tattoo for the first few days will help prevent infections and keep it hydrated. A thin layer is all you need. Once it begins to peel, switch to a unscented lotion. We suggest keeping a bottle at home and purchasing another that you can bring with you to use throughout the day if you are often on-the-go. Avoid any heavy ointments or lotions that may contain petroleum as these can be too heavy and cause the ink to fade.

4.Wear the Right Clothing


For the first couple of weeks, it’s important to avoid wearing tight-fitting or restrictive clothing. As your skin heals, it will inevitably excrete plasma and excess ink which may cause your clothes to stick to your skin. Gross. In the case that it does get stuck, soak it with warm water like you did with the bandage to avoid damaging your tattoo.

5. Other Do’s and Don’t

  • Avoid going into large bodies of water (pool, ocean, hot tubs, etc.). Showers are fine as long as they are not too hot.
  • Keep the tattoo out of direct sunlight.
  • Avoid activities that lead to excessive amounts of sweating.
  • Resist the urge to pick, peel, or scratch at any scabs or hard layers of skin.
  • Once it’s finally healed, use Save Your Tattoo to keep it looking clean and bright.

 

February Mood Board

From hearts anatomic and fantastic, to fresh flowers and matching tattoos, we're taking a look at some inspiration that will be sure to make you fall in love with tattoos. 

Permanent Makeup

Tattoos serve many different purposes. Remembrance of loved ones, daily reminders, self-expression, body art, etc. But have you ever thought of tattoos as makeup?

Source: Natural-you

Source: Natural-you

According to the society of permanent cosmetic professionals, a cosmetic tattoo refers to ”Tattooing the appearance of traditional cosmetic eyebrows, eyeliner, and lip color among other associated services.” While there is no clear history of the rise of this trend, it has its obvious benefits:

  • Scar and blemish cover-up
  • Those with active lifestyles can avoid reapplying throughout the day
  • You can save time in the mornings getting ready
  • Save money in the long run with a one-time payment over years of purchasing products
  • The perfect eyeliner and eyebrow shape everyday

Seems like a win-win-win situation, right? However, because the procedure is the same as any other tattoo, the same considerations should be made when weighing the pros and cons: 

  • Assess whether or not you are ready for the permanent change
  • Consult a professional about whether or not a tattoo in sensitive areas like the face would be right for you
  • Makeup trends might not be the best (Ie, green eyeliner or a specific lip shade) - we suggest getting a more neutral base line and building on top with regular, store-bought solutions
  • Do your research and choose a tattoo artist you trust
  • Establish a post-care routine that will keep your skin healthy
Source: Transform Esthetics

Source: Transform Esthetics

Permanent makeup or cosmetic tattoos have some serious benefits. From more natural looks to eyeliner wings that never smudge, it provides a time saving, consistent option for countless people. If you choose to get one, make sure to do it safely, choose a timeless look, and consult a permanent cosmetics professional. 

United by Ink

While tattoos can help us express unique parts of ourselves and our stories, they can be used to commemorate others. Kory Poxton for example got one to help understand her daughter Tarly a bit better. 

Tarly has been diagnosed with Netherton syndrome, a serious skin condition that causes blistering and itchy skin. She has to apply special moisturizers six times a day just to keep it under control. As the only one of her family to be diagnosed, Tarly asked her mother why she had it while everyone around her didn't. Kory decided to do something about it. 

Source: Daily Mail

Source: Daily Mail

'I contacted a couple of tattooists and got a heart-shaped tattoo on the top of my thigh. It is pink and looks just like her skin and it says ''little me'' underneath. 'Tarly loves it and she's told absolutely everyone about it, saying that it is just like her skin but pretend.'  

Read more about this inspiring story here.

 

 

What Tattoo is Right For Your Sign?

You may have missed it, but an article on Cosmopolitan UK yesterday sent us spinning. They reported that NASA had not only shifted the signs but added a new only completely. Luckily, it's not true, but it did get us thinking about how deeply people identify with their signs. So, we asked ourselves - what tattoo should your sign get? 

"Spook"spiration

October may be the beginning of PSLs, but it also brings about the scarier side in all of us. To celebrate, we've compiled some of our favorite spooky tats ranging from downright cute, to super strange. 

International London Tattoo Convention

This weekend in London, over 400 of the worlds best tattoo artists will gather to showcase their talent. We could go on and try to describe some of our favorites, but it'd probably be better just to show you: 

Lianne Moule
Country: United Kingdom
Known for: bright usage of color, full sleeves, abstract, water color style tattoos
 

Tang Ping
Country: People's Republic of China
Known for: Body suits

Ellen Westholm
Country: Sweden
Known for: Black and grey fantasy portraits

Claudia de Sabe
Country: United Kingdom
Known for: Japanese-style

Check out the work of these artists and more here. 

Move Over, Rogaine.

From hair transplant surgery to Rogaine, dealing with male patterned baldness is common - almost 70% of men experience it at some point in their lifetime before the age of 35. However, not many of the solutions are all that effective. So, Matt Lulo of Scalp Micro USA in NYC came up with an alternative. 

@SKALP.CLINIC  

@SKALP.CLINIC

 

By tattooing thousands of little dots in place of hair follicles, men experiencing hair loss can "fill in the gaps" giving a look of a fresh buzz. The process can either be permanent or temporary can only costs around $2,000 as opposed to $10,000 for traditional transplants. 10/10 for creativity, Matt. 

If you ever choose to put a put a tattoo on your head, face, or any other part of your body that is often exposed to the sun, bring our travel-sized lotion bottle to apply as necessary. 

 

Falling Into September

As if there weren't enough pumpkins in your life already, here's our fall inspired September mood board. See more on our Pinterest.

June Mood Board - Feeling Inspired

Whether you're a fan of O'Keeffe or Herring, there is no doubting the influence classic and modern art has had on the tattoo community. This month, we're highlighting some of our favorite artist inspired tattoos.

 

 

 

Burned?

You've just spent a great day at the beach, out on the water, or relaxing by the pool. Unfortunately, you might have forgotten to put on sunblock, missed a spot, or sweat it off before you had time to apply more. You head home to find that your shirt now feels uncomfortable and your skin is red or raw. Unfortunately, you’ve got a sunburn. They are caused by overexposure to damaging UV rays from the sun. While they are usually self-treatable and resolve within a week, they are painful and can be annoying to deal with. If you ever find yourself with a sunburn, try one of these helpful steps to help aid recovery. 

Image via Flckr by Sophie Carys Whitehouse

Image via Flckr by Sophie Carys Whitehouse

1. Assess the Damage

As we mentioned, most sunburns are mild enough to treat at home with a little TLC. However, some can be far more serious. If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, head to the doctor for a more thorough examination and treatment plan. 

  • Blisters
  • Fever or chills
  • Swelling
  • Nausea 
  • Dizziness

2. Avoid the Sun

It seems like common sense, but many people who get sunburned will continue to go back out into the sun and worsen the problem. Wear sunblock, clothes that cover the burn, and a hat every time you go outside. Avoid the sun as much as possible during peak hours (10am - 4pm). 

3. Cool Off

Taking a cool (not cold) shower or using a cool, damp towel can help take the heat off of your skin and relieve pain. There are also many over-the-counter products that contain aloe vera or soy that can be used to soothe sunburns with a cooling effect. 

4. Stay Hydrated

An important step in recovering is keeping your skin hydrated to promote healing. Using moisturizer often and throughout the day will help relieve pain and keep your skin from peeling. Getting a lotion with Vitamin E or C may even promote faster healing and damage reversal. Don’t forget your insides, too. Drink plenty of extra water. 

5. Take Your Medicine

If you see a sunburn beginning to form, take a dose of ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Not only will they curb the pain, these anti-inflammatories and pain killers help reduce swelling, redness, pain, and long-term damage.   

Sun burns are treatable, but the best practice is to prevent it in the first place. Over time, this damage to your skin can cause premature aging and in some cases, skin cancer. Your best defense is to wear sunblock and frequently reapply it after going in the water or sweating. It may take longer to see a tan but it is worth it in the long run. You can learn more about the damaging effects of the sun and how Save Your Tattoo can help here. 

 

May Mood Board - May the 4th be With You

It's may and we all know what that means. Star Wars has inspired generations and will continue to do so in the future. We love it so much, we've dedicated our May mood board to it - these are the tattoos you're looking for. 

Trending Tats: 3D Tattoos

People often take a long time to choose what tattoo they want. Everything from the meaning, to the design, down to the colors are chosen with great care. However, sometimes the best ones come to you through a happy accident or are decided on in spur of the moment decisions thus capturing that moment in your life forever. 

Well, in Portland, OR, tattoo artist Dave (or as he's known on Instagram, Winston the Whale) took his happy accident to a whole other level - 3D tattoos. And we don't mean tattoos that look like something is really coming out of your skin. We mean what older 3D movies would look like if you peaked over your glasses. 

Winston the Whale

Winston the Whale

It began with a friends simple request for a 3D skull, and the result went viral. Dave was flooded with requests and just, "Kind of went for it." To really let the 3D effect shine through, the designs are often kept minimal. He has a collection of options already made, but will also do awesome custom work like this one below upon request. 

Winston the Whale

Winston the Whale

While they won't actually work with the funky glasses we wore at the movies, it surely brings you back. If you live in the Portland area and happen to be stopping by, you can reach out for a chance to get inked up by Winston the Whale at thelostcause.va@gmail.com.

Meaghan's Story

Like most people Meaghan struggled with the emotion of fear for a lot of her life. But when Taylor Swift released her Fearless album, Meaghan was inspired by the music and this quote: 

“To me ‘Fearless isn’t the absence of fear. It’s not being completely unafraid. To me, fearless is having fears. Fearless is having doubts. Lots of them. To me, fearless is living in spite of those things that scare you to death.” -Taylor Swift

Meaghan began to change the way she looked at fear. She decided that it's okay to be afraid. What matters is how you manage and move forward. Meaghan said, “It may seem lame to be inspired by a Taylor Swift quote, but it holds a lot of meaning to me.”

Thank you for sharing, Meaghan. We love hearing from people and learning what inspires them! If you want your story to be featured, email us at saveyourtattoo@saveyourtattoo.com