5 Magical Things I Love

So I’m not really into magic per se as far as magic being a practice.

However, if we’re talking about the moments of life when you can, quite literally, feel magic happening, then yes, I’m a big believer.

One day I will possibly initiate myself into the clan of modern witches and develop some sort of ongoing ritual or practice, but until then, I’m just chilling with a few magical things.

The following five magical things in my life are things that I FEEL the magic in and have become a part of my life in some integral ways. Each of these things comes from brands or people that I place immense trust in and feel their good vibes.

In many ways, each of these items has been a part of both my self-care and self-growth, both of which have been instrumental in my life lately.

So buckle in, my fellow magical beings!

1. Chakrubs

In case you didn’t know about these crystal sex toys, welcome to my TED talk.

I stumbled across Chakrubs through an Instagram influencer years ago. At first, I wasn’t sold—why would I need a crystal dildo, yoni egg, or butt plug when I was fine with my sex life?

I ended up purchasing a rose quartz yoni egg to try because I was just so intrigued by crystal sex toys and this company, and my relationship with Chakrubs went from there.

Now, it’s hard to imagine my sex life without them. My husband and I don’t use them every time, and we use different ones for different activities, but they really are incredible.

Chakrubs have not only made masturbation and sex better (like, mind-blowingly better), but they have allowed me to explore different aspects of sex without feeling pressured to act like I was enjoying it because the stimulation was coming from my partner’s body. Instead, I was free to like or dislike the crystals (although I do truly love all of them!).

I currently have rose quartz and amethyst yoni eggs, The Viper, The Prism Original, The Amethyst Slim, and The Indian Jade Root. It’s hard to pick a favorite—I have different favorites for different things.

Part of what I love about Chakrubs is their quality. They are the original crystal sex toy company. My husband and I tried a different crystal sex toy purchased off of Etsy because it was much cheaper than Chakrubs, but the quality was extremely poor (there was even some type of glue residue around where the different parts of the crystal met—gross!)

So now we only invest in Chakrubs. I also love that they have an Etsy page where they sell discounted crystal sex toys that have very minor imperfections—many of the pieces I’ve gotten have been from here.

I also love that Chakrubs ships in discreet packaging—it would be difficult for anyone to know the package contained a sex toy. I also love that these crystals are designed to last for life, so unless you drop and break one, it’s yours forever!

2. Tree Frog Farms Flower Essences

My husband and I found out about Tree Frog Farms from our dog’s former herbalist, who recommended a Blue Vervain flower essence from them. Don’t judge them by their website because yes, it’s pretty janky.

They create flower and herb essences that are, quite frankly, some of the most magical things I’ve had the pleasure of encountering.

I have tried sweet briar rose essence from them and recently purchased their Throat Chakra essence as well as their Manifest essence. I’m telling you, these essences are pure magic. I can feel, smell, and taste the magic in them, which is a blend of flowers, plants, and herbs that are energetically charged with crystals.

While I don’t use these essences all the time, I use them during specific points in my life, mostly really challenging ones, to help me keep my heart open to the experiences life has in store for me.

3. Big Dipper Works Beeswax Candles

I have always loved candles.

But I found out about 10 years ago that the amazing-smelling candles I loved so much in my teenage and early adult years were actually emitting toxins via synthetic fragrances that could be incredibly harmful to my health, the health of my animals, and my home.

What’s a candle-lover to do?

I stayed away from candles for a while until I found these amazing, 100% beeswax candles from Big Dipper Wax Works. At first, I was skeptical about the scent—they didn’t really smell like anything compared to the toxic candles I had been using from Home Goods and Bath & Body Works. But now, after using them for several years, I actually adore the scent and find it totally magical.

Each candle has a subtle unique color and scent to it, which comes from the flowers that the bees pollinate. Isn’t that cool? I love that these candles are 100% beeswax and don’t contain any added fragrances or toxins, so I feel good burning them in my home.

In case you’re all about that scent though, Big Dipper Wax Works offers aromatherapy candles made with 100% essential oils so you can burn amazing-smelling candles in your home without worrying about toxic synthetic fragrances, some of which are known carcinogens.

Of course, you can also add your own essential oils to the burning wax in their original candles, and even decorate them with herbs or flowers for fun!

I love using these candles on my altar for my son Ansel (aka Mouse), who passed very unexpectedly last year.

4. Beyond Bohemian Ethically Sourced Crystals

Paul and Zina Oliver own and operate Beyond Bohemian, a company that exclusively sells ethically sourced crystals from around the world. They also exclusively use eco-friendly, recycled packaging material for their products.

I’ve bought several crystals from this company, the most recent being a large black tourmaline palm stone. The energy in this stone is incredible. With each order, I have also received a free small crystal, which is pretty awesome.

Finding ethically sourced crystals can be difficult, but I love the magic flowing from this company and I love their ethics.

5. EcoStardust Glitter

If you see me online or in real life, I’m almost always wearing glitter.

Several years ago, I stumbled across a very cool glitter company based in Los Angeles that I was pretty enraptured with. For some reason, I was under the impression that the glitter was biodegradable (I later learned it wasn’t).

I also learned, after using the glitter for a few years, that they had changed their formula to include synthetic fragrance. Synthetic fragrance is a big no-no in my book because it contains toxic chemicals that have been connected to everything from reproductive health to migraines to neurological effects to even cancer.

Plus, these scents are way too strong for both people and animals (my bunnies especially). I never use them in my home or my cleaning and beauty products for any reason. If a product has this, I will not use it. (In case you’re wondering, it’s typically listed as “Fragrance” on a label.)

So when I saw the new ingredient list, I was concerned about the products I already had, and I reached out to the company (who actually custom-designed a glitter for my wedding day for me). I asked them if the products I already had contained synthetic fragrance, because if they did, I didn’t want to continue using them.

The company refused to answer my question and went so far as to imply that I was trying to steal their ingredient list and make the product for myself. Um, WHAT? I’m trying to buy more of your glitter, you dummies!

Needless to say, my feelings were hurt, and after spending hundreds of dollars at this company on glitter, I felt that I deserved better treatment as a customer. So that was the end of that.

I went looking for a new glitter, one that was actually biodegradable and I could feel good about. That’s when I found EcoStardust Biodegradable Glitter.

This glitter is really cool. It’s a loose glitter, and instead of being made from plastic, it’s made from cellulose from hardwoods, typically eucalyptus. All of their glitters are made from responsibly managed and certified plantations. The glitter is also proven to biodegrade into a harmless substance in the natural environment.

They have single-color glitters as well as some really cool signature blends. I love all of them and my favorites change over time.

It’s also so easy to apply. They sell a balm that you can apply it with, but I just use natural aloe vera gel that I buy at the store and apply with my fingers or a little makeup brush. I have also used argan oil or coconut oil to have it stick to my skin (honestly though, sometimes it sticks fine after I apply eye cream or moisturizer without anything extra!).

Everyone who sees me is like, “Wow, you must have spent so much time applying that glitter!”, and I’m like, “It took me about three minutes.” 🙂

This glitter = complete magic.

What Are Some Magical Things You Love?

I wanna know! Because we all need a little magic in our lives, don’t we?

These 8 (Mostly Vegan) Natural Tattoo Aftercare Products Will Make You Forget About Aquaphor

Getting a tattoo is a super exciting time.

I remember when I first started getting tattoos. The artists simply gave me little packs of A&D ointment and told me to follow up with Aquaphor. No mention was made of natural tattoo aftercare.

By the time I started getting tattoos, I already knew that products such as these contained toxic ingredients. However, for the record, Aquaphor and its maker Eucerin do not test on animals, which is surprising but apparently true.

What I did find when searching for alternative products is that there’s definitely a market for natural tattoo aftercare products that cater to both vegan and non-vegan audiences. You have options besides using nasty, petroleum-based, animal-tested products to heal your beautiful new ink!

First—What’s Wrong with Aquaphor?

Let’s talk for a second about why you might want to avoid ingredients in brands that some tattoo artists recommend and instead go for natural tattoo aftercare products.

The main active ingredient in Aquaphor is Petrolatum. In case you didn’t know, Petrolatum is just another word for petroleum jelly, so don’t be fooled. Why should you be concerned?

Petrolatum contains possible carcinogens which can lead to cancer development, according to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

Needless to say, this likely isn’t the best product to put on your open wound, especially when there are other natural tattoo aftercare products available.

In addition, some tattoo artists argue that using petroleum-based products can inhibit healing of the tattoo and even testify that they believe tattoos heal faster when using natural tattoo aftercare products.

8 Natural Tattoo Aftercare Products

Let’s forget about those other crappy products and talk about some authentic, natural balms that you can use so your new tattoo heals beautifully!

All the natural tattoo aftercare products listed here do not test on animals and do not contain synthetic ingredients or fragrance, which can be very toxic to our wellbeing.

1. Ohana Organics Tattoo Butter (Vegan)

So I’ve personally used this natural tattoo aftercare product for my last two tattoos and have really enjoyed (you can see my last two pieces on Instagram here and here).

This tattoo butter is vegan and uses very simple ingredients including shea butter and olive oil.

If you’ve never used shea butter before, it does have a greasy feel to it and so that’s my only problem with this product. I definitely have to be careful with what I touch when I have this on.

Ohana Organics offers half an ounce of their tattoo butter in an adorable tin for $4.99 with larger sizes available. Shop here.

2. Wild Rose Herbs Ink Spray (Vegan)

I’m actually really excited to try Wild Rose Herbs’ natural tattoo aftercare products. I just bought some of their stuff for my sister-in-law for Christmas and they seem to be high-quality products. (Update to this post: I have tried the non-vegan ink balm and so far love it!)

What I love about this ink spray is that it uses peppermint to help with the sometimes severe itching that happens while a tattoo is healing. It also has some other really cool ingredients including witch hazel and German chamomile.

This spray is also vegan!

Wild Rose Herbs sells 1 ounce of their ink spray for $9.95. Shop here.

3. Wild Rose Herbs Tattoo Balm (Both Vegan and Non-Vegan Formulas)

So Wild Rose Herbs carries both vegan and non-vegan formulas for their natural tattoo aftercare balm with the difference being the inclusion of beeswax in the non-vegan formula.

These tattoo balms also use peppermint to help with itch and lavender which tends to be gentle and soothing for healing skin.

Wild Rose Herbs sells both their vegan and non-vegan tattoo balm formulas starting at $10.49 for .85 ounces with larger sizes available. Shop here for vegan and here for the beeswax formula.

4. Brooklyn Grooming Tattoo Balm (Not Vegan)

Ok so I have again not tried Brooklyn Grooming’s natural tattoo aftercare balm; however, it contains pure organic ingredients and is not tested on animals.

With ingredients such as hemp seed oil, shea butter, and vitamin E, it’s hard to go wrong with this tattoo balm. Remember that this formula isn’t vegan friendly due to the fact that it contains beeswax.

Brooklyn Grooming sells their tattoo balm in 2-ounce sizes for $22. Shop here.

5. EiR NYC Tattoo Balm (Vegan)

If you’re looking for a vegan version of Brooklyn Grooming’s tattoo balm, check out EiR NYC’s tattoo balm. I haven’t tried this one but I love the simple, organic ingredients in this natural tattoo aftercare product, including dried rose petals and rosemary!

This balm also includes coconut oil and shea butter and is sold in half-an-ounce containers for $10. Shop here.

6. After Inked Tattoo Moisturizer (Vegan)

So I actually have tried this tattoo moisturizer from After Inked. It’s vegan, which is great, but I’m not too crazy about the formula.

The ingredients aren’t super pure (it contains preservatives), but one big pro to this natural tattoo aftercare product is that it’s not greasy, so it acts as more of a lotion than a balm.

It’s weird though because this is precisely what I didn’t like about it; it didn’t really feel like it was “protecting” my tattoo. However, if you’re looking for a non-greasy tattoo aftercare lotion, this could be your pick!

After Inked sells their tattoo moisturizer in 3-ounce sizes for $20. Shop here.

7. Ora’s Amazing Herbal Tattoo Salve (Not Vegan)

I have not tried this natural tattoo aftercare product but it’s another great pick. It contains a lot of fun herbs including calendula (I LOVE calendula for healing skin and also dry skin among its other benefits), comfrey, thyme, and St. John’s Wort.

Ora’s Amazing Herbal Tattoo Salve contains beeswax so it’s not vegan. You can find sizes starting at 1 ounce for $11.88 here.

8. Susie Q Skin Ink Salve (Not Vegan)

This one made the list even though one of their ingredients is “natural fig fragrance”. I would absolutely question the company about this ingredient before buying to find out if it is actually natural and not synthetic. (The site does say their products don’t contain any synthetic fragrances but I would double check just to be sure.)

I’m putting this natural tattoo aftercare product on here because their other ingredients are pure and they contain other products that could be good as well including tattoo wash. They also have this cool page on their website speaking out against animal testing.

Ingredients in Susie Q Skin’s Ink Salve include hemp seed oil, lemongrass, rose, arnica, and turmeric. You can find 1-ounce sizes and up starting at $19.95 here.

What Are You Waiting for?

When it comes to natural tattoo aftercare products, you absolutely have the power to choose products that aren’t toxic to your body and don’t suffocate your skin.

Your tattoo was something you dreamed of, it’s now a part of you forever, and you want it to heal perfectly. Isn’t your new ink worth investing in some aftercare balms that are good for you as well as the planet?

What do you use to heal your tattoos? I’d love to hear if you know of any more natural products (or home ingredients) that you feel make the cut for superior tattoo aftercare!

Also–if you’ve got fresh ink–check out my post about the five stages of grief and your new tattoo!

The 5 Stages of Grief and Your New Tattoo

So I just got my first “real” tattoo.

All of my other 8 tattoos have been script/roman numerals. I’m a writer, ok? I really like words. (There seems to be some type of stigma associated with getting font tattooed on your body in tattoo culture.)

One of my other tattoos.

Anyway! So for my 9th tattoo, I finally got some real art done by an artist based out of Virginia. It was my first big piece of work and I’m a little surprised by how I coped with it.

The tattoo this article is about (one of my biggest pieces!).

Getting a tattoo is a weird process—after the fact, I might add. It’s saying goodbye to the skin on that part of your body forever. You’ll never see it again. You now have to see—insert whatever it is you got tattooed on your body—every day.

What I went through was a little like the five stages of grief with my new tattoo.

Denial: It’s Not Really There!

If you’ve gotten a tattoo before, you have experienced this.

Immediately after you get your tattoo, you love it. You show everyone. It’s fresh. It looks amazing!

You wake up the next morning and you’re like, “WHAT. IS. THAT.”

It’s not that you didn’t remember that you got it done. It’s just that… well, it’s a part of you now. Like really a part of you. For the first couple hours after I got my tattoo, I was like, “Whoa. What is that thing?” By the next morning, I remembered that it was there.

But while it was healing, it didn’t seem like it was a part of my body. It almost looked like a shiny new sticker that I could just peel right off. Despite the fact that while I was washing it and could feel the lines inked into my skin, I thought, “It’s not really there! Nothing’s different!”

Anger: Why Did I Get That?

Not everyone has welcome reactions to your new ink.

Mom: “IT’S HUGE! How much did that cost? What?? Why?!!!”

Bestie: “DUDE IT’S FUCKING AMAZING YOU’RE AMAZING I LOVE IT AHHH!!!!!!!!!”

Partner: “Wow it looks sexy, you’re sexy, I love you.” *kiss*

Grandma: *insert slapping motion here* (Yes, she literally slapped my tattoo three days after I got it. I have not yet forgiven her.)

Regardless of people’s reactions (or on account of people’s reactions, whatever), you start to feel mad. Why did I get that? You think. You also see your credit card statement of how much it cost and, let’s face it, wake up the next morning feeling like shit because that part of your body is swollen and sore and red and you can’t wear clothes that cover it and you feel like you just hate everything.

Bargaining: If Only I Could Change This…

I saw a great YouTube video (it’s no longer live; sorry I had to remove the link!) about tattoo regret and it really resonated with me, not necessarily because I have any tattoos I regret per se, but because the person made a great point about questioning your new ink.

You will always wonder:

  • What if I got it smaller/bigger?
  • What if I got it in color/black and grey?
  • What if I went to a different artist/shop?
  • What if I just had them change this little part of it?
  • What if I had gotten something different?
  • What if I didn’t get anything at all???

You bargain. You wonder what could have been changed. You think about changing it in the future. I usually think about these things as I process each new tattoo. I consider its imperfections and how the piece is different from what I imagined, as well as variations between the actual ink and the stencil I saw.

Because nothing is ever perfect no matter how much we want it to be. My tattoos, like me, aren’t perfect. But, like me, they are still beautiful.

Depression: I’ll Never Have Naked Skin Again

At some point, you start to feel depressed that you have this tattoo. You spent a bunch of money, spent hours in pain, and are now spending weeks taking care of it, resentfully avoiding the bathtub and wondering when you’ll ever feel normal again.

Me getting my tattoo done. That’s my leg ahhh.

I was freezing during this appointment! Next time remember to bring a sweater or a blanket, girl.

And then you realize that you’ll never BE normal again. Because you have this tattoo and you don’t know how to handle it. You know you’ll never see the skin on the other side of that tattoo again. How do you cope?

Coping is different for everyone who experiences tattoo grief (or tattoo dysphoria, as I’ve come to call it). Some people grow to love and accept their tattoo. For others, learning to live with their tattoo is a daily practice that is difficult. Living with an altered appearance can be immensely challenging for some of us with new ink.

Acceptance: I Actually Like It!

Finally, once your tattoo heals a little more and it stops looking like a giant sticker, once the people in your life have stopped commenting on it and you can stop sleeping in weird positions to avoid rubbing it, you might begin to accept and love your tattoo.

It can take a while. For some people, it may only be a week or two. For others, it may be a few months or even years. And some people never really get to the acceptance stage where they feel like they can integrate this tattoo into their lives in a healthy way.

So if you really hate your new tattoo, it has a major flaw you just can’t get over, or you are having trouble coping with it even after it’s been a while, you might not ever get to the acceptance stage.

This was not my experience, but many people have had this experience where they cannot adjust to the tattoo. What are your options if this happens?

  • Consider a cover-up. You can consult a tattoo artist who is experienced with cover-ups and consider cover-up options. I would consider consulting with multiple artists and multiple cover-up options and wait at least six months before going forward with a cover-up or altering the tattoo (trust me, you don’t want to end up with something you hate even more, even if you can’t stand your current tattoo!).
  • Have it removed. Laser removal is also an option, but it is expensive and painful. It also takes a really long time—a minimum of one year and potentially several years (I know from personal experience!). It’s also important to note that lasering may not remove the tattoo completely, depending on the color of your tattoo. Black ink is the easiest to remove and can be fully removed. However, lighter colors like pink, red, blue, and orange are more difficult and may only fade. You may need to have the tattoo “lightened” with a few laser sessions and then covered up.
  • Ask for support. Consider working with a therapist, coach, or another professional to help you process your feelings and experience around your tattoo and how you might consider moving forward with the tattoo as part of your life (or explore how a removal/cover-up would help). I work with people who experience tattoo regret/tattoo dysphoria through my coaching website and offer a free initial session if you want to chat.

A Note on the 5 Stages

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross developed the 5 stages of grief. However, Elisabeth later said she regretted making these stages, because they have been grossly misinterpreted by the general public.

For the vast majority of people, the 5 stages are NOT a linear timeline that they go through and then are done with. This is true whether you are dealing with tattoo grief (which some people call tattoo dysphoria, which can be similar to body dysmorphia) or have experienced a loss.

It’s important to understand that you may go through these stages, then go through them again. Or you may not go through all of them, only some. Or you may go through one, skip to one, and then go back to another. You may take a long time to be in each stage, and keep going through them throughout your life.

I know that sounds a little daunting, but the point is that your journey is your own, and honoring your journey does not mean subscribing to a “timeline” where you go through the stages and are done. It means honoring your unique process for integrating this ink into your life, whatever that may look like for you. Each person’s experience is unique!

Do You Love Your Tattoo Yet?

It’s taken me a little while, but I love my new tattoo, and while it’s not perfect, I am ok with that.

I’m grateful to the artist and his patience with my first big piece, I’m grateful to have a beautifully designed tattoo, and I’m grateful it didn’t get infected while it was healing.

I’m also grateful that my rabbits didn’t scratch it, although Fiver did bite my leg ridiculously close to it, adorable little thing. He’s literally never bitten me before and he chooses to bite my leg the day after I get a giant tattoo. I think it’s because the tattoo butter I used had lavender in it? Rabbits love herbs!

Don’t let this evil little thing fool you. I love him, though.

Give your tattoo some time, show it some love, and let your body heal. Your experience is valid, and your feelings are normal!

What I Wish I Knew about Oral Piercings Before I Got Them

I have some experience with oral piercings.

I got my tongue pierced ten days before my nineteenth birthday with a tall, biracial man I was deeply in love with. I just didn’t know it at the time.

Of course, it hurt. To my surprise, it didn’t hurt as much as I thought it would. I held his hand as the needle went through, and when the barbell was securely fastened inside, the sharp pains that came whenever I moved my tongue were unexpected.

We went back to his house late that night and ate peanut butter on bread. I couldn’t believe the pain! Then again why would anyone in their right mind try to eat peanut butter hours after they got their tongue pierced?

Did I mention he was a whimsical, childish, ADHD-afflicted unicorn? Or something like that.

I had my tongue pierced for about five years before taking it out due to a dental problem. You’ll hear about that in a minute.

About a month before my twenty-third birthday, I went to Ocean City with a friend of mine. She wanted to get her tongue pierced but was really scared. Long story short, we had a little bit too much to drink with her sister. Then we went on the boardwalk to get piercings.

I’d always wanted my lip pierced but never gotten it done. That fall would be my senior year of college at Penn State and I knew I’d have to get a “real job” after that (we see how that turned out, right?) and probably wouldn’t be able to get my lip pierced. It was now or never!

So I forgot about my internship in Baltimore for all of twenty minutes while I got a needle shoved through my lip. I was surprised how much that one hurt.

I still have my lip pierced.

So what do I wish I knew about oral piercings before I got them? What I know now about oral piercings may surprise you.

Oral Piercings Will Cause Problems with Your Teeth

Okay, yeah, I definitely heard this one but didn’t believe it. These were the notions about oral piercings of adults who didn’t want me to be the badass that I really was.

I took my tongue ring out because, after years of having it, my tooth sensitivity was getting worse. I later realized that the barbell had been rubbing along the inner edge of my bottom teeth, slowly wearing the enamel away and creating some not-so-fun tooth sensitivity.

Although things were pretty safe with my tongue ring in, I also occasionally knocked it against my teeth (this happened maybe about five times in all the years I had it in). I’m honestly not sure if I chipped any of my teeth but it’s definitely possible.

In regards to my lip piercing, it slowly rubbed on my lower right canine. I now have gum recession on that tooth. You can’t see it from the outside but there’s a significant amount of gum tissue missing compared to the other side.

When I noticed this, I freaked out a little and took my lip ring out after having it for over four years. So yeah—oral piercings can and will cause gum recession and tooth sensitivity, both signs of gum disease!

The Hole Will Not Go Away

When I took my lip ring out, the hole didn’t heal up. I had that sucker out for about eight months and the hole was still there, very visible from the outside of my face.

I assumed that the hole would heal up given time. But then I started Googling.

Turns out, when they pierce your lip, they core away a tiny piece of your skin that—you guessed it—won’t grow back. So while there’s not an actual “hole” there per se, it looks just like a hole and it’s definitely noticeable.

Hmm… did not think about that one before I got my lip pierced.

So then I found myself months before my wedding with a hole in my lip that I found out could only be corrected with plastic surgery, which would ultimately leave scars. Either way, I was stuck with this oral piercing whether or not the stud was in.

The only logical thing to do was to buy a pack of piercing needles on Amazon and re-pierce that thing. (Side note: I do not recommend doing this although my experience went fine.)

So now my lip stud is back in and I’ll probably be stuck with it forever unless I want a hole in my face. Fortunately, the hole from your tongue ring will heal up rather quickly, but there will always be a scar there too. Oral piercings cause scars and sometimes permanent holes!

Professional People Cared Far Less about Oral Piercings Than I Thought

Unless you’re going into the military, it’s unlikely that what kind of job you get will determine whether or not you can have an oral piercing.

My super cool neighbor saw my tongue ring not long after I got it and said, “You’ll want to take that out when you go for a job interview.”

I got hired at my internship in Baltimore, my amazing job at a homeless shelter in DC, and yes, I made my own freelance writing job all with piercings in my face.

Of course, if you’re going for a high-level job, you might want to think about that before getting oral piercings. For me, I love piercings and couldn’t imagine being at a job that wouldn’t let me have them. Back when I was in college I didn’t know that. I thought I’d have to sacrifice my soul to be anything worthwhile to the world.

So the bottom line is: if you want that oral piercing, get it. No one who actually cares about you will judge you. 

I adored my oral piercings. Although I’m unlikely to get my tongue pierced again, I’ll probably have this lip stud in for a long time. I loved my oral piercings much more than I thought I would. I’m sad that they caused problems with my teeth and wish that I took that consideration a little more seriously before I went under the needle. I also wish I knew that when I committed to the lip piercing, that I’d be committing to it for life. Like a tattoo!

But don’t get me started on those 🙂

What to Consider When Getting a Tattoo

What to consider when getting a tattoo is a personal question and not one to be taken lightly.

As someone with six tattoos, I speak from experience. While I may not be a full-body girl, I know a thing or two about advising someone whether or not they should get a tattoo and what to consider when getting a tattoo.

So what to consider when getting a tattoo? There are several things to take into account here:

Black and White or Color?

What to consider when getting a tattoo starts with considering whether or not you’d like it to be in black and white or color.

Consider that color will fade over time (as will the black, but not as much) and you’ll need to try and coordinate it with everything you wear for the rest of your life. Unless you get it somewhere people won’t see.

I don’t have any color tattoos (yet); they’re all in black. It’s easy to coordinate and simple when thinking about what to consider when getting a tattoo.

Design Trends

This is a big one to be wary about when it comes to what to consider when getting a tattoo. What’s trendy today will not be trendy forever—and your tattoo is forever!

So just because you’re obsessed with roman numerals or that Florence + the Machine song doesn’t mean you can get tattoos of them.

What you love now will change in the future. Remember when stars were super popular? A tattoo should be timeless—not trendy!

Location on Your Body

This is one of the bigger questions about what to consider when getting a tattoo. Remember that you can’t move it once it’s there.

You can add to it or have it removed—but it’s pretty much stuck there.

Consider your job. Will your boss love your new forearm tattoo? Maybe you have a really casual place of work, and that’s awesome. But if you don’t, consider getting one on your back, torso, upper leg, or inner arm. Something you can easily hide should the occasion call for it.

Also, remember that certain locations hurt more than others—your back will be a killer! Places like arm and leg aren’t bad. Ankle kills. Ribcage kills. Keep that in mind when it comes to what to consider when getting a tattoo!

Your Design or the Artist’s?

If you want something crazy for a tattoo, you’ll need to decide whether or not you’d like to design it yourself or work with the tattoo artist to design it.

I’ve designed all my tattoos myself so that I can control exactly what goes on my body. However, tattoo artists are called artists for a reason. If your design is getting complicated, talk with them about it when thinking about what to consider when getting a tattoo.

They’re usually pretty cool people and will tell you what they think looks good and what doesn’t. Finding a tattoo artist that you really mesh with is awesome!

Which Shop?

So yeah, you need to go to a good place. This is probably the most important thing with getting your tattoo so you don’t get HIV. DO YOUR RESEARCH.

Call shops. Visit them. Talk to the artists. A shop should be clean, friendly, and get good reviews. Even better if you know someone who’s been there and gotten some great ink done. Can’t beat an in-person review!

Which Ink?

All inks are not created equal, so think about this when thinking about what to consider when getting a tattoo.

SOME TATTOO INKS ARE NOT VEGAN AS WELL AS TEST ON ANIMALS. Yes, it’s true.

Call the shop and ask which inks their artists use. Again, do your research. Personally, I don’t really want crushed up animal bones being inked into my skin. Nor do I want tattoo inks that have been tested on puppies.

Timeline

Spontaneous tattoos can be a lot of fun. However, I do encourage you to THINK about what you want, where you want it, etc. for several months at least before actually getting the tattoo.

Choose your design, the location, etc., then just think about it. Remember, this thing won’t go away. You’ll have to see it every single day and so will your significant other. Make sure it’s something that again, is timeless, not trendy, and that you love.

IT Hurts

Getting a tattoo hurts. A LOT. If you don’t handle pain well, this probably isn’t for you.

I’ve gotten tattoos unwillingly crying because they’ve hurt so much. So think about this when thinking about what to consider when getting a tattoo.

It’s not like a piercing where they shove the needle through your ear (or lip or face or whatever else) and it’s over. This needle KEEPS jabbing you. Sometimes for hours, depending on how big your tattoo is.

Size

This is also really important! If you’re unsure about what size you can get, your tattoo artist can help you choose the size that’s best for the location on your body, your size, your design, etc.

While there are some crook tattoo artists out there, remember that most artists are cool people and they’re not trying to get your money—they just want you to be happy with what they deliver. Nothing sucks like an unhappy customer.

The main thing to think about here is to not get it too big—I feel like you’d rather have a too-small tattoo than a too-big one. This is an important thing to think about when it comes to what to consider when getting a tattoo!

That’s about it for what to consider when getting a tattoo. Just remember that this thing is for life, so you should spend time thinking about it, and don’t get something trendy. Choose the best location and size for you, and it’s super important to get a clean and reputable shop/artist to do the work.

Get inked!