So I’m going to tell you a story, an ink story, a bit of ink history, inkstory. Get it? Rubbish I know.
But this story will begin by me telling you about my experiences testing out the fabulous Electric Ink‘s new products which have just hit the shelves in good ole Boots!
These products are the first of their kind that I personally have come across – after AFTER care for tattoos, something to keep your precious artwork looking fresh and new even after 10, 20, 30+ years.
- Daily Moisturiser: I’m a big moisturiser fan. It’s such a simple but necessary product when it comes to skin care, no faffing around, this does what it says on the tin. It keeps you hydrated on the daily, not too greasy, dries quickly and smells damn good.
- Vibrancy Serum: As you can see from this photo I couldn’t wait to test this one out so it’s already a tad battered in this photo. I’m properly impressed by this, and I’m not just saying that. I’m an odd person (we all know this anyway), and sometimes I quite like my tattoos looking a little worn and faded, I find it adds to their charm, HOWEVER, the definition and brightness this brought my tattoos back to is pretty special. Out of all four products if you were only to choose one, this is the one I’d vote for!
- Defining Body Oil: Wellllllll, this is nice. A little goes a long way! It’s probably something I’d be more inclined to use on holiday when I’m in a bikini to keep everything looking shiny and sleek BUT, my main use of this is going to be on other people. Yeah, obviously I’m going to ask permission, and no I’m not oiling up strange men on the street. I’m talking in fashion shoots! I tried it out on a beauty shoot on monday in the studio, because of the oil it seriously brings that definition and uhhhh it’s nice! So photographers looking for something to give that skin a bit of extra pow when shooting, check it.
- Exfoliating Body Wash: Again, like all the other products this smells delightful – and I hasten to add for both men and women! Keeping your skin smooth with this, adding the daily moisturiser and then topping up with some vibrancy serum is going to be your recipe for beautifully cared for tattoos old and new!
Overall verdict – I’ll definitely be using these products on my skin. They are not only vegan friendly and cruelty free but how CuUuUuUUute is that packaging! Adorable, and so Insta Worthy. They smell great, you can pick them up in Boots super easy or online and they won’t break the bank! Plus you’ll be supporting a small business which is always a win-win in my eyes! – www.electricinkskin.com
SO. What you all want to see, how did it look when I used them on my tattoos? Well, like I said at the beginning I figured I’d bring the results to you in the form of a story, a story of my life in ink.
I’ve been getting tattooed since I was 18, and let’s get this first one out of the way…
**Disclaimer: don’t do this at home, kids, or anyone, ever.**
This was my first tattoo. Done for £5 in 2008 whilst very hungover, in my mate’s parents house when her mum went on holiday and left us to house sit. Lol mistake.
I did that classic teenage thing of thinking it would be cute to get my first initial on my hip in a “secret” place so my parents wouldn’t see. That lasted like 2 hours before I panicked, told my Dad and he didn’t talk to me for 2 days. I remember my Mum’s exact response in the Co-Op as we bought stuff for dinner
“*sigh*… well I suppose we knew you’d do something like this one day.”
It’s like I’d killed someone.
So naturally, instead of stopping there I continued to get more.
Note: This tattoo has since been redone, yes, it really was worse than that. And it cost me £30 to have it redone. Don’t get £5 tattoos.
So, then for the next one I actually did my research, and found the fabulous Samantha Pickett who currently resides at True Love Tattoos in Kidderminster.
This tattoo is nearly 10 years old – I know, I look like a child but yes I’m not far off 29 and I got this at 19!
So you can see already that using the Electric Ink products for a week has darkened it so much for a 10 year old tattoo.
Why Penny Lane you ask? Ahh must be because of The Beatles. Nope. I mean I love The Beatles, and that song, but the real reason is because I resonated so much with Penny Lane AKA Kate Hudon’s character in Almost Famous that I ended up living my teenage years by making sure I had all the damn fun in the world, and not to take anything seriously.
Purely because of this quote: “I always tell the girls to never take it seriously, you never take it seriously, you never get hurt, you never get hurt, you always have fun, and if you ever get lonely you just go down to the record store and visit your friends.”
Despite my mental health, I had a pretty damn good teenage years, rocky, messy, but I made them my own. I probably could have taken things a liiiiittle bit more seriously but thanks to that film I made sure I lived life to the fullest, well as much as a 17 year old can with a fake ID. This tattoo was a symbol of me moving on from that behaviour but a quiet nod to my teenage years and how they shaped me.
It was a few more years before I could A) afford more tattoos because well, we all saw the £5 one, but B) my Dad was also still alive and he only knew about that small first one. If he didn’t talk to me for 2 days after that one well, I just had to keep the rest a secret didn’t I…
It’s 2011, I’d been diagnosed with anxiety and depression, the world still kept shtum about mental health and things were slowly starting to break through, but not quite enough yet. The stigma was still very very strong. I got this tattoo as a reminder to keep on going.
I was in a bad place, unknowingly probably a very very bad place, but I knew it was at least bad. People may judge tattoos but a lot of mine have kept me alive, I used to look at this and visualise the day I’d look at it when things really were okay again. That day came, it was good, this tattoo still keeps me moving forward. It’s not about the Disney fairytale of everything ending up well, it’s an ongoing thing, and also a prompt for me to not end my story too soon.
This is an odd one for me, as all of my tattoos hold meanings, stories, memories. This one has started to become interchangeable, I guess it represents me as a person. A PRiNceSs. Loljk.
Right now I see this is a representation of how love conquers all. There is power to be held in love, kindness and remembering that we can never reach our true potential without endless, unconditional love. Hate has no place in my world.
Also fun story, remember I said I like faded tattoos? I nearly died of pain during this as I A) chose a bad tattooist who might have actually just been a butcher, and B) I asked her to do it DARK GREY. Why? WHY? She basically went over the same bit 3 times, red raw. I went back 6 weeks later and had it all done black. Idiot.
Next one, another tattoo whilst at uni, I’m guessing 2013? I had a lot of fun, and a lot of dark times over those years.
I can’t remember if this was before or after my Dad died.
“Rise and rise again and again, like the phoenix from the ashes, until the lambs have become lions and the rule of darkness is no more.” – Maitreya The Friend of All Souls, The Holy Book of Destiny.
The meaning is pretty obvious here, however, this was a huge transition in my life. My Dad used to call me Lamby, ever since he died there’s been no one to call me that, so I guess I became the lion as well as the phoenix. This again, was another reminder for me to keep moving forward, to remember that one day the darkness truly would be no more.
Also *LOL* I once said I’d never get any tattoos on my arms or above my collar bone so I can still look “ladylike on my wedding day” – if you could go back and slap your younger self, I would. What a stupid thing to say, of course you can still look like a lady with tattoos, I LITERALLY AM A LADY. So I guess it depends if you want to go on the outdated interpretation of ladylike, or fuck the system and consider that if you are a lady and want to consider yourself to be ladylike then there you go.
Also yes my legs are covered in stretch marks and I LUV EM. Strength of my body innit, moving and shaping around my growth physically and mentally.
So here came the downfall of the arms…
Left Arm: 2013, in memory of my Dad, a man who hated tattoos. Sorry matey, this way I can always have you with me though.
The feather is to represent a dog we had called Feather, she was a stunning greyhound and Dad used to be the treasurer of Greyhound Rescue West of England so we rehomed a lot! She was particularly special and once when my friend was over we heard my parents arguing (this is relevant honest), and Dad mumbled something, only to be followed up when questioned with “I was talking to Feather”. We lolled.
When Dad passed away (and Feather had years before), she text me and it simply said “he’ll be talking to feather now”.
I didn’t want to get the date of his death, so I had his birthday (24) put into the feather, a reminder of a time of celebration.
I wanted something abstract that I didn’t have to explain (I’d also gone back to Sammi after those traumatic uni tattoo years).
What appear to be sun rays actually represent the shooting star I saw the night he died, the birds are naturally a symbol of setting him free from pain but the plane – he used to fly planes and the club he flew with took his plane on a fly over at his wake.
And finally, my
Right Arm: This was put together in a few different sections. The first flower on my wrist was on a whim when my friend Beth was getting her sleeve done, so I had a mini version of the hibiscus from the Penny Lane tattoo. (you can JUST see this on the right at the bottom of this shot), teeny tiny flower!
Then came the infinity bands and “Together Forever, Never Apart” – this is a joint tattoo with Beth. Her whole life she’s battled Crohn’s Disease and was once told she’d not live past 18, she’s currently 27, we always sign off with this little saying whether on a normal day, or before operations.
The main bones of this arm piece though is in memory of my Auntie Mad.
The stag, a symbol of strength. This incredibly inspirational lady passed away in 2016 after battling breast cancer for 19 years, and just like my sleeve for my Dad, I had her birthday built into this, a little V for 5 within the ruff.
Then both myself and Campbell have XXII, my life path number, my birthday and a little good luck charm.
It’s been redone three times, tattoos fade easily on that part of your hand – much to tattooists demise when Cheryl Cole came on the scene with her hand tattoo and everyone and their dog wanted one here. I’m not arsed, I like a faded charm.
And in true fashion of my scatty brain there is one tattoo I forgot to photograph, and as you may remember I said I’d never get any on my collar bones but I have a Charles Bukowski quote – “She’s mad but she’s magic, there’s no lie in her fire.”
For those of you that don’t know, I have Borderline Personality Disorder. I’m fairly heavily in recovery now but this quote just made sense to me, I’m far too honest, I battle every goddamn day with mental health problems but I find my way through and create what magic I can despite what life has thrown my way. The whole poem it comes from is a little dark, but this isolated quote just caught me.
So that’s me, and my inkstory, lololololol cringe.
Go check out Electric Ink, see their story and try them out, you won’t be disappointed!