Tattoos and Piercings
I recently got a few more tattoos and piercings, and whilst I have done multiple videos going through them all on my channel over the years, I thought this time I might write a blogpost that I can update as I go along instead of making another video which might be outdated soonish. So, get ready to get up close and personal... Often you guys ask for pictures of my ears as well so you can see what piercings are where, so hopefully that should be helpful! I think they are almost ~done~ so there shouldn’t be too many more updates where they are concerned.
I feel like I have to say, as always, that tattoos are extremely personal things, and that all good tattoo artists will design you something with you in mind. Obviously, if you’d like to take inspiration from mine that’s amazing (I’m sure many of you won’t haha), but it’s kind of considered bad tattoo etiquette to copy something exactly.
I originally used to go and get all my piercings done at a reputable tattoo and piercing studio, and I still love these places (particularly Cold Steel in Camden), but over the past few years, I have been building a collection of Maria Tash pieces. The great thing about her jewellery is that it is designed for rooks, helixes and tragus’ but is also fun, there’s lots of choice and, if you want, it can be quite delicate looking. Her stuff is quite expensive because it is all precious, but for great cheaper alternatives, lots of people on Etsy are making beautiful pieces. I will leave some links here and here, but if you shop around you’re sure to find some lovely jewellery. Anyway, because I have been building my collection, the last few times I’ve been pierced I have gone directly to their studio in Liberty’s in London. The piercing prices themselves are quite average, and it’s really the jewellery you’re paying for. They are clean and friendly and great, so if you are interested I would recommend them. Most of my jewellery is rose gold, barring a few exceptions which I will identify. They do every piece in a variation of metals.
I also have a nose ring which I haven’t included specifically in picture form here but it’s a little gold hoop from Cold Steel. You guys have seen it a million times, anyway.
A quick note on healing piercings. These days I mainly use my intuition and listen to my body instead of having set rules, because I’ve had piercings through cartilage that have taken up to a year to heal and I’ve also had some that have taken less than a month. I've tried different cleaning methods, I’ve tried moving them around when healing and I’ve tried not touching them at all, and I find the latter method much more effective. Some piercing places will probably give me a thorough telling off for this because everyone has their preferred styles (and naturally different bodies will require different things), but I try to leave the piercing alone as much as possible during the initial healing period, even insofar as not cleaning it as much as they often recommend. For example, my most recent piercing was my daith (more on that later) and it bled A LOT. Much more than any other piercing I’ve ever had, because of the positioning of it I think. I tried cleaning it once or twice and all I did was exacerbate the bleeding and take off the crusts (ew, sorry) that weren’t ready to come off. As a result, I’ve stopped touching it or cleaning it apart from the occasional soak, and it’s healing up really nicely. I also found this with my Tash rook. I certainly think that not moving the piercing through the hole regularly and dragging bacteria inside the open wound is a good idea. Anyway, if you’re going to do this, be sure to prevent the piercing getting generally dirty in other ways - this is obviously dependent on where it is, because the daith is so far into my ear it's pretty easy - and observe it regularly for any signs of infection, because we definitely don’t want that. Now, I have NO experience with other forms of body piercing (apart from my nose), so please don’t do this in other, more hygienically sensitive areas or places that are more likely to get infected, and follow your piercer’s advice.
People often ask me if they can get lots of piercings done at once. I once had three helix piercings done in a similar area and I do think it took them longer to heal than normal because of that, but it isn't impossible. I'd definitely go one ear at a time so that you can sleep comfortably on the other side, and in some cases, it would be prudent to be a little more patient (I know it's difficult sometimes haha). Also, always get them done with a needle, not a gun! I have one helix piercing done with a gun and I have much worse scar tissue on the back of my ear as a result. I was 14 and had no clue.
So starting with my right ear, which is significantly less pierced than the first. I’ve labelled up the pictures down below so you guys can see which one is which.
I have two lower lobe piercings on both sides which are pretty standard, I like to wear my bigger earrings in the main ones obviously and then something smaller in the secondary ones. In this picture, I actually have nothing in the bottom (oops) but the second has a beautiful Jacqui Aiche ring (and it’s the same on the other side too).
Then on this side, I have a third ring, which I eventually want to turn into an orbital piercing, which essentially means that the ring will run horizontally through two holes, linking them together. The ring is Maria Tash (you're going to see this name a lot haha… MT from now on).
Halfway up my ear, I have a little MT stud. This is a piercing I got absolutely ages ago and it kind of just hangs out in the middle there.
Then I have what the folks at MT call a ‘Tash rook’ and for this, I chose a little lightning bolt which I love. I think it adds a bit of excitement to my less adorned ear and really stands out because of its positioning. Tash might have invented this herself (hence the name), in which case it might not be standard procedure at other piercing places (though I’m sure a good piercing studio can still get it done for you). It’s a really nice alternative to both a traditional helix and a rook.
Speaking of rooks, I’ve got a (you guessed it…) MT barbell in mine. I think this big chunky cubic zirconia works well, because again it’s set quite far back into my ear so to see it you really need it to pop.
Finally, I have a front helix with a little opal stud from MT; the way they do it is when you first get the piercing done they put in a longer 'post' (the pointy stick bit of an earring) to give it more room to swell and heal, and then this is replaced once it is healed with something shorter to get the earring to sit flat to the ear.
Now onto my left ear, which is significantly more crowded, and also (necessarily) complete. All the way round the edge it's pretty simple, they're just a bunch of helix/lobe piercings. I have three infinity rings from MT in the top three, and then some silver handcuffs also from MT.
Then, I have my tragus done which I remember being an absolute bitch to heal but I got there in the end. Sometimes depending on where the piercing is, it does take just a little bit of patience. I have a spiked ring from MT in this one.
And finally, my new daith; I chose a beautiful turquoise ring for this little piercing because I wanted it to still stand out even though it's a little further back into my ear. Plus, I didn't have any colour on my ears yet, so I thought it was time to have a change.
Onto my tattoos! Healing-wise, as I've mentioned multiple times on the vlogs recently, I prefer the wrap/wet-healing method; I'll leave a little link here to an article describing the difference between the two (dry healing being more traditional). It's all about a bit of experimentation I think and careful observation of your own body.
First up, my arm. The little 'Loved' in the middle of this tattoo was my first ever one, and when I added the eye and the flowers I didn't want to cover it up, so that's why it's kinda hanging out in the middle there. This was done for me by Eszter David when she worked at The Circle tattoo studio. This is one of those tattoos that looks a little worse on camera out of context than it does on my arm day-to-day because the placement of it is really nice; it wraps around my forearm so you can see little peeks of it. I wanted an apple in an eye for my late grandpa, who used to describe me as such, and overall I really like the outcome. Nonetheless, it's probably the tattoo I have the most reservations about, I feel like it is a little spaced out where I wanted the flowers to really overlap and frame the eye a bit more, and I'm not wholly convinced on the eyebrow. I've got plans to turn this arm into a half-sleeve, so I'm thinking I might see what I can do about some of these problems with the next instalment. To avoid this, make sure you deliberate for a while on the placement and design with your artist, and don't be afraid to ask for a change!
I've just remembered I didn't take a picture of one of my tattoos and I consistently forget that it exists, but I have a little infinity symbol on my ribs. I think it's something I might get covered up in the future with something bigger just to make use of the placement, but we will see!
Next up, the dragonfly. I had this done by Ema Sweeney who works at a studio in Glasgow, but I had mine done at the Edinburgh Tattoo Convention (cue sitting backwards on a flip up chair for three hours… ouch). I wanted a dragonfly because it's me and my mum's 'symbol', and I love the little decorative aspects of this. I rarely see this little baby though, but I always get a nice surprise when I do!
Onto my newest tattoos, one of which is unfinished. I got this gorgeous little hummingbird on my lower leg by Stuart Archibald at The Family Business (which is my current favourite studio). Would you believe it was a walk-in! I brought a little sketchy picture of a hummingbird in with me and we were ready to go in half an hour. I love the shading on it and just am generally looking forward to showing it off this summer! Because of consistent wrapping, this tattoo also did not flake, which meant it kept all its colour.
Then we have my flowers, done by Ricky Williams at The Family Business, but he has recently opened his own studio called South City Market which I will be going to in May to get this piece finished up. There will be a compass coming out of the flowers, and although the latter was supposed to be the secondary element, I do think they look lovely on their own, too. This was also supposed to be a thigh piece, but we moved it up to help it follow the curve of my body (read: arse). This one was probably my most awkward to heal, just because of where it was it was kind of a constant contact zone if I was sitting down at all, but still the discomfort didn't last long at all and I love the outcome.
You've reached the end of a mammoth post! I'll let you guys know if there are any upcoming updates ❤️