10 Things To Know Before You Get A Tattoo

The 10 Commandments Of Getting A Tattoo

Remember these whether it's your first or tenth tattoo.

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The best birthday I can remember is definitely my 18th birthday when I got two tattoos: one of a cat on my right ankle and a matching horse tattoo with my mom on our left ankles. Not only was it a great bonding experience with my mom, but it was the first time I ever got to sign anything on my own without needing my mom there! It almost felt like a rite of passage into the next stage of my life: adulthood!

That wasn't the first tattoo I had received though. I had already been tattooed twice before. The first official tattoo was a quote in elvish on my right shoulder. The other had been a stick n' poke on my wrist that I had professionally done. Both were done when I was 17.

Tori Renovitch

I love all six of my tattoos. They are all amazing works of art that I cherish and proudly display. I want you to love all of you tattoos just as much as I love mine. So I made this handy dandy little guide to help all tattoos, young and old, new and experienced, get the most out of their tattoo.

1. Thou shall do thy research

Walking into a tattoo parlor without an idea of what and who you want is like taking a test on material you never learned. You must do your research on designs, artists, parlors, etc. Come in with a picture to show your artist that they can then sketch. Schedule an appointment to run through your plan of how, when, and where to do the tattoo - especially if it's a bigger piece like a sleeve. Don't go in unprepared. That's just annoying.

2. Thou shall not receive cheap tattoos

It's obvious when you get a cheap tattoo. Take a look at our derpy lion friend above. I highly doubt an experienced artist could pull off something that crappy. If the artist you want is quoting $500 for a flower on your thigh but you only want to pay $30, remember that they are right, you are wrong. Most parlors have a shop minimum of about $50 to ensure that you get your money's worth. Also, realize what all goes into the price. Artists consider placement, the ink used, time, etc. when they give you a price. Don't be cheap and get something you will immediately regret. It IS permanent.

3. Thou shall not ignore their tattoo artist

If your artist tells you that what you want won't look good where you want it or wants to alter the design a bit, listen to them! They are the professional. You are not! This is what they do for a living, and the ones that are good and keep at it know what they're talking about. If you have never once been tattooed, don't assume to know everything. That's not to say that they should be able to tell you what to do with your body, but give your artist a bit of creative freedom.

4. Thou shall not go intoxicated

How many good ideas have you had when you were drunk that you didn't later regret? If you can't walk straight, you probably aren't thinking straight. If you somehow manage to stumble into a tattoo parlor with all your blackout drunk friends, I would hope the shop would immediately turn you away. On the off chance they don't, please, please, please don't have your wallet on you. Make sure you left it at home or gave it to a sober friend so that you don't regret something that will be permanently inked onto your body. You may forget getting a tattoo, but you will never be able to forget having it.

5. Thou shall come with a full stomach

Make sure you eat breakfast and drink plenty of water before going to the parlor. It doesn't help anyone if you pass out in the middle of getting your tattoo. You will faint if you get tattooed on an empty stomach. People faint even when they do eat and drink plenty before they go. What makes you think you're the one exception to passing out while getting tattooed?

6. Thou shall not whine about pain

YES, it will hurt. You are being stuck with a needle repeatedly. No matter where or how small of a tattoo you get, it will sting. Don't whine about it. Do your best to stay still and tell your artist if you need to take a break. They are not heartless, nor will they keep you against your will. Some pieces might take a few months to complete. That's ok. It just means that it will look even better once it's done. Just do your best to not squirm, and don't blame the artist if you twitch and screw it up.

7. Thou shall not take thy whole squad

It is 100% unnecessary to bring your entire 30 person clique with you to get one tattoo. One friend is fine, but beyond three is getting a bit crowded. I promise, it doesn't hurt so much that your great grandma needs to be there. Your tattoo artist needs space to work and will not be able to do a good job if you have a bunch of people crowded around you. Many artists need a quite, clear space to do their best work and having your friends around to talk to you and distract the artist is only going to make they tattoo more expensive because you are doubling the amount of time it takes to get it done.

8. Thou shall tip thy artist well

The worst thing you can possibly do if you want to get more tattoos from a particular artist is not tip them. If you really like your artist's work, tip them and tip them well. If you are getting a $500 tattoo, add in at least $50 - preferably more - into that cost so that your artist knows you appreciate them. Even if you regret your decision later, they took the time to give you their best work. It doesn't matter how much you hate it later. They gave you the most valuable thing any person has: time.

9. Thou shall take good care of new tattoo

Your tattoo is finished and looks AMAZING! Maintain that awesome look by avoiding infection at all costs or else you just wasted a bunch of money. To prevent infection, make sure you follow all the directions your artist gives you. Put saline on it every day, use sunscreen when sun exposure is unavoidable, and, for the love of God, DO NOT GET INTO THE OCEAN. This is the one rule to not screw around with. People have died because they were dumb enough to swim in the ocean with a fresh tattoo. If you do get an infection, make sure you go see a doctor immediately. Your new tattoo is an open wound. Treat it as such.

10. Thou shall have no regrets

If you take all of this advice, you will have the most amazing experience and will end up with a super cool tattoo. In the end, it is your body and whatever you get tattooed will be permanent. Don't pick something stupid that you know you will regret. But also make sure that you don't allow your artist to give you a tattoo that you will hate. They might try to tell you that it will look better in a certain place, but you know yourself better than them. So no matter what happens, make sure you get something you love so that you never have to look at your tattoo with regrets.

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20 Small Tattoos With Big Meanings

Tattoos with meaning you can't deny.
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It's tough to find perfect tattoos with meaning.

You probably want something permanent on your body to mean something deeply, but how do you choose a tattoo that will still be significant in 5, 10, 15, or 50 years? Over time, tattoos have lost much of their stigma and many people consider them a form of art, but it's still possible to get a tattoo you regret.

So here are 20 tattoos you can't go wrong with. Each tattoo has its own unique meaning, but don't blame me if you still have to deal with questions that everyone with a tattoo is tired of hearing!

SEE RELATED: "Please Stop Asking What My Tattoos Mean"

1. A semicolon indicates a pause in a sentence but does not end. Sometimes it seems like you may have stopped, but you choose to continue on.


2. "A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor."


3. Top symbol: unclosed delta symbol which represents open to change. Bottom symbol: strategy.


4. "There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls."


5. Viking symbol meaning "create your own reality."


6. Greek symbol of Inguz: Where there's a will, there's a way.

7. Psalm 18:33 "He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights."


8. 'Ohm' tattoo that represents 4 different states of consciousness and a world of illusion: waking (jagrat), dreaming (swapna), deep sleep (sushupti), transcendental state (turiya) and world of illusion (maya).


9. Alchemy: symbolizes copper, means love, balance, feminine beauty, and artistic creativity.


10. The Greek word “Meraki" means to do something with soul, passion, love, and creativity or to put yourself into whatever you do.


11. Malin (Skövde, Sweden) – you have to face setbacks to be able to go forward.

12. Symbol meaning "thief" from "The Hobbit." It was the rune Gandalf etched into Bilbo's door so the dwarves could find his house.


13. “Lux in tenebris" means “light in darkness."

14. Anchor Tattoo: symbolizing strength and stability, something (or someone) who holds you in place, and provides you the strength to hold on no matter how rough things get.

15."Ad Maiora" is translated literally as “Towards greater things." It is a formula of greeting used to wish more success in life, career or love.


16. A glyph means “explore." It was meant as a reminder for me to never stop exploring.

17. "Aut inveniam viam aut faciam," meaning roughly, "Either I shall find a way, or I will make one."


18. Lotus Flower. It grows in muddy water, and it is this environment that gives forth the flower's first and most literal meaning: rising and blooming above the murk to achieve enlightenment.

19. The zen (or ensō) circle to me represents enlightenment, the universe and the strength we all have inside of us.

20. Two meanings. The moon affirms life. It looks as if it is constantly changing. Can remind us of the inconsistency of life. It also symbolizes the continuous circular nature of time and even karma.


SEE ALSO: Sorry That You're Offended, But I Won't Apologize For My Tattoos


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My Freckles Are Not A Beauty Trend For You To Appropriate And Immitate

Those with faces full of freckles can't wipe them off like you can after a photo shoot.

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While it is fun to use makeup to express yourself, one can argue unless you are in costume, it should be used to enhance your features, not create new ones. The trend of artificial freckles puts a nasty taste in my mouth reminiscent to the feeling I get when I see a Caucasian woman apply such dark foundation to her face that she appears to be donning blackface.

To someone who has a face full of freckles, it is offensive to see you paint on freckles as if they were not permanent features of other people's skin that they cannot remove with a makeup wipe. I remember asking my cousin at 5 years old if I could surgically remove my freckles and crying when she broke to me that I'd be stuck with what she called giraffe spots my whole life.

I'm not alone in feeling self-conscious about my freckles. The face is the fulcrum of the identity, and it can feel like my facial identity is like a haphazard splash of orange/brown debris. Another against the fake freckles movement retorts: "you'll soon regret them when people begin to describe you as a polka-dot-skinned troll or a cinnamon-toast-faced goblin. Also, when your eyebags start to sag in middle-age, that 'cute' skin art will probably deteriorate into something more closely resembling oblong blackheads. Sincerely, A Freckled Person"

One woman recalls her struggle with accepting the patterns of her skin from a very young age:

“When I was a young girl, I remember staring at myself in my bathroom mirror and imagining my face without the scattered brown dots that littered my face and body. I dreamed of having the small imperfections removed from my face and obtaining the smooth porcelain skin that I envied. I looked at my bare-faced friends in awe because they had what I wanted and would never know. For some odd reason, I had made myself believe that my freckles made me ugly."

I've come to appreciate the beauty of these sun kisses, and many nowadays have too. However, freckles haven't always been considered cute. There is a history of contempt toward red reader freckled people, just ask Anne Shirley! The dramatic young heroine laments: "Yes, it's red," she said resignedly. "Now you see why I can't be perfectly happy. Nobody could who had red hair. I don't mind the other things so much — the freckles and the green eyes and my skinniness. I can imagine them away. I can imagine that I have a beautiful rose-leaf complexion and lovely starry violet eyes. But I cannot imagine that red hair away. I do my best. I think to myself, "Now my hair is a glorious black, black as the raven's wing." But all the time I know it is just plain red, and it breaks my heart. It will be my lifelong sorrow." (Montgomery).

Historically, freckles on ones face have been seen as dirty or imperfect. It's easy to forget that Irish features such as red hair and freckles have been subject to hateful discrimination for centuries. In some places, the word ginger is even used as a slur.

I am not a red-headed stepchild for you to beat — or for you to appropriate.

My facial texture is not a toy for you to play with.

It is rude and inconsiderate to pock your face for a selfie while those with randomly splashed spots get someone once a week trying to rub off the "dirt speck" on their face.

Greg Stevens has a theory to why there is anti-red prejudice

“Skin tone is another one of those well-studied features that has been shown to consistently have an impact on people's assessment of physical beauty: Those with clear, evenly-colored skin are widely regarded as being more attractive than people with patchy, blotchy, or freckled skin.
Nowhere is this more obvious than when looking at professional photos of redheaded models and celebrities. Even those "hot redheads" that flaunt the redness of their hair usually are made-up on magazine covers to have almost unnaturally even skin tones. Moreover, there is a reasonable theory to explain why the bias against freckles might be more than just a cultural prejudice. Not to be too blunt about it, but freckles are cancer factories."

By that, the author means freckles can be early indicators of sun damage or skin cancer. This illusion that freckles indicate deficiency may also play in negative connotations toward a person with freckles

While I acknowledge the intention of people with clear skin who paint freckles on their face isn't to offend — rather it is to appreciate freckles as a beauty statement — the effect is still offensive. If you are thinking about trying this freckle fad, you should put down your fine tipped brush and consider what it would be like if you couldn't wipe away the spots.

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