5 Times Under The Needle, And I Finally Have 5 Meaningful Stories Written On My Body

5 Times Under The Needle, And I Finally Have 5 Meaningful Stories Written On My Body

Easily my most impulsive tattoos are the arrows on my ribs.

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The pieces of art that I have put on my body have cost me an arm and a leg to have done. The hours that I spent inside a tattoo shop were grueling and some of the most painful experiences I've ever had. But honestly, I wouldn't trade any those hours for anything.

Five times, I allowed the artist to create the piece on my skin and literally cause me to bleed. It was worth it to have a significant part of my life put on my body forever. Five times over and I finally want to share these deeper meanings that are incredibly important to my life.

My first and second tattoos reside on my chest and my left wrist. The chest was way more painful honestly, I know, judge me later. On my chest is the word blessed and on my wrist are the words God is greater than the highs and lows. These two hold the same thing, they symbolize my undying and unfailing love for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I'm not a perfect person by any means, but when the times get down and the world seems to swallow me whole I look at these and realize my life is in God's hands. He is greater than anything on this earth and I feel blessed to be his child and walk through life with him by my side always.

I have an owl on my back, owls aren't even my favorite animal. Hear me out, this was a very intricate piece and the artist took his time and did an amazing job. The reason for the owl was something not very many people know, but the owl is a symbol for wisdom.

I got this at a time when I was not taking my studies very seriously and really thought college wasn't for me. But, this bird is here now and I won't say it is the reason why I finally got my foolishness together, but hey it was definitely part of it. So, thank you owl for making me feel a little wiser when I'm studying.

Easily my most impulsive tattoos are the arrows on my ribs. This was impulsive, I cannot lie. I thought the look was nice, but I did my research behind it. These four arrows are symbolic of strength. Four arrows are very difficult to break all at once and the power behind it makes me feel like I can go through any wall, tackle things head on, and know that I'm tougher than that you can do it. Was it impulsive? Yes, maybe so but I came to understand the hard lesson of strength and I keep the mindset, no one can break me easily.

I hate to bring the emotion down, but my fifth is one that I have not shared the deeper connection with. When I was a kid my mom got a tattoo on her upper ankle of a rose with my brothers and my initials on the stem. It was amazing to see that my mom would go through the pain to get those letters on her.

As you can probably guess, I also decided to get a rose tattoo. Right on my hip, it was pretty painful but it was amazing to have it. One day I want to get my mom, dad, and brother initials put within the flower. My mom inspired this personal and meaningful artwork. My roses are for my family. Also thank you, mom, for making me remember to keep your family and loved ones close to you.

Do you any of you have tattoos that mean a lot to you? I would love to hear your stories! We can also trade stories about the pain that goes into it as well and what your favorite pieces are.

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14 Things No One Tells You Before Your First Spray Tan

Everything you need to know about preparation and aftercare.
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I recently got my first spray tan, which I had put off for way too long. I always had an irrational fear of not going to the right person, not doing it right, or not being tan enough before hand and then turning out like a carrot, an orange, or Donald Trump. But honestly, when done right, spray tans can look just as natural as a regular tan.

Before and after my first spray tan, I did a few things wrong that led to a not-so-flawless glow. The mistakes were nothing major, but that even annoyed me more. They were super simple things, like not going to get a spray tan right after it rains or not using a loofah afterward, that I would have done differently had I known to.

Even so, I loved my first spray tan and recommend it over harmful tanning beds any day. You just have to know what you're doing. So for all you rookie spray tanners, here are some helpful preparation and aftercare tips I learned from tanning professionals or through unfortunate trial and error myself:

1. You will smell like a spray tan even after you shower multiple times.

The smell will fade significantly after your first shower but will definitely overstay its welcome. Deodorant and perfume will be your new BFFs. Sidenote: Despite the smell, don't shower until at least eight hours after your spray tan. I would go get a spray in the very early morning then shower late at night before bed to avoid staining your bed sheets and pillowcase.

2. You'll look better if you go get your spray on a cold day.

Heat = bigger pores = clogged pores = a less smooth and more spotty tan.

3. DO NOT GET A SPRAY TAN IF YOU'RE HAVING AN EMOTIONAL DAY AND DO NOT FORGET YOUR UMBRELLA IF IT IS RAINING.


You will look like this. Seriously. Just don't get a spray tan while it raining or while you've got the water works going.

4. Bend your limbs while getting spray tanned.

While you're getting sprayed you should bend your knees and elbows, keep your fingers spread apart and slightly bent, and squat a bit. Awkward? Yes. But, unless you want to have even more awkward untanned spots in those creases, I'd do it.

5. If any spots of your skin look like they are extra dark or have extra bronzer on them, JUST IGNORE THEM.

DO NOT TOUCH THEM UNTIL YOUR FIRST SHOWER. You'll only end up looking like you took a Magic Eraser to your newly tanned skin, making things worse.

6. Your feet and elbows will always look a little dirtier, blotchier, and more Cheeto-esque, no matter what you do.


Try using pre-spray lotion if provided, wearing flip flops or, even better, staying barefoot as much as possible. But honestly... you're just going to have to deal with the fact that your feet and elbows will not look as great as the rest of your body.

7. Your nose will look so tan and cute right after your spray, you're not going to want to wash it off or cover it with makeup.

Sadly, you definitely should wash it off during your first shower. When you do, the color you see running down the drain is NOT your tan, it's just the excess bronzer. This goes for the shower too! Don't worry if you see the water changing color and don't stop rinsing until it runs clear.

8. Don't moisturize the day-of but DO moisturize all day every day after your first shower.

Moisturizing frequently after your spray tan will help your tan not to come off due to dry skin, rubbing during regular body movements, shaving, or sunburn.

9. If you're treating yourself to a pampering spree, the spray tan comes LAST or, even better, the day after.


Any facials, pedicures, etc. that involve scrubbing will rub your tan off almost entirely if you do them right after your spray tan, and slightly still if you do them a day or two after (so don't use a loofah in the shower either). If you are going to get a facial, pedicure, etc. the same day, make sure you do that BEFORE the spray tan and that no oils or lotions are used.

10. If you have big boobs they will rub together and consequently rub your tan off underneath and between them... without fail.

Lotion, lotion, lotion. Lotion every day all day after your first shower.

11. The more you go to the gym the faster your tan will disappear.

Sweat is no good when it comes to spray tans. I'd give it a few days before going hard at the gym— Good thing being tan makes you feel toned.

12. The tan on your hands and face will fade much faster than the rest of your body. It's inevitable.

I mean... unless you stop washing them. Considering the fact that it's ~vom~ worthy, I'd recommend getting a tan extending moisturizer instead.

13. Your tan will develop more over time.

During those eight or more hours before your first shower, your tan will darken. Some will even continue to darken after your first shower. So don't be disappointed if you're not as tan as you want to be right away and start lathering on tanning lotions or anything. Just give it time to set in.

14. Having someone spray you (as long as they know what they're doing) will almost always look better than having a machine spray you.

This way, the spray is more personalized to your body, the person spraying you can go light on your feet and elbows, and you can have them fix any spots they might miss.


If you're in the Pittsburgh or Morgantown area, check out Spray Tans by Alexa for an experienced spray tan technician who will come to you for free if you have a group of five or more!

Cover Image Credit: Nebula

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My Hair Journey After Box Bleaching My Hair

Although it may seem cheap and easy, the reality of box bleaching your hair is disastrous. Professionals, this article is dedicated to you.

nadoty
nadoty
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In 2017, I made the disastrous decision to box bleach my hair that I am still paying for today.

It seemed cheap, easy, and was something fun I could do at midnight. Little did I know, this would be a choice that I would still be regretting to this day. Besides the awful reality of box bleaching your hair, such as the chemicals in store hair dye already being disastrous for your hair, if you don't know what you're doing you not only run the risk of damaging your hair, having your hair fall out, but could also seriously hurting your scalp.

Follow me on my hair journey over the past two years and use this article to look back on if you're ever bored and in need for a change. Wait to go to a salon!

May 23rd, 2017.

Nichole Doty

I like to call this moment the calm before the storm. Back in 2017, I had long dark hair. I loved my hair and was very proud of how long I grew it. This is the longest my hair had ever been at this point in my life, and I absolutely loved it.

July 31st, 2017.

Nichole Doty

This was the day that everything changed. I made the terrible decision to not only box bleach my hair but to add box pink hair dye on the underneath of it. Not only did it look terrible, but it was also an irreversible decision that was made that I would have to live with for the next few years to come.

August 12th, 2017.

Kasey Bauner, (kasey_bauner via instagram), who works at Jay Marie Salon and Spa in Schereville, was able to save my hair in a beautiful way.

Nichole Doty

HALLELUJAH! My hot mess was fixed! Through hours and hundreds of dollars later spent at the salon, they were able to salvage my hair without shaving all of it off!

December 9th, 2017.

Nichole Doty

A few months later, after some length came in, that's when the roots started to appear. After the first glace at the outgrowth, I knew that I would have to keep chopping my hair until the roots fully grew out.

January 5th, 2018.

Nichole Doty

This was the first big chop I had to do since the box bleach disaster I did to my head. I knew that I didn't want to dye my hair back to its original color, so this began my repetitive cycle of hair growing out, getting a drastic chop, and growing it out again.

July 5th, 2018.

Nichole Doty

In July, my hair started to show more length since I had to originally chop it. My roots were starting to come in the dark so I had to try and wear hairstyles that would discretely cover how much my hair had grown.

August 31st, 2018.

Another big chop when school started in the fall of 2018. There's something so disappointing about having to keep growing out your hair just to chop it, but unfortunately, that's what I signed up for when I got myself into this mess.

November 29th, 2018.

At this point, my roots looked terrible. From the back of my head, the roots were growing towards the middle. I had to keep reminding myself that I couldn't see the back of my head so I could gracefully ignore how terrible it looked. Aside from this awful outgrowth I had going on, the color in my hair was starting to settle into a yellow mess.

January 31st, 2019.

Nichole Doty

As if I didn't learn my lesson from the first time, I started to experiment with different colors. I used the L'Oreal Colorista Semi-Permanent dye. I will say, though, this really is the most Semi-Permanent dye I have ever used as it would fully wash out in two weeks without any traces of color left behind.

April 25th, 2019.

I felt as though if I added different colors to my hair it would make the roots look more natural. As it did, I do NOT recommend the Kiss Tintation hair dye. This was the most patchy dye I have ever used, although I did love the blue.

May 12th, 2019.

Nichole Doty

As of just a few weeks ago, my hair was a big green mess. The dye would not leave my hair, so I started to panic that I really messed up this time. I could no longer wait at this point as I felt the frantic need to chop my hair.

May 23rd, 2019.

Nichole Doty

Here we have it! At the end of my journey thus far, I have managed to almost have all of my natural colors back! Although there are some green strands still left behind, I am mostly back to a full head of hair being the same color.

Overall, I want this article to serve as a warning to those who are like me and don't think through decisions properly. I'm the type of person when I want something I want it at that exact moment no matter what. My rash decision has led to poor self esteem and issues throughout these past two years. Am I being dramatic? Maybe. Maybe I'm like you who feels as though your hair is a big part of your identity and who you are as a person. Thank you for following my hair journey and remember: ALWAYS think through big decisions properly and wait to go to a salon to get your hair done!

nadoty
nadoty

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