26 July 2012

My love for tattoos


A picture of Vicky Morgan tattooing
Today I got my newest tattoo. A birthday present from my lovely boyfriend. And it has inspired me to write a much requested post. Almost on a daily basis I get asked on either here or Twitter about my tattoos, whether I will do a post about them, tips, advice, etc. So I thought now was as good'a'time as any. 


Today's tattoo was done by the very talented Vicky Morgan. Vicky has been my tattooist for a long time and does custom work at her studio in Derby. The studio, Ghost House, is co-owned by herself, her partner Lee LWB, their friend Justin Burnout and the guy who owned it previously. All produce exquisite work, all custom designed, and all done with the up-most passion towards their work. The studio is situated in the center of Derby and is one of the most beautiful studios I have ever been in. 

One question I get asked a lot, which I suppose I should answer first off, is how many tattoos I have. This is actually now an impossible question to answer. I have various pieces all over my body, with the intention to be fully covered in my later years, minus my face, head, palms of hands and soles of feet (and my lady bits, ouch) I have pretty much my whole body planned out. But here is what I do have...

A chest piece 
Swallow on each collar bone
An almost complete sleeve (right arm) themed around tea, owls and books
A large anchor piece on left hand side of my back
A large buoy piece on the right hand side of my back
Three Egyptian symbols down my spine
A tribal at the bottom of my back (tramp stamp!)
A crow in flight on the right bottom side of my back
A Great white shark on my left ribs
Scissors on my right foot
A ribbon going up my right lower leg
Cherries on my left foot
A peacock on my left ankle
A pincushion on my left thigh
Three stars on my left arm
Script on my left wrist
Script on the side of my left hand
And today's piece, a shark and anchor piece on my left forearm. 

A picture of Vicky Morgan tattooing
I got my first tattoo two months before my 18th birthday and since then they have been a pretty constant occurrence in my life. I adore being a tattooed lady. It makes me feel so much more happier within myself and far more confident than I ever was without them. I love my tattoos. Yes, some are of poorer quality than others due to poor choices I used to make with tattooists. But all of the work over the past couple of years, predominantly by Vicky, has been of an amazing quality and I wouldn't change any of them for the World; even the ones which aren't as good. 

To me, body modification is a personal choice. I get my fair share of negative remarks due to them. I get told they make me look masculine, I get asked if I am a lesbian (because obviously if you have tattoos, you're a lesbian.... the mind boggles) I get told I look ugly, that they don't suit me, that I've ruined my body, that I'll regret them. And I say the same thing to every single person that makes these comments.

Tattoos make me happy. When I am older, I will be the coolest, most colourful, wrinkly old granny around. 

A picture of a Shark Anchor Tattoo by Vicky Morgan
After the first half of tattooing today; line work and shading

Quite often I am asked for advice on tattoos. So here it is. Sorry if it sounds a little ranty; I get so frustrated when I see people get tattoos on a whim, don't make an effort to do their research and don't pick a decent artist. Tattoos are forever, they take so much more thought than walking in to a random studio on a whim and picking a design off of the wall/Google images.

Design.
Don’t settle for a design that has already been tattooed on God knows how many people around the World. Most tattoo shops do have flash available to look at but don’t be lazy. Don’t just look at some flash, pick out a piece and decide to get it on your body forever more. If you like a piece on flash, then use that as a basis for your own piece. Get it altered/changed to suit you personally. Make it individual. Make it your own.
Never steal an artists piece. A proper tattooist, is an artist. If you see a piece drawn by a tattooist, do not just decide to steal that artists work and have it tattooed by someone else. Talk to the artist, ask them if they would be willing to tattoo it on you, or even sell you the piece. If not, ask them if you can use their design as a basis for your own. Do. Not. Steal. An. Artists. Work. Common courtesy, respect and common sense, really.

Six month rule
I don’t do this so much anymore but a few years back with some of the bigger pieces, I did. A tattoo is going to be on you forever, so spending a few months thinking about it isn’t going to hurt. Patience really is a virtue where tattoos are concerned. Get it designed, then think about it. Have it somewhere you can see it on a daily basis. If you still want it done after a considerable amount of time and thought, you know you won’t regret it. Tattoos on the spur of the moment can sometimes be fun, good memories. But most of the time all they are is one huge mistake! Think about it carefully. 

Choosing your tattooist.
Don’t just jump into the first tattoo shop you come across. Do some research. Decide the style you want, then find an artist that is good at that particular style. Internet sites can be misleading on the quality of tattoos and often you’ll find you find an artist you adore, but they live on the other side of the World! There are some easy ways to find the right artist for you and there are so many astounding tattoo artists out there! Instagram (however much people hate the app) is a great way to find tattooists. A lot of really talented tattooists use Instagram to share their work. Magazines; Total Tattoo and Skindeep, both brilliant magazines for design ideas, artists and finding the right place for you. Tattoo conventions are also a great way to find the right artist for you, so check a few conventions out if you can!

Do it for the right reasons.
Don’t get a tattoo for the wrong reasons. Sorry to state the obvious, but a tattoo really is permanent. Don’t get a tattoo because of anyone else; what they will think, peer pressure, to fit into certain social groups. Think it through carefully, be sure it’s what you really want. Don’t follow a trend. It does nothing but make you look a fool.

Don’t be an utter fucking twat.
If you do not have a considerable amount of tattoo coverage, do NOT get your fingers, hands or neck tattooed. I don’t care what anyone says; if you do not have considerable coverage, or work in the industry yourself, you are nothing but a twat if you get your fingers, hands or neck tattooed. 

Aftercare.
Look after your tattoo properly. A tattooist can do an impeccable job, but you can still fuck it up royally if you do not look after it properly. Listen to your tattooists advice. Keep it clean. Keep it out of direct sunlight whilst healing. Do not use perfumes/body sprays/etc on the area until it is healed. Do not drown it in bepanthen - Less is more. Some tattoos scab, some peel, some don't do anything at all. Do not itch a new tattoo, do not pick at any scabs or peeling flesh.

How I look after my tattoos.
When you leave the studio, your tattoos ~should have~ been cleaned and wrapped in cling film by the tattooist. Keep this on for a couple of hours. Then take off the cling film, wash the tattoo and surrounding area in cool, clean water and use Carex sensitive liquid hand soap. Pat it dry with a soft, non-abrasive towel. Leave it to cool down/dry for a good ten minutes, then re-apply cling film. Ensure you do not wrap this too tightly - It will cause the tattoo to be even more sore, unnecessarily so. Do this several times over the first 24 hours (yes, even at night) After 24 hours, keep cleaning it as stated above, but instead of applying cling film, add a thin layer of bepanthen to the tattoo and surrounding area. You then need to wash the tattoo 2-3 times a day and continuous the process of applying bepanthen, until the tattoo seems moderately healed.

Don’t be afraid to ask.
Your tattooist isn’t just there to tattoo you. If you have any questions, ask them. That’s what they are they for.

A picture of a Shark Anchor Tattoo by Vicky Morgan
I hope this answers the many questions I get about tattoos. Sorry I haven't included photos of my other tattoos; I actually don't photograph my tattoos very often!
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75 comments

  1. hey your blog is sooo cool ive just followed it :) follow my new blog ive just started it

    ispyfashion101.blogspot.co.uk

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  2. Your new tattoo is STUNNING! I agree with everything you've said here - people going in and getting a flash tattoo makes me so depressed! Cannot wait for my next one. x

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    1. Thank you :) Flash isn't always bad, but some are pieces so over used it gets depressing! What do you have planned for your next? xo

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  3. I only have one tattoo (butterflies on my lower back - tramp stamp! But I got somebody to draw it up for me so it's unique to me and I thought about it for well over a year - over cautious maybe but I'm much more sensible than I appear! I'm passionate about piercings though and like you I get annoyed when people don't plan them/look after them properly. I love body mods x

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    1. Yeah me too - Piercings which aren't thought out are just as bad as tattoos which aren't xo

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  4. I'm thinking about getting my first tattoo for my 21st in the next few weeks.
    I'm so excited as the piece I want is very personal to me.
    But I'm also shit scared as I'm a MASSIVE wimp.

    Beautiful work - You have a very talented artist to work with.

    ClaireRebecca.x
    www.glitterview.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. It's not too bad. I would be lying if I said it didn't hurt, but some areas don't hurt as much as others. Just make sure to keep your breathing as regular as possible as that helps so much. Vicky is an amazing artist! xo

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  5. Ha, I love your don't be an utter fucking twat part, I hate seeing kids with nothing but their hands tattooed.

    Choosing an artist is the most poiniont, don't go for the cheapest you can find!! I learnt that lesson at 15 ha. Another one, if someone will tattoo you under 18, they're shit.

    Chloe x

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    1. Me too! It's the most frustrating thing ever! I think far too many people do exactly that though, go for the cheapest option. Yet where tattoos are concerned, quality is so much more important and worth the price xo

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    2. if its something thats going to be there your WHOLE life, splash out a little.

      chloex

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  6. Lovely post! I love your newest addition. :) x

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  7. great read, your new tattoo is really cool.!! interesting what you had to say on 'finger tattoos'. my only tattoo is on my finger and i adore it.x

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    1. Thank you! And I'm glad you enjoyed the post. What do you have tattooed? xo

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  8. Great post- I especially like the ranty parts because I totally agree with you. I follow you on tweeter and seeing you talk about getting tattooed has made me so excited about mine booked in for August! I know its loads of messin but I'd love to see photos of your other work :] specially the tea and owls as I'm getting an owl myself!xx

    brutalfashionandbeauty.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. I'm next booked in October 27th and November 3rd. SO LONG TO WAIT!!! Where are you getting your owl tattoo placed? :) xo

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    2. Eee what are you getting next? I'm getting it on the inside of my upper arm (hope that makes sense?!). I get tattooed in London at Frith Street by Stewart Robson, even though I live in Manchester but it's deffo worth travelling to get something amazing! xx

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    3. I am booked in to finish my right sleeve and for two pieces of script on the back of my thighs! I've heard amazing things about Frith Street. My tattooist gets tattooed their by Valerie Vegas. Her work is stunning! I think travelling is worth it where a good tattooist is concerned and more people should be willing to travel! xo

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    4. Oooh sounds good! Yeah, I've seen loads of Valerie's work and it is ace. Exactly, I think some people think convenience and a bargain is the way to go but you for sure get what you pay for. xx

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  9. This has made me want my tattoo even more x

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  10. Your tattoo list sounds awesome, you should post the pictures some time. Funny that I read this particular post today as i've just went and booked in for the next section of my thigh piece. It'll be tattoo number 10 for me...although seeing as i'm just extending another piece is it technically still 9?! Anyway, it's not until mid-September :( but it gives me time to save up I suppose.

    Your new tattoo is cool also :)

    Lx

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    1. Unfortunately photos aren't really possible due to awkward angles! Sorry! I would class that as one whole piece regardless of the number of separate sessions on it :) Thank you xo

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  11. Your new tattoo is gorgeous, this post was so informative. Thanks so much :) x

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad you liked it :) xo

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  12. Sound advice; I'd love a tattoo but every idea I have I go off of eventually so I think my skin will remain uninked. Your new tattoo looks amazing! Xo

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    1. I think that's the best thing about the six month rule. By the end of it, you know if you still want it! Thank you xo

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  13. Ahhh Sophia it's gorgeous! The colour looks so even and well done :)
    Haha I love the part about being an utter twat, so true. 18 year old guys getting their necks tattooed for their first because it's 'in fashion', good one!
    x

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    1. Thank you :) Vicky is so amazing! I've had so many chats with guys (and it is 9/10 guys) who have done it and a year down the line they all regret it! xo

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  14. Brilliant advice! I was talking with my tattooist about the twats who get their necks and hands done without much else, and he called it 'the Warped Tour uniform - usually accompanied by a zipped up hoody'.
    Your little shark is lovely too :)

    Nicola xxx
    nicolabooklust.blogspot.com

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    1. Aha, I like to refer it to as Oli Sykes syndrome, personally :) xo

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    2. Oli Sykes is a twat, so that fits perfectly! xxx

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  15. Your shark looks fantastic! :) Those are great tips as well, I get really irate with badly executed or obvious flash tattoos, it's meant to be an expression of creativity, or meaningful (although I don't believe they always have to have one, if you're into the art of it), so why would you get something awful, done badly, that doesn't represent you or the reason you have the tattoos? ANGER! x

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    1. I think the thing that really winds me up the most, is when people have tattoos of a horrendously poor quality. And I mean cringe-worthy bad. It winds me up and I actually pity the people who have them because they don't seem to even understand how poorly done their tattoos are. God that makes me sound like a tattoo snob haha xo

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  16. I'm so pleased you've done this post Sophia! Your new tat looks great, I love when a tattoo looks like a piece of art, rather than just some symbols or script. I had a chuckle at your rant too. I think Cheryl Cole is massively to blame for all the hand tattoos and neck tattoos make someone without any other ink look rough.

    I don't think I will ever get a tattoo, I don't think they would suit me and I'm too frightened of my parents haha. Like I said on twitter I'm indecisive. I had wanted some small angel wings as I'm a reiki practitioner and have a fascination with them but I've seen so many people with them that is has put me off.

    Like others have said id love to see more pictures if you get the chance.

    L xxx

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    1. The kind of hand and neck tattoos I am referring to are full sized traditional and new style pieces, usually influenced by the likes of Oli Sykes. But I agree, the little delicate hand tattoos have been more evident in girls since Cole.

      I always say to people that if you aren't sure about a tattoo, then you aren't ready and shouldn't get one. Better to wait until/if you are sure, than do something you may later regret! xo

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  17. WOW! That is simply gorgeous, I really want to get a tattoo on my wrist but never been sure what I want. I think I would end up having something simple, but I'm scared incase I end up not liking it in years to come :(

    Charlee
    http://charmedcharlee.blogspot.com/
    xxxx

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    1. Maybe the six month rule is perfect for you :) xo

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  18. Love the new tattoo! Oh and I have to say my favourite rule was 'Don't be an utter fucking twat' hahahaha!

    Great post girl! xo

    Megan Jane // Seek My Scribbles

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    1. Aha I'm so glad people like that particular bit! Was worried I'd get told off for swearing ;) Thank you my love xo

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  19. I love your new tattoo, it's really unique! I don't have any myself, I'm not too good with pain and I've never really had any overwhelming desire to get one. I just don't get folk that walk in and pick a design off the wall, if you going to have something permanently etched on your body why not put some thought into it?! X

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    1. Thank you :) You would think so, but for some people I don't think they even realise you can get custom work done! xo

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  20. I know I already spoke to you about it on Twitter but I can't help but comment again, I love your lovely new sharkie! So good!!

    http://www.rafflesbizarre.blogspot.com

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  21. holy cannoli you have so many!! wow, without sounding like a giant creepster your body must be so interesting to look at, a lovely piece of art in itself! it would be quite interesting to have a good nose at some of your most favoured ones if you ever decided to do a post, but of course they might be personal to you so you might not want to share them which is understandable :) I have a tattoo too, only one though, on my ribs and because it's there it's hardly ever seen so I kind of like keeping it personal myself :)

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    1. It's not that they are too personal, they are just in incredibly awkward positions so photographing them is almost impossible! Otherwise I would have included some :) My shark on my ribs absolutely killed me!! xo

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  22. So glad you posted this lovely! I've been wanting a tattoo for about 6 years now and still haven't dared get one! Will hopefully get on it soon! Love your new shark! xx

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    1. Thank you my love, I'm glad you liked the post! What kind of thing do you want done? xo

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  23. I agree about the 6 month rule, I have friends booking in for their first tattoos a week after finding a design. I've personally had my heart set on a matching tattoo with my twin brother for over a year now. We're getting our birthday and a bow and arrow to represent our star sign as well as each others name below. It's something personal that I know I'll never regret.
    x

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    1. The matching tattoo with your twin sounds like such a lovely idea! xo

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  24. Gorgeous new tattoo hon! It's done so well :-) I am this close to getting my first tattoo but it's so tiny haha I love it though.

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    1. Thank you :) Vicky is a very talented lady! xo

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  25. Would definitely love to see pics of your other tattoos :-) I've been thinking about one for ages but can't decide exactly what I want, but I always think as long as they're done right they look beautiful! x

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    1. Most of my tattoos are in places I can't photograph myself, so unfortunately I won't be able to add any more! Yeh definitely. Having a tattoo done by someone who knows what they are doing makes a World of difference xo

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  26. Loved this post as tattoos fasinate me, I love how everyone has their own tatoo style. Iv done a post about my tattoos too, would really love if you had a read :)

    http://buttons-blog.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/my-tatoo-story.html

    xx

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    1. I already read and commented on it a while ago :) xo

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  27. That tatt is gorgeous!!! I really love this post.

    Although I have no tattoos yet, I have a passionate hatred for people who have booked to get a tattoo without knowing what they want, just that they want a tattoo. Makes me want to slap them very hard!
    Or people who see something and go "I want that tattooed on me." and within the week they're getting it done.

    I planned what will be my first tattoo when I was 12. Every year for a few years I modified and added bits to the design until I was happy with it. And then I've spent up until now (I'm 19) trying to find the perfect tattooist for me. Perhaps I'm too cautious! XD But that's better than no caution I suppose. =]

    Love B xxxxx

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    1. Thank you, I love it! I don't think you're too cautious. I like that you are so willing to wait until you find the perfect tattooist for you! xo

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  28. This looks really good! You give some really good tips and advice, I plan to get one soon it has been almost a year since I stopped tweaking what I wanted so this has to be the right one :) xx

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad you liked it :) I hope you'll love it when it's done xo

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  29. Love this piece! That is such a beautiful tattoo, such amazing shading! I completely agree with everything you've said here - I've had my tattoo idea since I was about 17 but am yet to find a tattoist that I'm comfortable with to do it justice. My first piece was lettering so I didn't research it too much, but with full colour I think it's so much more important. I think of tattoos as art - I don't want shitty art on my body.

    And I commend you also for not having your tattoos up all over the internet too! Probably stops them from being ripped off.

    xx

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    1. Thank you :) Tattoos are definitely art! That is a major part in why I don't post photos of all of my tattoos. They are all custom designed and there are far too many people who show no respect for that whatsoever and steal designs xo

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  30. Good on you girl! SO many people hide away their ink because they know its somehwat 'frowned upon' so refreshing to see you being so confident about them. It certainly is very pretty (i suggested his name to be bruce on tiwtter hehe :P) I have 4 myself without colour, been thinking of getting a fifth with colour... I heard they are more painful because the shading tool is used. I'd like to know if you're colour hurt more than the simple black/grey? ...I'd love to do a tattoo post myself but a lot of my family hate them! So i keep them hidden online unfortunately :(

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  31. @Hannanah I've never seen the need to cover mine up and hide them. I think if less people did, there wouldn't be so much stigma over tattoos in the work place! It's a shame you have to hide yours :( xo

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  32. @Roisin. Definitely! Quality is far more important to me than getting a cheap tattoo xo

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  33. I absolutely adore your tattoo's and your confidence for having them! Beautiful. x

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  34. Ive never had a tattoo and will probably never get one. Unless a really good idea comes along,I just don't think they're for me. That being said, it really irks me when people are so rude about tattoos. Its not their body, no one is forcing anyone. If a person is kind, decent and honest, a tattoo isn't going to change that!
    Rant Over :)
    Also, you look lovely XD

    Makeup for Biochemists
    xx

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  35. i love your tattoos! your new one is amazing :)

    i have one tattoo, 3 paw prints on my wrist. i had it done back in last oct, im planning to have a 4th done, every paw as a meaning to me :)

    http://beautyintheeyeofthebe-holder.blogspot.co.uk/

    xxx

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