Recently, I decided to get another tattoo. Looking back, I kind of wish I pushed the date of this tattoo till Spring as it’s currently Winter in Sydney right now and keeping a tattoo that’s located on one of the central areas of your body well ventilated under layers of clothes is difficult. However, what’s done has been done- I’ll just have to be more careful with the aftercare and healing process!
Before we begin this review, a couple of things to take into consideration:
- I am not professionally affiliated with any brands mentioned in this blogpost.
- This review is to be treated as a review and not advice as I’m not a tattoo professional.
- This is my personal experience – every individual’s experience will be different.
- We asked for permission beforehand to film – only got a small portion filmed as we didn’t want to distract the tattoo artist – no close ups of the needle puncturing into the skin, sorry guys!
I chose to go back to Authentink because I was quite happy with my initial tattooing experience there- from the customer service to the final product. Also, I followed their aftercare instructions and did not encounter any problems the first time I went.
I rocked up to Authentink 20 minutes ahead of their opening time which was also the time of my appointment so I waited downstairs. I have a habit of turning up to places early (Once I turned up to an interview 1.25 hours early as it was located in some obscure place in Alexandria and I’m not skilled with Google Maps. ‘Oops’)
I booked my 30 minute consultation over the phone and requested for Jess Martucci because he did my first tattoo(and I didn’t die). For the design of this tattoo, I wanted a sword through an eye skewed at an angle(not my actual eye, bless you). I wanted the direction of the slope of the sword to mirror the angle of the needle on the right of my rib as the snaked & needle tattoo looked lonesome by itself. I had an initial sketch (which I left behind with Jess as he was going to develop that concept) and it looked pretty dismal. To be honest, tattoo designs are not my forté (which is why you have tattoo artists). So I’m really thankful that Jess turned my very ‘two-dimensional’ design into something with more dimension and movement.
Two days prior, I waxed the area(and a bit more around the estimated area just in case) where I would be tattooed even though the hairs there were fine and only noticeable in sunlight. A touchup was also mentioned at the consultation so I waxed over the snake and needle tattoo. [I don’t shave because I’m scared of razors and I choose to use wax strips since shaved hair results in blunt ends of hair strands – personal choice in which hair removal method to use]
Jess initially drew a line down the centre front of my ribs to determine where this tattoo would sit before applying the stencil on top. (To-be-tattooed area was wiped before the stencil was transferred.)
It’d been about 6 months since the first tattoo and I had no sensory recollection of the pain. My experience was similar to last time though there were a few bits where it hurt a lot – you know when water bottles are crushed and the sides of the bottle collapse inwards – I felt like my ribs were going to do that at a few points. However, the shading on this tattoo felt less intense than my first tattoo – probably because the shading on this tattoo was lighter than the first tattoo which (I assume) meant finer needles?
I also had my other tattoo touched up as there was subtle fading due to the scabs falling ‘prematurely’ – I did have work the next day after getting that tattoo and I used my arms and upper body a lot. This time, I wasn’t working till a few days later.
After the tattoo was done, I stood like this so photos could be taken. Even though it was for only about 2 minutes, it felt like I’d already been standing for 5 minutes – my ribs were burning in raw discomfort – that quickly subsided once a jelly-like substance was applied over the tattooed areas.
Anyways, Jess also said to come back in 3 weeks to see how the tattoo has healed and if a touchup is required.
I’ve tried to minimise the amount of action around my rib area. Showering is a bit of a manoeuvring struggle as I try to angle in a way that doesn’t allow the water to hit the tattooed areas – afterwards, I wash the tattooed areas separately.
Also, scabbing has started to show at a ‘low height’ – the scab hasn’t rose and hardened yet. A problem I encountered whilst sleeping was that the layers of blankets that would cover me would prevent the tattoo area from “breathing”. With tattoos on both sides and my tendency to sleep on one side, sleeping on my back for the whole night was difficult.
Last night, I tried to combat the heavy-layers-of-blankets problem by wearing a jacket that I could roll up to chest length and with my blankets I rolled them down to my waist, leaving my rib area covered by only two layers of cotton clothing.
The tattooed area is starting to stiffen and dry up though on the touchup side, the scabbing is still at a ‘low height’ and feels relatively smooth.
I’ve begun to start applying a thin layer of cream and removing any excess with a paper towel as the tattoo has started to fully scab. It’s also started to sting when I wash it. The touchup’s scab hasn’t dried out stiff yet and I don’t know why.
I had work today and tried to not move in a way that would cause the scabs to ‘crack’ but that didn’t work out haha. The stinging ‘sensation’ experience during cleansing has started to diminish and subtle itching has replaced it.
The itching has increased, with parts of the scab starting to ‘flake off’ and it doesn’t sting anymore when I wash the tattooed area.
The itching feeling is still there with parts of the scab still intact. In the middle of the night, I semi-woke up briefly and scratched a piece of the scab by accident – I thought I was just itching normally and I scratched when I felt the subtle tugging of the scab so I freaked out… then I went back to sleep and didn’t scratch after that.
I also had work today though I didn’t have to move much in ways that could ‘crack’ the scabbing of the tattoo – it was a short 3 hour minimum retail shift and I was on counters for the majority of the shift anyways. The itching feeling is still there with parts of the scab still intact. As you can see in the photos, there seems to be a hint of secondary flaking which is known as ‘milky skin’ (as the aftercare sheet says.) The tattoo will be expected to heal ‘aesthetically’ in another week’s time however one advantage having a tattoo during Winter brings is that there will be little to no temptation to expose my tattooed area to the sun.
I tried to take photos and adjust the exposure so there would be a consistency across the series of photos taken over the span of a week (I am also missing the 3rd day photograph my apologies, though between the 2nd and 4th day there wasn’t much change.)
As you can see, there is still more scabbing to flake off before the tattoo is fully healed.
Would I revisit Authentink again for another tattoo?
Yes definitely, though I don’t think I’ll be getting another one any time in the following months because I don’t have any concepts I’m insistent on getting tattooed.
Check out Authentink here: http://www.authentink.com/
Click here for the Video . Skip to 1:25 for tattoo part – (once again, just a reminder that it’s a brief video as we did not want to disturb Jess whilst he was tattooing.)
Thanks for reading – any advice/feedback will be greatly appreciated!