Cuticle Tattoos 101


Yet another tattoo trend we can credit Rihanna for bringing into popularity. The Queen of Cool first sported cuticle tattoos back in 2013, and since then they have taken over Instagram. These tiny tattoos are just the latest in tattoo trends.



The name says a lot, but cuticle tattoos aren’t actually on the cuticle. Rather, they’re placed around the nail. People usually opt to stick close to the nail but some people have taken to extending the design up the fingers and even across the whole hand. One choice people interested in these tattoos have to make it how many fingers they want to be done. Some get a few, some get only one hand, and others get them all done. It’s all up to you!



Here’s the bad news- the hands hurt to get tattoos. That pain only increases for that area on the finger. Hands and fingers are mostly bone and skin, with very little fat to cushion. The area near the nail is even more bony and sensitive. Ever gotten a hangnail? Imagine that pain times a thousand.



Since most cuticle tattoos are small and have simple designs, the process can be done quickly. Make sure that you find an artist skilled in small tattoos though so that they don’t make any mistakes and can work in the small area.



There is no single design for cuticle tattoos. Some popular designs are geometric shapes, lines, dots, and henna-style designs. Due to the small space simpler designs tend to work best.



It’s super important to follow all aftercare instructions. Since your hands usually come in contact with germs and objects first, it’s important that you keep your new ink clean and dry.



Cuticle tattoos act like jewelry, elevating whatever outfit one is wearing. They can hurt though, and it’s pretty costly for a small tattoo. Some people are opting for alternatives like temporary tattoos or nail art to get the design. If you want to book an appointment please contact us today!




10 Historical Figures You Didn’t Know Had Tattoos


Tattoos have been around for a long time. While they remained taboo in the Western world until recently, quite a few powerful political leaders had hidden ink of their own. So next time someone shames you for your tattoos, inform them about these 10 historical figures that had tattoos of their own.


Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson was the 7th president of the United States. He’s mostly remembered for his controversial campaign to kill and relocate Native Americans. As if that wasn’t enough, he ironically had a tattoo of a giant tomahawk on his inner thigh. Yeah, a tomahawk, a weapon, and toll closely associated with the culture he tried to destroy.


James K. Polk

Another president with another hidden tattoo. James Polk spent most of his presidency buying up land for the US. We can also credit him with starting the Chinese character tattoo craze. President Polk had a tattoo of a Chinese character, which translates to “eager”. It could have been worse!


Teddy Roosevelt

Teddy Roosevelt was the 26th President of the US and had such a great run as president that his face even made it up on Mount Rushmore. What Mount Rushmore didn’t capture was his ink. Roosevelt reportedly had the Roosevelt family crest tattooed on his chest. We would expect nothing less from a man like him.


John Wilkes Booth

John Wilkes Booth wasn’t a president, but you probably learned about him in history class. He was a 26-year-old actor that shot and assassinated President Abraham Lincoln. They say actors have big egos, and we believe it after learning that Booth had his own initials tattooed on his hand.


Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison invited a ton of things, but did you know he also had a hand in creating the first tattoo machine? He was the one that created the first electric pen, which Samuel O’Reilly then used to develop the first tattoo machine. Edison was so intrigued that he ended up with 5 cryptic dots on his forearm.


Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill was a fantastic leader for Britain during WW2. Many would be surprised to know that he had a tattoo, a classic anchor on his forearm. His mother probably didn’t mind, seeing as she had a tattoo of a snake on her wrist that she hid with jewelry.


Czar Nicholas II

He’s known as the last emperor of Imperial Russia, but Czar Nicholas also had some ink. In 1891 he traveled to Japan to try to improve Russo-Japanese relations. He came back with a little souvenir- a colorful dragon tattoo on his arm. That’s one way to mend a relationship.


George Orwell

The famed author of classics like, 1984, no only used ink to get his words across but also to mark his body. While serving as a policeman in Burma in his youth, Orwell for a blue dot on each knuckle, the dots were supposed to protect the wearer from harm.


King Frederick IX of Denmark

King Frederick led Denmark for 25 years, and he was known for being a badass. His number of tattoos only reinforced this. His ink covered his arms and chest and he acquired them during his time as a sailor.


R.H. Macy

You might not know the name, but you sure know his legacy. R.H. Macy was the founder of Macy’s department store. You probably know the red star logo, but did you know it was inspired from R.H. Macy’s own tattoo? He had a red star on his forearm that he got in his youth when he was a sailor.


Want some cool ink? Contact us to set up an appointment today.


Q&A: Should I Be Worried About My Raised Tattoo?

First things first, don’t panic. Tattoos become raised for a variety of reasons, most of them nothing to worry about. We understand it can be concerning to see lumps and bumps where your ink is. Here are a few reasons as to why your tattoo may be raised and what you should do about it.


Rising Reasons

As we said, tattoos rise for a number of reasons. It’s not always easy to figure out the exact cause so take notes as to when, how often, and what you’re doing when the rising happens. The more information you have, the better chance you have at figuring out what’s causing it to happen. Here are a few of the likely candidates causing your tattoo to rise.



A big reason tattoo artists don’t freak out when a client tells us their tattoos are raised is that that is a perfectly normal part of the tattoo healing process. It’s caused by the body trying to heal itself. You may also notice scabbing, flaking, fading and oozing as your tattoo heals. None of it sounds pleasant, and it doesn’t always look it, but it’s perfectly normal. All of this should go away if you follow aftercare advice. Don’t panic if it doesn’t go away right away either. It can take months for a raised tattoo to go down. 



We told you to take notes on everything because the weather can have a big impact on your skin. A lot of people notice that their tattoos rise during warmer weather, like during summer. The reasons are simply your body swelling due to the heat. Humidity, heat, and dry air can all irritate skin, which can cause your tattoo to rise. It’s totally normal and if this is the cause you probably notice it goes away once it becomes cooler.



Scaring is one cause that is permanent. Scar tissue can form during the tattoo process and cause it to stay raised, even once it’s fully healed. It’s pretty uncommon, but it can happen if the tattoo artist isn’t trained. The scarring happens when the artist pushes too deep into the skin causing scar tissue to form. The scarring can go down, but it will still remain. This is why it’s important to go to a licensed tattoo shop and see a professionally trained tattoo artist.



It’s rare, but unfortunately, sometimes tattoos become infected. The chances of infections are low when you follow proper aftercare advice and visit reputable tattoo shops, but they do still happen. Symptoms of infection depend on the individual but common ones are swelling, white dots, rashes, and oozing in the tattooed area. Always get an infected tattoo treated as quickly as possible to limit the amount of damage to your body.



Being allergic to tattoo ink is uncommon, but it’s been known to happen. Allergies could cause the tattoo to rise, even if it’s been awhile since the tattoo was done. Allergies can develop at any stage of life so you may not notice them when you first get inked. If an allergy is serious you may have to get the tattoo removed. In most cases, the tattoo just becomes slightly raised, swollen, and irritated. Creams, aloe vera, and allergy medication can help relieve symptoms.



Honestly, this isn’t what people want to hear, but sometimes it’s just the individual. People’s bodies are different, so each person reacts differently to tattoos. That’s why it’s so hard to give an exact healing time because it’s different for everyone. If you have sensitive skin the tattoo may stay raised longer after healing or rise more often. If you have other skin conditions such as eczema, they could cause the tattoo to rise too. Don’t worry though because usually, a raised tattoo isn’t noticeable to others.


What To Do

Don’t panic right away if your tattoo is rising. If the rising is causing pain, discomfort, or lasts for a long time you may want to consult with a doctor. Don’t irritate a raised tattoo further by scratching it.


Contact us if you have any questions about your tattoos. If you are interested in getting a tattoo come by our downtown Toronto tattoo shop to set up an appointment.


Nose Tattoos 101


Some tattoo trends are more out there than other’s, and this is one of them. Facial tattoos have a long history, but now some people are getting just nose tattoos and this trend is taking off. Demons, skulls, and tribal ink, this location is the newest hotspot.


Who’s Getting Them?

Right now this trend is pretty limited to those into body modification and hardcore tattooist. Facial tattoos are extremely taboo, especially in Western countries. They’re often associated with criminals and jails. Some people have embraced facial tattoos, but get them in more discrete locations where they can be hidden like on the skull, behind the ear, or along the hairline. But there’s no hiding a nose tattoo.



Tattoos aren’t really in the taboo zone anymore. Most of society and most work places are pretty accepting of them as long as they aren’t of anything offensive. But facial tattoos are still pretty taboo. So if you’re interested in a nose tattoo just know that you may not get a job because of it.


Pain and Time

The bad news about nose tattoos is that they will hurt a lot. Even people that have multiple tattoos say they’re extremely painful. They compare it to getting punching in the face with a sharp object repeatedly. If you’ve ever had your nose pierced, just image that pain but times a thousand.


The other bad news about nose tattoos is that they aren’t quick. While they’re usually pretty small, the shape and curves of the nose can take awhile for the design to be completed.



Due to the shape of noses, some designs look better than others. Skulls and demons seem to be popular and compliment the nose well. Tribal designs, like Maori and Samoan tattoos, are also popular. Some people are doing more geometrical designs, with straight lines and triangles.



Any tattoo should be done by professionals, but especially facial tattoos. There are no hiding facial tattoos, especially nose ones. Make sure you find an artist that has done face tattoos before and is skilled in the style you like. Look at portfolios and discuss the design beforehand. We should note that not every tattoo shop will do facial tattoos. Some places find them too controversial so they refuse them.


Contact us or visit our tattoo shop to talk about getting a tattoo today.


Stick and Poke Tattoos 101


Stick and Poke tattoos are all the rage right now. As a professional tattoo shop, we get a little wary about them. They can turn out wonderful, but there is risk involved too since it isn’t be done by a trained professional. This style was once dominated by jails, but it has since become a hit with a new demographic- college kids. We can’t necessarily recommend these tattoos, but here is everything you should know about them.



Hand poke tattoos are rooted in the historical practice of tattooing. Back before tattoo guns were a thing people got tattoos in the same way that stick and poke tattoos are done- by sticking a sharp object with ink on it into the skin. Some areas in the world still practice tattooing in this way. Angelina Jolie is famous for her tiger back tattoo that was done by Thai monks using their form of sick and poke tattooing. Western countries stopped practicing this style once tattoo guns became widespread, but they still persisted in the jail system. This style used to be referred to as “jail house” tattoos. Now with college kids adopting this style, that stigma has dropped.


What is it?

The name of this style says it all. A sharp object is dipped into ink and then poked into the skin. People used a number of sharp objects, such as sewing needles, safety pins, or even tattoo needles just not connected to the machine. There isn’t standard ink used for this style. Most inks used for hand poke tattoos isn’t FDA regulated so be warned. Sometimes people even used regular pen ink.



Stick and poke is a style that can be done by anyone, from traditional monks to professional tattoo artists. However, the current style has more of a DIY notion to it, with it usually being done by a non-professional individual. These people are usually talented, and some even do it for a living. They aren’t trained, licensed or work out of a shop though so there is more risk than a standard professional tattoo. Hand poke tattoos are usually done in a more intimate setting, like a home, and done by friends so there is more meaning behind them.



The biggest concern about sick and poke tattoos is the sterilization and sanitization of the equipment used. Professional tattoo artists are held to certain standards, even more so if they work out of a tattoo shop. All equipment is cleaned and sterilized regularly. With hand poke tattoos there is always a risk that the needle isn’t clean. Using a needle that isn’t new opens up the risk of contracting a disease such as hepatitis or HIV.


No matter who’s doing the tattoos, make sure that everything is cleaned properly. Never use the same needle as someone else too. Also, make sure you follow the same aftercare advice that you would for a professional tattoo. Keeping it clean helps prevent infection.



A huge downside to hand poke tattoos is that they hurt even more than professional ones. Having a machine do a tattoo means that the process goes by quicker. When it’s done by hand, every line and dot have to be done individually. It takes longer and more practice to get the ink right. The ink used also isn’t the best, meaning it takes more layer to get the ink to show. What all of this means is that it will hurt, no matter where it’s done.



Another downside is time. Stick and Poke tattoos take longer to complete. Everything has to be done by hand, more layers of ink are required, and the design comes to life one dot at a time. What would usually take a few minutes can take up to hours.


Design and Size

The DIY aspect of hand poke tattoos can give you some ideas for what designs are popular. Doodle designs are common, especially on a smaller scale. Some people have become incredibly talented and skilled in this style though. They can create large, intricate tattoos that look like a machine did them.



There is an art to placing ink in the right part of the skin for tattoos. This is part of what’s covered and practiced when a professional tattoo artist gets trained. When the ink is placed too close to the surface, it won’t hold. If it’s placed too deep then it will blur and bleed. It takes skill to hit the sweet spot for ink placement. Due to this, and the lack of FDA approved ink used, stick and poke tattoos tend to fade more. This isn’t always the case, but most hand poke tattoos fade more often and quicker than professional ones. For some people though, this is actually a benefit.



Price is the number one reason people are drawn to hand poke tattoos. A professional tattoo can cost hundreds of dollars while stick and poke tattoos are either free or significantly cheaper. People who have a talent for this style and have made a name for themselves may get a higher price, but the majority of people use friends who don’t charge anything.


As professionals, we don’t advocate these tattoos but they can turn out super cool. Make sure you get everything sanitized before getting a hand poke tattoo. If you have any questions or want to discuss a professional tattoo, contact us.


Q&A: Can I Copy A Design I Found Online?

The quick answer to this question is both, yes and no. Let us explain. Looking online is a great way to find design inspiration. Feel free to look at Pinterest, Instagram, or artist portfolios to get some ideas. But do not copy a design you find online.

When To Look Online

If you know you want a tattoo, but aren’t sure what you want or if you have a rough idea but can’t visualize how it will look, it’s a great idea to browse online. When you go in for your tattoo consultation, your tattoo artist should be able to sketch based on what you describe. Sometimes clients have a hard time explaining what they want though. This is where inspiration pictures of similar designs come in handy.

Many people want original tattoos that express their individuality and personality. By looking online you can see what other people are getting to avoid getting the same thing. Maybe you love Harry Potter but you don’t want the same lightning bolt everyone else has gotten. The Internet is a great way to rule out popular ideas.

Absolutely look online for design inspiration or to brainstorm ideas or styles. You should even bring in pictures to help out your tattoo artist. Understand though, that these images should strictly be for inspiration, not for copying.

Why Not To Look Online

Here’s a big reason you shouldn’t get a tattoo of a design you copied online- it’s stealing. Someone worked really hard to design and tattoo that piece. Taking it in to get the tattoo on yourself, especially if it’s not even the same artist, is a form of theft. Chances are both the original artist and person they tattooed wouldn’t be happy with what you did.

Remember how we mentioned that tattoos should be original and the Internet is great to weed out the popular ones? Well, if you’re copying a design you found online chances are others have done the same thing. That means hundreds, if not thousands, of people, are going to have the exact same tattoo as you.

It’s also important to know that most tattoo artists won’t tattoo copied work. If it’s not original work, a public design (such as a cartoon character), or you don’t have permission from the artist most of them will turn you away.

How To Design A Tattoo

Every artist and tattoo studio have a different design process. However, it’s always a good idea to go into your consultation with some idea of what you want. Tattoo artists aren’t mind readers so make sure to bring in some inspiration pictures. Think about every aspect of the tattoo such as subject matter, size, placement, style, and color.

Once you discuss your desired tattoo and talk about your inspiration pictures your tattoo artist will begin designing. Be honest with them about everything you like and don’t like. Your artist will put a stencil of it on you in your desired location for you to get an idea.

The last step is to enjoy your new tattoo! Make sure you follow proper aftercare to keep it looking amazing. Contact us today to visit our studio to get started on designing your new tattoo!


12 Celebrities That Seriously Regretted Their Couple Tattoos

As much as we love tattoos, we never recommend couple tattoos. Even the most stable relationships can end. Just ask any of the celebrities below and you’ll get the same advice. From initials, wedding dates, names, and even jersey numbers, these celebrities have regretted their couple tattoos so much that they’ve gone through the painful process of removing or covering up their ink.


  1. Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp has a unique way of getting rid of his couple tattoos. He doesn’t just remove them or cover them; he changes them into something unique and new. He was once in a long-term relationship with fellow actor Winona Ryder. But after that relationship ended he changed this arm tattoo from “Winona Forever” to “Wino Forever”.

Depp didn’t learn this lesson about couple tattoos though. When he got married to Amber Heard he tattooed “Slim” on his knuckles, which was his nickname for her. After their extremely messy divorce, he changed that tattoo to read “Scum”. Harsh.


  1. Christina Aguilera

Christina Aguilera might be a pop princess, but even she makes mistakes. When she divorced her husband music executive Jordan Bratman in 2011, she got her tattoo honoring him removed. She had his initials in Hebrew on her arm, but they have since been removed.


  1. & 4. Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen’s love life can be hard to keep track of from his multiple failed marriages to his beautiful “goddesses”. Once upon a time though he was married to Denise Richards. They were so in love they even got each other’s names tattooed on each other, with Richards getting “Charlie” on her ankle, and Sheen “Denise” on his wrist.

Not surprisingly they ended up divorcing. Denise covered up her “Charlie tattoo” with a cute fairy. Charlie, however, went a different route. He covered up “Denise” with his favorite saying, “Winning”!


  1. Marc Anthony

Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez once had one of the most covered relationships in Hollywood. Unfortunately, they didn’t last. When they divorced though Marc wasn’t just left with a broken heart- he also had Jennifer’s name tattooed on his wrist. In 2014 he finally covered it up with a new design.


  1. Angelina Jolie

Before “Brangelina”, Angelina Jolie was in a relationship with Billy Bob Thronton. The couple did numerous odd things, such as wear vials of each other’s blood. Angelina didn’t stop there though, she got his name tattooed on her upper arm. After the split though she got the tattoo removed. It has since been replaced with the coordinates of where her children were born. It seems she finally learned that relationships aren’t forever, but being a parent is.


  1. Eva Longoria

Eva Longoria made the mistake of getting, not one, but three tattoos honoring her ex-husband basketball player Tony Parker. After it came out he cheated on her, it’s no surprise she got that ink removed. She once had his jersey number “Nine” on her neck, their wedding date “07-07-07” on her wrist, and his initials somewhere hidden, but they have since all been removed.


  1. Heidi Klum

Model Heidi Klum and singer Seal seemed to have the perfect marriage. Klum even celebrated their fourth wedding anniversary by getting his name tattooed on her arm. Unfortunately, they divorced in 2012 and she began the process of getting his name removed.


  1. Amber Rose

Nothing says love like getting your husbands face tattooed on your arm…until you divorce that is. Amber Rose ran into this problem when her divorce to rapper Wiz Khalifa left her with his face on her arm. Thankfully, she has since removed it and replaced it with some gorgeous roses.

  1. Iggy Azalea

Iggy Azalea might sing about being fancy, but it’s not so fancy to have a tattoo of your boyfriend’s name after a breakup. The singer got “Live”, “Love” and “A$VP” on her fingers in honor of boyfriend ASAP Rocky but after they broke up she was photographed with bandaged fingers suggesting the tattoos are now gone.


  1. Nick Cannon

At least most people that get the names of their significant others do it on a small scale. Not Nick Cannon though. He got a giant tattoo of ex-wife Mariah Carey’s name on his back. Since their divorce, though he has replaced with another huge tattoo to cover it up.


  1. Kylie Jenner

Kylie Jenner is fond of small tattoos. She even got a tiny “t” to honor her on-and off again boyfriend, Tyga. He in return got “Kylie” in massive script on his arm. Unfortunately, this young couple is over for good now. Kylie recently covered up her ink, turning the lowercase “t” into “la”. Tyga still has yet to cover up his Kylie tattoo, maybe he’s hoping they’re going to get back together. They probably won’t though considering Kylie just got matching butterfly tattoos with her new boyfriend Travis Scott.