Best Mental Health Tattoos to Get This Mental Health Awareness Month


May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a month dedicated to shining light on mental health issues and illness. The goal of Mental Health Awareness Month is to create solidarity among people who suffer from mental illnesses and to reduce the stigma surrounding them. Multiple celebrities in recently years have opened up about their own mental health struggles, which has greatly contributed to this cause.

There’s no better way to commemorate your journey or recovery from mental health issues than through a tattoo. Here are a few ideas others have gotten to mark their mental health battles.

Semicolon: Semicolon tattoos started because of Project Semicolon, an organization that aims to create solidarity and end suicide. A semicolon is used when an author decided against ending a sentence and chose to continue it. Much like someone choosing to continue life over suicide.

Chemicals: Chemical imbalances in the brain are thought to be a big cause of mental illness. Specifically, lower levels of serotonin and dopamine are thought to cause depression. People have taken to reclaiming these chemicals by getting molecules for them tattooed on their body.

Motivational Words: Simple motivational words like “breathe”, “fearless”, or “strong” can be enough for some people. They are permanent reminds for those that need them. If a word resonates with you and helps you get through your mental illness then consider tattooing it. 

Carpe Diem: While carpe diem, Latin for “seize the day”, has become a bit of a cliché the message is still a good one. If you feel stuck by your mental illness this phrase could be what you need to nudge you to keep moving.

Anchor: With mental illness, it can feel like you are being dragged away. An anchor is a symbolic way to keep grounded. Anchors keep ships from drifting away and it can do the same for you.

Inspiration Quote: Sometimes a quote touches people deeply. It can be their motivation to keep going. Whether it’s from Harry Potter or poetry if a quote inspires you and helps you through your mental health battles it might be worth getting it tattooed.

Birds: Birds represent freedom, which is a positive message for people that have recovered from mental health problems. It symbolically shows that there is a light at the end of the dark tunnel.

Scars: Self-harming scars can be a lasting representation of a dark time. People have now taken to incorporating these scars into tattoo designs. This beautiful way of reclaiming them turns them from something dark and ugly into something beautiful and inspirational.

Other: Whatever speaks to you, whether it’s a word, a quote, or a symbolic image, it would make a beautiful tattoo. Tattoos are a great way to create permanent reminders about life and the mental health issues. Contact us to discuss getting a mental health related tattoo this Mental Health Awareness Month.


Freckle Tattoos 101

Freckles were once a prime target for bullying. But today, they have become so popular that people have taken to getting them tattooed on. This rising tattoo trend, called “freckling”, has become the latest hit.


It’s hard to point to the start of most trends. Montreal-based cosmetic tattoo artist Gabrielle Rainbow is usually given credit to this trend. After hearing about her friend growing tired of drawing on freckles Rainbow got the idea of tattooing them on. After trying them out on herself she now has a long list of clients begging for this trend.

What Are They?

Cosmetic tattooing uses semi-permanent ink. Dots are placed on the face in a natural looking pattern. People can get a light dusting or a full face. They can last anywhere from 2-3 years but it depends on the person.

Why Get Them?

People who have freckles might spend so much effort covering them up. It’s people who don’t have them that have flocked to this trend. Most cosmetic tattoo artists say their main clients are people who get light freckling in the sun but want it all year round. Often time people bring in pictures of their favorite celebrity for inspiration (Kylie Jenner is a favorite). When done right it’s impossible to tell them apart from real ones.

Disadvantages of Them

There’s often a rift between tattoo artists and cosmetic tattoo artist. Tattoo artists are hesitant about this trend but say it’s safe. Be warned, semi-permanent tattoos don’t last forever so they aren’t always worth their price tag. Make sure you find a reputable cosmetic tattoo artist that has done freckling before. Otherwise, you’ll end up with wonky, fake looking freckles.


Freckle tattoos might go out of style but luckily they aren’t permanent. Plus, you’ll look super cute while you have them. Contact us if you want to take the leap from semi-permanent tattoos to permanent ones.



Common Questions About Piercings


Piercings are more popular than ever before. As their popularity grows so do the curiosity and questions about them. Here are the most common questions we get asked about piercings.

Q: How old do I have to be to get a piercing?

A: In most places, parental permission is required for people under the age of 16 for piercings. Lobe piercings are the only exception to this and don’t require consent from a parent. Some piercings, like the nipples and genitals, won’t be performed on anyone under the age of 18. Proper identification is required before all piercings so make sure you have valid government ID.

Q: Do I need to make an appointment?

A: It’s always best to call ahead and make an appointment, as top tattoo shops can get busy. However, piercings don’t usually take long so walk-ins are welcome. If you want to avoid waiting you should make an appointment though.

Q: Do piercings hurt?

A: Like tattoos, piercings in certain locations hurt more than others. Lobe piercings are mild in pain but other places like the genitals are extremely high in pain. Even with this, the pain is brief so don’t worry too much. Any questions or concerns you have about can be discussed with your piercer ahead of time.

Q: Should I spin my jewelry as it heals?

A: Spinning jewelry as it heals is something we were all told to do as kids to prevent sticking. It’s actually a bad thing to do though. Most jewelry used in top piercing locations won’t stick to the skin. Spinning just causes more damage to the healing process. Your piercer will go over how to care for your new piercing.

Q: Is everything sterilized and safe?

A: We take sanitation and safety seriously at our top Toronto tattoo shop. We make sure to comply with every health code and law required by the government. Your health and safety are a priority to us. All of our equipment is properly sterilized and we will happily go through and explain and show you these steps.

Q: How long before I can change jewelry?

A: The timeframe for switching out jewelry depends on what type of jewelry you have in and where you got pierced. How fast your individual body heals will also be a factor. Ask your piercer this when you go in. If you want to change it out sooner, or need to for whatever reason, come back in and have a professional do it for you.

Q: What do I do if my piercing gets infected?

A: Following the aftercare advice given to you will reduce your risk of getting an infection. Sometimes it happens though. Your first step should be to contact and visit your piercer. They can help you with what to do next. Don’t take out the jewelry though as this can make the infection worse.

Q: Can I get a piercing if I’m pregnant?

A: Doctors and professional piercers don’t recommend getting any piercings or tattoos while pregnant or nursing. A piercing will put more stress and strain on your body and immune system. While pregnant your body needs to focus on staying healthy for the baby so any unnecessary stress isn’t good. Wait until after you have given birth and are done nursing before coming in for a new piercing.

Q: What will happen to my navel piercing when I get pregnant?

A: Your stomach will grow as the baby grows. This can cause a navel piercing to become uncomfortable, usually around the 6th month of pregnancy. Today, many places sell large, plastic navel piercings precisely for this reason. Switch this out when pregnant to prevent any issues.

Q: Do you pierce with studs of hoops?

A: The location, your body, and our piercer’s preference will also factor into what type of jewelry used. Starting out with a stud is usually preferred as they heal easier. If you want a bar or ring this can be discussed with our piercer. Ultimately, our piercer has the right to refuse if they don’t feel comfortable putting in a certain piercing.

Q: Can I bring friends with me?

A: We encourage you to bring in friends for moral support. We limit the number of people in the room to two or three, mainly due to space. No kids or pets are allowed though. We reserve the right to ask anyone to leave if we feel they are being too disruptive.

Q: What kinds of piercings do you do?

A: From regular piercings to dermal, we do every type of piercing you could image. No location is off limits either. Our piercer will pierce anything, from the visible to the extremely intimate.

Q: How much do piercings cost?

A: It’s never a simple question to answer. Lots of factors go into determining the price of a piercing. Location, the type of piercing, the jewelry selected and our piercer will also influence the price. Contact us to determine the exact price.

Q: Is your piercer trained and qualified?

A: We would never hire someone that wasn’t. Our piercer is experienced and trained in this field as well as fully certified. We only want to best for our clients.

Contact us today to set up a piercing appointment.









Tattoo Stretching


The body is a constantly changing thing. We grow taller, gain weight, put on muscle, and stretch out our skin. Because of the ever-changing canvas that is our body, many questions have questions about tattoos stretching. It’s one of the most asked questions we get asked as a Toronto tattoo shop. So we’ve decided to answer the burning question, do tattoo stretch?

Do Tattoos Stretch?

The simple answer to this question is yes. The answer to the follow-up question, why is that it depends. Tattoos are inked into the skin and as the skin stretches so does the ink. This can cause stretch marks or make the design look distorted. The good news is that most tattoos don’t stretch, even as the body changes. Location makes a big impact on if a tattoo stretches. Tattoos on the wrists, hands, feet, ankles, or neck don’t tend to be affected. Stomach, arm, legs and breasts are more prone to stretching though. The larger the tattoo the less likely the stretching is noticed but with smaller tattoos, the changes can be extremely visible.

Causes of Stretching

There are a few things that cause the skin and tattoos to stretch. Some of them can be avoided but others are a natural occurrence. Here are a few of the most common causes.

Muscle Building

Working out and gaining muscle is a big trend today. However, this can affect your tattoos to be careful. Building muscle slowly usually won’t affect a tattoo but rapid gaining or losing or muscle mass will likely cause a tattoo to stretch.


Just like with muscle, quickly gaining or losing weight will cause your skin to stretch. This will impact the tattoo if it’s in certain locations. The skin could sag or create stretch marks, which can affect the design. If you’re trying to change your weight do it slowly. It’s not only healthier but it won’t change your tattoo as much.


As a baby grows inside of a woman her body goes through extraordinary changes to accommodate it. Part of this is the stomach stretching and growing. A tattoo in this location can be affected looking distorted or stretched out. Stretch marks may also be lasting markers on her body due to pregnancy. These can impact a tattoo design but the good new is usually they don’t, at least not for long.


It’s perfectly natural for skin to become less taut as we age. This is what causes the skin to wrinkle and sag. Unfortunately, this also impacts tattoos on the body. There’s not much that can be done about this but many people say their tattoos still look good even as they get older.

How To Prevent Stretching

Sometimes stretching can’t be prevented but gaining or losing weight or muscle slowly is the best way to try to combat this. Your skin is pretty resilient though, so don’t worry too much about tattoo stretching. If you have any questions or concerns contact us or visit our downtown tattoo shop.



Which Piercing Locations Are The Most Painful?

It should be no surprise that just like tattoos certain piercing locations are more painful than others. A big question we get asked a lot at our downtown Toronto tattoo studio is “how much will it hurt to get pierced there”? To answer that burning question we’ve ranked the most popular piercing locations by pain level from least painful to most painful.

Least Painful

Lobe Piercings

A lobe piercing is so painless and common that it’s the only piercing that can be done under the age 16 without parental consent. Even babies get them done. People compare the pain to a slight, brief pinch. To get an idea of pain, pinch your earlobe.


Eyebrow piercings aren’t as common and they’re certainly more for the trendy crowd. However, they aren’t painful to get despite what many people think. People say it’s more of a slight pressure pain than anything.


Who didn’t get their bellybutton pierced during the early 2000’s? This piercing location’s popularity has died down some but it’s still a hit spot. The good news is that it’s pretty painless with piercers comparing the pain to a brief bee sting.


Moderately Painful


When it comes to nose piercings there are tons of options. The pain can differ depending on where on the nose you get pierced. The nostril is the least painful while the septum, which has more cartilage, is more painful. Overall, a nose piercing is moderate in terms of pain though expect your eyes to water.


There are lots of options for lip piercings too. Most lip piercings are the same amount of pain but if you get multiple the pain multiples too. These piercings aren’t too painful though but the swelling afterward can be (and it makes you look like you took a hit!).


The lobe isn’t the only popular location to piercer on the ear nowadays. Other location on the ear, basically anywhere on the ear, is popular today. These locations tend to be more painful than the lobe though. The exact pain level depends on where you get pierced but the thicker the cartilage in the area the more painful it will be.


Tongue piercings are still more taboo than other facial piercings. People expect them to hurt a lot, especially since the only experience people have to compare it to is biting one’s tongue. The truth is that the pain is fairly moderate as the pain is more localized than accidentally biting your tongue. It can swell afterward though making it difficult to eat and talk.


Most Painful


Thanks to celebrities like Rihanna and Kylie Jenner, nipple piercings have become incredibly popular. Toronto tattoo shops get more of this requested everyday. Be warned though- they hurt. This area is sensitive which only increases the pain. Clothing rubbing against them also makes them more uncomfortable than other piercings.


Dermal piercings are different than other piercings in that they don’t go all the way through the skin. They are either placed partially or completely under the skin. Because of this, dermal piercings are incredibly painful. They can be placed almost anywhere on the body and depend on where they’re placed the higher the pain is.


As expected, genital piercings are the most painful. Whether you’re getting male or female genitals pierced it’s going to hurt. The pain is intense but it’s over pretty quickly. It’s extremely important to follow aftercare advice for these piercings though as serious health issues could arise.



Much like tattoos, the piercing pain is all based on where it gets done. They don’t always hurt as badly as tattoos, nor are they as permanent, but a professional Toronto piercer should do them. Contact us today to set up an appointment in our downtown Toronto tattoo shop.


Options For Regrettable Tattoos

Tattoo artists always hate when they hear stories about people regretting their tattoos. But as more people are getting them it’s only fitting that the rate of regret and removal increased too. Whether it’s design, time, or a bad artist, the reason for regret are numerous. Luckily, so are the options for removal.

Laser Removal

Laser removal is the most popular option for completely removing a tattoo. The ink is targeting with pulses of concentrated light that break down the ink. The bad news it that it takes at least 10 treatments for the tattoo to be fully removed. This is less if you only go in for a partial fading. The more treatments you get the more your skin gets damaged which means blisters, scabs, and scarring are all possible side effects of laser removal. This process is incredibly painful and it’s pretty pricey. Colored ink, especially blues and greens, are significantly harder to remove also.

Intense Pulsed Light Therapy

IPL is another treatment option that is gaining popularity. It’s similar to laser removal. A high-intensity light is emitted from a wand onto the targeted areas. This method is a lot less painful than laser but unfortunately, it is also more expensive. It’s relatively new so specialists aren’t sure about recommending it or not yet.


This is an old school removal option that isn’t used much today. It involved “sanding” or “blasting” away the top layers of skin through abrasive friction. If it sounds painful that’s because it is. It’s also not super effective, which is part of the reason it’s not even offered in most places anymore.

Tattoo Creams

Tattoos creams claim to lighten and fade tattoo ink. If this sounds too good to be true because it is. Most of them don’t work or at least don’t work effectively enough to match their hefty prices. Chances are they won’t work but if you really want to try them there aren’t really any side effects other than a loss of money.

Cover Up

Cover-ups are a good option for some people. A skilled artist that specializes in or has experience with cover-ups can give you a new ink to replace the bad one. If done well you can’t even see the old one at all. Cover-ups are only good if it’s the design, not the idea or placement of the tattoo, that you regret. A good cover-up can be expensive depending on the size and detail needed. Look at artist portfolios to make sure you’re not getting another bad one. Colored tattoos are harder to cover up and may require some laser fading first.


Ink fades and spreads as time goes on causing some people to fall out of love with their tattoo. In this case, restoration might be the option for you. Top tattoo artists can go over old pieces and bring them back to life. Make sure you find an artist that specializes in this, though.


Tattoo regret is unfortunate but there are tons of reasons people regret tattoos. In order to avoid regret always research your artist, make sure you love your design, and think about the long term. Thankfully, there are far more options out there for removal than there used to be. Contact us today to set up an appointment for cover-ups or restoration.

7 Things Your Piercer Wants You To Know

Getting a piercing isn’t as big of a deal as it used to be. Nowadays they are common, socially accepted, and usually aren’t as permanent as a tattoo. Still, anytime you are putting a needle into your body (even for a second) you should take it with some seriousness. There are a few things that piercer’s wish people knew before going in. Here are seven of them:

  1. Avoid Piercing Guns

Almost everyone has gotten a piercing with a gun at some point, usually as a child in the mall. But piercers wish people would stay away from them. Not only are they not regulated or precise but they also are extremely hard to sanitize properly meaning you’re more likely to get an infection. Guns also use a dull stud rather than a sharp needle, which makes them more likely to damage the area.

  1. Only Listen to Professional Aftercare Advice

You should only listen to aftercare advice of a trained, professional piercer. In other words, avoid the Internet. People are still spouting off aftercare advice that they learned from a Claire’s piercing handout as a kid. Don’t twist the piercings when it’s dry as this can cause damage. Always clean it properly to avoid infections. If you ever have any questions or concerns be sure to contact a professional piercer to get your answers, not Google.

  1. Don’t Throw Around the Word Infected

People toss around the word infected about their piercings far too often. It’s actually pretty rare for a piercing to become infected as this can only really happen in the first few weeks. Most often people confuse normal irritation and healing with infection. Some hurting, soreness, oozing, crusting, and swelling is perfectly normal and part of the healing process.

  1. Don’t Go to a Doctor For a Piercing

As soon as people worry their piercing is infected they go running to the doctor. This is a big mistake though as most doctors don’t actually know a whole lot about piercings and can just make the situation worse. Always go back to your piercer first if you have any concerns. They will best advise you on when and if you should go see a doctor.

  1. Don’t Haggle

Save the price haggling for the flea market, not the tattoo shop. Getting a piercing done by a professional can be a little pricey, especially if it’s a unique piercing. But you get what you pay for. Going cheap can lead to an uneven, unsanitary piercing that will end up costing you more later on. Professional piercers are trained, experienced, and follow certain regulations so they know what they are doing. Don’t insult them or their work by haggling on a price. Prices are set for a reason.

  1. Communicate and Be Honest

They say communication is key for a reason. Communicate with your piercer every step of the way. Be honest with them about your feelings, concerns, and what you want. Don’t be afraid to ask any questions, even if you think they sound dumb. Your piercer isn’t going to judge you. Even if you go in with a piercing you did yourself or by a poor non-professional piercer to get fixed your piercer just wants to help you out go be open and honest with them always.

  1. Listen to Your Piercer’s Advice

You go to a professional for a reason. They know what they’re doing and talking about so be sure to listen to them and follow their advice. If they tell you a certain piercing can’t or shouldn’t be done listen to them. Head their advice on placement, jewelry size, and all aftercare tips. It’s their job to give you the best possible piercing and advice, that’s why you’re paying for a professional after all.

If you’re interested in getting a piercing or have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us or visit us in our downtown Toronto tattoo shop.