Category: News

Liverpool’s First Tattoo Bar Opens

We’ve always been told that tattoos and alcohol don’t mix – and for very good reason…

For one thing, it thins your blood and can make tattooing pretty difficult and messy. Also have you seen the TV shows following drunk people getting tattooed in places like Magaluf, then waking up with their friend’s name or some other random tattoo, and regretting it? However, a new “tattoo bar” called Ink has just opened its doors in Liverpool, meaning you can mix cocktails with a new tattoo…

Ink is a brand new bar that has just opened in Liverpool. It offers not only an extensive cocktail menu, but also a chance to get tattooed on your night out. The bar will host an array of local tattooists in the ‘Tatts n Trims’ section, which will also home celebrity barber Cutthroatpete who can cut your hair for you. This means you can get a new tattoo or a haircut while sipping on a cocktail, genius idea? Or a recipe for disaster…

Check out the Ink Bar Facebook page, for photos from their launch weekend.

Would you get tattooed on a night out? Or have you already done it? We’d love to hear your stories!


You’re never too old to get your first tattoo

You’re never too old to get your first tattoo and this bad-ass grandma proves it… 

79-year-old Sadie Sellers skipped her care home to join her granddaughter, Samantha at a tattoo studio in Londonderry, Ireland. The grandmother and granddaughter got matching small heart tattoos on their arms. It was a way for both of them to complete an item on their bucket lists: Mrs Sellers said: “You know, when you get to my age, you just have to live life to the full every day.”

The Belfast Telegraph reported that:

Afterwards when asked what her family would think of the tattoo, the grandmother of 11 reportedly left customers at the parlour shocked by retorting: “I don’t f****** care.”

Offline Dating Film

‘Offline Dating’ is a short film created by Bafta-nominated filmmaker Samuel Abrahams, which shows actor Tom Greaves in Hackney, London, attempting to persuade women to go on a date with him. His advances receive a mixed response and the film shows how women respond differently to a unknown man approaching them in public.


The film acts a social experiment, showing how social media and online dating have affected how people interact in everyday “real” life. The differences between online personas and how we are in real life are highlighted as the film supports the idea that we edit how we chose to present ourselves in a world of social media.

Watch the film below, what do you think? Has the online world ruined real life interactions?

Marie Claire: Behind the Ink

Created by Marie Claire magazine, this short film ‘Behind The Ink’ features our editor Alice Snape. The film pushes the boundaries of mainstream beauty media and is a huge step forward for how women with tattoos are represented. A really well-made film by Marie Claire magazine. 

Big thanks to Marie Claire‘s Senior Beauty Editor and producer of this film Anita Bhagwandas.

Alice Snape Marie Claire Magazine Our editor Alice Snape talks about women and tattoos to Marie Claire magazine.


The short film features five women including:

Things&Ink columnist, salon owner, ReeRee Rockette (@reereerockette), talking about how her tattoos make her feel in terms of body confidence and when she’s online dating by exploring the common perceptions of tattooed women.

Mary Kate Trevaskis (@marycupkate) is the Communications Director at Smashbox Cosmetics and Bumble and Bumble. She talks about her love of ink and how she’s continued to grow her collection of body art, despite working at a senior level in very corporate environment.

Alice Snape (@thingsandink) is the Founding Editor of the Things&Ink magazine. Traditional tattoo magazines tend to use women to ‘sell’ their magazines to a largely male readership, but Things&Ink which is aimed at both men and women, explores tattoo culture with style and intelligence.

Katie Parsons (@katieparsons) is a Kerrang! Radio DJ and Social Media Strategist. When Katie got married last year she chose to embrace her large chest piece rather than cover it up as many brides might. She explores the relationship between her body and her body art.

Tracy D (@tracydtattoos) is an in-demand London-based tattooist (and cover star of the art issue) who talks about her decision to enter into a male dominated profession – and she gets her tattoo needle into Anita Bhagwandas, Senior Beauty Editor.

Charley Bezer (@charleybezer) is Head of PR at Live Nation, and discusses how her tattoos have made her feel in a male-dominated industry.



What do you think of this film? A positive step forward for mainstream media?

Tattoo Removal Cream

PhD student Alec Falkenham at Dalhousie University in Halifax, has been developing a cream that he claims removes tattoos without any pain.

He explains that the cream is cheaper than laser treatments and unlike laser will not cause the skin to blister or scar. The cream simply fades the tattoo over time, although it works best on new tattoos that are less than two years old.

There is still a long way to go and a lot of research still to be done as Alec has only tested the cream on tattooed pig’s ears, he is also unsure of the amount of treatments needed to get rid of a tattoo altogether.

Alec Falkenham, a PhD student at Dalhousie University, says the topical cream he's developing will eventually fade a tattoo away.

Image from

Would you use a cream instead of laser treatment?

Parents get matching tattoo of daughter’s birthmark

Loving and supportive parents, Tanya and Adam Phillips from Grimsby, got matching tattoos of their daughter’s birthmark so that she doesn’t feel different as she grows up.

18-month-old Honey-Rae Phillips was born with a red birthmark all over the right side of her body, it stretches from her toes to her lower back, and has not lightened over time.

The parents used to cover up the birthmark, but now because of their matching tattoos, they see it as something to celebrate instead of hide away. They didn’t want people to stare and point at their daughter in public, and were worried that she would be bullied at school.

Honey-Rae loves her mum and dad’s strawberry coloured tattoos and her parents have made their daughter feel special rather than different.

Tanya quoted from an interview in the Mirror 

When the swelling went down, I showed Honey-Rae, and she gently touched it and smiled as she said “Match”, pointing to her own leg. If I’d have needed any reassurance that I’d made the right decision that was it. She now constantly touches mine and Adam’s tattoos then her own birthmark and giggles – I couldn’t be happier.

Image from The Telegraph


The Bearded Lady

This is an article and photo shoot called The Bearded Lady that was originally published in issue 10 of Things&Ink magazine (February 2015).

Meet an inspirational woman called Harnaam Kaur… She is a 24-year-old teaching assistant who has hopes of becoming a body confidence activist. Here she shares her story of overcoming bullies, taking control of her own journey and learning to love her body…

Photographs by Heather Shuker / Assisted by Maisie Jo Manning / Hair and make-up by Keely Reichardt using MAC Cosmetics / Styled by Olivia Snape / Gold earrings and head pieces by Gypsy East / Editorial by Alice Snape / Photo editing by Lydia Rayner

I am a British-born Sikh female living in Slough in the UK. I had a fairly “normal” upbringing, my parents gave me a lot of love, and we had a lot of fun on numerous family holidays and days out. But on the other side of happy families, I also remember being severely bullied in primary school – starting from as far back as nursery – and even getting beaten up, the bullying lasted until late secondary school. Being bullied day in, day out, led me to become very suicidal and I also used to self harm to release some of the hurt I was suffering. But I managed to stop myself as I realised that I was just causing myself more emotional and physical pain.

Over the years, I feel like I have gone through a rough time with my body. I have always been a chubby child, but then I was diagnosed with polycystic ovaries – it was around the time I hit puberty. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition in which there is an imbalance in hormones within the female body, this has led me to have more male hormones than female hormones, and it is also the reason why I have a beard. I used to remove my facial hair every other day by travelling to beauty salons. I had to have my face waxed two to three times a week, and on the days I couldn’t bare the pain I would simply shave. Having this medical condition also made me to put on a lot of weight, and losing weight with a hormonal imbalance is really tough for me. Now I have come to realise that this body is mine, I own it, and I do not have any other body to live in, so I may as well love it unconditionally. I have now fallen in love with the elements on my body that people may call flaws. I adore my beard, my stretch marks, my scars, these elements make me who I am now, and they make me whole.

But I haven’t always been so positive. When I was diagnosed I hit my biggest low. I hid myself away, I didn’t want to venture out into the public. My bedroom was my home, it was my heaven and it was my tomb – my safe haven. I was hugely depressed. I remember sitting on my bed and thinking about my life. It takes a lot of guts, strength and energy for someone to actually end their life. So I sat on my bed and counselled myself. I told myself “the energy you are putting into thinking about ending your life, put all that energy into turning your life around and doing something better.” At that point I was 16 years old, I decided I wanted to be me, I decided to keep my beard and step forward against society’s expectations of what a woman should look like. Today I am not suicidal and I do not self harm. Today I am happy living as a young, beautiful bearded woman.

Going out into the public for the first time with a beard was a horrifying experience. I remember going out in London with a group of friends, there was about 15 of us altogether. When I arrived in London, it seemed like the whole world had come out to look and point at me. I was stared at everywhere I went, by everyone. I remember being very miserable, but my friends were there to help me and try to keep me happy. After that experience, I started going out more and started to enjoy myself. I do get the odd looks from people, young and old, but I am used to them now. I mean I have been a bearded lady for seven and a half years, if I am not used to it now when will I ever be?

I want people to realise that each and every one of us is different. We are all imperfectly perfect. I want to show society that beauty isn’t just about looking a certain way, we should all celebrate individuality. I used to keep my beard for religious reasons, as Sikhs we are not supposed to remove our hair, but now I keep my hair to show the world a different, confident, strong image of a woman. I love my beard, it has become a part of my body and I do not want to remove it – it is the source of my strength and confidence. People just see the beard as hair, but my beard is much more than that. My beard gives me comfort as a woman, when I look at it I am reminded that we are all different and none of us are born the same. I adore my lady beard and I will forever cherish it. I do not trim my beard at all, I love how it freely curls and flows. People do make comments about it looking messy, but I love how it carelessly twangs in different directions. I love how my beard has body, that my beard has clean lineage on my cheeks and I guess I love the big volume that my beard has.

Now things have changed for me a little, as people have read about my story online and in magazines, they sort of understand who I am. I am currently working in a nursery as a teaching assistant, I love my job and it’s great for the children to see a bearded lady, they love my beard nearly as much as I do. People tend to be genuinely very intrigued and inquisitive about my beard, I do have a lot of people approach me about it and ask me questions – some people even want pictures with me, and I happily pose for them. Many women, who are going through the same medical condition as I am, also contact me for comfort, support and inspiration – I do try and help as much as I can.

In the future, my dream is to become a full-time body confidence activist. I would love to share my story more and help women empower themselves. I want nothing more than to see women fall completely in love with their bodies. I always say to both men and women that they need to love themselves and accept any quirks that they have. We all deserve to celebrate our bodies – we are all beautiful. Growing my beard has taught me that as humans we are all so different in our own wonderful ways. Every person living on this earth right now is different from the next. I have learnt that there is no such thing as being “normal”. I have learnt to accept my body for the way that it has grown. I have learnt to love myself unconditionally. Life is too precious not to.

As far as relationships go, I am not in one, but I would love to be. I want to meet someone who sees me for who I am. I believe that there is someone special out there who will see me for the beautiful, sparkling soul that I carry. I feel that a lot of people tend to judge me just by looking at my face. Only that special someone will realise that I am a woman with feelings, a heart, a soul, an aura and a personality. I shall always keep hold of the hope that I will find love one day, just one day.

My tattoos are also another part of my mind, body and soul, I love each and every one of them. I find peace just looking at them. Every tattoo symbolises a specific event in my life. My phoenix/peacock with the words “strength is beauty” around the wings was tattooed on me a few months after I came out of hospital after an operation. In my life I have been forced to face and battle with awful things and every time I have had to jump back up. I feel that I am a very resilient woman, I face my problems head on and I won’t stop tackling issues in this way. This past year has been the real turning point for me, when I metaphorically killed my old self and gave birth to a more powerful, confident and happier self and that to me is beauty. Strength is beauty. The phoenix to me represents birth, death, and rebirth, and the peacock feathers represent beauty.

I also have a lotus flower surrounded by a henna-style design located on my upper back. The lotus flower sits on top of murky ponds and rivers, which is really symbolic of why I chose this tattoo. I feel that even after all the bad that has happened in my life, and all the bad that I have to face daily, I have stayed afloat and carried on living in this world. The henna design represents those murky waters, even these are beautiful for having created such a stunning flower. I also have the word “love” on my left wrist and “faith” written on my right wrist, just to remind me to always live in love, to forever have faith in what ever I do and in what ever path I choose to take. The butterfly on my right foot reminds me to always spread my wings, to fly happily and beautifully to my next destination.

My bearded lady tattoo is very important to me, she represents me and I love her. The whole design has a story to tell. The tear drops on the roses are there to show the tears that I have shed, and the single petals represent the times I have fallen and hit my lows. The roses remind me of life and how beautiful it is. I also have the words “The Dame” written underneath, this was a title given to me by Brock Elbank and Jimmy Niggles. I am a part of their Project60 portrait series to help show awareness for melanoma cancer. Out of 60 men, I am the only female who is a part of this beard project.

In the future, I really want to have two half sleeves, I am hoping to have a Medusa piece started soon, she is such a beautifully powerful woman. I would love to have my spine tattooed, one more bearded lady tattoo and my left foot done to match my right. I would love to be heavily tattooed, and I am sure that each tattoo will represent me in some way or form. My body is a blank canvas and I am ready to cover it in beautiful art that tells my life story. ❦

Channel 4 Tattoo Fixers

The new series of Tattoo Fixers is set in a pop-up tattoo parlour where three talented tattoo artists transform unwanted tattoos. The team work on a mixture of clients who wish to change their embarrassing, badly done, rude and crude tattoos. People come to the studio and show the team the piece that  they want covering, while giving a short brief and each artist draws a tattoo design and the customer picks the one they want to get tattooed.

The team includes:

Jay Hutton who manages his own studio in Cheshire, where he tattoos realism and black and grey work on celebrity clientèle.

The wonderful self-taught Lou Hopper of King of Hearts London, who was one of the artists tattooing at our recent Feminist Flash day.

Sketch who specialises in traditional bold colour tattoos from Reppin Ink London

Missed an episode? Watch the series here.

Image from Tom Barnes


Tattoos from the first ever Southampton Tattoo Festival

The first ever Southampton Tattoo Festival was held over the weekend 4th-5th July at Ageas Bowl, Hedge End Southampton. Yellow Vintage Fair have teamed up with Ian Ink Tattoo shop to bring a family-friendly tattoo convention like no other.

Here are a few of the tattoos created at this year’s convention:












Royal College of Art graduate develops a personal tattoo machine 

Jakub Pollág, a Royal College of Art graduate has developed the Personal Tattoo Machine which allows users to create markings on their skin to be associated with memories and meanings, rather than art. “Personal Tattoo Machine democratises the tattoo industry,” he said. “It puts a tool used only by a limited group of people into the hands of enthusiasts, who are seeking an alternative and unique way to permanently mark their meaningful memories onto their skin.”

Pollág has some homemade tattoos on his own skin that he executed with a needle and ink, but he wanted to try and make this diy experience more “user friendly” and accessible. The same way that prisoners fashion tattoo machines out of found objects is what influenced Pollág’s design for his own machine.

Pollág allows only one thickness of needle and a much slower speed within the machine so that it allows the user to focus on what they are drawing…hopefully enabling more precision.

 So far the machine prototype has been used to create 30 tattoos on 20 different subjects. However, Pollág still recommends visiting a professional parlour for more accurate designs. “This machine is not aiming to replace tattoo parlours,” he said. “It’s there to offer a more personal option. If you want a realistic portrait of your, let’s say, cat, you should still go to a tattoo parlour and not use this machine.”
Pollág is presenting his project at this years RCA graduate show in London which ends today, July 5th.