Tagged: East London

Guerrilla stick and poke tattooing: Prison Style Tattoos

In this post our guest blogger Amber Bryce talks about getting her first stick and poke tattoo from Prison Style Tattoos

I’ve always told myself that getting tattoos impulsively is a bad idea. It’s the kind of decision that leaves you with a boy’s name on your wrist, or a dog anus for a belly button, right? But in late November, I changed my mind.

I saw that Hannah Hill (AKA Hanecdote) had gotten a small stick ‘n’ poke gravestone reading “RIP ART SKL” on her bum cheek. I’ve always loved black and grey tattoos that have a simplistic, sketchy style to them – as though they’ve been doodled on a notepad during a boring geography lesson. Hannah’s tattoo (pictured below) had that appeal.

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I clicked through on Instagram to see @prisonstyletattoos’s ink-filled page, each tattoo framed by a peace sign. I Dm’d him and we arranged an appointment for the following week.

Secret Studio is where Prison Style Tattoos (AKA 34-year-old Timothy V) operates from, a gated complex in East London. I knew instantly I’d like PST when he messaged asking if I wanted a glass of wine. He also had blue hair, wore cool trainers and loved Fleetwood Mac.

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He got into tattooing after being turned down for a pair on his hands at 18/19. “I decided to take matters into my own hands (again, literally) and buy loads of dodgy tattoo gear online and do them myself. I’m happy to say it was a good lesson. It helped me to develop and let me do my own thing.”

I was getting a small UFO tattooed on my arm (pictured below). After checking placement we sat for a bit and chatted. I asked him what it was about hand-poked tattoos he preferred.

“I love the way by hand you can slowly build up a line and watch each poke change the identity of that line. Sounds farty but it’s such a unique experience for me each time. I love it.”

Screen Shot 2017-03-05 at 15.40.25I’d always imagined that hand poking would hurt more than a regular machine tattoo, perhaps because it seems more of a medieval approach. As he dipped the single needle into ink, I laid back and so began the tattoo. Or so I was told, because I could barely feel a thing. The whole experience was ridiculously relaxed, to the point where I felt like a fraud. I’d told friends I was going to get a stick ‘n’ poke and they’d thought it sounded really bad-ass, yet in reality here I was, chilling out with a glass of wine.

“What’s the strangest experience you’ve had while tattooing?” I asked. “During a tattoo I did on my genitals, the skin around my penis tripled in size and filled with water. I actually had a bloated sea cucumber for a chap! It wasn’t until I received a response to my panicked text from the Brighton tattoo artist Adam Sage that I felt relieved enough not to go to A&E. Taxi to hospital cancelled and all returned to its sore normal the next day.” At this point I couldn’t shake the image of a sea cucumber.

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After the first round of the design was done I went to take a look in the mirror. It looked faint, like half-erased pencil. Apparently some people quite like that look, but I sat back down for another layer of ink.  There was a large graffiti beetle on the wall, which PST told me was done by his friend and co-creative @veratattoos. This is whom he started his pop-up parlour with. “It’s purely us doing what we love, low key, unique and on a need to know basis. It’s, I hope, a unique, personal and endearing experience for the client.”

After another few rounds of hand poking, my tattoo was finished. A UFO had landed on my upper arm, leaving the skin beneath it only a little red and raised. After a quick Instagram picture, PST wrapped it up and I took one last swig of wine. Getting a tattoo is always exciting, but this felt especially exhilarating.

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As an anxious person, venturing to an unknown location in London to get a tattoo by someone I’d never heard of before at less than a week’s notice was a serious step outside of my comfort zone, but it’s this kind of rebellious impulsivity of tattoo culture that PST is hoping to recapture.

“I’m a firm believer tattoos should be spontaneous but at the same time sum up something that’s fearless and ‘non-standard’.” Before heading off into the cold, I asked him what’s in store for the future. “The plan is to be a successful, fun, busy, happy, exciting, passionate maker of hand poke tattoos and give each person who is willing a lovely, personal experience. I want to play this gig full time, baby!”

I’m already planning going back for a vegan-inspired ‘RIP cheese’ tattoo.

The girls take a trip to Not Another Salon

Editor-in-chief Alice Snape and Managing Editor Keely Reichardt got treated to a revolution in haircare known as INNOluxe by the fabulously extravagant gang at Not Another Salon in east London.

Based on Brick Lane in London, the aptly named Not Another Salon is owned by Sophia Hilton, whose background is in hair education, teaching in over seven countries and winning prestigious awards such as the L’Oréal Colour Trophy in 2013. (look out for an interview with Sophia on the blog very soon)

The salon is like no other… stepping through the door is like entering into a psychedelic fantasy where people’s hair-colour dreams come true!  The attention to detail is next to none… from the multi-coloured plastic wine glasses and water bottles, to the pick ‘n’ mix sweetie style bowls at the reception desk for you to pick up an assortment of kitsch and kawaii hair accessories.





Alice and Keely were there to experience a new deep-conditioning product, Innoluxe. (You may have heard of Olaplex, which gained vast media attention after Kim Kardashian went from dark to platinum blonde over night.) Innoluxe actually rebonds the hair follicles and saves the structure of our hair when bleaching and colouring by using advanced protein technology. (Read more here)

Keely gives us her experience of using Innoluxe and a little step by step of the treament…
“I have always dyed my hair a very dark brown – almost black – for most of my adult life (my natural hair colour is dark brown) but I always hankered towards being blonde. After a bleaching disaster a few years ago, I have avoided bleach at all costs… until the invention of these re-bonding hair products!

IMG_6185Keely having a head massage with her treatment

“The Innoluxe ‘in salon’ treatment is done in two stages, the first stage is an oil and water combination that is applied all over the hair and then left for about 10 minutes.  The second stage is the actual Innoluxe, which restructures and re-bonds the follicles of the hair and this is then left on for about 20 minutes. For those who have severely damaged hair, the staff at Not Another Salon recommend the ‘in salon’ treatment every two weeks for up to six weeks.

IMG_6189Keely relaxing in the chill out room while the Innoluxe works its magic

“I naturally have very dry hair so having it bleached is probably not the best thing for it, but after my Innouxe treatment my hair feels as if it has never even had a sniff of bleach! The texture and overall appearance is soft, shiny and bouncy (definitely helped by the fabulous blow dry) and it feels as if the Innoluxe has literally brought my hair back to life again.”

IMG_6162Keely’s hair before Innoluxe

IMG_6219Keely’s hair after Innoluxe and a blow dry

Alice enjoyed the treatment too:
“It really is all in the name. Getting a treatment at Not Another Salon is like a girly sleepover on acid (the decor is like Pop Art come to life, a little like the staff too). It felt like Keely and I were in salon owner Sophia’s bedroom, and as we got our treatments, we all chatted away about hair (obvs), relationships and weddings – I recently got engaged so I loved hearing about Sophia’s south London wedding for inspiration!

IMG_6222 The staff at Not Another Salon

“It was stylist Hattie who worked the Innoluxe magic on my recently highlighted hair. I am naturally dark blonde (don’t dare call me mousey brown) and have just come out of a two-year break from the all-over bleach that used to be my go-to look. The bleach break was to allow my hair to grow – I have always dreamed of long, flowing, healthy-looking hair, and bleach never seemed conducive to that. However all that may be about to change…

IMG_6193It’s all in the detail… pink water bottles and wine glasses at Not Another Salon. And editor Alice’s bouncy blow dry

“Innoluxe is a dream invention for those who want colour, particularly bleach, without the damage. My hair felt baby soft after the treatment. So good, in fact, that I may be back to that bleach some day soon. And if I do, I know where I’ll be heading!”


Alice in the colourful waiting room while the Innoluxe treatment takes effect




After, Innoluxe rocks! 

Not Another Salon, 188 Brick Ln, London E1 6SA #antifactory 

London Below

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Sunday 6th December
Doors open 12-5pm
£3 entry fee
Epic Dalston, 13-15 Newington Road, N16 8BH, London

Sunday 6th December marks the return of London’s most exciting and innovative alternative market, London Below is London’s other underground.

After the success of the show’s debut this summer, the alternative market returns just in time for Christmas with an array of items and stalls catering for all tastes and fetishes.

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Think weird and wonderful, dark and grungy and maybe even a bit of naughtiness thrown in for good measure. The market will play host to some unique workshops including; jewellery making with Black Heart Creatives and ‘Hurts so good- a beginners guide to flogging’, an workshop run by Kink Craft that’ll teach you all you need to know about flogging and more…

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Confirmed stall holders include:

Jenny Robin Illustration, Alice Brown’s CupboardLucy Luskini’s art jewellery memento moir, Elektra UK, Voodoo Betty’s Boutique and many many more…