Tagged: Paula Castle

Careers: Tattooed Make-Up Artist

We chat to 26-year-old Charlotte Amy Tompkins, Make-Up Artist at Urban Decay based in Chester, about her incredible tattoo collection and personal style…

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I was 17 when I got my first tattoo, a small red bow on the bottom of my back in Blackpool. God knows how I even managed go get it! I look so young now, think what I looked like at 17? Thankfully it’s since been covered by my on-going back piece – which I need to get finished! At the minute I’m filling my gaps pretty slowly, but I want to get started on a stomach piece soon too.

I’ve always loved tattoos, I never used to like colour tattoos for some reason, but now look at me! Having my tattoos is such a boost, I love having them on me as they are a part of me and will be forever. My tattoos are mainly of animals and roses – you can’t beat a good rose! I absolutely love animals and roses are my favourite flower.

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Tattoo by @gibb0o

I get a lot of mixed reactions from people when they see my tattoos, they either go one or two ways. I get stared at rudely, some people shake their head in disgust too. I was once on the bus back from work and behind me were two elderly ladies talking about how have I even got a job and I should be ashamed being a lady covered in tack!

But when I’m at work I get amazing compliments and most are from women aged 50 or over, who are so interested and just wowed by my look, which is amazing. Kids love them too, they’re attracted to the colours, I had a little girl who was shopping with her mum recently, who got her mum to tell me that she thought I was beautiful with my tattoos and hair. It’s the little things that make me smile, but some people really hate tattoos for no reason really. But I love my skin thanks to all the amazing tattooists out there!

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Chest and neck tattoos by Paula Castle, Ash Boss and Jody Dawber.

I landed my current position at Urban Decay out of pure tenacity, I just kept going back after handing in my CV and eventually I got through three stages of interviews. I worked in a coffee shop before, I enjoyed it but it wasn’t what I wanted to do career wise.

I’m really lucky that as a make-up artist and working for Urban Decay my job let’s me be myself. I would have gotten my more visible tattoos done eventually regardless, as they are a part of me now, but my job does help. I love how they look and how pretty they are. For those wanting to get more visible tattoos I would think really hard about what you want in the long run and think about how it will effect work first. As I said I’m lucky!

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I’m vegan, and I love that I work for a brand that is cruelty free, I love what they stand for. My typical day depends on my customers, I always sit them down to get to know them and find out what it is they want. At Urban Decay we love showing the off products and having a play, we want everyone to feel good about themselves and raring to come back and try more!

Urban Decay love people being themselves so hell yeah I dress how I want. My style is definitely different, a little quirky maybe a bit weird. I love black but I also liked having coloured hair, big earrings and platform shoes. Of course my tattoos are usually on show as they’re hard to hide!

Is there more to getting a tattoo than changing your appearance?

Here at Things&Ink we think there is so much more to getting a tattoo than merely changing your appearance. Things&Ink reader,  Hannah Keningale explores how tattoos have changed her, her lifestyle and even how she approaches situations.

For some, getting a tattoo is a very simple act of wanting to change their appearance; a transaction that will make them more fashionable, or perhaps help them pay homage to something they love. But for others, there is more to getting a tattoo than discussing a design and sitting in a chair wincing for a few hours. We often read stories of people who have made connections with others through their mutual love for art and permanence. We have seen beautiful images of colourful wedding days, amazing designs covering painful scars, and difficult journeys that have been celebrated and remembered with ink.

Pug by Abbie Williams 

So, how about me? What have I gained from getting tattooed? Do I have an amazing story to share? To be honest, the impact has been somewhat more subtle for me, yet in my eyes still very important. I remember the excitement of getting my first tattoo, and also the anticipation. I wasn’t too worried about the pain, but more about how to handle myself and what to except. After reading many websites, blogs, and magazine articles, I had gathered there was certain etiquette to follow. I was a little worried I might not conduct myself in the right way. Would they think my design ridiculous? Would I do something to offend the artist? Would it go wrong simply because I hadn’t made the right decisions? These are some of the thoughts of someone who suffers from anxiety. I go through this process almost every day with even the most mundane situations. I have to tell you, it’s not fun!

Tattoo by L’ain Freefall

I chose a studio called Evil from the Needle in Camden, London, and was lucky enough to get tattooed by L’ain Freefall. Everyone was so welcoming, and we talked all the way through my tattoo. No one laughed at me. No one said my design choice was stupid. The whole experience was really fun and I was actually a little sad when it was all over. From then on, tattoos have helped me build confidence. I love my body a lot more now.  I felt like I had something I wanted to show the world finally, and also enjoyed the affect of putting on the simplest of clothes and still having something colourful to my appearance. The biggest thing I have gained though is a sense of belonging. When I walk into one of my favourite studios I’m greeted with smiles and hugs. I’ve been able to share excitement with artists over design choices, been given gifts, compliments, even tea!

It may sound silly to some, but I feel truly at home when I’m sat in a tattoo studio, and I’m always planning my next visit. Tattoos have become part of my lifestyle now. I have prints adorning my walls, I can’t tear myself away from Instagram, blog pages, and tattoo magazines, and I even buy different clothes now that my body has changed. I think for many of us, there is more to getting tattooed than simply following fashion. While a lot of people still reject the idea of being tattooed as “acceptable” or “normal”, I actually feel more accepted and happy now than ever before.

Ice Cream by Paula Castle

So is there more to getting a tattoo than simply changing your skin? Well for me I’ve also gained new friendships, made new journeys, gotten over some of my anxiety, shared stories, shared laughs, and had a lot of fun. The experience changes you as much as the ink.