Tattoos are meant to be permanent. Artists create tattoos by using an electrically powered machine that moves a needle up and down to inject ink into the skin, penetrating the epidermis, or outer layer, and depositing a drop of ink into the dermis, the second layer of skin. The cells of the dermis are more stable compared with those of the epidermis, so the ink will mostly stay in place for a person’s lifetime.
“The customer service here is on point. So polite and friendly and professional. You can tell that they really care and are passionate about helping people with their crappy old tattoos and past mistakes. I had a treatment done and bought a package of treatments, so all I need to do now is show up each month. What the laser does to your tattoo instantly is amazing and has to be seen to be believed. The technology of laser tattoo removal is fascinating. Anyway, if you’re looking for tattoo removal, this is place to come.”
A lot of us have imagined ourselves with those same kinds of full-arm sleeves. For some, it could work well with our no-fucks-to-give persona. For others, it's an aesthetic decision, or an emotional one. If you’re serious about it though, then it’s worth knowing what planning is involved—from inception, to execution, to maintenance. So we spoke with Nicolas Gualteros, tattoo artist at Senaspace in NYC, to plot it all out.
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If you're considering a geometric tattoo with your sweetie, you may want to extrapolate the concept behind this gorgeous piece. The tattoos are tied together by the unifying shapes of the honeycomb (but could be any environmental aspect), and pay homage to the symbiotic relationship of the bee and the flower. Clearly, this tattoo is symbolic on a couple of levels, which is part of what makes it so delightful.
You might have noticed a tattoo trend taking shape that looks simple yet mesmerizing at the same time: geometric tattoos. The simplicity comes from the use of common shapes – lines, circles, squares, triangles. These shapes are repeated in captivating, detailed patterns to form a specific design. You can create anything from abstract designs to geometric renditions of images, such as animals and elements in nature. Add more dimension by choosing thick or thin lines, and a range of colours. Welcome to the world of geometric tattoos.
Enlighten features extremely short and high-power picosecond laser pulses which break down the ink particles in tattoos. A ‘picosecond’ is one-trillionth of second, and is 1,000 times shorter than the ‘nanosecond’ pulses used in existing lasers for tattoo removal. Picosecond laser pulses have been shown to remove tattoos more completely and in fewer treatment sessions than traditional laser treatments. The Enlighten laser is a safe and effective treatment option for all skin types.
Since dotwork tattoos have been having their peak in popularity, another style has also become very popular: sacred geometry tattoos. Most of the times the two styles go together, geometric tattoos are often performed using the dotwork technique (as are animals, occult symbols and engraving inspired tattoos). With sacred geometry we refer to those shapes and patterns that are found in nature and that are perfect, such as the spiral of the golden section (we're sure you've seen the nautilus shell in many tattoos), and other designs such as the flower of life or the Gordian knot. Most of the times these designs and patterns are perfectly symmetrical, and generally include circle shapes. One of the most common designs are mandalas, generally squares containing a circle and many other geometric shapes, forming a whole with a radial balance. Platonic solids like the dodecahedron and the icosahedron are common as well, as are all the shapes that recall the idea of oneness and connection with the natural world that surrounds us. Sacred geometry tattoos are very spiritual tattoos.
Tattoo removal is most commonly performed using lasers that break down the ink particles in the tattoo into smaller particles. Dermal macrophages are part of the immune system, tasked with collecting and digesting cellular debris. In the case of tattoo pigments, macrophages collect ink pigments, but have difficulty breaking them down. Instead, they store the ink pigments. If a macrophage is damaged, it releases its captive ink, which is taken up by other macrophages. This can make it particularly difficult to remove tattoos. When treatments break down ink particles into smaller pieces, macrophages can more easily remove them.
A menacing skull peeks beneath a hooded cloak, a yellow and black snake lies coiled, ready to strike, and a trail of red roses litter a climbing vine. These make up just a few of the designs available in an instant with tattoo sleeves. Within minutes, the arms display unique and colorful body art without the pain and perpetuity of authentic tattoos. Creative shoppers looking for distinctive tattoo sleeves find a wide range sporting colorful objects, figures, and designs from reliable sellers on eBay. Consumers can choose pairs of sleeves or entire sets featuring artwork from light and delicate to bold and graphic. Try one sleeve or two paired with a chunky, leather and metal cuff for a look that says "tough and independent." Striking tribal tattoo sleeves in black, navy, or dark green make a statement worn under a white or black T-shirt, and a full tattoo sleeve shirt offers an amusing look for parties or clubbing. People looking for a more permanent solution find a variety of tattoo patterns for inspiration, and post-tattoo essentials like Tattoo Goo for successful after care.
After it’s done peeling, you can start your long-term care plan: “Always use sunblock and body lotion,” says Gualteros. “Honestly, if a tattoo is properly done and properly taken care of, it should be good for life, without touch up. So long as there’s good foundation—that is, black and line work—it should look good over time.” If you don’t properly block the skin from the sun’s wear, or condition it daily, the colors will fade over time and will require a touching up. Considering you’ll be working with a full sleeve or more, it’s best to get in the habit of using sunblock and lotion.
The most painful parts are those where skin is the thinnest and needle is close to the bone. Don’t forget that alcohol is not the best way to release stress, because it widens the vessels and may lead to high blood pressure. As a result, you can start bleeding when the needle is inside. So, if you decided to put a sketch on your body, be a little bit patient. To answer the question, whether a tattoo hurts, the answer is yes and no. The feeling of a needle crashing your skin is not the most pleasant thing you ever felt, but if you definitely decided you want a tattoo, it won’t be an excuse.
Many people start their tattoo sleeves without intent and that's just fine. If you take the organic approach and let one small tattoo turn into another and somehow tie it all together with a background of some sort later, you'll likely have an armful of meaningful body art. Others go full on with a sleeve from the get-go and that works too. Of course, with this approach, you'll be investing a larger sum of money upfront, and you'll need to dedicate the time in the chair to complete the work. Most likely you'll be going back to the same artist which means their schedule will need to be considered as well. If you have the time and the money to complete the job, get it done. Otherwise start a slower and more balanced approach. Never compromise quality for quantity.
Regardless, if you are going to start with a single tattoo, in any location, be sure to tell your artist that your eventual end goal is a full sleeve. “She or he can leave the piece in a way that it can be added to in time,” Gualteros says. “Basically, to get the best result for this, you should ask for flow.” (That’s tattoo-artist speak for “something that will flow nicely with other designs”.)
Many people in the world who are into tattoos are now trying the gorgeousness of sleeve tattoos. Before, these tattoos can be commonly seen engraved on the body parts of men. But today, the number of women who are getting tattooed on their sleeves is increasing in number. This is why these tattoos are very popular. In fact, its great popularity has arrived at the portals of many big-time clothing companies that manufacture clothing items that appear like tattooed sleeves. With that being said, there is no question why these tattoos are also famously called tattoo sleeves.
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Your next consideration should be where you want your tattoo. Is it something you want to show off, easily conceal or reveal, or a more personal project that only you will see? Your body will be your canvas, so it’s important to choose a portion of your anatomy appropriate to your art. Back pieces are exceptionally well suited to larger concepts, which you may want to expand at some future date. If you just want to start small, the bicep or the forearm are ideal for more contained show pieces, discrete emblems that can be worked into “sleeves”—either half or full—at a later time.