Alright, so I'm not going to claim to be an expert in this field. I'm not a massive body mod freak or anything, but I love reading these kind of posts and watching YouTube videos on the subject, so I though I'dshare my experiences.
This is, first and foremost, a beauty blog. We all know that beauty is subjective, and what I consider to be gorgeous may not be your cup of tea. I don't expect everyone that will read this to like or agree with tattoos and piercings, but, y'know, don't hate.
Personally, I (obviously) really like piercings and tattoos, but only up to a certain point. For example, I adore full sleeve tattoos and chest pieces on others, but doubt I'd ever go that far myself. So, here's what I've done to myself so far:
I have the obvious, of course, my earlobes and also the cartilage at the top of my ear. Nothing very exciting or new to talk about - pain is minimal, etc etc.
I also have my conch pierced - this was a tricky one. Your conch is the cartilage at the back of your ear, on the top of the lobe. I have a bar through it, and yes, it was sore. A lot sorer than I expected it to be, as the bar was quite big and the cartilage quite thick, but it was over in a few seconds. I had this done in Snakebite on Abbey Street in Dublin and I paid full price. I'd recommend them, they're really nice, efficient and professional.
The healing time and aftercare of this piercing was also pretty horrible, to be honest. Don't get this piercing unless you are willing to look after it. I still don't think mine is healed properly, as it's quite hard to get at. I've tried everything for cleaning my piercings, and I find that hot (boiled) salted water and/or TCP works best.
Up until very recently I also had my right tragus pierced. I've no picture of mine to show, but this is what is looks like:
Getting your tragus pierced isn't too bad, I'd compare it to getting the cartilage at the top of your ear done except maybe a bit worse, as it is thicker. The pain disappears super fast and it heals quite easily. I still encountered problems with this piercing, though; it took a while to heal and the bar that was put in was way too long, which meant a lot of fiddling when I wanted to use earphones.
I think it was also pierced a little too close to the edge, which resulted in it ripping out...not quite as dramatic or horrific as it sounds! It had gradually stretched and I woke up one day with a tragus resembling a Pac-Man. Lovely, I know. It didn't actually hurt at all, but I'm left with a bit of my ear that is misshapen, and I'd certainly never get it repierced!
I also have my labret pierced, which is basically the skin just under the centre of your bottom lip. This was one of the easiest piercings ever for me. I was pretty scared at the time, reasoning with myself that surely this was gonna hurt seeing as it was part of my face!
I've had my nose pierced twice. The first time I had it done on a whim in Miss Fantasia's on South William Street. I wasn't hugely impressed with the place. I got a regular stud in my nose and it just wouldn't settle or heal at all. Nose piercings can be really difficult and sometimes just reject. I woke up one morning and the stud had ejected from my nose, and I decided not to bother putting it back in - I was fed up with the pain and hassle. I also developed a keloid, which was, well, manky.
I love nose piercings though, and eventually missed mine enough to get it done again during the summer in Dublin Ink. I think this was even sorer than the first time, even though I had it done on the other nostril (Isn't nostril such a disgusting word?!). Happily, though, this one settled pretty well as is still going strong, probably because I had a ring put in.
I only have one tattoo so far, and I love it. Let me say the usual about tattoos - they are there forever and you need to think long and hard about them before you commit. I've wanted a tattoo since I was about 18, but didn't get one until after my 22nd birthday - that's a lot of thinking! I had (and still have) a few different ideas before I settled on this design, which I thought up myself (I know, I'm a genius).
My tattoo is just below the wrist of my right arm. It's a heart with a banner that says ''Heart of Gold''. It means a lot to me, as Heart of Gold by Neil Young is one of my favourite songs of all time. I won't get any deeper than that ;) Here it is, a day or so after I had it done:
And all healed up:
The number one question that people ask about tattoos is the pain factor. Yes, it is sore, but bearable. Mine took just over an hour or so. The artist (Joe Deegan @ Spilled Ink) told me that the outline would be the most painful, but I actually found the shading to be the sorest part. It took just over an hour, maybe more (I kind of zoned out). Make sure you have a decent meal beforehand
I'd say that I have a medium to high pain threshold in that I do feel pain, but I don't really mind it that much! Having said that, pain is subjective and I don't know what other people would have felt getting my tattoo. Also, if you want a tattoo enough, the pain won't even come into the equation.
Aftercare of tattoos is obviously crucial. Your skin will be very raw and sensitive after getting inked. Aftercare differs quite a bit from person to person, but I kept mine covered with cling film for about 3 days, washing it twice a day with an unscented soap and smothering it in Bepanthen. Some prefer to let it breathe, this is just what I did. After that, I kept moisturising it with e45 cream and it healed perfectly with no scabbing. It itched loads during the healing process, and the best thing to do in order to counter this is to slap it - yes, really!
Well, that was a super-long post, and I'll be suprised if anyone bothers to read this far! I do hope this was helpful to some of you, though, and if anyone has questions, feel free to ask!