Frequently Asked QuestionsSkins and Needles Logo

Does it Hurt?

The short answer is yes a bit. I always say it doesn't hurt enough to stop you getting it done if you really want it! So you have got to want it. You will hear all sorts of descriptions of how it feels, but every one of us takes to it differently. At best it's ok and at worst it's uncomfortable.

Will it Bleed?
There is a little bleeding but more like the weeping you get from a graze and it soon stops.

Does Anyone Ever Faint?
Occasionally, we call it Body shock and it is quite common. If you begin to feel nauseous or giddy just tell the artist immediately and we will give you a break to get your breath back. A good tip is to have something sweet with you if you are at all worried.

How Do I Choose My Tattoo?
Firstly if you don't have a clue at all, come to the studio. We have 1000's of designs to inspire you. Or you could do a sketch yourself, however poor it is it will give us an idea of what you want. It is easier to communicate with pictures than words. There isn't much that can't be done with a bit of input from both the client and artist. We call it 'Evolution of Design'. Then again you might see that perfect design on one of our Flash Sheets, in which case we'll tell you the cost and when we can do it and we'll take it from there.

Where Should I Have My Tattoo?
Placement is a personal choice and really is completely down to you. We can place a design to fit an area so that it compliments your body's shape or if needed we can change a design to fit a particular area that you wish to have the tattoo.

How Old Do I Have To Be?

There is a law that governs this. Tattooing of Minors Act, this law says you MUST BE 18 TO GET A TATTOO. No ifs no buts we will not tattoo anyone under that age, and if we think you are under 18 we always ask for I.D.
Piercing is another matter as it is not covered in law. Our shop rule is NO UNDER 13's. Under 16’s with parental consent.

What Should I Do Before I Come
Make sure you are in good health. Ensure you have eaten. Don't have a hangover. Don't be under the influence of drugs or alcohol (If we suspect you are you will not be tattooed) and a good tip to keep your tattoo artist happy is to have had a wash!

Where is the most painful spot?
Different people feel differently so if something hurt your friend it doesn't mean you will struggle also. Generally however ticklish spots such as ribs are the most sensitive but even then it is nothing that most people can't bare. If you are concerned however we do offer a numbing cream option.

How do I become a tattooist?
Time and hard work. We get lots of emails and phone calls from young hopefuls wishing to be a tattooist. Generally you want to be a little older with some life experience behind you and substantial work experience working with people from all walks of life. Constantly drawing and developing a strong portfolio is very important also. Try and learn as much about the industry as possible from magazines and visiting conventions. Learning what you can about cross contamination and building first aid skills will also contribute.

Can my friends come in and watch while I get my tattoo?
Unfortunately for a number of reasons we have a client only policy in the studio work area.

Do you tattoo public skins such as hands and necks?
We do, after all people are adults and it is not our place to nanny them. However we generally prefer if it is for people with a large collection of work and we are happy that they are aware of the possible negative results of such tattoos.

How much does it cost?
Prices vary and are based on time and price codes. Generally if you are on a budget you can let us know but please don't try to haggle as we won't change price.

I have a tattoo I want covering, what are my options?
It completely depends on what the tattoo you have is. The darker your existing tattoo the less options you will have. Generally any darker colour will show through a lighter colour put over it so you have to go over with the same tone or darker. Also you need to go bigger, generally about twice the size.

With cover-ups you really have 3 options:
1) Cover it
2) Laser it
3) Rework it

Do you do mobile tattooing?
No we do not do mobile tattooing. We work from a studio which follows health and hygiene regulations. A persons home will never be as clean as a specialised commercial studio. Anyone who does claim to do mobile tattooing can not be registered as a studio and can not have the same high standards of cleanliness. This is proven from the many horrid results people ask us to fix on a regular basis which they got from mobile tattooist or mates having a go. Problems such as longer healing times, poor design, infections and scaring. They all prove they are not as clean or competent.

Are tattoos addictive?
Not in the sense of a drug addiction. People who have tattoos are more likely to get another tattoo but it is no different than getting more of anything else you like. That said many people do enjoy the experience of getting a tattoo and the whole design process and more than anything like having inked skin.

Will a tattoo affect my job opportunities?
Even in this day and age of enlightenment there are still people with extreme prejudice against tattoos. If you feel having a visible tattoo will affect your work career then reconsidering might be in order. No one wants to lose their job because their boss is small minded so perhaps in that situation something you can cover would be more suitable. Other situations a visible tattoo can affect is your social life in regards to things such as posh restaurants and possible partners who are not keen on tattoos. That being said it is your life and your tattoo choices should be made on what your happy with and not anyone else, as long as you are aware and prepared for any affects.

Are tattoos Safe?
If you go to a studio which strictly follows health regulations and uses a autoclave and single use equipment then you are in good hands. As well as health and cleanliness you also want to look at the tattooist work. Most artist will be more than happy to show of their work to anyone who asks. Not all tattooists are the same. While they may be following health regulations their working style may be something different to what you are after. We follow all the health regulations strictly and all our artists have work you can view, in the studio and online. We all endeavor to be competent in all styles but we do have particular things we excel at.

Can I get a tattoo or piercing during pregnancy?
It is not advisable but not unheard of. The main risk is that you are vulnerable to infections while it is healing which in turn could harm you baby. Most mothers decide that they have enough to deal with during the pregnancy without the added burden of a healing tattoo or piercing and that it is not worth the potential risk.

Do you do temporary tattoos?
No we do not do temporary tattoos. If you are not 100 percent about a tattoo you would like then do not get one until you are completely sure.

What kind of colours can I get?
We have a large selection of colours for you to choose from with many combinations that work well together. The only real limitation is by the tone of your skin. The darker your skin tone the less likely the lighter colours will work. This is because skin tone sits on top of the tattoo pigment and you see transparently through the skin, just like looking through tinted glass. Darker the glass, less you can see the lighter colours. Also on lighter skin white is best used only as a highlight and not for large areas.

Do tattoos fade?
Over time tattoos will soften out as the pigment slowly moves but this is only obvious after decades. This will only really affect overly detailed work which is why bolder is better in terms of line work and contrast. The main threat to your tattoo is the sun. If you use a strong sun block and shield your tattoo it will hold up better over time. The occasional holiday will be fine but sunbeds on a regular basis will take their toll on your tattoo as will exposing your tattoo while working outdoors in the sun every summer.

Who is the best?
We are all technically proficient, friendly and professional and we will all endeavor to meet your needs and give you the best job we can. We all have different skills and experience to contribute to your tattoo and we all have work you can view easily online or in studio. Ultimately if you have a preference the choice has to be with you for which artist you would like and none of us will take offence if you request a particular artist.

I want to lose some weight or put on some muscle, how will this affect my tattoo?
While our body shapes do change over the years if it is gradual and it shouldn't affect the tattoo too much. The most extreme body change is pregnancy. Tattoos can be affected by stretch marks so considerations for pregnancy when placing designs is a good consideration. As for muscle gain most people don't gain muscle so quick that they get stretch marks, only in the most extreme cases. However unless you are the incredible hulk your tattoo will not be to drastically affected.

My tattoo has healed and there are some light patches in my tattoo?
While healing if you knock your scabs or they get wet and come away before they are ready you will lose some colour from your tattoo. Unless we state otherwise at the time of your tattoo we will guarantee to fix any colour loss in your healing. Just pop in at 3 weeks or so after your tattoo was initially done. However this is only for the time following your tattoo and if you turn up months later we will not be able to give you a free touch up.

Can you translate something for me?
No we only speak English and can't take responsibility for foreign translations and names. It is your responsibility to check designs are translated and things are spelt correctly.

Can I book an appointment over the phone?
No. We need you to come into the studio in person so we can discuss the design and book you in person. Deposits are £10 for every hour we book.

Can I use my own jewellery for a piercing?
No. We use our own jewellery because we can guarantee the quality and the piercing.

How can I hide a piercing?
We currently do not sell them but you can get a clear plastic retainer which can be put in once the piercing is healed if you desire a more subtle appearance for work etc.

How old is tattooing and piercing?
Tattooing and piercing has been around as long as man. The oldest found evidence of tattooing is a mummy that has been aged from 3,300 BCE (5,300 years ago) and is called Otzi after where he was found. Otzi also had a ear piercing measuring 7-11mm. Piercing has been around since the early tribes of Africa and is seen on many Egyptian sculptures and images.