What is Tattoo Blowout?

You may have heard this term or even experienced it, but what exactly is ‘blowout’? Read on to find out! 

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First, let’s look into what happens when the skin is tattooed. Here, you can see the layers that make up your skin and what lies beneath. Typically, the ink is deposited in the dermis, where it sits indefinitely.

I say indefinitely, because the body treats the process as an infection, and if it succeeds in its mission to remove it, the ink fades…or, of course, if you get laser removal treatment, the ink will break into smaller pigment particles and be absorbed by the body (we’ll save that for another blog post).

The unappealing effect comes about when ink is injected deeper than necessary.

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What Does Blowout Look Like?

Embarrassingly, this is one by me. 😱 Must have been having an off day. Still, I’d rather use my own example than potentially upset another artist.

The easiest way to describe it is like an ‘ink bruise’ that surrounds the tattoo. They typically start from the edges of the tattoo and slowly fade outwards.

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What Can Cause Blowout?

There are multiple factors that can play into this – some are down to the artist, others due to aftercare:

  • Needle being pushed in too deep,
  • Needle being inserted at an awkward angle, puncturing an area of skin that doesn’t align well with the surface,
  • Stretching the skin too much whilst tattooing
  • Impact or pressure on the tattoo during the healing process
  • Excessive stretching/moving of the tattoo during the healing process

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Coverup in progress.

What Areas are More Prone to Blowout?

  • Wrists
  • Ankle
  • Feet
  • Hands

…essentially, bony areas and places with thin skin (or both).

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Can Blowout Be Removed?

Like the rest of your tattoo, it’s there to stay. Your options include:

  • Laser removal treatment
  • Altering the design to cover it (such as adding a gradient or colour around it)
  • Cover up the tattoo with another design.
The original tattoo was covered up with a new design. It isn’t necessary to go this big for a coverup – it just happens to be a design this client wanted.

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What If I Don’t Want Another Tattoo?

The short answer is: either learn to accept it or consider getting the unwanted areas removed using Laser Removal Treatment. Tattoos are permanent markings in the skin and clients must be prepared to this commitment prior to getting their body art.

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What Can I Do To Fix Mine?

If you’re looking to have your tattoo altered or covered up, please use the form below to book a Consultation. We’ll chat about your tattoo and ideas:

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If you’d rather have the blowout (or whole tattoo) removed, NAOHOA is affiliated with Rethink The Ink (Porthcawl).

5 sessions in (click here to see the post)

Jon is a fantastic practitioner whose work doesn’t leave scarring or change of skin pigmentation. Let him know that I sent you. 😉

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Thanks for reading! For more information, check out my blog posts that cover Tattoo Advice, Lifestyle or follow other people’s journey via #NAOHOAstory. 💗


Why Winter is the Best Time to Get a Large Tattoo

Photo of a Japanese-style sleeve, based on the elements fire, water, earth and sky. Designed and tattooed by Naomi Hoang at NAOHOA Luxury Bespoke Tattoos, Cardiff (Wales, UK).

Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the ink is so delightful~ Okay, I’m no songwriter, but that’s not what this is about anyway. Ever wonder when the best time to get a tattoo is? Well, it depends on what you want and where you want it.

 

Why Winter?

Generally-speaking, Winter is best for large projects because the cooler temperature makes the healing process more tolerable. Fresh tattoos are essentially an open wound, so if you’ve got a lot of skin vulnerable, you don’t wanna be stuck in a heat wave with plasma oozing everywhere.

Mmmmm, plasma.

Good Places to Get Tattoo’ed

  • Upper body
  • Thighs

These places are good all-year round…it’s just more comfortable to heal large pieces when the weather isn’t muggy.

 

Avoid During Winter

  • Feet
  • Lower legs

Hey, I won’t stop you, but I will advise waiting until it’s flip-flop season for foot tattoos, as fresh ink rubbing against thick socks all day (and probably night) aren’t gonna do it any favours. The skin is thinner in that area, making it harder to hold to begin with, so the lower down the foot we go, the higher the chance of it rubbing away through wear-and-tear, regardless of the weather.

Lower legs aren’t as concerning, but if you’re likely to wear skinnies and boots…again, friction from daily movement will fade your new tattoo faster than if you wore loose clothing until it healed.

 

Other Pros

Less Prone to Fading

…because it won’t be exposed to sunlight as often, if at all. UV rays fade tattoos – especially ones that haven’t healed fully yet.

 

Less Sweat

The brisk weather means you’re less likely to sweat during the day, which would normally clog the pores and lead to…

 

Itching

Healing tattoos itch. SO. MUCH. My advice is to either pat the area or put something cold on it. The cooler environment should temper down such urges, making the process more bearable.

 

 

Cons

Dry Skin

Depending on your skin type, you may be prone to dry skin when the cold air hits it. If this applies to you, simply moisturise your tattoo when you feel is necessary so it doesn’t dry and scab up.

 

Less Room to Breathe

We normally wrap up at this time of year, which means fresh tattoos would have less time to breathe. Try not to wear anything too tight around the area to avoid friction and irritation.

 

Fewer Chances to Show Off

Without a doubt, most people will join in your excitement and want to see your tattoo. Unless you’re happy to unravel layers of snuggly warmth each time, you’re better off having a photo on your phone to appease them.

 

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Ready For The Plunge?

Book an Appointment:

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What To Do Before Getting Your Tattoo

Have you always wanted a tattoo but haven’t a clue how to go about it? Or maybe you’ve been there, done that, but want to know faster ways to get your idea across. Here are some simple tips to prepare for your future ink, along with info on how things work here at NAOHOA.

Do Your Homework

Research

Not just what you want, but WHO you want to do it (…hopefully me 😁). Many artists specialise into certain art styles, so after you’ve figured out what you want, look at their portfolios to see who would be the best match for that style. If you feel the artist is versatile enough to ink a design you’re after, despite not having much evidence on their website of social profiles, ask anyway to see what they think. Personally, I’m game when it comes to switching genres, as I enjoy the challenge. Sure, there are things that aren’t to my taste (such as overtly morbid or sexual images), but you should get a feel for what the artist will and won’t do based on their work.

Make a Mood Board

Why?

It’s the quickest, easiest way for me to understand what look and feel you’re after – especially if you’re unsure on art terms (realistic/stylised/geometric/abstract etc.). It doesn’t have to be a full-blown board – sometimes one or two images suffice – but please send me something so I have a better idea of what’s in your head.

What?

Subject(s) you’d like included and art style, simplez. They don’t have to be restricted to tattoos either – if you like the shape of a sculpture but colours of a graffiti piece, add those to your board and explain it to me. If you want something truly original, looking at other people’s tattoos will only get you so far. At NAOHOA, I design everything for you from scratch – make the most of it.

Where?

Where do you want this tattoo? This doesn’t really need to be in the moodboard, but it’s something I have to know in order to advise and design accordingly. If you have slim arms but you want something similar to what another person got on their back or thigh…chances are it’ll need some adjusting. 😉

How?

One word: Pinterest. It’s fast, easy and eco-friendly (as it saves printing/recycling…and me having to carry it all!). Make a board and start pinning away, then send me a link or add me as a collaborator to the Board. You can add comments to each image to explain what aspect you like and why, so I can get a deeper understanding of what you’re after. Even better, it’s completely free and stays in sync, so if you add to it after sending me a link, I’ll be able to see the new stuff too. 👍

Besides not having to carry print-outs, it also saves me digging through emails or maxing out my inbox. I save all your notes on Trello, so a simple link really is the best for workflow. Of course, I don’t mind if more traditional options are easier for you – I’ll work around them – I’m simply raising awareness here to make my life easier. 😜

What Next?

Get in Touch

You can book an appointment for your Consultation via this online form:

…or use this link. It’s also available as a button on my Instagram profile. If you’d rather check by me first before making an appointment, contact me here.

Consultation

Various studios work differently, but at NAOHOA, face-to-face Consultations are required, as I don’t accept walk-ins. During this sesh, we’ll have a casual chat about your tattoo idea until we’re on the same page. You’ll need to fill in a Medical Form and I’ll provide you with a Saniderm Patch Test to check for allergies. This is a chance for me to get to know you and you can ask me any questions that are bubbling to mind.

If you’d like to have your journey documented into a #NAOHOAstory, I’ll take a photo there and then. They’re all anonymous and completely optional.

Design

After a deposit has been paid, I add you to my Trello Board and will design your tattoo when it’s your turn! Currently, I design tattoos in chronological order people see me and pay their deposits, rather than by ease or size, as this is the fairest system I can think of.

…..this has turned into a big post, so I think I’ll elaborate on the design process in another segment. If you’d like to read tips on how to prepare for the tattoo session itself, please click here.

You can get direct links to these articles sent straight to your inbox when you subscribe to my monthly newsletter. I also share insider news and personal updates that aren’t always on social media. After signing up, you’ll get a free worksheet to walk you through your next tattoo:

Download a FREE ‘Tattoo Ideas’ Worksheet

Thanks so much for reading and I’ll see you next time!

Naomi xxx


Getting Your Tattoo

At last, the time has come! Whether you’re in for your first taste of ink, or a seasoned pro, here are some tips to make your session more enjoyable:

 

Prepare For Your Tattoo Appointment

Eat a Meal

Your sugar level will drop whilst being inked, so be sure to eat some food beforehand to maintain some energy. Eating also helps line the stomach if you decide to take painkillers (paracetamol for pain / ibuprofen for swelling).

I don’t mind you bringing snacks for when we’re on breaks – just try to avoid smelly things, please. 🙂

 

Stay Hydrated

It’ll stop you from getting woozy!

 

Avoid the Obvious

Shock, horror, drugs and alcohol are off the menu. I flat-out won’t tattoo you if you admit to, or I have reason to believe you’re under the influence, and you’ll lose your £20 Booking Fee.

A lesser-known tip: Please avoid drinking coffee, as it makes you bleed more. Like, comically more. It’s a mess. Please lay off the coffee and I’ll forever appreciate it. 😁

 

Relax

I heard somewhere that pain is 80% mental…”Mind over matter” is a saying for a reason! Take control of the situation by letting the calm, relaxing environment soothe you. For specific tips, read my “Keeping Calm” blog post. 😌

 

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During Your Tattoo Sesh

Ask for Breaks if You Need Them 🍵

If you haven’t already figured out, things are super chill at NAOHOA. If it’s all getting a bit much and you need a break, you need only ask. Remember, bevvies are on the house! Get your fill of tasty loose-leaf teas from award-winning Welsh brand Waterloo Tea and the snacks I leave out for you (please advise me in advance if you’re gluten-intolerant).

 

It’s Okay to Chat

More often than not, I’m happy to chat away during tattoo sessions. It makes the experience more enjoyable and meaningful. If you’d rather be in your own little bubble, that’s totally cool too. My only exception is when doing intricate line work, as it demands a level of concentration I can’t divide effectively, so do excuse me if I’m silent during those moments. 🙇

 

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Looking After Your Tattoo

If you’re a first-time customer, you’ll receive an Aftercare Leaflet in your Gift Bag. Otherwise, please visit the Aftercare Advice section, learn about Saniderm, After Inked or catch up on Frequently Asked Questions.

 

 

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Are You Ready?

Let’s chat~ 😃 You’ll be sent a secret link to book your tattoo appointment online.

Tel / WhatsApp: 07935747219

Opening Hours: 11am-6pm, Mon-Sat. Please give 5 working for a response.

**Consultations are compulsory before getting a tattoo at NAOHOA**

 

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Book a Consultation:

Ask a Question:

 


Payment Plan

Photos of an original tattoo design, process and result by Naomi Hoang (Tattoo Artist and wner of NAOHOA Luxury Bespoke Tattoos, Cardiff, Wales, UK).

Longing for a tattoo but can’t afford to pay for it in one go? NAOHOA is proud to be one of very few tattoo studios in the UK to offer Payment Plans, allowing you to pay in affordable monthly instalments.

 

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How Does it Work?

We’ll have a Consultation as usual, so I can fully understand your tattoo idea and estimate a cost. From that, I’ll calculate payment options for 3, 6, 9 or 12-month instalments. Tattoos that cost over £1k can stretch up to two years in monthly instalments.

A £2 Transaction Fee will be added to each monthly payment. This makes it far more affordable than typical finance options.

 

Will I Still Need to Pay a Deposit?

I’m willing to accept an upfront fee that’s lower than the usual 50% – the amount of which will be decided on a case-by-case basis. Please be aware that this is non-refundable.

 

What’s Required?

  • A formal contract must be signed before designing commences,
  • The client must sign up to GoCardless, using the link I provide (it’s super easy and only takes a couple of minutes!)
  • An upfront fee is required, which is non-refundable. The amount can be negotiated.

 

 

Advantages

  • Get that tattoo you’ve wanted for yeeeaaars but struggled to save enough to get it completed in one go. With monthly payments, you’ll get your ink sooner, without the long slog of saving up first.
  • Tiny £2 Transaction Fee, making this far cheaper than typical finance options.
  • You have the freedom to choose which plan to opt for, based on your budget.
  • You can choose which date of the month is best for payments to leave your account.
  • Swift and easy set-up via GoCardless.

 

 

What’s the Catch?

  • A £2 Transaction Fee will be added to each monthly payment, adding to the overall cost of your tattoo.
  • The design process may take longer than usual, as I’ll be prioritising clients who pay via the usual method of 50% upfront and the rest after each session.

 

Can Anyone Sign Up to a Payment Plan?

Currently, I’m offering this on a case-by-case basis. If I have reason to think regular payments may not be possible, I have the right to decline this service to the individual. If this applies to you, please check out my ‘Money-Saving Tips’ blog post for advice! 🙂

 

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If this interests you, please get in touch!

Book an Appointment:

 


Money-Saving Tips

We’ve all been there.

Let’s Cut To The Chase

Saving money requires discipline and foresight…before I lose you completely, let me assure you that you CAN do it, so don’t worry! Here are some steps you can take to help you reach your financial goal.

 

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1.) What IS Your Goal?

How can you achieve something without knowing what you were aiming for? Have a clear, solid number in mind and think of what it would mean to you when you get there. If you anchor a meaning to a goal, you’re more likely to stick to the game plan. Opt for positive, motivating thoughts, such as, “I’ll get a beautiful tattoo that means a lot to me” (yeah, I’m biased, obviously 😜), rather than, “So I won’t be poor”.

TASK: Write down your £ goal and WHY you want it.

 

2.) Keep a Money Diary

This sounds boring but it’s actually super helpful once you get into the flow of it. I’ve even made a template for you (Excel/PDF), so no excuses, eh? 😉 Track your income and outgoings for a minimum of 2 weeks (ideally 1-3 months). Everything counts. Bills, rent, leisure activities and yes, even that chocolate bar or coffee number…how many?

This is a great way to shine light on the little things that slip through the radar, making you aware of wtf is happening to that paycheck!

TASK: Track your income & outgoings for 2-4 weeks.

 

3.) What Did You Discover?

Oh dang.

First off, ignore the inevitable joys that come with being an adult (rent/mortgage, bills, groceries*) and focus on the rest. Are there things you pay for but barely use? Usual suspects are gym memberships and similar subscriptions to things that probably seemed like a good idea at the time, then you forgot about it…then forgot to cancel them. How about you do that? Look out for patterns that indicate unhelpful habits that can be changed. An obvious example would be that morning coffee Zombie Brain automatically buys on the way to work, or yet another take-away. Highlight these habits and tally up the cost per week/month. Does the total surprise you? Does having those things add value to your life, or would you be happier having the big thing in 1.) ?

An alternative to buying beverages out is to carry a flask with your favourite drink. Saves the environment, your bank balance AND time spent in queues! 👏

* Are there items you can skimp on or do away with entirely? Don’t deprive yourself, but have a think about what you actually NEED in life and chip away at the rest. In time, all those shavings will add up, giving you the freedom to spend it on something more worthwhile.

TASK: Highlight Habits & think of solutions to solve them. Ask for help if you need it.

 

4.) Let’s Do This!

You’ve got this!

Great job – you’ve done the prep needed to reach your goal!

TASK: Jot down your goal and how you’r’e gonna get there, using solutions from 3.).

Keep track of progress and give yourself a pat on the back whenever you reach mini milestones along the way.

 

 


Will It Hurt?

Most common question? You guessed it: “Do tattoos hurt?”

In a nutshell:

The level of pain you experience will depend on where and what you’re getting, along with your personal pain threshold.

Here’s a simple breakdown based on my experience as a tattoo artist:

 

Places That Don’t Hurt (…as much):

  • Outer arm
  • Outer thigh
  • Calves
  • Forearms
  • Shoulders

Why?

If you think about it, these parts of the body are used to being, well…used. The skin is conditioned from being out in the open more often. Nerves aren’t as close to the skin as other parts of the body, making these areas good starting points for first tattoos.

 

Places That (typically) Hurt More:

  • Inner arm
  • Inner thigh
  • Chest
  • Foot
  • Knees (front and back)
  • Ankles
  • Elbows (front and back)

Why?

Bony areas essentially have less ‘padding’, so they tend to hurt more than more fleshy parts of the body. Skin is more sensitive on inner arms, thighs and joints. They’re less exposed to the elements, so they don’t need to be as hardy as the outer parts. There’s also a lot of motion/friction from clothing in these areas, which can contribute to longer healing times.

 

In-betweenies

Here are places I’ve noticed clients have very different reactions:

  • Back
  • Ribs
  • Wrists

Yeah…I’m surprised ribs are on this list too, but the people I’ve inked there so far dealt with it really well. It’s a bony area that’s notorious for being a pain-point – same goes for the wrists. Goes to show that it really comes down to the individual!

 

Places I Won’t Tattoo:

  • Face and neck (nape of the neck is fine)
  • Intimate areas
  • Hands

Why?

The first two are places I personally don’t want to tattoo. Hand tattoos tend not to heal properly and fade quicker than other areas due to the amount of use and movement they go through. I’m simply not convinced they’re a hygienic place to ink and don’t want my name to something that won’t look as good as my usual work.

 

 

Final Thoughts

…ultimately, everyone’s different, so it’s impossible to predict. What might be agony for one person is a breeze for another. Factors such as weather and preparation (such as eating beforehand and staying hydrated…or not) can affect your tattoo session, as well as location and size of tattoo. Naturally, I try to make things as comfortable for you as possible when you visit NAOHOA, but some things are out of my control.

From 1-10 (10 being the most painful), what was your last tattoo like?

Naomi xxx


Summer Tips

Wowzers it’s been hot lately! Have you been taking care of your tattoo when soaking up the rays?

Here are some helpful tips to get you by this season. 😎 ☀

 

Plan Ahead…

Helpful tattoo advice from Naomi Hoang at NAOHOA Luxury Bespoke Tattoos (Cardiff, Wales, UK).

• Get your tattoo at least 2 weeks BEFORE you set off anywhere sunny so it has time to heal. 1-2 months beforehand would be better.

• …to do this, you’ll need to book a Consultation beforehand so I have time to design your tattoo for you.

• Do you have beach trips lined up soon? Make sure you remember to keep your new tattoo covered to protect it from sea, sand and sun. Saniderm is a great way to heal tattoos – though be mindful of the fact that you can get a tan line around the patch!

• Is this a design you actually want or are you following current trends? What’s hot this season may not be in the next. Unlike fast fashion, tattoos aren’t something you can switch out of easily. If you need some guidance, check out my blog post, What To Do Before Getting Your Tattoo.

 

Whilst Getting Tattooed…

Helpful tattoo advice from Naomi Hoang at NAOHOA Luxury Bespoke Tattoos (Cardiff, Wales, UK).

• It’s best to stay hydrated in general, but this is especially important when the weather heats up. I’ll have filtered water ready for your visit and you can enjoy caffeine-free beverages from Leaf & Bean, free of charge*.

• If the heat is too much, do feel free to ask for regular breaks.

• If you have a long session booked and want to stay comfortable, bring spare clothes to change in and out of so you can leave feeling fresh.

* I’ve noticed that clients tend to bleed more after they drink coffee, so I recommend avoiding caffeine before and during your tattoo session.

 

While Your Tattoo is Healing…

Helpful tattoo advice from Naomi Hoang at NAOHOA Luxury Bespoke Tattoos (Cardiff, Wales, UK).

• As always, clean and moisturise at least three times a day (unless using Saniderm).

• Do NOT use sun cream on it while it’s healing!

• Your new tattoo is essentially an open wound. Take care of it and keep it clean to avoid infection.

Cover your tattoo to protect it from the sun’s UV rays. Fresh ink fades faster if exposed and you wouldn’t want to waste it all on the last hurdle!

Wear loose clothing. Friction can affect your tattoo. Loose, light clothing is more comfortable during Summer, anyway. 😊

• I’m afraid skinny-dipping is out of the question while your ink is healing. 😜 Avoid submerging in water – especially in swimming pools, where the chlorine will irritate your skin and can cause infection.

 

Helpful tattoo advice from Naomi Hoang at NAOHOA Luxury Bespoke Tattoos (Cardiff, Wales, UK).

 

After It Has Healed…

Helpful tattoo advice from Naomi Hoang at NAOHOA Luxury Bespoke Tattoos (Cardiff, Wales, UK).

• Now it’s time to use sun screen! At least 30SPF will do it. 50SPF if you want to be extra sure.

• Ideally, keep your tattoo covered when it’s really sunny to avoid fading the ink.

Keep that skin glowing by staying hydrated, moisturising regularly and living a healthy lifestyle. If your skin is in good condition then your tattoo will be too. 🙂

Enjoy your new tattoo! 👏

 

Was that helpful?

These are tips tailored for Summer. For the full list, check out the Aftercare Advice page.

Many people like to get new tattoos to show off in the sunny season, but it’s worth remembering that tattoos are for life, not just for Summer. Take care of it and it’ll continue to look great for years to come.💖

Thanks for reading!

Naomi xxx

'Thank You' Pusheen cat gif

Updated: 25/06/19