Tag Archives: piercings

Sassy and the Tattoo Expo (Part 1)

13 May

imageWhat you are about to read is real.

Maybe I changed the names, maybe I didn’t. That’s irrelevant. Over the next three days, you will read my observations, endeavors, interviews and surprising encounters during my first tattoo expo that was held in Upstate NY last weekend. I have to say WITHOUT hesitation that it might have been my first, but it will certainly not be my last. Maybe next year I will do more writing, maybe I’ll get my training and be a piercer, maybe I will just get a large latte and watch the crowd for the day. Oh, oh…maybe do a fashion critique article on the attendees and what they (attempted) to wear, which would be entertaining as hell. Doesn’t matter. I’ll be there. So grab a beverage and get a snack. It is going to be a fun and entertaining ride!!!

Day 1:
Okay, I’m here at the tattoo expo and I’m already overwhelmed. I won’t lie: there is a certain kind of intoxicating feeling you get when you hear those needles buzzing. It’s a rush. It’s like when a gambler walks into a room of slot machines where the machines are ringing and humming, and the sound of coins are dropping everywhere. It is that consuming. Now, once you get past the sound of the needles, the environment takes on a whole new ….. ambiance? Everyone from all walks of life are here. Some attendees are just curious–some are serious die-hard ink fans. It was certainly a large variety of people. For the avid people watcher like myself?…it was like Christmas. That’s the best way I can describe it.

Once I got my pass, met and thanked the sponsors that allowed me to attend, I ventured out to size up my surroundings. There were at least 100 various booths, either doing tattoos, piercings, selling merchandise or some other related business. Initially, I talked to a few people that seemed eager to trade “tat stats”–how many, of what, who did it, etc. I stopped at several booths and looked at all different kinds of ink– live and in photos. I had a chance to meet some great people thanks to a few of my friends, and also got to reconnect with an artist that did some work on my ankle who I hadn’t seen in a long time. I think I was a bit overwhelmed and just took my time reading, looking, browsing and making eye contact–which is still a big step in an environment that’s new to me. If I was backstage at the Michael Kors show during fashion week?…I’d be flitting around like a bee. But this was new ground. So I was taking my time, taking it all in.

Although I promised myself I wouldn’t get anything that required ink, I felt I should get something. (That’s the shopper in me talking.) I already have a tattoo artist whose work I’m very pleased with, plus I already had an appointment on the books for my next piece. I think loyalty is very important when your pleased with previous work you have got, plus referrals through word of mouth is the best advertising. But before I could leave the expo room, I had to walk by the piercing section which was FILLED with all sorts of jewels that caught my eye. So I treated myself to two gorgeous belly rings which will look awesome in my belly button piercing this summer. As far as other body piercings go? That’s it for me. Not counting a couple of pairs of earrings that I have had since I was 12, piercing any other part of my body is not my cup of tea! (Or so I thought right then…)

The thing that kind of amazed me is the people’s desire to get ink whenever they get the urge. I mean, as a girl, I personally know the feeling of smelling a perfume sample in a magazine and falling in love with it RIGHT AWAY. If there was a 24 hour Sephora, I’d be there in a heartbeat to buy it. Cosmetics and fashions can easily be an impulse buy, and that is exactly what the companies want–an impulse buy. Even if you aren’t thrilled with your purchase, you can use it for a bit, sell it or return it. Then you can just go out and get a different one. When a person wants to get a tattoo, though, I would think that people would put some thought–some serious thought–into it. It’s yours, ON YOU! Forever!

When people come to these expos, I think this would be the time to really decide if you do want some ink and, if that’s your decision, to find the person to do it. Use this as a way to get to know the artist and see examples of their work. Talk to previous customers, see what they have (an artist almost always makes sure they have clients their to show off their work), make your decision based on that. But there are the people who just want ink NOW and don’t really care who does it. They just want it. Did I say now? Unless for circumstances beyond my control, if my artist couldn’t do my work, I’d either ask him for a personal reference or do a lot of research. Flipping through a few picture books and a two minute “Hi. How much?” conversation isn’t going to do it for me. But that’s how I am. I’d like the people who I work closely with in my life to be nice, informative and professional. A tattoo artist is a professional as well and should be thought of no different.

I decided to call it a night when they were giving last call for bikini mechanical bull riding sign ups. Yeah… well… shoot. I had just dropped my bikini off at the cleaners the day before so there was no reason for me to stay. That was my cue, so I chuckled and left. Tomorrow was another day.

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Then and Now: Fashions For “Old Farts”

10 Jan

Ever since I was a teen, there have been a few things that have been a staple in my wardrobe, closet and makeup drawer. They are probably things that you cannot live without either. But as I move up in age, I notice fundamentals of these items evolving. For example, every woman needs a purse. As a young woman, my purse needed to be able to hold my money, a lip gloss and a license. That was it. When I got married and had children, my purse then had to be able to hold those items plus a travel-sized pack of baby wipes, hand sanitizer and a Ziploc bag of Cheerios. You see where I am going with this.

Even now that my kids are teens and my daily routine is totally different, I am finding that my must-have items are becoming less and less basic. At least the designers are aware of this because no matter what I need, someone seems to make it. Let’s break down my simple fashion necessities and what requirements they must have to fit my more “mature” life now:

  • PURSE

Then: Small shoulder bags in jazzy colors with one compartment were fine. Sometimes it wasn’t even necessary to carry one at all. Carrying a purse meant you could only carry one drink at the bar during 2-for-1 nights.

Now: Shoulder bags are frowned upon due to arthritis bothering the shoulders. Black or brown is fine. It must be able to hold a wallet, checkbook, ATM card, cell phone, pill box, lip balm, bottle of water and the janitor ring of keys. Extra room should be available in case there is a need to carry a small pack of tissues, datebook, two granola bars and a hair clip. Designer name not required but it helps to justify the purchase.

  • SHOES

Then: High, high, high. The more hooker-looking, the better. Brown didn’t exist, red and black patent leather were a necessity. Comfort was not even considered. Kinney’s was your go-to shoe heaven.

Now: Leather shoes work best because they stretch out and allow room for bunions. Square-toed and rounded-toed shoes work best. Pointed-toed shoes make your eyes water just looking at them. Peep toes are the new sexy. Black and brown are a must, grey or silver is now considered daring. Any shoe over 2” must have a comfort, no slip sole and a built-in cushioned arch support. Designer name not required but helps to justify the purchase.

  • JEANSjeans

Then: If your jeans weren’t tight, you returned them. Stretch jeans were best because they enhanced your figure. You lay down on the bed to put them on and you were fine with that. If you wanted them to feel snugger, you wore stockings underneath them. Acid-washed was your favorite color but anything tight would do.

Now: If your jeans are tight, you return them. Jeans must be purchased at the store because they have to be tried on—no two pairs of the same size fit the same. Stretch jeans are best because they stretch for your figure! If you have to lie down on the bed to put them on, you can expect to be there all day. Usually the classic name jeans fit best but if a designer pair fits better, then that will help to justify the purchase.

  • JEWELRY

Then: The gaudier the better. You watched Madonna and Janet Jackson videos for ideas. Your earrings were so heavy that you were told your piercing holes were about to rip through. Getting you ears double pierced was a luxury that made you the envy of your friends. Your bracelets were made of rubber. Your necklaces looked like Mardi Gras beads. If your jewelry turned body parts green, it was no big deal (that’s what clear nail polish was for.) If you didn’t get your jewelry at a “Buy One Get Two Free” sale at your local teen store, you paid too much.

Now: The shinier the better. Golds, silvers and platinums are the jewelry box trend. Styles are simpler and reflect the person wearing the pieces. Studs, hoops and chandelier earrings are most common. Necklaces are all lengths with varied pendants. Bracelets are usually flashy. If you only have your ears double pierced, you are considered white bread. Minimum of three holes in one ear (with diamond studs) is more the norm. A pierced belly button is now a common accessory at PTA meetings and soccer games. Any watch with two hands will work, but ones with diamonds have been said to keep better time so that helps to justify the purchase.

  • MAKEUP & SKINCARE80sgloss

Then: There was no such thing as the “natural look.” Foundation had to be slightly on the orange side and end right before the neck began. Lipsticks came in pink, hot pink and fuschia. Lip gloss rolled on and came in strawberry or cherry flavors. Mascara was in a pink tube made by Maybelline. Eyeliner was a foot-long pencil, was always black and always cheap. Skin care consisted of Sea Breeze pads and Noxzema in the blue jar. Moisturizer was only something you used on your hands in winter. If you went to bed with your makeup on, you knew it could save you time in the morning. Perfume was Love’s Baby Soft or Charlie.

Now: You have two looks—au natural and glam gorgeous. The natural look is earth tones from mineral powders. Chapstick with a shimmer is enough for the lips. Eyeliner is soft and smudged and mascara is minimal. The glam look is more out there. There is glitter on everything from the eyes and lips down into the cleavage. Eyeliner is blackest of blacks and mascara is thick and bold. Focus on skin care is a must. We will try anything…and everything… to avoid crow’s feet, laugh lines, wrinkles, flakes and sun damage. Paying $40 for a good moisturizer is not unusual. We look for words like Retin-A, peptides, SPF, omegas and vitamins. Our bathroom counter looks more like a spice cabinet. We go to retail stores that sell nothing but makeup and skin care, and won’t think twice about dropping a car-payment size amount of money to stay looking young. Washing your face at night takes 10+ minutes. There are perfumes everywhere that suit a person’s personal taste, but if it comes with a body lotion and shower gel sampler, a free tote bag and a pair of sunglasses, it certainly will help to justify the purchase.

  • HAIR

Then: No matter how big your hair was, it wasn’t big enough. Two cans of Aqua Net and a can of mousse per week was normal usage. Finesse shampoos and conditioners were the designer brand for routine care. Home perms were what you had done if you and your mom were bored on the weekend. If you mother refused to give you a home perm, you bought a hair crimper. You were happy with your natural hair color. That is, until June, when your locks drank Sun-In as much as you drank Iced Tea. When you realized that the Sun-In had turned your hair into dried grass, you tried to make it look stylish with either Farrah Fawcett side curl flips or a jazzy banana clip.

Now: Your monthly hair maintenance is as routine as your mortgage payment. And about as expensive. You’ve lost track of what your natural color really is because you can’t tell where the highlights begin, the lowlights end with the blending of the roots in between. Your stylist knows all about you and refers to you by name & hair color shade. (“Oh, hello Tina Redken OC8 Cayanne/Saffron!”) You can’t stand the thought of even a wave in your hair and you don’t hesitate to pay an exorbitant amount of money on a ceramic hair straightener and blow dryer to prevent any type of curl. You have bottles, tubes, cans, sprays, foams, gels, waxes and pomades in every nook and cranny of your bathroom and shower. Because your hair looks so slammin’, you save money by not buying hair clips, and that in turn helps to justify the purchases.

  • TATTOOStat

Then: You hoped the box of Cracker Jack you bought contained a tattoo that because that would have made you sooooooo cool with your friends.

Now: You are wondering where on your body you are going to put your third tattoo because your friends think you are a Cracker Jack for having less than them. You finally tell your husband you are going to get a tramp-stamp of the design on your wedding invitation tattooed on your back because it will make you feel that much closer to him. That surely will justify the purchase with him… Right?