Mel B.
If you've ever professed your undying love for someone in the form of a permanent body tattoo, and had that relationship end, chances are you've considered whether or not to keep it. Here's what 'America's Got Talent' judge, and former Spice Girl, Mel B. did when she and ex-husband Stephen Belafonte broke up! Have you ever had to get rid of a tattoo?
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Rihanna Makes A Case For Temporary Tattoos

Flash tattoos only exist in public within the realm of music festivals. This is probably due to a fortuitous combination of heat, beer, model-turned-celebrity sightings, and bands you really do need to hear live. Outside of that, what are you supposed to do with your 20 sheets of metallic foiled temporary tattoos? Really, it's a time and a place sort of thing.

But leave it to the one and only Rihanna to make flash tats cool again outside of the flower-crown cohort. As the face of Dior, it makes sense. This is the line that maybe singlehandedly elevated nail wraps with a limited edition collection last summer. Ri must have picked up on the house’s ‘Grand Bal’ 24-carat gold tattoos, because she just launched a collab with jewelry designer Jacquie Aiche on a set of temporary tattoos that come in black and metallic gold. Put simply, when a CFDA Style Icon tells you to get your hands on some temporary ink, you listen. Or maybe you eye roll, but buy them anyway.

Decidedly more interesting than your oft-played geometric shapes, Fenty Tattoo's got Gothic silhouette chokers, cuticle tats, and what we’re all really here for—knuckle letter tattoos. Sure you can delicately adorn your body with a chain running along your spine or arm, but who can resist a good one-two fist bump with your Bad Gal self?

Photographed by Tom Newton. One step closer to Rihanna, now all you need is the right outfit.

The post Rihanna Makes A Case For Temporary Tattoos appeared first on Into The Gloss.

Rihanna Makes A Case For Temporary Tattoos

Flash tattoos only exist in public within the realm of music festivals. This is probably due to a fortuitous combination of heat, beer, model-turned-celebrity sightings, and bands you really do need to hear live. Outside of that, what are you supposed to do with your 20 sheets of metallic foiled temporary tattoos? Really, it's a time and a place sort of thing.

But leave it to the one and only Rihanna to make flash tats cool again outside of the flower-crown cohort. As the face of Dior, it makes sense. This is the line that maybe singlehandedly elevated nail wraps with a limited edition collection last summer. Ri must have picked up on the house’s ‘Grand Bal’ 24-carat gold tattoos, because she just launched a collab with jewelry designer Jacquie Aiche on a set of temporary tattoos that come in black and metallic gold. Put simply, when a CFDA Style Icon tells you to get your hands on some temporary ink, you listen. Or maybe you eye roll, but buy them anyway.

Decidedly more interesting than your oft-played geometric shapes, Fenty Tattoo's got Gothic silhouette chokers, cuticle tats, and what we’re all really here for—knuckle letter tattoos. Sure you can delicately adorn your body with a chain running along your spine or arm, but who can resist a good one-two fist bump with your Bad Gal self?

Photographed by Tom Newton. One step closer to Rihanna, now all you need is the right outfit.

The post Rihanna Makes A Case For Temporary Tattoos appeared first on Into The Gloss.

Henna, For People Who Are Scared Of Tattoos

These days, when I visit Qatar, I usually come home sporting a rust-red, intricately patterned henna tattoo. Lucky for me, one of my former students, fashion designer Rabab Abdulla, is a henna artist regularly hired by our university for her talents during special events. She’s lightning fast and super knowledgeable, with years of experience decorating the hands and feet of Doha for weddings, festivals, and other celebratory occasions. I recently watched her take on over 20 patrons in a two-hour period, and no two of her beautiful, hand-drawn designs were the same (and she obliged my request for an ITG-lettered one).

I have never (and probably never will) go in for a real tattoo, so the weeks when I sport henna are a novelty—catching a glimpse of it while I go about my daily tasks is surprisingly exhilarating—like an accessory you're still over the moon about and don't have to take off because it's not weather appropriate or too delicate to wear every day. I’ve written in the past about henna’s religious and cultural implications. This time, I had the chance to talk with Rabab about various regional motifs.

“Arabic patterns are more open,” she explained. “They have larger designs flowing down the hand from a few fingers. But Indian mehndi [different name, same practice] covers the entire hand and all the fingers. We try to fill in all the empty space.” Both styles will incorporate patterns on the palm as well. Teardrops, paisley, flowers, and gestural vines are typical in Arabic henna, and they're incorporated in mehndi too, along with peacocks, intricate lattice work (think Rihanna), circular designs believed to deflect the evil eye, etc. Like any traditional form of ornamentation, preferred henna motifs are subject to trends and updates over time.

“Geometric styles from North Africa are becoming more and more popular today,” Rabab said of her current work in Qatar. “The patterns include squares and simple shapes.” The deeper the hue on the skin, the better, meaning the quest for the highest quality commercially sold henna is almost never ending in the region. She prefers to work with a cone of paste; the best she’s found is a brand her father discovered in Saudi Arabia—it’s very pure and takes almost no time to soak into the skin. As far as dye preservation is concerned, Rabab suggests that high quality pigment needs little beyond the average daily moisturizer for maintenance, though many tout the benefits of olive oil rubs or topical coatings of a sugar and lemon juice.

Here in the States, henna is a little harder to come by but by no means impossible. Whole Foods is a stockist of Earth Henna products, which offers both kits with patterns and individual henna applicators. Cheaper cones are also somewhat easy to find at local Indian and Middle Eastern grocery stores. On Instagram, a number of international henna practitioners are making names for themselves as style-runners. For those in search of inspiration for either family affairs or festival season, consider checking out @bluelotusmehndi of Portland, Ore.; @gloryofhenna of Los Angeles; @henna_nurahshenna out of Birmingham, England; New York’s own @brooklynhennaco; and the world-traveling @maplemehndi.

—Lauren Maas

Photo courtesy of the author.

The post Henna, For People Who Are Scared Of Tattoos appeared first on Into The Gloss.

Everything You Could Ever Want To Know About Tattoos

If you have one hour, six minutes, and 53 seconds to listen to a good podcast episode, stop reading after the conclusion of this paragraph. “Tattoos: Not Just For Dirtbags Anymore," is the title of such a 'sode, from the not only informative, but interesting Stuff You Should Know 'cast, and everything below this shall henceforth be considered a spoiler. A few fun tattoo-related facts:

History

- Ötzi (also known as “The Iceman"), the oldest known preserved human body, has tattoos. Because there was joint disease found underneath each of his tattoos, it is thought that his ancient civilization believed the marks would relieve pain.

-It's believed that the word "tattoo" comes from the onomatopoetic Polynesian word, “tatau,” which means, “to strike.”

-Sailors—or the men who explored the South Pacific by ship—were the first Westerners to have tattoos. Since sailors were not necessarily considered upstanding citizens, the practice almost immediately became associated with counter culture.

-In a strange turn of events, during the Edwardian era, the society's elite began adopting tattoos as a sort of status symbol, largely due to the opening of the West to Japan and their extremely talented tattoo artists.

-The 1891 invention of the tattoo gun made getting a tattoo more accessible, and thus made the art form less appealing to the upper class.

-Martin Hildebrandt opened the first US tattoo shop in 1846 in NYC (we’re so cool), marketing to mainly members of the military.

-After the highly publicized Lindbergh kidnapping of 1932, Americans began tattooing their children with their Social Security Numbers.

-Tattoo parlors in NYC were banned between 1961 and 1997 (maybe we’re not so cool), and were illegal in Massachusetts until 2000.

Technique

-Tattoos are created by piercing through your epidermis (which you shed) into your more permanent dermis.

-The needle on a tattoo gun bobs, like a sewing machine, between 50 to 3,000 times per minute.

-Prison tattoos, however, a typically done with things like a staple or a guitar string attached to a toothbrush and dipped into pen ink, burnt shoe polish, or melted Styrofoam or plastic.

-Blue and black ink are the easiest to remove, while green is the hardest.

Safety

-Blood born pathogens are a serious concern when getting a tattoo—going to a highly trusted shop is always the best bet. That said, if the shop is following the three-pronged safety approach (more or less the same as any hospital or medical center), there is a very low chance of any disease transmission.

-According to the CDC, there have been zero reported cases of HIV transmitted via tattoo.

-Tattoos done as permanent makeup—like perma-eyeliner or perma-eyebrows—are frequently done with metallic pigment, which can cause issues with brain MRIs.

-In most circumstances, the American Red Cross will not accept blood donations from people who have gotten a tattoo within the past year.

Statistics

-In the US, the average cost of a small tattoo is $45.

-Approximately $1.6 billion is spent in the United States on tattoos every year.

-14% of all Americans have one or more tattoo.

-40% of 26-40 year old Americans have one or more tattoo.

-There are around 21,000 tattoo parlors in the US.

-17% of tattooed Americans regret getting one, 11% of tattooed Americans have theirs removed.