Women and tattoos – part I


Women and tattoos… While nowadays tattooed women are no longer such a big deal, back in the day it wasn’t really like that..

Artist: @lazerliz

Nora Hildebrandt, a circus woman, was only 22 when she was exposing her 365 tattoos, inked by her husband in New York. She started getting inked at the beginning of 1882, almost a decade before the tattoo gun was invented. Nora was America’s first professional tattooed lady. Her place in history is due mostly to the fact that her father, German born Martin Hildebrandt, was America’s first professional tattoo artist. Nora stood in as a canvas for her father when he was not tattooing sailors and soldiers from both sides of the Civil War.

However her fame was rather short lived as another attractive tattooed lady debuted shortly after her. Irene Woodward quickly eclipsed Nora’s spotlight, a 19 year old girl that proclaimed herself “the only tattooed woman”, that even appeared in The New York Times with her approx. 400 tattoos.


These women worked at circuses in the summer and museums of curiosities in the winter. To show almost every part of their tattooed body in an era where showing an ankle was risky, these women were a sensation on stage. Of course they made up scenarios on how or by whom they got tattooed to attract clients at circuses, scenarios that often included kidnapping and being forcibly tattooed.

Few of these women actually chose their designs so for most part they were wearing the dreams and visions of the artists that tattooed them. When they were not on stage these women used to cover up their bodies so the sun wouldn’t mess up their body art and so that only the paying customers would enjoy what they had to offer.


In 1851 during a trip, Olivia Oatman and her sister were kidnapped by Yavapai Indians. They were held captive for a year and then traded off to the Mohave Indians, which saved them from a life of slavery and abuse. They were raised as natives, which included tattooing them on the chin and arm to assure their passing onto the afterlife. When she returned, saved by the army her story was published in a bestseller called Life Among the Indians: Being an Interesting Narrative of the Captivity of the Oatman Girls. For 7 years she roamed trough the country telling her story in museums, circuses, churches and schools where a fee was charged at the entrance, making her the first american woman that exposed her tattooed body for money and also inspiring all the dramatic scenarios the tattooed ladies were to tell in order to be more interesting than the other.

Until the 1920s hundreds of heavily tattooed people were roaming trough America showing off their bodies in circuses or itinerant performances and among them were Miss Stella, Princess Beatrice, Mae Vandermark, Irma Senta and Maud Arizona. Europe had its own attractions: Queenie Morris from Ireland, Froeken Ingeborg from Sweden, Saharet from France,  and a lot of ladies from Germany, including La Bella Angora and Annette Nerona that had portraits of Bismarck, Wagner and Goethe tattooed on her skin.


These women were becoming more professionally independent. While the first tattooed ladies got on stage because of their husbands, these girls wanted not only money, but adventure and autonomy.

Betty Broadbent was only 17 when she left her babysitting job to run off with the circus in 1927. She was one of the most loved and photographed tattooed ladies of the XX century.  In 1937, Betty Broadbent decided to take her job internationally. She spent time working for independent circuses in both New Zealand and Australia. When she returned home to the United States, she continued performing and traveling in a side show until 1967. Betty even entered a televised beauty contest in 1939. She knew she didn’t have a chance to win but she took full advantage of the free publicity.  It was in 1967 that Broadbent retired. In 1981, Broadbent was the first person to be inducted into the Tattoo Hall of Fame.


More and more people were doing this, and as medicine advanced, providing remedies for the affections they showed,  people had little to no interest in going to freak shows. Between 1950 and 1960 tattoos were banned in certain cities and american states after tattoo needles were linked to the hepatitis epidemic.

.. So the tattooed ladies had to reinvent themselves.


To be continued..

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Featured image: Hannah Pixie


Spotlight: 10 Minimalist Tattoo Artists

victor zabuga

Minimalism – ˈmɪnɪməˌlɪz(ə)m – deliberate lack of decoration or adornment in style or design.

Minimalist tattooing is an aesthetic that is catching up with the super detailed, big pieces nowadays. This style of tattoos can say a lot with very few details. They can be hand poked or not, some script or a minimalist image, anything really. So if you’re planning on getting one, need a gap filler, or just browsing check out these amazing minimalist artists.


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Minimal design with a personality straight from Russia.


Beautiful scripts and tiny images, all hand poked.


Awesome blackwork with hints of pink here and there.

Flash piece on Andrew. #tattoo #blackwork #illustration #comics #shh

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Minimalist tattoos and movie stills.




A fresh tattooist with a minimal approach.

Minimalist and ghetto design straight from Warsaw.


Minimalist and bold design for this one.

Some kind of mixture between oldschool and minimalist design – all blackwork.. what more can you want?


Minimalist, ornamental, girly and hand poked by an awesome lady.

And that concludes our Top 10 of minimalist tattoo artists. The order is random – each and every one of them is an amazing artist and has a unique style.

All images & designs are © to their rightful tattooist.

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Evgeny Kopanov


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Tattoo Care

Magdalena Bujak

When we speak about tattoos, we rarely think of what comes after actually getting it inked into our skin… Aftercare is super important, and not just that – the long term care for your inked skin is just as important as the immediate care you offer it. It makes sense that if you invest time and money into the actual process of getting yourself inked that you would do the same to prolong the quality of your tattoo, no?

There are certain ingredients that can be sensitizing for your skin, whether your skin is sensitive or not, these irritations can happen at a molecular level and can be only seen over time. “Natural” does not necessarily mean better, and stuff that smells god isn’t necessarily good to actually apply on your skin, and so on. So let’s see some of the ingredients that are not very good for your skin – especially your newly tattooed skin – and what are some good tips to follow to keep your ink looking good and fresh.



First, very fragrant oils and extracts can be problematic for skin, causing irritation. A good tip to follow is to look at the ingredient list – the further it is on the list, the smaller the quantity is used in said product.

Stuff to avoid in this category would be cinnamon, lavender (shocker, isn’t it? – lavender smells nice and may be calming but not when applied on the skin or hair or wherever. It is a member of the mint family and in-vitro research indicates that components of lavender, specifically linalool and linalyl acetate, can be cytotoxic, which means that topical application of as little a concentration as 0.25% causes cell death. The fragrance constituents in lavender oil, linalool, and linalyl acetate oxidize when exposed to air, and in this process their potential for causing an allergic reaction is increased. If you’re wondering why lavender oil doesn’t appear to be problematic for you, it’s because research has demonstrated that you don’t always need to see it or feel it happening for your skin to suffer damage.), rosemary extract, bergamot oil, lemon oil, etc.


Artist: @evakrbdk Follow and support artist.

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Artist: @pissaro_tattoo Follow and support artist.

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Another thing that should be always avoided is alcohol. There are different types of alcohol – good ones and very bad ones. The good ones have emollient properties and the bad ones act like detergents and can be drying and sensitizing.

The ones you should keep an eye on and avoid are ethanol or ethyl alcohol, denatured alcohol, methanol, isopropyl alcohol, SD alcohol, and benzyl alcohol – the concern is when one or more of these are listed among the main ingredients; tiny amounts in an otherwise good formula aren’t a problem. Alcohols like SD and “denatured” immediately harm the skin, starting a chain reaction of damage that continues long after it has evaporated.


Artist: @oliwia_daszkiewicz Collection of best tattoo artists manually-picked, daily.

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I think these are the most important things to look out for in a skincare product, whether your skin is freshly tattooed or not – but let’s move on to the good stuff!

Vitamin E is always a good idea – One of the most well-known and researched antioxidants. If there were an antioxidant hall of fame, vitamin E would likely be its inaugural member (though do not take that to mean it is the “best” antioxidant—there is no single best, just lots of great options). It’s fat-soluble and available in various forms; the most biologically active form is alpha-tocopherol.



Panthenol is a form of vitamin B and has the ability to attract and hold moisture. It is a versatile ingredient to be used in formulas because it improves skin’s barrier function and maintains the proliferation of fibroblasts, the cells that create collagen.

Petroleum jelly, petrolatum, white petrolatum, soft paraffin/ Paraffin wax or multi-hydrocarbon was originally promoted as a topical ointment for its healing properties, it temporarily protects minor cuts, scrapes, and burns; protects and helps relieve chapped or cracked skin and lips; helps protect from the drying effects of the wind and cold weather.



Coconut Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Shea Butter, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Cocoa Seed Butter, Coffee Seed Oil , Mango Butter, Sunflower Oil, Green, Black or White Tea are all amazing ingredients with emollient and antioxidant properties that can be and should be used whenever on the skin.

And last but not least – sunscreen! We all love the sun – it keeps us warm and alive and it’s shiny and beautiful, BUT.. too much of it is damaging for your skin – thus your tattoos.



The tattoo is placed in the second layer of the skin – the dermis – the tan we get from sunbathing is to defend the deeper levels of the skin from UV rays, including this one, as best as it can.

So what does this have to do with your tattoo? The tan makes your tattoo appear different and changes the colors – especially the very bright ones. With no “tan filter” aka sunscreen, the UV rays go trough and damage the molecules of your skin thus damaging your tattoo. Sunburns also speed up the ink breakdown that your immune system is trying to do anyways to some extent, and while the sunburn heals, the vibrant appearance of your tattoo remains impaired. UVA and UVB rays are the main reasons for premature skin ageing – so tattooed or not, sunscreen isn’t just for preventing sunburns – it’s the best defense your skin can get against premature ageing, discoloration of your tattoos and skin cancer.


Artist: @mariafernandeztattoo Collection of best tattoo artists manually-picked, daily.

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So, in conclusion you should avoid very fragrant creams and lotions, you should never put alcohol on your skin, and always wear sunscreen. If you want an ‘all natural’ solution to your tattoo care regimen try the above written oils & butters – by themselves or a mixture of them – go wild.. But always take care of your skin – tattooed or not, it’s always better to prevent than try and repair an already occurred damage.



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Featured image by Magdalena Bujak.



2016 Recap


2016 was a year filled with beautiful tattoos, a lot of new and amazing artists and the ones we already knew remained just as cool as we knew them. We thought we’d share with you a recap of the most liked tattoo posts from all of our pages – from black & white, to minimalist, geometric, beautifully colored tattoos  and everything in between.


Artist: @dogma_noir Collection of best tattoo artists manually-picked, daily.

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Artist: @stellatxttoo Collection of best tattoo artists manually-picked, daily.

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Artist: @j_a_s_a_n_d Collection of best tattoo artists manually-picked, daily.

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Artist: @coenmitchell Collection of best tattoo artists manually-picked, daily.

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Artist: @kanextattoo Collection of best tattoo artists manually-picked, daily.

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Artist: @loiseautattoo Collection of best tattoo artists manually-picked, daily.

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Artist: @_fillipepacheco_ Collection of best tattoo artists manually-picked, daily.

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Artist: @pokeeeeeeeoh Collection of best tattoo artists manually-picked, daily.

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Artist: @cooleytattooer Collection of best tattoo artists manually-picked, daily.

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2.  InkstinctColors – Featuring the best colored and abstract tattoos

3. Tattoo Armada – Featuring groovy tattoos

4. Tattoo Random – Featuring the most amazing Tattoos on IG

5. Inkstinct Video – The best tattoo videos

So here they were – the most liked tattoo posts of 2016! Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and tell us what were your favorite tattoos of 2016.