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Tuesday, 1 September 2015


The day after my 26th birthday I got my first tattoos. Plural.

Because: Why not?!

(Well, I was massively hungover from my birthday celebrations, so that would've been reason enough to avoid it but...sensible is my middle name).

And hungover or not, it was happening.

I decided at the beginning of the year that I'd do a lot of things in 2015 and getting a tattoo was one of them.

I'd never wanted one before - I'd always said I'd have to be so sure on what I wanted, and there was just nothing I felt strongly enough about to go ahead with.

And then, 2014 was one of the crappiest years I've been through, but there was one particular quote, that kept me going:

And when I read that, I knew I needed it to stay with me, in a permanent way. As cheesy as it sounds, I wanted it as a constant reminder.

As a tattoo.

Having the entire quote would've taken up too much space on my body, I wanted something simple, delicate - so I decided on an arrow. The message would be clear to me, and that's all that would matter.

The second, is a jigsaw piece and it comes from my friendship group at home. All of the girls have a jigsaw piece somewhere on their body - to show how we'll always slot together in some lovely (but absolutely mental) way. They were a huge part of bringing me back up from a very low point in my life and I wanted to join the tribe to show how grateful I am for their presence in my life.

I asked Charly, my best friend and Jamie, my boyfriend (oh, well that feels weird to write on here!) to  come with me. It certainly wasn't something I would be able to do on my own - I am the definition of wimp. Deciding on a tattoo artist was a pretty big part of the process, too. I didn't want just anyone doing it - it needed to be someone I knew I could trust to do a good job.

Alex Candela is a tattoo artist at Black Market Tattoos in Leicester City Centre. He's also Jamie's friend and designed the most badass piece on his arm - once Jamie suggested me going to Alex, it just made sense. I already knew that his work was amazing and bringing Jamie along with me meant I'd feel far more comfortable with the whole process, too.

Hours before, waves of hard hitting anxiety washed over me and I was sure at any moment I would throw up, physically crap myself, or something equally dramatic. When I arrived at the shop it was no different and I think Alex could see the panic written across my face. But he was certainly the right pick!
I couldn't have asked for a calmer, more understanding person. Alex is covered head to toe in tattoos, yet hates getting them done himself, so he totally appreciated my 'first time' fears!

He very kindly offered to have a go with the tattoo gun on my back without any ink in it - so that I could feel the sensation of how the process would feel, without committing to actually having it done.
I was so grateful, because even though I was so certain about what I wanted, I wasn't sure I would be able to cope with the pain. So getting to feel it before there was anything permanent on my skin, really helped.
GETTING MY FIRST TATTOOS! The first look at my new tattoos done at Black Market Tattoos in Leicester.
GETTING MY FIRST TATTOOS! The first look at my new tattoos done at Black Market Tattoos in Leicester.
Deciding on positioning was easy. I knew from the off that I wanted the arrow in-between my shoulder blades and the jigsaw piece somewhere on my wrist.

We started with my back and funnily enough, it didn't hurt. Being right on my spine I was convinced that I would be crying like a baby with the pain - but it just felt, well, a bit irritating and uncomfortable to be honest, and my face was constantly scrunched up to match the tension in my body. People are right when they say you can't quite explain the sensation and that everyone experiences it differently. What's painful for me, might not be for you and vice versa.

My wrist however, hurt like a bitch. I didn't look at it once and my hand was so sweaty that I had to put a piece of tissue in-between mine and Charly's hand to soak up the sweat...attractive, I know. I can't really explain the pain, it just didn't feel good. 

Here are a few snaps of the process...
GETTING MY FIRST TATTOOS! The first look at my new tattoos done at Black Market Tattoos in Leicester.
GETTING MY FIRST TATTOOS! The first look at my new tattoos done at Black Market Tattoos in Leicester.
GETTING MY FIRST TATTOOS! The first look at my new tattoos done at Black Market Tattoos in Leicester.
GETTING MY FIRST TATTOOS! The first look at my new tattoos done at Black Market Tattoos in Leicester.
GETTING MY FIRST TATTOOS! The first look at my new tattoos done at Black Market Tattoos in Leicester.
GETTING MY FIRST TATTOOS! The first look at my new jigsaw piece tattoo done at Black Market Tattoos in Leicester.
I went for simplicity with the design on my wrist and just had the outline of the jigsaw piece - but I wanted a little more detail on my arrow, so I asked Alex to put some light purple shading through the feathers. What do you think?

I've popped a few snaps below of the tattoos a few weeks after I got them done too, so you can see them more clearly now they're on the mend:
GETTING MY FIRST TATTOOS! The first look at my new tattoos done at Black Market Tattoos in Leicester.
GETTING MY FIRST TATTOOS! The first look at my new jigsaw piece tattoo done at Black Market Tattoos in Leicester.
I'm head over heels in love with both of them. From the positioning, to the style, to the size and the colours - they are both just very, me.

I'm so thankful to Alex for being such a champ and to Jamie and Charly for coming with me as support. 

I couldn't recommend Alex enough and hope if you're local to the area you'll pop in to see how truly incredible he is first hand.

I'm actually thinking of filming a video on the process from deciding what you want to actually getting it done and the aftercare - would that be something you'd like to see?

In summary, it wasn't anywhere near as bad as I thought it would be. It's one of the weirdest sensations I've felt, but even the 'pain' on my wrist was bearable. The adrenalin 100% enables you to push through any feelings of discomfort, and it's totally worth it for the end result.
I think I might've even caught the tattoo bug too..what shall I get next guys? I was thinking maybe a fox... ;-)

Make sure you check out Alex's work, too. All his links are below:

*This isn't a sponsored post, I'm just dead excited to share the experience with you lovely lot :-)



Crissy said...

These are really cute! The shading on the arrow looks great. I've been thinking of getting my first tattoo but the anxiety is just so bad haha

Sheren Mhanaya said...

They're super cute! I particularly love the puzzle piece as I've not seen anything like it before :) So happy you took the plunge and got them done as you seem very please with them Xxx


stasja clerckx said...

Oh my god!! That's exactly the tattoo + quote behind it that I want as well. That's so funny :) I love the quote, it might just be my favourite. And I agree that's it's too long as a tattoo, so an arrow is such a beautiful symbol for it. Love your tattoos :)


Abigail Alice said...

Lovely tattoos! I got my first just over a year ago and now I have three they are addictive! I agree that the pain isn't as bad as everyone says although I got a big one on my ribs that was tender towards the end of 3 hours! I really love the meaning behind the arrow it's such a simple and pretty design with such a strong message. Love it.


Sophie said...

Ah I absolutely love the meaning behind the arrow. Perfect!

Samantha Brooks said...

Both your tattoos are lovely.. & don't worry about scrunching up your face.. when I got my tattoo (a teeny-tiny dot of a bird on my hip) I sounded like I was in labour the whole time for some reason?!

But I know for sure that I want to get more - I just need to actually book myself in now!


Small&Blonde ♥

Ayden Millar said...

Awww well done you! Both are beautiful :) I have an arrow on my hand for the exact same reason and quote. One of my absolute faves. It is totally addictive too, I wasn't surprised to read in the last line that you're already thinking about your next one! xx

Amy said...

They look lovely Meg, especially love the arrow. I've been going back and forth over getting a tattoo for years, I'm just too much of a wimp!

Jo said...

I love reading tattoo stories like this. I don't have any nor can I see myself ever having any but I appreciate them on other people and like to know the stories behind them in a nosy way. Your arrow is lovely and the quote behind it, inspiring. x

Martha Murray said...

I'm not normally a massive fan of tattoos but I think you've just converted me! So simple and elegant.

Make-up with Martha

Glasses Girl said...

I love this post :) I got my first one in June this year and thought I haven't quite forgotten the pain, I'm still looking at getting number two! I love your puzzle piece, I've actually considered it myself before but yours has such a lovely personal meaning behind it :)

Emmys Beauty Cave said...

I love tattoo's. I have 3 large "ish" ones and love them, love the ones you picked x
Emma | Emmys Beauty Cave

Jordan Burrell said...

I love the arrow on your back, super simple and obviously means a lot to you! I got my first (and currently only) tattoo just after I turned 18, it's stars on my stomach which is so cliche but they resemble that period of time in my life and I wouldn't change them!

Jordan / My General Life

Katie Nelson said...

They're both beautiful! The quote about the arrow is very close to my heart and kept me going through a really crappy 2014 myself. I've developed my own tattoo idea off the back of this and hope to get it soon, but I think your arrow is perfect. I love that it's pointing upwards, it feels really positive that way!

Congrats on your beautiful pieces of body art!

Katie || KNEL xx

JSBeautyAndStyleBlog said...

These are lovely!

JaynieShannonx | Beauty, Lifestyle & Health. [I follow back]


Holl JC said...

I absolutely love your arrow tattoo! The arrow quote above is one of my favourites, that I always go back to, such a beautiful way of thinking and looking at life! I cannot get over how beautiful your arrow tattoo is x


Kathleen Duffin said...

They're such cute delicate little tattoos I love them, I also really love the meaning behind the arrow!

Made In The 1990's.

Emyii Rankin said...

Omg I love them both, your so brave, i dont have the balls for the pain haha =]


Maddy said...

Both of them are absolutely gorgeous, I can't wait to get my first ones!

Megan Lillie said...

Oh these are such beautiful tattoos with such beautiful meaning! Love them Meg.

Megan xo
Thumbelina Lillie | UK Beauty & Fashion Blog

Felicity Dudley said...

Love these tattoos meg, I havent got any tattoos but have always said I would get them as long as they had enough meaning. I think you have done a great job of that. Great post. X

Caroline said...

Love love love. It's so nicd to see tattoos with sentimental meaning. Sometimes, there's a reason/story behind tattoos that people can be quick to not realise.
I agree, back tattoos are less painful, I believe because you can brace yourself. I'm currently having work done on my arm towards a sleeve and yes, it kills!


Sophie B said...

Such gorgeous tattoos, I love the simplicity of them. I've never seen that quote before but absolutely love it; not a huge fan of quotes but that really resonates with me! Xx Sophie/ www.prettyandpolished.co.uk

Natalie B. said...

I love this quote! So cool that you had the arrow done. I really like the design and for sure the added purple. The puzzle piece is lovely too. Such a beautiful sentiment. :)


Nice photos and cute tattoos :)
BLOG M&M FASHION BITES : http://mmfashionbites.blogspot.gr/
Maria V.

Lauren Maria said...

You picked well, love the designs and the placements. Tattoos are such an addiction, I have three now and want more. Finding the right tattooist makes such a difference too
livinginaboxx | bloglovin

Perfect Darkness said...

Having come across your blog today, and reading a few of your posts I just had to message you. I too have recently had a break up with someone I thought I would marry and I can totally relate to your feelings and what you've been through.I then came across this post and laughed at how much of a coincidence it is as I have just had an arrow tattoo on my side for the exact same reasom as yours; moving forward, never look back, just point and aim.
Loving your blog. X

Toni said...

Love these tattoos! Never seen that quote before but I think I needed to hear that right now too!
Me and my friends recently got a jigsaw piece outline tattoo each too! They're cute :)

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