The ELLE Guide To Getting Your First Tattoo By Ariana Grande's Tattoo Artist GirlKnewYork (2023)

Getting your first tattoo is no throw away situation. Actually, it's kind of a big deal. We heard they're permanent or something...

Which is why you should go into the situation with all the information you need to totally nail your first tattoo and live the rest of your days regret-free.

Whether you're going for a super cute animal tattoo, or a fan of the more minimal ink ideas, getting a tattoo without getting clued up is just plain old silly.

We caught up with the A-list's go-to tattoo artists and the pros responsible for everyone from Cara and Bella, to Ariana Grande and Rihanna's seriously beaut inks, GirlKnewYork, Bang Bang and JonBoy, to get the lowdown on everything you need to know before you take the plunge.

Don't even think about getting inked before you read this. That's an order.

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How should you prepare for your getting a tattoo?

GirlKnewYork: 'I love when people come and they’ve eaten a meal recently, they’re fed and hydrated.

'Avoid alcohol even thought it's quite tempting and can be a nice lubricant on bravery!

'Avoid bringing more than one person with you - too many cooks in the kitchen can cloud your vision a little.'

How long should you consider the design of your tattoo before going through with it?

JonBoy: 'Commitment to the design varies between each individual. Some people just want a tattoo in general and decide on the design the day of, and then others have been thinking about a design their whole life.'

Bang Bang: 'I would say that's relative to the person. I am being tattooed right now, and I decided what I was going to get about 2 hours ago. Some people need to really know for a long time, others can commit very quickly. The general rule for me — if someone is unsure, make the decision and then wait a year. At that point, if you're still excited about the design and ready to get tattooed, it's probably a decision that you'd be comfortable with being on your body for the rest of your life.'

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Should you bring a design with you or work with the tattoo artist on creating one?

JonBoy: 'A professional tattooer knows how to approach a tattoo for the sake of its longevity. So whether you have a design you have been thinking about for a long time, or if the tattooer is creating it from scratch, it is good to at least have an idea from a reference image for the design you would like. Reference images help portray the design in your head to the tattooer creating the design for you.'

Bang Bang: 'You should bring a design if you know exactly what you want tattooed. Tattoo artists will not always agree to design a tattoo exactly as you want. Frankly, clients are not professional tattoo designers, they haven't spent their professional career developing the skills needed to design a great tattoo. Luckily, we (tattoo artists) have, so you are in great hands.

'Find a tattoo artist you trust to make a one-of-a-kind design just for your body (that fits with your idea and the artist's style). Artists often want to make a design for you, great artists will insist on creating an original design for you.'

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What kind of fine line tattoos can you get?

GirlKnewYork: 'There's three specific categories within fine line tattooing which is the style I would say is most popular with women at the moment.

'1. Geometric fine line tattoos - these can be repeated patterns using super straight lines, like the ones Zoe Kravitz has on her hands.

'2. Ornamental fine line tattoos - these are specific decorative images that aren't too abstract.

'3. Accurate fine line tattoos - these are often more scientific designs that are really accurate and perfect - botanical diagrams or animals.'

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What should you look for in a good tattoo studio?

JonBoy: 'A good tattoo studio begins with the staff at the front. They should be attentive and be able to answer all questions to the best of their ability. From there, you want to make sure that the shop is clean & sterile. Your artist should be using a brand new, single use needle and the set up should change after every single client. Don't be afraid to ask questions along the way and if anyone disregards your questions, this is a red flag that the shop is not up to code.'

Bang Bang: 'A great tattoo studio should be very clean, professional and welcoming. They should be eager to answer any questions you have. They should not expect you to be a professional and have all the answers. We want to provide those answers for you.

'The first thing I would look for is a company or group of people wanting to work with me, communicate with me, and answer my questions in a way that makes me feel comfortable.

'Secondly, they should have great artists. A large group of extremely talented artists working together in one studio is a great indication that something is going right behind the scenes.

'Warning signs are what you would expect. If you look around a studio and see something not clean enough to be in a hospital, it is probably not a clean enough environment. If you are not in a friendly, informative, and extremely clean studio filled with some of the best tattoo artists in the world, that may be another indication you should keep looking.'

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How much does getting a tattoo hurt?

JonBoy: 'There are so many factors that go into how much a tattoo hurts while getting it done. The pain of a tattoo all depends on where you are getting the design, the tattooer doing the design (whether they are light handed or heavy handed), and how much time goes into the tattoo before trauma starts to induce on the skin.'

Bang Bang: 'I think pain is relative to the person being tattooed. Some people say it hurts a lot, some people say not so much. Some people even quite enjoy it! I am not one of those people.

'Certain body parts are far more sensitive, with many more nerves. For example, your hands and your feet are far more sensitive than your back. The feet need to be sensitive to help you keep your balance and the hands offer you the sense of touch. The upper back or shoulder blades don't need nearly as much sensitivity. So, in my opinion the nerve-sensitive areas can be a bit more painful.'

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How long does getting a tattoo take?

JonBoy: 'The time it takes to do a tattoo varies on size, location, and design. A lot of time is taken on design and placement. The actual tattooing can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 15 hours depending on these factors.'

Bang Bang: 'This is actually a difficult question to answer broadly. The detail and complexity of the design, along with a number of other variables will dictate the total amount of time needed. How still the client sits or how easily the skin is being tattooed (by our machines, needles, and ink) are a few of the many, many variables. Sometimes it happens very fluidly, other times I have to give a bit more effort to achieve the success we are going for. Generally speaking, large tattoos require more time than small tattoos.'

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Where should you get a tattoo?

GirlKnewYork: 'Placement is one of the most fun parts of getting a tattoo. It all depends on your lifestyle, so if your job is a bit more conservative I'd suggest places like your ribcage or your inner arm, they can both be really discreet.

'But if you’re not concerned about that, then placement depends on the person, the shape of the muscle, the imagery etc.'

What clothes should you wear to get a tattoo? Does this differ depending on where you get your tattoo?

JonBoy: 'When you're placing the tattoo design you don't want clothes in the way, but I would say each individual should asses that their tattooer is being professional in how they conduct themselves, then go from there. Sometimes a shirt and bra need to be removed for a rib tattoo and sometimes trousers need to be removed for a thigh tattoo. These can be vulnerable points and you must ensure that you are working with a tattooer that makes you feel comfortable.'

Bang Bang: 'You would be surprised, people will sometimes forget what attire to wear. If you are getting a thigh tattoo, it is probably not best to wear skin tight jeans. Chalk this one up to common sense — make sure we can access the area you want tattooed or you will be walking around the studio naked.'

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How long does a tattoo take to heal?

JonBoy: 'It typically takes 3-4 weeks for a tattoo to heal.'

Bang Bang: 'Many variables factor into the length of time needed for a tattoo to completely heal. Often, tattoos heal in about two weeks, at least to the point where they are healed enough to not require constant daily care. Keep in mind, it takes nearly six months for the skin to fully re-generate.'

What after care should you do for a tattoo?

JonBoy: 'Every artist has their own after care due to their different approach in tattooing. The aftercare can vary depending on an array of factors that are unique to each tattooer. Everyone should listen to their artist and their instructions upon completion of the tattoo.'

Bang Bang: 'Follow the advice given by your tattoo artist. You should follow their after-care instructions. Tattoo artists generally make these recommendations based on their style of work, as well as their history and personal experience. Often, the tattoo artist will have a different set of instructions from the artist they are tattooing next to.'

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How much does a tattoo cost?

JonBoy: 'Tattoos are on you forever and you essentially you get what you pay for. Good tattoos aren't cheap and cheap tattoos aren't good. Prices will vary between different cities, shops, and artists. Do your research to ensure you are going to the best, not just the least expensive.'

Bang Bang: 'The best way to inquire about pricing is to contact the artist or studio you wish to work with directly. Tattoos at Bang Bang start at $400. They range from that minimum price to an hourly rate of $400 and up. Remember, each artist may have a different billing structure.'

FAQs

What was Ariana's tattoo supposed to say? ›

The tattoo, which appeared on her palm, was meant to spell out her new single "7 Rings," however when she first shared a snap of the ink, her fans quickly pointed out it translated to mean a Japanese style barbecue grill.

How much are Girlknewyork tattoos? ›

Price minimum is $500 with most tattoos falling between $650-$950. Please note, prices are changing September 2022. Everyone on the newsletter mailing list will receive an Appointment Application Form when books are open.

Did Ariana Grande get her Japanese tattoo removed? ›

Grande left up an Instagram Story of the final corrected tattoo, explaining the lengths she went—lidocaine shots included—to get the thing fixed. She also paid tribute to that first internet-famous tattoo gaffe. "Slightly better," she wrote.

What was Ariana's first tattoo? ›

Grande's first-ever tattoo was a heart on the second toe of her right foot, which she acquired in 2012 when she turned 18 years old. It's a reference to her song “Tattooed Heart” off of the album “Yours Truly.”

What does 7 Rings mean in Japanese? ›

But Grande's fans and critics alerted her that “七輪,” doesn't signify “7 rings” as she probably intended. In Japanese, the characters translate to “shichirin” — a small barbecue grill.

How painful are tattoos? ›

Sharp or stinging pain can be described as many tiny bee stings. This kind of pain is usually quite intense, and it feels like the needle is poking deep into your skin. It's sometimes enough to make you want to move away from the tattoo needle!

How much do tattoos hurt? ›

"Tattoo pain is a very subjective thing and while it can feel like not a big deal to some people, it can be excruciating for others. It's always good to test out how your body reacts to it."

What does a tattoo feel like? ›

Some people describe the pain as a pricking sensation. Others say it feels like bee stings or being scratched. A thin needle is piercing your skin, so you can expect at least a little pricking sensation. As the needle moves closer to the bone, it may feel like a painful vibration.

What tattoos did Ariana remove? ›

No Pokémon ink, no butterflies—the only ones that could be seen were her hand tattoos and the Truman Show quote on her back. Everything else had been erased.

How do you write 7 Rings in Japanese? ›

The actual kanji spelling of "7 Rings" would be "七つの指輪." At least some people connected to Grande know that because it appears on the title card of the "7 Rings" music video.

Why does Ariana hide her tattoos? ›

According to multiple reliable sources, Ariana Grande has been casted as Megara for the live action movie of Hercules. The sources revealed that this is the reason why the singer is spotted covering all her arm tattoos. They started and filmed a look test for the role recently.

What tattoo is on Ariana's left arm? ›

Ariana Grande's "Let's Sing" Arm Tattoo

Grande has the phrase "let's sing" tattooed in Japanese above her left inner elbow.

Is Ariana Grande vegan? ›

Ariana Grande

The songstress has been vegan since 2013. As she explained in an interview published in December 2014 in The Mirror, she made the switch because of her love for animals. “I love animals more than I love most people, not kidding,” she said.

Why does Ariana have an Eevee tattoo? ›

The new tattoo comes just after Ari admitted she spent 15 hours playing Pokémon Let's Go. In a tweet made on Sunday, January 13, she wrote, "honestly. yesterday i had a day off and i played pokémon let's go eevee for fifteen hours. honestly."

How do you say number 7 in Japanese? ›

When counting up (0 to 10)
  1. いち (ichi)
  2. に (ni)
  3. さん (san)
  4. し (shi)
  5. ご (go)
  6. ろく (roku)
  7. しち (shichi)
  8. はち (hachi)
28 May 2022

What number is 7 in Japanese? ›

On the other hand, although 7 is considered a lucky number in Japan, its reading – しち (shichi) – contains the Japanese mora し (shi) as well, so it's way more common to say its other reading: なな (nana).

What does the number 7 mean in Japan? ›

Seven is an important number in Buddhism. Japanese Buddhists celebrate a baby's seventh day and mourn the seventh day after a person dies when the soul is said to cross over. Do you know your math in Japanese? In Japanese folklore there are the Shichifukuin (七福神 – the Seven Gods of Luck).

What does the tattoo with 3 dots mean? ›

The three dots tattoo represents “Mi Vida Loca,” which translates to “my crazy life.” It often means the struggles of the underprivileged and the minorities. It's a way of saying, “my life is crazy, but I'm thankful for it,” or “life may be crazy, but I'm still here.”

Who has an 11 11 tattoo? ›

Rumor Has It Jennifer Aniston just revealed the meaning behind her famous "11 11" wrist tattoo. For years, fans have speculated about what drove the Friends actress to get the numbers inked on the inside of her wrist.

Which countries do not allow tattoos? ›

Countries Where Tattoos Are Still Taboo
  • Japan. Japan has long been an inspiration for tattoos. ...
  • Iran. In 2015, tattoos were outright banned in Iran along with artificial tans and spiked hair. ...
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE) In the UAE, tattoos are considered a form of harming one's body or temple. ...
  • Turkey. ...
  • China. ...
  • Vietnam. ...
  • Sri Lanka.
2 Mar 2021

Is tattoo painful after? ›

Your skin will feel sore, and you may see clear fluid oozing from your new tattoo. As your skin heals, it can itch and flake. Scabs may form.

Is tattoo painful on hand? ›

"Having a tattoo on your hands and fingers is painful for a number reasons; the skin is thin and therefore sensitive, they are bony and filled with ligaments, and, as the ink doesn't stick to this area of skin very well, the tattoo artist may need to go over the design a few times," says Fredrik.

Do tattoos hurt more on your period? ›

According to Dr. Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin, during your period, your hormone levels are shifted and you generally have more swelling throughout your body, which can cause a heightened sensation threshold and result in more pain during something like a tattoo.

What tattoo spot hurts the least? ›

Our thighs have thick skin, lots of fat and muscle, and not very many nerve endings, making the upper outer thigh the least painful place to get a tattoo.

Is there a painless tattoo? ›

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) have developed low-cost, painless, and bloodless tattoos that can be self-administered. They have many applications, from medical alerts to tracking neutered animals to cosmetics.

Do tattoos feel like shots? ›

Even though needles produce tattoos, it doesn't feel like you're getting stabbed. It's nothing like getting a shot, either. The artist is actually drawing on your skin, so it feels like that — but more burn-y. You'll feel pressure from the artist holding your skin in place and from the needles pressing down, too.

Do tattoos feel tight? ›

After the first 2-3 days, your tattoo should begin to feel dry and tight. At this point DISCONTINUE APPLYING OINTMENT AND SWITCH TO REGULAR FRAGRANCE-FREE HAND LOTION such as Eucerin, Lubriderm, Curel, or any other over the counter mild "Fragrance Free" moisterizer.

Do you cry when getting a tattoo? ›

"[Tattoos] can be very painful, so a little crying is OK." Hall also noted that some clients cry during a tattoo session for emotional reasons. "Crying happens from time to time, but I find that it's most often connected to an emotional release rather than physical pain," he said.

Do you cry during tattoos? ›

Fainting and Tears

Pain, however, is usually not the culprit when someone faints during a tattoo. More often, it's due to a drop in blood sugar caused by not eating, or simply a reaction to the stress of anticipation. As far as crying goes, some people do find the pain too much to bear, but this is unusual.

Does Ariana still have the 7 rings tattoo? ›

Ariana Grande Fixed Her Tattoo, but People Think She Still Didn't Get It Right. Ariana Grande posted a photo of her misspelled tattoo with a few updates — an extra kanji character and a heart — on her Instagram story. She captioned it, "Slightly better.

What butterfly tattoo means? ›

Therefore, butterflies' tattoos often connote a romantic meaning because they can also represent young love; as butterflies fly among flowers, so do young people with their social lives. In Chinese culture, butterflies are also emblematic of immortality, joy, grace, and summer.

Did Ariana Grande get her 7 rings tattoo removed? ›

Grande then embarked on a long thread defending her tattoo, which she had intended to name after her most recent single, “7 Rings.” Responding to a fan, Grande said that she “went back and got it fixed with the help of my tutor to be more accurate

Why does 7 in Japanese have two words? ›

So why does Japanese have multiple words for the same number? It's partly to do with superstition - “shi” sounds like the Japanese word for death and “ku” can mean suffering; “shichi” can also mean “place of death”.

Is 7 rings a copy? ›

Grande, 27, gave songwriting credit to Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein for “7 Rings” because it borrowed from their song “My Favorite Things,” from the Tony-winning Broadway musical and Oscar-winning film “The Sound of Music.”

What do the 7 rings on a necklace mean? ›

Representing long life, good friends, health, love, wealth, peace, and happiness, this meaningful 7 lucky rings necklace is the perfect addition to any jewellery collection.

How many real tattoos does Ariana Grande have? ›

Ariana has around 55 tattoos, with lots of little intricate ones on her hands and arms. Her biggest is an anime character on her right forearm.

What does Ariana's hand tattoo mean? ›

In celebration of her new hit single, "7 Rings," pop star Ariana Grande got a new tattoo on the palm of her hand, paying homage to the song and its music video. The star said she had the phrase "7 rings" tattooed in Kanji, a Japanese style of writing.

Can you get tattoos and piercings on the same day? ›

Can you get a tattoo and piercing on the same day? Believe it or not, this question comes up from time to time, and to be honest, there is no clear cut answer. Of course, it's absolutely viable, but whether or not you should, or if a given studio/shop will agree to do it, depends a lot on you.

Who has the most tattoos in the world? ›

Lucky Diamond Rich

Is Ariana Grande left handed? ›

According to Lifetime Magazine, yes, she is.

Is a finger tattoo a good idea? ›

So, are finger tattoos a bad idea? Well, they most certainly aren't a good idea either. Considering the few advantages and a sea of disadvantages, we (alongside almost every tattoo artist) strongly advise you against a finger tattoo. It is simply not worthy of your money, time and pain.

Is Ariana Grande cruelty-free? ›

Ariana Grande's latest beauty venture is now verified cruelty-free by Cruelty-Free Kitty. The singer has been vegan for years and is known for her animal activism, so it's no surprise that her new beauty brand is in line with her values.

Is Zendaya vegan? ›

Ironically, though, Zendaya is a vegetarian who doesn't love vegetables, so she has to get creative with her meals. She admits to Cosmopolitan, "I'm a vegetarian who doesn't like vegetables too much—makes it challenging!"

Is Kylie Jenner still vegan? ›

Kylie ISN'T vegan...

We do hope that she inspired by vegan food enough to make a transition into adopting a plant-based diet.

Is Ariana a Pokémon fan? ›

Grande is an avid Pokémon gamer, and fans have long been aware of Grande's love for Eevee, which is one of the brand's original and most beloved characters.

Who Is Ariana Grande's favorite Pokémon? ›

honestly." Then, Grande pronounced her eternal love for Eevee loudly and proudly to the world when she revealed that she had got a tattoo of the fluffy-tailed Pokemon halfway down her left arm. Of course, Grande fans out there will know that the singer already has an eclectic collection of a reported 40 tats.

Does Ariana have a anime tattoo? ›

Grande revealed a close-up of her tattoo on her Instagram story. She added, “To protect her friends and rescue her parents from a spell that has turned them into livestock, Chihiro sheds her former personality and adapts to her environment to become a courageous, quick-witted and reliable girl.”

What tattoo did Ariana Grande get removed? ›

No Pokémon ink, no butterflies—the only ones that could be seen were her hand tattoos and the Truman Show quote on her back. Everything else had been erased.

What is tattooed on Ariana's palm? ›

Despite Grande consulting a Japanese tutor before correcting the ink, some Twitter users are claiming that the addition did not change the translation to "7 Rings" after all. "Why... how... now Ariana's tattoo reads 'Japanese BBQ finger,'" one Twitter user wrote.

What tattoo did Ariana cover up? ›

Interestingly, the photos reveal that Grande decided to cover up the tattoos on her arms, which include some of her biggest designs: two butterflies on her upper left arm; a portrait of the "Spirited Away" character Chihiro on her right forearm; and the Pokémon Eevee on the inside of her left bicep.

Why does Ariana Grande have an Eevee tattoo? ›

The new tattoo comes just after Ari admitted she spent 15 hours playing Pokémon Let's Go. In a tweet made on Sunday, January 13, she wrote, "honestly. yesterday i had a day off and i played pokémon let's go eevee for fifteen hours. honestly."

How do you write 7 rings in Japanese? ›

The actual kanji spelling of "7 Rings" would be "七つの指輪." At least some people connected to Grande know that because it appears on the title card of the "7 Rings" music video.

Is Ariana Grande right or left handed? ›

According to Lifetime Magazine, yes, she is.

What is Kylie Jenner's tattoo? ›

Kylie Jenner Tattoo Before Sanity

The young billionaire got the word 'before' written before her sanity tattoo, so the tattoo now reads 'before sanity'. The word 'before' is written in normal font compared to 'sanity' which is written in its phonetic spelling.

How many tattoos did Ariana Grande have? ›

Ariana has around 55 tattoos, with lots of little intricate ones on her hands and arms. Her biggest is an anime character on her right forearm.

Did Ariana cover tattoos for wedding? ›

While Grande effectively disguised her arm ink, she did put her other tattoos on full display. In a close up shot of her wedding glam, the singer gazes over her back, showing off her back tattoo — an upside down quote from The Truman Show.

What is Ariana Grande's third tattoo? ›

She has three tattoos behind her right ear: a lightning bolt, a black heart, and the acronym "R.E.M." Fans first noticed the lightning bolt on June 22, 2018, on Grande's Instagram story and speculate that it's another reference to "Harry Potter."

Who did Ariana's Eevee tattoo? ›

Ariana Grande expanded her personal tattoo collection this weekend when she got a tattoo of one of her favorite Pokémon, Eevee, done on her arm. Grande posted a photo of it on her Instagram Story yesterday morning. "I've wanted this for so long," she wrote, tagging the tattoo artist she worked with, Kane Navasard.

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