If you know me, you know that I am a huge fan of delicate/dainty styled tattoos – I just love fine lines and wispy details. I’ve been waiting and searching for the perfect artist to create this style for my second tattoo and I was lucky enough that my boyfriend found Helen’s page on Instagram around March/April. From then I’ve just been following her and became a huge fan of her work.
I booked an appointment with her mid May and was able to get a spot for June 4th. When I came in, she already had my design drawn up from a reference photo I showed her before. It looked better than how I imagined with the soft red shading and pointed petals (which she remembered I liked!), I especially loved the way she drew the stem.
Now for the process which I know first timers are most curious about. Before I got my first tattoo, I was most concern with the pain. So let me address this from my perspective (as a very fragile and weak asian girl’s POV haha).
I’ve only had one other tattoo done, and it was a very quick and simple moon design that is placed on the front side of my arm. With that being said, the moon tattoo was actually very painful to me, despite how simplistic it was. I have zero tolerance for pain, I literally find everything painful because I’m obviously a very weak person haha. However, when I was getting this rose tattoo, there was almost no pain.
Here is what you have to keep in mind. The placement of your tattoo will strongly affect the amount of pain you will experience. Skin is very thin and sensitive in the front, which makes it a lot less tolerable when I was getting my moon tattoo. The back of my arm is more fleshy, which likely diffused most of the pain. Now, as someone who has zero pain tolerance, I can honestly say it was surprisingly painless for the first hour. To use an example, it felt like someone was drawing with a sharpen pencil that was constantly vibrating. As the session wore on, it did started to hurt a bit more, but still nothing unbearable – just noticeable. As if the sharpen pencil was just digging in deeper. I also noticed that different type of needles gave off different sensation. The single point needle is my least favourite because it has a stingy sort of feeling. Thicker needles seemed to spread out the pain which makes it feel a lot better. But again, it wasn’t unbearable to begin with. But this is just reference to keep in mind, everyone will experience it differently. Currently my boyfriend is in the process of a full back piece, currently done 4/5 sessions which are about 7 hours each. He is someone who can barely understand the concept of pain, but with a piece that big done in such long hours – even he experience some heavy discomfort from tattooing.
All in all for me, it was a very easy and comfortable session. Helen was amazing, letting me know what she was doing along the way, offering water to me and my boyfriend, and letting me know I can take breaks whenever I needed it. There is no doubt that she will be doing all of my future tattoos, I absolutely adore everything about her.
To take a look at her Instagram page Click Here – you can also DM her or email her at Helenxuxwt@gmail.com for inquiries on her work. Here are some examples of the pieces on her Instagram that I’ve been admiring since I first started following her.
The tattoo studio I went to was Golden Iron Tattoo Studio, located at Downtown Toronto. It’s a small studio in the middle of China Town. When I first walked in, I was surprised by how busy it was, but I could definitely see why. The staff were all really nice, they all seem to be very comfortable with each other, always making jokes and laughing. Overall I had a great experience here, I loved how my rose turned out and I absolutely recommend Helen Xu if you are looking to do delicate and feminine styled pieces!
Finally a holiday!
I’ve been so busy, I’ve rarely had time to update my blog. As I explained in my previous blog posts, I finally graduated university (wooo~), and with that being said I’m also skipping the graduation ceremony because that’s just not my thing haha. In the last month I’ve been working on something that’s a little bit of a secret project right now, but I’m hoping to announce it sometime (hopefully) this year if everything goes well. Most of what I’ve been up to has been focused mainly on this project so there isn’t too much I can explain just yet.
Besides work I’ve been going around testing a few new semi permanent hair dyes. You know how much I love colouring my hair, and at the rate I keep changing it, I have to be smart about which product I use. From the point I went blonde again about a year ago, to the point that I first went back to purple, my hair suffered crazy damage. This was mainly because I consistently had my hair touched up, meaning it was exposed to bleach once every two months, sometimes even less because of the insane hair growth rate I was blessed/cursed with. Between those two points, my hair just naturally broke off at the tips overtime, at one point it was longer at one side by about an inch. Obviously I wasn’t very happy with the condition of my hair – overall I lost about three inches of my hair without even cutting it. I love long hair, and if I could grow my hair down to my ass I would haha, but it clearly wasn’t happening with the way I was treating my hair. I decided to go back to doing my hair at home and tested out a few semi perm hair products. I’ve worked with Manic Panic in the past, so I was quite comfortable with returning. It doesn’t damage your hair, the colour is beautiful and vibrant, and it’s very easy to dye with. However, the problems I’ve had with Manic Panic was it’s poor lasting power, the way it stains all my clothes/pillows, and just how messy it was to deal with all this. Granted, I’ve tried a few semi perm hair dyes and it is safe to say that these cons are unavoidable. Recently I’ve tried a new brand under the name of Arctic Fox Hair. I found a bottle at Hot Topic and decided to give it a try since one of my favourite Instagram account @Moderngypsy seemed to religiously use it.The only colour that was available at the time was POISON so I bought two bottles of that to test at home. The colour was a much brighter red than I would have liked (because I’m not thinking of bleaching my roots any time soon, it’s best to stay on the darker side so the fade isn’t as severe), I ended up mixing POISON with some of Manic Panic’s RAVEN (black). Arctic Fox Hair is by far my favourite of all the brands I’ve tested so far. Although I could honestly say there is not a huge difference between brand to brand, I personally favour this brand because of the amazing fragrance (it filled my house). The pictures of my hair here shows a mixture of POISON and RAVEN in case anyone wanted to test it out themselves. Hope that helped those that have been messaging me about my hair!
P.s Been feeling super nostalgic, here’s what I’ve been listening to: Click Me
Another short update!
It’s April, so it’s that time of the year when I’m just busting my ass trying to finish any left over school work I may have. I’m graduating this year and my last exam is going to be on April 19th. It’s just super exciting to finally graduate after four long years. Honestly, my university experience is going to be another blog post of its own but for now let’s move on. So because I’m graduating, I have to also get my grad photos done. I actually didn’t care too much to get them done (I know…for someone who takes an awful lot of photos of herself, it’s weird right?) but it’s more for my family haha. I procrastinated to get them taken until the very last month (April), and I figured I needed to do something about my hair. Before I dyed it the colour I have now, it was really light. The contrast between the colour and my roots were just too extreme. On top of that, the coloured area closest to my roots faded the most, so it wasn’t exactly purple anymore – it had a strange brassy tint to it that just didn’t look cute. So this is what I did.
Before I went blonde (last year), I always did my hair on my own. My favourite brand was Manic Panic because it was a Vegan Semi-Permanent hair dye that didn’t cause any damage to my hair. Of course, the dye had it’s problem too (difficult to apply, stains everything, fades poorly…), but it was cheap and my hair had suffered enough damage from all the other dye jobs I had done on it. When I went back to purple, I found myself using bits of Manic Panic again to maintain the colour. I’d mix in a small droplet of the dye into my conditioner and use that as a method of keeping the purple vibrant. Eventually I grew bored of the colour and wasn’t as careful in maintaining it, hence the weird brassy colour.
Yesterday I picked up two colours from the Manic Panic line at my local drug store. I bought “Vampire Red” and “Fuchsia Shock”. Fuchsia shock was actually a colour I used a long time ago, but because I applied it over darker hair the last time I used it, it turned into a very dark purple. I applied the colour Vampire Red all over the top part of my hair. In the mid section of my hair, I mixed both dyes to create a transitioning colour. For the bottom half of my hair, I used Fuchsia Shock. Note that the colours will be affected based on the hair colour it is being applied on. My top half was very light, which is why the red turned out as vibrant as it did. The bottom half is pretty dark in comparison to the top, but it was because the purple from my previous job stayed on pretty well. It’s little hard to tell the gradient in the picture, but it is definitely much more apparent in person.
Well that’s all for the update. Special thanks to my boyfriend for always being the one to help my dye my hair! It’s certainly made my life easier with a helping hand. If you’re curious what else he’s done, here the link to the time he helped me with my blue/purple phase.
Short update for today! Let’s talk about today’s OOTD. The weathers been a lot better, minus that one snow storm last Wednesday. Besides the wind, it’s been really amazing surprisingly. Here’s what I wore
Sweater dress : city society
Harness: style wanderlust USA
Shoes: ZooShoo (use my code liisamao for 20% off)