As high-pitched needles buzzed in the background, a young April Slater traced her father's designs, stenciling with a steady hand and honing her artistic eye. Many years later?after apprenticing and working at several other parlors?Slater opened her own studio, Memento Ink. In the bright, cheerful space, Slater decorates bodies with classic and custom designs while her staff performs piercings and applies permanent makeup. Customers enjoy refreshments in the airy lobby as they browse classic tattoo designs and portfolios of original artwork. Of her studio that she makes available to host charity events, Slater has said, ?I wanted everyone to feel welcomed and have the same positive experience, whether it was their first tattoo or they had a full bodysuit.?
Seven talented tattoo artists make up the manpower at Area 51 Tattoo, where they ink skin with vibrant color and crisp images. Their work, which ranges from printed letters to delicate flowers to intricate portraiture, has graced the pages of numerous publications and takes shape inside a spacious, hygienic studio.
Black Hole makes body decorating safe and accessible with two locations, rigorous cleanliness standards, and a licensed staff of tattoo artists and piercers. Those going the piercing route can adorn the head or body with a glint of jewelry, ranging from standard surgical stainless-steel barbells to more-ornate navel rings and conflict-free diamond nostril screws. Black Hole offers ear and facial piercings, including lip, nostril, and labret ($25–$35); body piercings, such as nipple ($25 for one) and surface anchors ($50); genital piercings ($70 on average); and more. Basic starter jewelry starts at $12 and goes up depending on function and style. For inspiration, watch Hellraiser or browse through the gallery of piercing pics, then check out the piercing requirements here.
The beauticians at Silk & Stone connect East and West with a repertoire of Middle Eastern–inspired spa services, products, and workshops that beautify and illuminate members of each culture. Silk & Stone’s resident henna artist develops a lengthy list of retail products, from botanical-based haircare blended with Pakistani, Persian, and Indian recipes to aromatherapy oils. In private treatment rooms, aestheticians perform services including an Ayurvedic facial with complimentary footbath or threading, which allows a technician to accurately pluck facial, hand, and finger hairs from any skin type with imported antibacterial cotton thread. The cultural tradition of henna is brought into sharp focus as artists use the powder to naturally dye the hair, create intricate designs on brides for their wedding day, or teach students tips and tricks for applying the dye to hands, feet, or their invisible friend’s forearm.
Similar to Superman and a telephone booth, people walk into Adorn Body Art with one appearance, and walk out with another. Instead of a cape, they exit brandishing new piercings, customized tattoos, and other creative body modifications. But unlike the man of steel, the customers here need some help with their quick change––and that's where the Adorn staff steps in. The studio's body piercers average more than a decade of experience apiece, and its tattoo artists cover a wide range of styles, from traditional to realistic to delicate. And, to ensure a perfect design each time, these ink gurus compliment their own ideas with hundreds of reference books, each of which was kicked out of the city library for rebelling against the Dewey Decimal System.
Like a fingerprint, a snowflake, or a social security number, every piece of body art created by Aardvark Tattoo Company's tattoo artists is unique. Unlike those at other tattoo shops who work from preset designs, co-owners Risa Stevens and Paul Thomas lead a team of artists who create custom designs based on clients? input. Each artist specializes in a different style, such as portraits, photorealism, art nouveau, feminine tattoos, and proper spellings of extremely long words. Meanwhile, the shop?s piercing specialist safely and precisely helps clients add jewelry to any part of the body.