Stigma Tattoo Bar compiles a trifecta of signifiers of lighthearted vice in its combination tattoo and piercing parlor, bar, and pole-dancing studio. Red vinyl couches line brick walls, and poles reach from floor to ceiling for classes scheduled along with lap-dance and burlesque lessons. Flat-screen TVs entertain customers as they're inked or studded, and a dramatic metal cage in the center of the room contributes to an edgy club atmosphere where you never know if a lion might appear from behind the bar.
Co-founders Spooks "Spooky" Joya and Legion Avegno preside over a chorus of humming needles at Fallen Sparrow Tattoos, where a team of talented, professional artists customizes bodies with unique tattoos and piercings. After serving in apprenticeships under some of New York City’s most renowned inkers and pulling his first tattoo needle from an immovable stone, Spooky continues to decorate skin with pristine line work and elegant scripts. Co-artist Legion sits beside Spooky in the hygienic studio as he converts clients’ half-formed ideas into colorful sleeves or black-ink tuxedo jackets. Piercers Billy and Tyler work alongside their tattooing counterparts, busily bedecking bodies with custom surface and deep-tissue piercings.
Billed as "a modern art studio for modern art enthusiasts," A Pirate's Isle Tattoo Studio's artists create the kinds of masterpieces that belong on a canvas. And, in a way, they end up on one, if you consider the body to be a blank canvas, as they do. Will Arney and JT Webster use vivid colors to make body art pop, from a spray of pink flowers blooming along the top of a client's foot to a cluster of menacing skulls. In addition to the tattooing services, they also perform body piercings and apply permanent makeup.
Certified permanent-makeup specialist and licensed aesthetician Holly Mercuri helms Natural Beauty Permanent Make-up & Esthetics, where she uses the tattoo-inspired procedure to trace facial features with eyeliner, eyebrow tints, and lip liner that last for years. Her hypoallergenic pigments are custom blended for each client to create a look that is natural and won’t smudge or rub off like regular makeup or mascara made from grape jam. Perfect for busy professionals with full mornings, Mercuri’s services are also ideal for those with poor vision or shaky hands, and her expertise has even been requested by doctors and plastic surgeons, where it is put to use in treatments such as breast repigmentation, scar camouflaging, and other corrective procedures.
Though Mercuri’s studio specializes in permanent makeup, her beautifying touch also extends to facials and waxing services, and onsite massage therapist Jayne Nelson can knead away stress with reflexology or Swedish massage.
Chicago Inksters' tattoo artists decorate skin with custom designs, and the studio's body piercers decorate faces and bodies with jewelry. Permanent-makeup artist Kim Sizemore applies ink to skin more subtly, boosting each client's natural beauty by enhancing brows, lips, and eyelids. The company's artists also supply patrons with detailed aftercare instructions that keep tattoos and piercings looking their best.
Mirrors line the walls of La Coupe Hair Salon’s sleek, modern styling room. At a long row of minimalist stations, stylists create classic and trendy hairstyles to complement clients’ unique faces. A flat-screen television presides over the snipping and curling action from above, which is also the direction most likely to harbor a glob of hair gel drooping from the ceiling.