At its locations in Loveland and Denver, Tattoo Must Go's expert technicians erase unwelcome ink with a Q-switched laser, which sends nanosecond pulses of intense light to the treatment area. Patients go through a complimentary consultation before treatment begins, determining the number of sessions necessary depending on ink colors, skin tones, and how many Alfs are in the tattoo. During half-hour treatments, the laser breaks down particles of any color while minimally affecting the skin. A Zimmer Cryo 6 Chiller provides additional comfort during the process, keeping the treated area cool. Patients can return for their next treatment in as few as three weeks.
A neon-lit fortune cookie hung in the window is the first clue that this is not your average, impersonal tattoo parlor. Here, tattoo artist Jon Lew and his staff of ink and piercing specialists cultivate a fun and cozy atmosphere, compounded with a level of professionalism that comes from having more than 20 years of combined experience.
Tattoos begin with a consult from one of three tattoo artists who draw up custom illustrations to match the designs lurking in clients' minds. Fortune Cookie Tattoo's team boasts specialties in styles ranging from traditional to neo-traditional, which come to fruition via a spectrum of inks, including high-color, black and gray, and scratch and sniff.
The certified laser technicians at What Were You Inking? remove regrettable tattoos of all sizes, colors, and quality. After performing an initial exam to assess the damage, professional brand lifters de-dedicate biceps to former lovers with the help of the Astanza Trinity laser. Using three wavelengths, the machine can dissolve most colors of the rainbow into an invisible ink mist without scraping the delicate epidermis, minimizing the chance of scarring and encouraging rapid recovery. Each session lasts approximately 15 minutes, and depending on the tattoo, bodies can be free of poorly drawn Muppet Babies in five to 10 treatments.
RJ adds a touch of fantasy to parties with face painting and balloons. She wields Looney Dooney's Ultimate Airbrush face-painting system for larger groups and traditional brushes to decorate faces for smaller groups with intricate designs such as dragons and full-face cats. Alternatively, henna dye adds temporary yet long-lasting filigree to limbs. For those who prefer to carry around their art, she also makes ballon animals, crowns, and swords.
Every artist at Pens & Needles has a specialty. Master artist Rich can help cover up embarrassing or just plain boring prior tattoos, as well as burns and scars. Fellow supreme inker Austin is a tamer of even the wildest tribal designs. And Anthony "Wacks" is the house-designated portrait proficianado. Every artist will take the time to consult with you regarding what can be accomplished within the time and budget you've allotted. Hourly tattooing rates vary, depending on which of Pens' seven accomplished artists you choose. Master artists charge between $100 and $150 an hour, depending on the complexity of your skin canvas, while custom and apprentice artists charge from $75 to $100 per 1/24 of a day.
Uncle Bud and Aunt Brinda Yates founded Pikes Peak Tattoo in 1978. After years of honing her craft, Brinda took home the first-place trophy in the Best Use of Tribal category at the 2009 Colorado Tattoo Competition. Now, when she isn't inking, she actively participates in the National Tattoo Association—of which Uncle Bud once served as president—and sings doggy lullabies to her herd of six chihuahuas.
To help with the shop, Brinda hired current manager, Barrett Leary, a skilled artist who got her start as the apprentice for Dan McClure of Bullwinkle's Tattoo and Body Piercing. Her artistry is wide reaching, as she also earned a bachelor of fine arts in ceramic sculpture from Kansas City Art Institute and was featured in the documentary Craft In America for developing a distinctive ceramic technique. Barrett skillfully draws custom designs and comfortably transitions between different styles, though she retains a fondness for large-scale pieces with bright colors. She and her fellow certified artists also offer permanent makeup, tattoo removal, and piercing. They perform all their services with hospital-grade sterilization techniques and keep their single-use-only equipment in special sterilization pouches, discarding each tool immediately after use.