30 Before 30: My First Tattoo!

I'm so happy.

Even if I'm not sure if this is authentic happiness or just the adrenaline rush from doing something that really scares the socks off you, I'm just glad that I'm feeling this way.

After crossing off two biggies from my 30 Before 30 list (going vegan and going freelance!) I today took on yet another rite of passage: my first-ever tattoo (that's definitely not the last one).

I've wanted this tattoo for about ten years. I'm not kidding: ten years. The three stars on my shoulder represent me and my two sisters: we live in three different countries and I love to carry a little reminder with me that tells me that we belong together, whatever the circumstances.

At the same time, the stars represent "aiming for the stars" and never settling for less than amazing. This last concept is kind of my thing with stars: I have a star-print dress, love my starry Converse and re-bought the same pair of star earrings from a tiny shop in a little seaside Tuscan town after I lost them twice! Stars just have a special meaning with me, so of course my first tattoo was something that was 100% me:

...let me tell you, I was effing terrified.

A couple of weeks ago, I passed by Nero Ink Tattoo in Milan's Porta Genova area (really close to where I live) and booked an appointment after me and David discussed what might be a good birthday present for him to give me. We decided he was going to give me my first tattoo - a present I could carry with me for life. The choice of Nero Ink was easy - they're this edgy, rock n'roll tattoo parlor with a really good reputation. They do tons of awesome work and I was a bit worried about boring the artist with my girly little stars! When we got back from Sweden two days ago, it hit me: I'm getting a tattoo. Soon. And there's no turning back.

I spent all of this morning trying not to have an anxiety attack, but it was a new kind of fear. Being scared because you're about to go to the dentist is one thing, but being scared and knowing that you want to do this is very different. My hands were shaking when I walked into Nero Ink but I knew that I'd walk out of there with this tiny little artwork on my body, that would be mine forever. 

And then the needle.

The artist was really nice about it: he told me I wouldn't feel anything, showed me the needle and explained how little of it would actually enter my skin. He told me to stay still, breathe and relax and then just went for it. I can't say I didn't feel a thing - it does burn a little and it's not completely painless. But it's nowhere near the excruciating "it-hurts-so-much-screw-this-I'm-going-home-with-half-a-star-on-my-shoulder" agony that I was bracing myself for. And it was over really, really quickly. Ten minutes and I was done.

Of course, I've been itching to remove the plastic all afternoon and show you! My advice for whoever's thinking about it is a) be sure about what it is that you want to get - David kind of wants one but he's not sure what to get, so he's waiting. b) go for it! It's not that bad at all, I promise. Don't listen to scary stories about people fainting or crying from the pain and forget all the pictures of needles you've seen so far - they've got nothing to do with the real thing. c) don't be crazy like me and do it in the summer. I have to keep it covered up for ten days now!

Now I just have to figure out if Lush soap and moisturizer are okay to put on it. I forgot to tell my artist I'm a vegan and do not use Nivea (yuck). I guess we'll just see...


  1. Bellissimo! Anche il mio primo รจ stato una stellina! :)

  2. It's lovely ... Such a gorgeous meaning as well!

  3. Love your tat, the meaning and the placement. I have 3 tattoos and believe me, I get that feeling each time I do one. The pain depends on the placement but it's always bearable. Have a great day girl! xo, nadine.


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