I take immense pride in the transparency we maintain at Inkvictus Studios, but there are certain matters I’ve kept quiet about, not wanting to stir the pot or speak ill of others, as it goes against my character. However, there’s an unmistakable issue at hand, worsened by the lack of necessary requirements. So, to be perfectly candid, I’m beyond pissed.
I’m pissed that I find myself having the same conversations with clients who’ve been taken advantage of. I’m pissed by the sight of overworked, over-saturated skin and unflattering shaping that distorts our clients’ natural beauty. I’m pissed to see cosmetic tattooists who lack the awareness of the gravity of our services, taking money from people who either have to start from scratch after costly removal procedures or give up, believing it’s not meant for them. The poor decisions made by so-called “artists” have severely impacted countless people’s self-perception of their own beauty and cast a shadow on the integrity of this industry as a whole.
I’ve mentioned my prior experience with microblading, but I feel it’s important to share my full journey now. After my initial session, I was pleased with the results, but, with the knowledge I later gained in this profession, I could see that the methods were fundamentally incorrect and not tailored to me. When you entrust an artist with your most vital features, you expect them to do what’s best for you and your skin, but unfortunately, that’s not always the case. I’ve had clients blame themselves for not researching enough, and I want to emphasize that bad work is NOT your fault. While research is crucial, artists should also be prepared and educated enough to cater to each individuals’ needs.
My personal experience: In 2019, I received “combo brows” (microblading + shading) four times within an 11-month period because the artist stated I needed “more”. As I learned more about tattooing throughout 2020, I became increasingly dissatisfied with my brows. In August of that year, I opted to perform my own saline removal, doing it three times over eight months. By April 2021, my brows had lightened due to the saline, but not as quickly as I’d hoped, so I chose laser removal, which I received three times over a year. I wanted to educate myself about lasers to better serve my clients, so I worked closely with a technician and pushed the limits; it’s not advisable to go to such lengths. Finally, in April 2022, I was able to receive powder brows, as my prior pigment had faded considerably. My beautiful friend Cori spent over six hours with me to create a new shape and select the right pigment. I was understandably nervous about trying again after my challenging journey. Now, over a year later, my brows have aged exceptionally well, thanks to an approach tailored to my skin and unique features. When it’s time for a touch-up, my skin will have naturally made room for it, no need for laser or saline – just more pigment. I still have scar tissue from my original appointments that won’t disappear.
Clients often ask if my experience is why I’m a more cautious and delicate artist, but in all honesty, I’ve always been intentional with my techniques. I fully comprehend the significance of tattooing a person’s face and take it very seriously. My experience drives me to over-educate both clients and artists, so they never find themselves in a similar situation or cause it for someone else.
I truly believe more artists should be speaking up about what is happening in our industry. The lack of restrictions and safeguarding in place to protect our clients is a serious problem. I can assure you that not all artists are alike, but there are those among us who genuinely prioritize your well-being and only seek the best for both you and your skin. I will never jeopardize your skin to fill my pockets; my integrity is worth far more than that.
See below some of the clients who have stepped into my studio for help.
xo, Natascha Rautenberg