The days leading up to your tattoo appointment are just as important as the aftercare stage. Here are some tips to get the very best out of the entire experience…

In the week leading up to your tattoo make sure you keep the area clean and moisturised preferably with cocoa butter. Make sure you drink plenty of water as this helps us to work efficiently as the skin as in the best condition possible.

Do not put moisturiser on for the day of the tattoo, clean skin is better as any moisturiser will make the stencil harder to stick and stay on.


Vitamins A & C are great for skin health and general immune system support, garlic is a great antioxidant, Zinc helps skin to heal and is antibacterial and together these things will help to keep you at peak health to ensure your tattoo experience is as easy as possible! *Always check that you are not allergic to any ingredients in these products.

We also recommend upping protein intake prior to being tattooed and for a little while after, this encourages healing and speeds up the process. staying well hydrated will help too!

Check out our 14 day aftercare guide for more info on supplements, available at the studio or as printable PDF via email request 🙂



We know that nerves often don’t make eating easy, but you absolutely must get something in your belly!

Sugary or junk food does not count here! Eat within two hours of your tattoo appointment, the biggest cause of fainting or feeling sick is lack of food and drink. It also helps tremendously with any pain you might experience. Carbs are great but including loads of protein is even better for long term energy.


Sugary drinks and sweets are good during the tattoo to give you a short-term sugar boost and get you through until lunch. On a full day sitting we will break for a half hour lunch, during which time we recommend another substantial meal.


During the tattoo, hydration is really important, especially when the weather is hot.


Put on clean clothes that you aren’t too worried about spots of ink getting on. The ink can stain clothing and shoes.

Be sensible about your clothing choices, for example, if you are having a thigh tattoo, bring shorts otherwise you will be sat in your pants all day! You also want to be comfortable.


It is common to feel cold when being tattooed because of the drop in adrenaline and blood sugar. We do our best to regulate the temperature in the studio with central heating and extra fan heaters, but it is an old and very big building so please be aware that you may feel cold from being tattooed when others feel very warm! So you may need clothing that will keep you warm and comfortable. You can also bring your own freshly cleaned blanket for warmth if you wish. 🙂


**Please make sure to wear deodorant**

We will be working up close with you and there’s nothing worse than stale body odour for a whole day! But please don’t overdo it with perfume or aftershave. This is almost as bad as body odour when you are up close.


We are a cash only shop, so please remember to bring enough cash with you.

We gratefully appreciate tips, the hours you see us working are only a fraction of the time we spend actually working for you, from our email conversations to research, to design and all of our admin as well, and we do it for you in our own time. We also don’t actually take home even 50% of what you pay. Most of it goes on equipment and for the artists who are renting a space, 30% of what you pay us goes straight to Black Moon.


A huge amount of how well a person can handle the feeling of being tattooed is to do with mental positivity, some people ‘get in the zone’ some like to focus on other things and try to ignore the pain, but having a game plan and a positive attitude is a huge help in pain management.

Please be polite to staff and to other customers. We do not tolerate rudeness and we reserve the right to refuse tattoo anyone who we feel is acting inappropriately towards staff or customers.

Please try to keep the noise level to a minimum, there will be other people trying to concentrate on being tattooed (and doing tattoos)- we know it hurts, and we expect people to make some noises reflecting this, but vocalising this excessively loudly, swearing or whimpering constantly can make the atmosphere in the shop very uncomfortable for others. If you think this could be a problem for you, please inform your tattoo artist.

We are happy to stop for a break whenever you need so you can take a moment to regroup.

We can recommend things to do to take your mind off of it. We understand getting tattooed is painful and are fully aware of how hard it can be. We want you to be as comfortable as possible so we are happy to do whatever we can to ease the pain.


Do not take any painkillers unless discussed with your artist beforehand.

Some painkillers can thin your blood and make the whole process more difficult and it will, therefore take longer and hurt more.

Some are effective for pain relief during a tattoo but please talk to your artist before taking any.

Numbing creams are ok, as long as you have discussed the use of them with your tattoo artist and agreed upon the brand. You will need to supply and apply these yourself.

We do not ‘recommend’ numbing creams for sessions over 40 mins, because it is actually worse for your body when the sensation comes back and your body has not engaged your natural pain management system.

The first 10 mins will be the worst and then your body will adapt and the pain will lessen significantly.


Please avoid excessive amounts of it the night before and the day of your tattoo. It does thin your blood but it is also not going to help with your pain tolerance to be hungover, it is also not pleasant for us to be faced with a hungover client.

The same applies to illegal drugs.


Bring headphones or a book. Having something to distract you will drastically improve your experience. We love getting to know our clients, but it is not always easy for us to hold conversations all day because it takes a lot of concentration to tattoo. We are happy to chat of course and we enjoy talking to our customers, but don’t rely on just this to get you through!

Bring your phone charger as we may not have the right one for you to borrow.

We have tea and coffee facilities and water available. If you want a nicer coffee we recommend La Strada and the end of the street. We all drink coffee too and always appreciate being offered one 😉


Try to stay still and breathe deeply. O2 is amazing for pain relief, holding your breath will do more harm than good. We get used to the rhythm of your breathing and work along side it.

Please only bring one friend (currently this is against government covid guidelines, so you must attend your appointment alone for the time being). We cannot accommodate large groups of people. We can sometimes allow one friend to sit next to you, calmly and quietly, but during busy periods there simply isn’t the space to allow this. We have a sofa and chairs but remember there will be other customers coming in during the day, so again don’t rely on them being able to sit on the sofa all day, is not ideal!

Just be mindful of how busy the shop is and ask yourself if your friend will get in the way.

We are sorry but we don’t allow children to wait in the shop while you get tattooed or pierced. It is for as much for your comfort and safety as it is for ours. If you are thinking about your child you won’t be able to relax and the whole process will be harder.

Children that are wandering around are dangerous to have in the shop, they could cause an accident or a mistake.

Lastly, please be aware that we are not photocopying machines. We are humans and we do have feelings, emotions, and sicknesses just the same as you do and tattooing takes a lot of skill and concentration, it is not an exact art and your personal circumstances as well ours are an important part of the process. Try to treat us with the same respect and patience you would like to be treated with 😉 We will always do the same in return!

Thank you for taking the time to read this and happy tattooing!