Today's the day, you're ready to commit, and you just know in your heart — it's tattoo time! Now you need help figuring out how to pick a full tattoo sleeve theme. I've been on a mission for Bustle, interviewing tattoo artists all over the Bay Area. My goal has been to learn more about tattoo sleeves so I can help ladies who are ready to go under the gun, but still need more information. I've covered what part of a tattoo sleeve hurts the most and facts to know before getting started. I wrote a piece answering how long does a full sleeve tattoo take and how to deal with aftercare. But I honestly think picking the theme is the most exciting part.
Several colors of laser light (quantified by the laser wavelength) are used for tattoo removal, from visible light to near-infrared radiation. Different lasers are better for different tattoo colors. Consequently, multi-color tattoo removal almost always requires the use of two or more laser wavelengths. Tattoo removal lasers are usually identified by the lasing medium used to create the wavelength (measured in nanometers (nm)):

No one wants to be told how to feel about their tattoos ten, twenty, or fifty years down the road. The truth is you might hate your tattoos or you may love them. There's no way to tell if you'll have regrets. The best advice for tattoo sleeves is to stick with a theme and then invest time into your idea from start to finish. Consider your job, future, and your lifestyle. Avoid name tattoos when you can and, by all means, spend the time to find a few good artist(s)to create a pleasing display.
Laser tattoo removal is uncomfortable - many patients say it is worse than getting the tattoo. The pain is often described to be similar to that of hot oil on the skin, or a "snap" from an elastic band. Depending on the patient's pain threshold, and while some patients may forgo anesthesia altogether, most patients will require some form of local anesthesia. Pre-treatment might include the application of an anesthetic cream under occlusion for 45 to 90 minutes or cooling by ice or cold air prior to the laser treatment session. A better method is complete anesthesia which can be administered locally by injections of 1% to 2% lidocaine with epinephrine.

Yeah, yeah, we know that tattoos are permanent, expensive, and straight-up painful—but with style-savvy celebs like Rihanna, Cara Delevingne, Miley Cyrus and Kylie Jenner regularly seen showing off their cute tats, we’re still totally feigning for some fresh ink. These stars don’t have full sleeves, but instead rock smaller, simpler designs on their skin.
Many people start their tattoo sleeves without intent and that's just fine. If you take the organic approach and let one small tattoo turn into another and somehow tie it all together with a background of some sort later, you'll likely have an armful of meaningful body art. Others go full on with a sleeve from the get-go and that works too. Of course, with this approach, you'll be investing a larger sum of money upfront, and you'll need to dedicate the time in the chair to complete the work. Most likely you'll be going back to the same artist which means their schedule will need to be considered as well. If you have the time and the money to complete the job, get it done. Otherwise start a slower and more balanced approach. Never compromise quality for quantity.

There is nothing wrong with looking for men’s tattoo ideas on the Internet or in magazines, but you will struggle to find an artist who will copy another’s work. Instead, make notes and gather ideas. Decide if you want a black and white tat or one filled with color. Take all of your ideas to your preferred tattoo artist and ask them to draw something for you. A great artist will be able to take your ideas and incorporate them into a fantastic piece.


Not all tattoos are created equal. “Black tattoos are easier to remove than brightly colored tattoos. Green and blue tend to be a little more challenging, and things like yellow, white, and purple are almost impossible to remove completely,” says Dr. Ibrahim. “Different wavelengths of laser target different colors in the skin,” says Dr. Bard. This is why multiple lasers are required for the successful removal of a multicolor tattoo—another reason to see a well-versed doctor for treatment. If you have laser removal done properly, you should see about 90 percent clearance on a tattoo, says Dr. Anolik. “You can’t be sure that you’re going to get 100 percent clearance on a tattoo, and that’s for a variety of reasons, including the type of ink and if [the tattoo] was done by a professional tattoo parlor," he says. "Professional tattoos tend to incorporate more colors and deposit more deeply into the dermis, making them more challenging." Amateur tattoos tend to be easier to remove, as they are often carbon-based, single-color, and placed more superficially. Dr. Ibrahim says the same goes for older tattoos, where the ink diffuses upward over time, making it easier to break up with a laser.
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Sacred geometry tattoos are very mystical, and henceforward, very trendy. We already introduced you to Fibonacci spiral tattoos, a popular sacred geometry element, but other designs are worth knowing. The cube of Metatron, for example, an intricate geometric design composed of circles and lines which is containing every shape existing in the Universe. There are also the flower of life (also called the fruit or seed of life), the Gordian knot, mandalas and the Platonic solids.

Instead of only completing one pass of the laser during the office visit, there are up to four passes used to treat the tattoo during the same visit. The passes are completed with a twenty minute rest in between treatments. The R20 tattoo removal method of completing four tattoo removal treatments during one office visit allows the laser to reach greater depths than with one single pass of the Q-switched laser. In larger tattoos we suggest starting with only 2 passes per office visit. The R20 method of tattoo removal is effective and safe; there were not increased side effects seen with the new method of treatment.

Viet was amazing. So nice and very easy to talk to and let him know my ideas. He's not judgmental but will also help if you have questions or concerns. He's a true artist, no doubt! He sketched my idea, let me pick a movie to watch on his HUGE tv, and my fiance entertained himself with the fun games Viet had lying around! Even the guests not getting tattooed can have fun!
A sleeve tattoo like this is timeless. It’s incredible. There are so many levels and different variations. It was probably done in instalments and it’s a fascinating piece. You can see on the top of the shoulder how that was probably one piece and then he continued to add on throughout his arm. The artist did a rather stellar job in making the entire piece flow so well. That’s not an easy accomplishment and this artist makes it look simple!
This geometric tattoo is suited for nature lovers. The shell tattoo, especially the nautilus tattoo, creates perfect symmetry while giving off a natural yet unique look at the same time. Much like the deer, the shell is another favored subject when it comes to geometric tattoos. A shell is known to be a semi-static example of a fractal, and is a constant reminder that everything in nature is pretty much scale-able. The shell, much like human beings, are just a tiny part of a much bigger kind of equation.
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Although it’s hard to read in the photo, the wider shot shows you how script can work really well to join different tattoos. It sits below a cross themed tattoo, so is potentially a passage out of the bible that inspires or holds a dear meaning to the person. Script can work great on the leg and backs and also wraps around nicely. When opting for a script tattoo be sure to get someone that’s experience in doing nice lettering.
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