The newest beauty trend on the block is nipple tattooing—a semi-permanent procedure that enlarges and darkens the nipple and areola.
The process, which originated as a medical procedure (areola restoration ) for breast reconstruction, has seen a huge increase in clients as it promises to give women ‘perfect nipples’, reports The Telegraph.
“A lot of people still don’t know about it, but it is definitely getting more popular. I have seen a huge change in clientele. They used to be so much older and professional. Now I’m getting really young girls aged 18 to 25,” says Danielle Price, an Essex-based technician. “Some girls do come to me and say their boyfriends will like it more. It’s a bit worrying to think they would go out and get it done just because of that, and I wouldn’t do it for them until they were sure they wanted it. The younger generation are so hung up on everything being just so, it’s quite sad really.”
The procedure takes two-hours, lasts 12 to 18 months, and can cost as much as $1,833. Since this procedure is not permanent, touch-ups may be needed if the ink fades in order to restore color. Ink colors are blended from medical grade micropigments to match skin tones and guarantee a natural look. After the first procedure, the process is repeated to add finishing touches and restore any fading color.
The nipple is given a local anaesthetic to numb the pain, and the process is reportedly more painful for women who undergo the procedure for cosmetic purposes as opposed to those who have had reconstructive surgery, since the skin around their areola is more sensitive.
“A lot of people want their nipples made darker. It’s the fashion,” explains Gail Proudman, a clinician based in Merseyside, UK, to The Telegraph. “Some people think theirs are too pink or their boyfriends want them done. I think sometime they are doing it because they are conscious of them being pale and they think it’s fashionable to have dark nipples. They’ll look at the magazines and unfortunately a lot of it might be peer pressure.”
“The girls get them done so they can go topless and not be embarrassed, or when they’re in a changing room and getting changed,” adds Proudman. “They can go on holiday in front of their partners, go for massages, spray tans and just not be conscious of their body.”
While some women are opting for ‘perfect nipples’ to keep up with models, others are considering the procedure for (slightly) less superficial reasons. Some women are getting the tattoos for nipple symmetry, while others who suffer from skin conditions are getting the procedure for aesthetic reasons.
“The nipple-areola complex will change with pregnancy, so people need to think about their future.”
SCOOP: THE TELEGRAPH