Tattoos FAQ

All appointments will be taken under the following conditions:
1. You need to come by the shop physically so we can see the exact design, size and placement. This is the only way to schedule a tattoo since some take 10 minutes and some take 10 hours.
2. If a design for a tattoo must be drawn, resized, then a design and set-up fee will be charged. This fee is non refundable.
3. When a design and price is established you will need to pay a percentage of the cost of the tattoo (a deposit) in order to hold your place in the schedule. This money is non refundable if you don’t come in for your scheduled appointment time. If there is a need for you to change your appointment time, you must call within 24 hours prior to your appointment and your deposit can be applied to another day. This is a one-time courtesy.
4. Same day appointment, no refunds for cancellations can be given as we have already committed that time for you and didn’t take any other people in that time spot held for you. Be Courteous.
5. If you arrive more than 15 minutes late for your appointment you will lose your deposit. You may reschedule, but will have to pay another deposit to do so. Please be courteous of other clients time and mine. Remember, a tattoo is not like a 15-minute haircut. I am committing a good part of my day to you and would appreciate your commitment as well.
You will need a valid state photo ID every time services are provided.

If you've never been tattooed, it is normal to be a little nervous or apprehensive as well as excited. Being properly prepared will help keep the experience fun. Everyone will have a slightly different experience when getting tattooed, but there are a few things you should keep in mind:
Before the Appointment Checklist
1. Make sure you have eaten something within 30 min to an hour before your appointment to avoid getting dizzy or fainting. Also, drink plenty of fluids before hand.
2. Allow plenty of time for the tattoo procedure. Don’t set a time limit.
3. You will need a valid state ID before any tattooing takes place.
4. Where comfortable clothing that can be easily adjusted or removed if necessary. Also wear clothes that you don’t mind if they get ink stains on.
5. Do not consume any medications that will cause your blood to thin or consume alcohol before your appointment.

 

Keeping with the vow not to deceive our clients, we admit it might be uncomfortable. However, a few minutes of discomfort will reward you with a lifetime personal treasure. Be warned… once you have been tattooed, life will never be the same! So enjoy! 

We don’t give discounts, deal etc, instead we offer a program that is simple, as you buy you build points, and when you build enough points we give you a gift card. The 1st is for $25.00 the 2nd is $75.00 and the 3rd is $125.00, this in the long run save you more than any deal you might get otherwise.

Spore testing (biological sterilizer monitoring) works on the scientific theory that if the sterilization equipment kills the viable non-pathogenic microorganisms contained on each test strip, then it is capable of killing the weaker, yet dangerous blood borne pathogens, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis B (HBV), that may be present on the instrumentation being sterilized. The spores used, Geobacillus, stearothermophilus and Bacillus atrophaeus, are harmless to humans, however they are difficult to kill via sterilization. These biological indicators serve as the industry standard determinant of sterilization equipment and procedural ability to achieve complete efficacy.
 

Blue Star Tattoos Inc. independent lab for spore testing is Enviro-Tech Laboratories, Inc 

Body jewelry and tattoos make wonderful and unique gifts. Not sure exactly what the person your buying for likes, or not sure what size their jewelry is? A gift card (certificate) is the perfect solution.
 

We offer gift cards (certificates) for any of our services, body jewelry or other products. They are available for any amount you would like. 

 No, not until your tattoo is fully healed about 15 days, if you go into a hot tub, pool, ocean, lake, etc. you risk damaging your tattoo.

Your deposit will go toward your last session, and you pay for each session when it's finished. We accept major credit cards and (preferably) cash.  credit card

Webster's dictionary defines etiquette as," the forms or codes to be observed in social or official life; conventional decorum; the code of polite society." Strip away all the fancy words and you're left with 'common decency' and basic manners. For some reason there seems to be a belief that tattoo/piercing studio etiquette differs from the commonly accepted set of guidelines by which most people conduct themselves, it doesn't .

Just so that we our clear: When you are in Blue Star Tattoos Inc. you should conduct yourself with the sense of decorum that you do when you're in any other business.
 
Going to Blue Star Tattoos Inc. is no different that patronizing a five star restaurant. You are the customer (although we prefer the term 'client') and we are going to try to make your experience the best one we possibly can. On the other hand, we have the right to expect you to conduct yourself in a civil, polite and respectful manner in return.
 
Your goal and our goal is the same: To get you the perfect tattoo/piercing in the most pleasant way possible. With a little etiquette from everyone, it's not hard to do. To help make your tattoo/piercing experience the best one it can be, here's a list of some 'Dos' and some 'Don'ts' for your next visit to Blue Star Tattoos Inc.:
 
1. DO try to have some kind of idea what you're looking for before you come to the studio. Impulse buying isn't usually a very good way to find a tattoo or piercing that you'll be able to live with for the rest of your life. Of course, we understand that you may be coming in just to get some ideas; but you should have some kind of idea that led you to the decision to get tattooed or pierced in the first place. The more clearly you can describe what you want, the quicker and easier we'll be able to find the design for you.
 
2. DO tip your tattoo/piercing artist! This should be a no-brainer. Unfortunately, it's not. If you didn't know that tipping a tattoo/piercing artist is customary, YOU DO NOW! Tattoo/Piercing artists DO NOT get paid an hourly wage. They only earn a percentage of the money you pay for your tattoo or piercing. They depend heavily on tips to support themselves. You wouldn't NOT tip a waiter unless the service was really bad, would you? It's second nature for you to tip a waiter, he in a service business just like your tattoo/piercing artist.
 
Your tattoo/piercing artist is marking you for life, something far more serious than a fancy meal, so hasn't he/she earned at least the recognition that a waitperson gets? If you receive exceptional service, show your appreciation by tipping. As a general rule, tipping 15% is a MINIMUM, 15-20% is normal and anything more is considered tipping heavily. If you don't have the extra money to tip, at least explain that to your artist (they'll understand and appreciate it). If you can, bring them a tip the next time you have a few extra dollars. Clients who are known to tip always get a little extra 'love' from their artist.
 
3. DO NOT come in to Blue Star Tattoos Inc. if you've been drinking or if you're under the influence of something. Show your tattoo/piercing artist some respect and come sober. Nobody likes dealing with drunks. If your breath smells of alcohol you're not going to get a tattoo or piercing,  not from anyone reputable, anyway. If you're wasted, you won't make a good decision on what to get and you'll bleed so heavily your tattoo is likely to look like it's done in pastel colors.
 
4. DO NOT try to bargain with your tattoo/piercing artist like you're some vendor in a Indonesian night market. You wouldn't go to the grocery store or a restaurant and try to talk a clerk or a waiter into lowering the price. If all you have is a certain amount , ask the artist (preferably up front) if he can work with that budget. If he can't, then wait and save up until you have the full amount. Bargaining in a tattoo/piercing shop is an exercise in bad taste; and the quickest way to tick your artist off. The last thing you want is your tattoo/piercing artist being mad at you when he starts sticking you with needles. Some people act like it's their responsibility to try and get a tattoo or piercing for some 'rock bottom' price and they'll try and bargain an artist down $5 or $10 just to see if they can. That's offensive. If you're going to get something that you're going to wear forever, do you want the "bargain" job or the "deluxe" job for $10 more? If you're tempted to bargain, stop! Then go some where else. Look at it this way.
 
1.              Think about how much you want the artist to come down in his price
2.              Divide that amount by how many years you think you have left to live.
3.              Decide if those few quarters a year are worth being stuck with the "bargain" tattoo or piercing!
 
If you can't afford the tattoo or piercing you want, talk to your artist and see if there's a way to work out a payment plan (multi-session/pay-as-you-go) or wait and save up. If you settle for something else, or even a smaller version than you really want, you'll (probably) end up regretting it. Remember: "Good Tattoos Aren't Cheap And Cheap Tattoos Aren't Good." People who "price shop" for tattoos or piercing end up with inferior tattoos and piercings- don't let that happen to you. It will cost you more in the long run. Trust us.
 
5. DO NOT brag, to a tattoo/piercing artist, about how cheap you got your other tattoos or piercings. You will not earn any 'brownie points' and it SURE won't get you a better deal on a tattoo or piercing from the artist you're bragging to. If you are quoted a price, that IS the price. The owner has probably set it and if the artist has any leeway to adjust the price, bragging won't help. Most "cheap" tattoos and piercings are cheaply done. Bragging about paying $20 for a tattoo or piercing is likely to elicit a critique of your tattoo or piercing that is less than flattering. If you want a professional tattoo or piercing, be prepared to pay a professional price.
 
6. DO NOT ask your artist to draw something just to see if he can. There are people who come into the studio and ask for one thing to be drawn after another without every getting anything. Don't be that guy! If you want something drawn, an artist will be happy to work on one with you changing an re-drawing it until it's just the way you want it. Please make sure you're ready to get it if the drawing comes out right. If not get ready to pay for wasted time about $50.00
 
7. DO maintain personal hygiene and physical decorum. Unfortunately, this has to be said for some people's sake. There's nothing more unpleasant than having to work on someone who smells. You wouldn't go to the doctor without bathing, so do the same for your tattoo or piercing artist. If you just finished running and suddenly decide you just have to get your feet tattooed, go home and wash them first! The same goes for bodily functions. If you're having some difficulties with your stomach (i.e. gas) it might NOT be a good day to get tattooed. You get the idea. Don’t make us send you home.
 
8. DO tell your artist about:
 
  1. Feeling 'green' or 'funny.' Tell your artist right away (don't try to tough it out) so that he/she can deal with it. Your artist is prepared  for it and knows how to handle it.
  2.  Any concerns you might have about getting tattooed. Your artist is there to work with you and make the experience   as easy as it can be.
  3.  Any medical issues you have (i.e. pregnancy, diseases, medication).
 
9. DO NOT try to force your artist to make social conversation if they don't seem receptive to it. Some artists like to talk and others don't. You want the best tattoo or piercing you can get, so let your artist work in the way that he/she is comfortable. Your artist will appreciate the consideration and it'll be reflected in the work.
 
10. DO NOT bring a "cheering section" to the studio. Many shops will not let ANYONE accompany you into the tattoo or piercing area, and many state laws prohibit it. You're always free to ask, but very few artists’ want five of your friends crowding the work area while he/she is trying to mark you for life.
 
11. DO NOT bring children to the tattoo/piercing studio state laws prohibit it. Your tattoo/piercing artist will really appreciate it if you can find a 'sitter' for the kids so that you can come to the studio alone. Tattoo/piercing studios are not a place for children- there are too many hazards for children to be exposed to, it's an adult environment and they can be very distracting to you, your artist and the other clients. Nuff said.
12. Turn your cell to silent, if it goes off in the middle of the tattoo, an distract the artist, that mess up is on you, same for a piercing.
 
This may all seem to be common sense but the reality is that tattoo/piercing artists deal with breaches of this etiquette all day, every day. Unfortunately, as a result, many artists deal with it by becoming sarcastic, and sometimes surly. Do yourself, and your artist, a favor the next time you go into Blue Star Tattoos Inc. and use your common sense. A little common courtesy and etiquette can go a long way towards making your entire tattoo or piercing experience much more rewarding and pleasant.
 
It's a small price to pay for a big reward.

   Will the studio show you their autoclave’s latest “spore test” that confirms proper sterilization is done once a month?

  1. Can they explain sterilization procedures to you?
  2. Is any ointment, pigments (inks), water, or any other item removed from a universal container reused or returned to its       container after having  been used on a client?
  3. Do the artists wear gloves, and do the change them during the tattoo?
  4. Are new sterile needle removed from autoclave bags in front of you?
  5. Do they destroy and dispose of needles in a sharps container?
  6.  Are Samples of the artist’s work openly available?
  7. Do the artist wear clean clothes and maintain a clean working environment? If the studio is not clean, is the equipment?
  8.  Do they have their CPR, First AID, and Bloodborne Pathogens training certificates.

A tattoo may be expensive, but it costs about five (5) times as much to have a tattoo removed. So think about what you are getting tattooing on your body before you do it.

Mon-Sat 12noon to 8pm
Sun 1pm to 6pm (open later by appointment only)
 
We accept our last tattoo at 7:00 pm

If you like to be tattooed by a particular tattooist, please do call for availability 

Tattoos can cause problems if you are allergic to the material in which the Pigment (ink) is made out of and dissolved in. Now days with every Tom, Dick, and Harry in the businesses. A professional tattoos artist knows what’s in is inks. There is a lot of companys out there sell ink and will not tell you what’s in it. Some have latex, and plastic in them, that’s way many professional tattooist make their own inks, so they know what’s in them. An allergies are unusual, but does happen occasionally. The tattoo will swell and itch. In serious cases, a doctor may need to surgically remove the tattoo.

As with all-white tattoos, these parts of the body can be tattooed. However, our artists choose not to tattoo these parts of the body. These tattoos do not age well or continue to look good over time.
 
The skin on these parts of the body often does not take tattoo ink as well as other parts of the body, which can make it very difficult to execute a good tattoo to begin with. In addition, the skin on these parts of the body is often subject to more abuse/friction than other parts of the body, which can make the tattoo difficult to heal. Finally, the skin on those parts of your body tends to die and regenerate faster than skin on other parts of your body, affecting how the tattoos ages over time.
 
All of these factors can result in a tattoo that looks fuzzy/muddy within less than a year of being done, even when it is executed well to begin with. Our artists do not wish to have their names associated with work that does not hold up well over time.
 
While there are artists who will do tattoos on these parts of the body, we strongly encourage you to ask the artists about the factors we've mentioned. In addition, you should ask to see examples of well-healed tattoos on these parts of the body. Almost all tattoos look good when they are first completed. However, you will have your tattoo for a lifetime and you want to it too look good for more than just a few months or a few years.
 

We also ask you to consider this: As a business, we rely on the money we make from tattoos to help pay our employees and to help us stay in business. If we are willing to turn away these types of tattoos, there must be a very good reason. 

Never get a tattoo from a “scratcher” (a nonprofessional tattooist). Who may set up shop out of a home or van, or even a studio. An amateur is, simply and obviously, untrained. Scratchers/Amateurs do not practice safe tattooing (because they don’t know how) and you’re placing yourself in great danger by using them. And costly fixing Scratchers/Amateurs work is not easy and will run you a pretty penny to fix.

While it is possible to get an all-white tattoo, our artists choose not to do them because they very rarely hold up well over time and very often start to take on a "yellowish" appearance, even after a short period of time.

There are two reasons white tattoos typically start to look yellow: Tattoo ink is partially transparent. As a result, anything darker than the ink will show through, at least partially. Since most inks are darker than skin, this is usually not a problem. However, since all skin is darker than white tattoo ink, it can affect the color of the tattoo, often turning it a yellow or ivory color and making it appear unattractive. In addition, tattoo ink sits under the skin, obviously. The color and darkness of a person's skin will affect how all tattoos look, but the effect will be most noticeable with white tattoos.
 
Our artists do not wish to have their names associated with work that does not look good or hold up well over time, even if they execute the tattoo perfectly. Therefore, they choose not to do all-white tattoos.
 
While there are artists who will do all-white tattoos, we strongly encourage you to discuss the "cons" of all-white tattoos with them, at length. In addition, you should ask to see examples of well-healed white tattoos. Almost all tattoos look good when they are first completed. However, you will have your tattoo for a lifetime and you want to it too look good for more than just a few months or a few years.
 
We also ask you to consider this: As a business, we rely on the money we make from tattoos to help pay our employees and to help us stay in business. If we are willing to turn away these types of tattoos, there must be a very good reason.

When choosing an artist, you need to find an artist whose style of work you like.

Ask people where they got tattooed, especially if you really like the work you see.
 
Ask to see photographs of the artist's work. It is common for photographs to be taken immediately after a tattoos is finished, so don't by alarmed by a little redness and swelling.
 
When looking at pictures of an artist's work, you should consider whether the lines look clean and smooth, or are broken and jagged, whether the lines meet up, and so on.
 
Taking time to check out a few artists and shops will help ensure that you are happy with your tattoo.

Do your homework and plan ahead. Have your ideas about what you want done and how you want it to look on your body.

Then come into the shop and look through our flash of more than 20,000 designs, examples, and photo books of each artists work. Choose an artist whose work and style you like.
Now you are ready to do a consultation with the artist you choose, and they will be glad to help realize your vision.

 

Our artist will take the time to explain in detail how to ensure proper healing, and give you written aftercare instructions to take. Remember that we are trained tattoo professionals. Please don’t listen to your friends, your mom, or other so–called experts! Ask us any question, no matter how trivial it might seem to you. Just because a person has a tattoo doesn’t make him an expert on aftercare. Please take a look at our Aftercare Page and read the instructions.
It is normal for your tattoo to be somewhat dry and to get a patch of shiny skin over it. While scabbing is not ideal, it does sometimes also happen. Whether it's dry skin or a scab, do not pick at it. Picking at your tattoo may lead to infection or damage to the tattoo. The dry skin or scab will slough off gradually during the healing period. If you have any questions during the healing process, don't hesitate to call your artist.
You trusted in the experience and skill of one of our artists to do your tattoo. Please trust in their experience and knowledge when it comes to the best method to healing your tattoo. While friends may mean well when they give you advice about how to care for your tattoo, they are very often misinformed and may give you bad advice that could damage your tattoo.
How well your tattoo heals has everything to do with how well you take care of it afterwards, so be prepared to follow the aftercare instructions your artists provides. Your artist will touch up your skin art after it is healed in about 15 days (usually for a small fee). We want you to be absolutely happy with your new tattoo.

 

Although tolerances for pain differs from person-to-person, we haven't yet had a client who asked us to stop due to excessive pain.  

 A good tattoo is not cheap. The minimum price in many professional studios is $65-$100. Custom work can cost $150 per hour, and up. A professional Tattoo artist who works for less may be cutting corners on sterilization to save money and putting you at a higher risk of disease. You will find these artist don’t last long in the business. We recognize that tattooing is not cheap, but we are sure that your positive experience and your satisfaction with your permanent ink is worth the expense. The artist will give you an estimate, but how much your tattoo ends up costing depends on several factors, including the size and complexity of the design, how long it takes to place it on your body, and how well your particular skin takes the ink. 

Many people are worried about the possibility of getting an infection from being tattooed. It is very, very rare for a person in good health who takes good care of the their tattoo to get an infection. However, some people do have a reaction to the pigments (inks), or (more often) to the ointment or lotion used during the healing process. When this happens, the tattooed may become itchy, or a pimply rash may develop. These reactions are not serious, but they can affect the way the tattoo looks when it heals, and they are sometimes uncomfortable.

People most commonly react to red inks.  

We will try to include any support person you bring along, and we are mostly able to. Sometimes our space is limited and we are not able to fit another person in the tattooing room.

Many people have concerns about the safety of being tattooed, Performing tattoos in a safe, clean and responsible manner is our number one priority. In the course of performing tattoos, we take a variety of steps to help ensure your safety:

Our artists use disposable gloves for all tattoos. These gloves are changed throughout the procedure to avoid contamination of the client and surfaces in the tattoo room.
 
Needles are autoclave-sterilized before they are used. Needles are disposed of, in front of the client, immediately after the tattoo is performed. Needles are never used more than once.
 
Any implements that are not disposable, such as tattoo tubes, are cleaned, disinfected and autoclave-sterilized prior to use on anyone.
Items that may need to be touched during the tattoo are covered with plastic barriers to prevent contamination. These barriers are disposed of when the tattoo is finished.
 
Remember this we are the oldest professional tattoo and body piercing shop in Contra Costa County with over 30 year in the east bay. We are serious about our cleanliness and sterilization procedures. Our autoclaves are spore tested by a third party laboratory every month, needles are never reused, and we use only the highest quality pigments. Our artists will be happy to discuss any concerns that you may have about tattoo safety. It is important to us that you feel safe in our shop. 

 California Penal Code 653 requires you to be 18 years of age in order to be tattooed, no your parents can not sign for you. Yes it’s the law.

Each new needle set is packaged in an autoclave bag, dated, sealed and autoclaved. “New” means nothing if it’s not been autoclaved! All ointments, pigments (Inks), gloves, cups, razors, etc.., are discarded after each procedure. NOTHING IS REUSED. Then all work surfaces are disinfected with viruscidal preparations designed to eliminate contamination. 

Our artist will take the time to explain in detail how to ensure proper healing, and give you written aftercare instructions to take. Remember that we are trained tattoo professionals. Please don’t listen to your friends, your mom, or other so–called experts! Ask us any question, no matter how trivial it might seem to you. Just because a person has a tattoo doesn’t make him an expert on aftercare. Please take a look at our Aftercare Page and read the instructions.
 
It is normal for your tattoo to be somewhat dry and to get a patch of shiny skin over it. While scabbing is not ideal, it does sometimes also happen. Whether it's dry skin or a scab, do not pick at it. Picking at your tattoo may lead to infection or damage to the tattoo. The dry skin or scab will slough off gradually during the healing period. If you have any questions during the healing process, don't hesitate to call your artist.
You trusted in the experience and skill of one of our artists to do your tattoo. Please trust in their experience and knowledge when it comes to the best method to healing your tattoo. While friends may mean well when they give you advice about how to care for your tattoo, they are very often misinformed and may give you bad advice that could damage your tattoo.

How well your tattoo heals has everything to do with how well you take care of it afterwards, so be prepared to follow the aftercare instructions your artists provides. Your artist will touch up your skin art after it is healed in about 15 days (usually for a small fee). We want you to be absolutely happy with your new tattoo. 

You should expect some blood. There is not generally much blood, but the amount does vary from person-to-person.

The amount of pain will also vary from person-to-person. In most cases however, the anticipation of getting tattooed is far worse than actually getting tattooed. The best way to deal with the discomfort is to accept it, relax and remember to breath. Tensing up and/or trying to fight the pain will increase your discomfort.
 
If you start to feel lightheaded, dizzy or faint, tell your artist right away. There is nothing wrong with taking a break. Trying to "tough it out" will only make you more uncomfortable and take the fun out of your tattoo experience.
If you need to change positions, stretch, go to the bathroom, sneeze or move for any reason, let your artists know BEFORE you do.

An autoclave is a machine that creates intense steam-heat and pressure to over 270 degrees Ferinhite, and pressure greater than 25 lbs. These extremes will kill any living microorganism known to mankind. DO NOT confuse autoclave sterilization with dry heating, boiling, alcohol soaks, or flame heating. NONE of them substitute for proper equipment and cannot guarantee sterilization. Any autoclave being used for sterilizing tattoo equipment should be tested (called a spore test) by an independent lab at least once per month. We spore test both of our autoclaves monthly. In addition, we use a combination of package indicators (which react to heat exposure) and integrators (which react to time, temperature and pressure) to monitor every autoclave load.

An autoclave is the same device used by hospitals, doctors and dentists to sterilize equipment. Autoclave sterilization is the only way to ensure that all equipment is properly sterilized and safe to use on you

This should be a no-brainer. Unfortunately, it's not. If you didn't know that tipping a tattoo artist is customary, YOU DO NOW! Tattoo artists DO NOT get paid an hourly wage, they earn a percentage of the money you pay for your tattoo and that's it. They depend, heavily, on tips to support themselves. You wouldn't NOT tip a waiter unless the service was really bad, would you? It's second nature for you to tip a waiter, he in a service business just like your tattoo artist.

Your tattoo artist is marking you for life, something far more serious than even a fancy meal, so hasn't he/she earned at least the recognition that a waitperson gets? If you receive exceptional service, show your appreciation by tipping. As a general rule, tipping 15% is a MINIMUM, 15-20% is normal and anything more is considered tipping heavily. If you don't have the extra money to tip, at least explain that to your artist (they'll understand and appreciate it)- if you can, bring them a tip the next time you have a few extra dollars. Clients who are known to tip always get a little extra 'love' from their artist.