Ear Pointing and Ultrablack Eyes

In my recent post about Samppa’s ear pointing technique, I commented that his style is nice because it’s so stable — the ear isn’t healing under pressure or tension, so the healed result pretty much looks like the ear fresh in terms of shape. The more traditional method, at least in cases where more radical results are desired, changes a great deal during its healing period. However, these changes — the way it stretches the tissue into a new shape — allow for results that are unique to that procedure, so I don’t see the technique being superseded any time soon. These examples on a customer of Moscow based Pavel Chernishov (vk.com/pavel_keek, ANGEL studio) show just how much things can adapt in the healing process.



Speaking of Pavel’s work, this picture of a customer whose tongue he split and eyes tattooed has to be one of the blackest-of-black eye tattoos I’ve ever seen done. I actually lightened up the picture like crazy to see if it had been photoshopped, but no, it’s really this wild looking.


Can four nostrils become five?

Pauly Unstoppable has been at the forefront of the “four nostril movement” since it’s very beginning. Wait… do we really live in a world so awesomely weird that we can really say there is such a thing? I think so! But the first thing I thought when I saw the latest picture of his ever-changing facial anatomy now featuring a 10g septril (using a 3/8″ Anatometal barbell with 10g 7/32 M&M beads anodized to a copper tone) is “can you imagine if he stretched that up to 1/2″ or larger!?” Can you imagine if he managed to create some bizarrely amazing pentanostril nose? I wouldn’t have to watch Star Trek any more to get my fill of aliens any more.


I think when it comes to Pauly, the words “constantly evolving” describe him very aptly… For well over a decade now he’s had a far-out-at-the-edges appearance, and more impressively, practically every six months he morphs to the next stage in his evolution, taking another step on this amazing journey. Here are a few pictures showing his most recent facial work.

pauly-evolves-1t pauly-evolves-2t pauly-evolves-3t

White Ink Eyeball Tattoo

Well, well… I think I may have been proved wrong when I said that white ink eyeball tattoos wouldn’t work, or would at best make the eye look sickly. Pinhead did a few test injections of white ink — just baby injections over time to cautiously test the waters — and it turns out that it actually appears to work quite well (forcing me to add updating the FAQ to my already-too-long to-do list). In the photo below you can see the part of the eye that has been hit with white ink, and the parts that are untattooed. I should add that white ink is usually titanium oxide-based, which is a particularly inert pigment — and that’s a very good thing when you’re talking about putting it in your eye!


Another Alien Ear / Earlobe Location

You may recall that a while back I posted a picture of Sao Paulo-based Mary Jo’s intense red-ink eyeball tattoos (which I’m happy to say have been completely trouble-free to date), but you may not know that she’s not just a body modification enthusiast but a practitioner as well. After seeing Nic’s earlobe relocation, she performed a similar procedure on her husband Jefferson Saint (whose black eyes I’ve posted in the past so you may recognize him as well). The procedure was the same — opening the end of the “earlobe worm” and attaching it to a de-skinned point on the neck.


I’m glad to see this being explored, because if it can be shown to work consistently, it has the potential of snowballing out into a myriad of new procedures — and I can’t wait to see procedures like this combined with ear pointing to really give an alien appearance! The sticking point may be that even when the skin heals together and bonds visually, that the connection may be quite superficial — Nic warned that in the case of his that even though he’s had it for over a decade, it’s unable to handle stretching.


Blue Eyes Update

Because Howie (lunacobra.net) did my eyes in a hazy style, with a lot of marbling and transparency, you can see the way the tattoos change over time in my eyes more than in some of the ultra-solid eyes. It’s amazing to me how different my eyes look from day to day because of the way the ink moves around, and also on how slowly the entire eye has become more and more blue (in the early days parts were still only white)… I guess that subtle variations in the way I hold my head over the previous day, or perhaps absent-minded eye rubbing, and other factors cause the ink to move around. Sometimes the coverage is quite even, and sometimes it’s high contrast, almost blue-black in spots. One of my favorite bits that illustrates this well is the top of the iris, where you can see the ink pools, since gravity and pressure pushes it down, but then it hits the limbus barrier and stops. You can see that clearly in the top two pictures.

This modification has a good shot in the running to by my favorite modification of all time, both on myself and on others.

Speaking of blue eyes, Johnny Villonius just posted a picture of his blue eye, which he’s had for quite a long time (below), and you’ll note that he has a similar cloudiness in his. This should be expected (although it’s far from guarantee’d) in any eye that’s done lightly. Personally it’s my favorite look, and is the most subtle as well (to say nothing of being safer). I’d recommend doing this sort of look to most people as a “first step” which may or may not remain final. It’s quite possible to darken it with a second session. Anyway, I find that while I get constant compliments on my eyes, very few people realize it’s a tattoo. Most believe it’s natural, or even just say “you have the most amazing eyes”, but seem to not know why, as if their brain is seeing the blue, but their conscious mind refuses to acknowledge it. I find that when people give me compliments on it, when I mention that it’s a tattoo, that they often switch from loving it to being disturbed.

The Eyeball Tattoo FAQ has been updated

I’ve updated the eyeball tattoo FAQ today with lots and lots of new information, including some discussion of risks information that backs up doctor’s warnings that eyeball tattoos could lead to blindness. After meeting someone whose ink migrated into the inside of the eye, into the vitreous humor, and then after a year of floating around in their vision attached itself to the optic nerve, I collected more information on both this issue (which is probably rare) and on intraocular press and ocular hypertension (which is probably common). Short version of the story is that eye tattoos increase the pressure in the eye, which is connected to glaucoma and blindness, and this risk seems to get worse in time, so it’s possible that we may see the “perfect nightmare” of eye tattooing thanks to people not waiting and everyone wanting to jump on the boat and get it done too before the longterm risks were established… imagine if in fifteen to twenty years the incidence of blindness in those with eyeball tattoos is way higher than it should be. Not one bit of fun there.

Anyway, the FAQ is updated and has a fun animation of Pauly Unstoppable added to it for the version 1.1 title. As always, all new information has been highlighted in a red font so you can quickly find it and only read the new stuff if you’re already familiar. Here’s the link: Eyeball Tattoo FAQ – http://news.bme.com/2012/10/18/the-eyeball-tattoo-faq/

Brief excerpts from the updates:

There has been at least one case where over-injected ink has migrated through the sclera and into the vitreous humor. In the case where this happened the eye didn’t seem to want to easily accept the ink, and what did go in seemed not to spread as normal. The other eye was tattooed in the same session without any complications, but three days after the procedure the person had what they described as the worst headache of their life including blurry vision and extreme light sensitivity. Intraocular pressure was increased, and for the next year the person saw black specks in their vision as these ink particle floaters tumbled through their vision. These particles appear to have now migrated to the optic nerve, which is their current location. The optometrist that examined the eye believes that glaucoma are likely and expects some degree of vision impairment or even blindness. It is also possible in this case for alternate complications to have arisen, and perhaps most importantly it is essential to understand that while experience and skill can mitigate this risk, it can not be eliminated and it can happen even to the most experienced artists (but is much, much more likely to happen to those who don’t have years of experience working on hundreds of eyes). Finally, I again want to emphasize that if anything abnormal is observed during the procedure it should be immediately aborted.

…complications from the tattoo may lead to blindness in the future due to damage to the tissues of the eye and/or optic nerve. Beyond acute injury leading to blindness, the most likely types of blindness related to eye tattooing are believed to develop slowly, perhaps over several decades. It is also likely that eye tattoos amplify preexisting conditions, for example a familial predisposition toward eye diseases such as glaucoma, and that it will be difficult to determine the degree to which the eye tattoo is responsible for the vision loss.

At some point soon the FAQ will need a rewrite because it’s getting a little jumbled and there may be some repetition as well…

I also wanted to show three tattoos that have been done recently, all by different artists, that I like visually quite a lot. From top to bottom they are Purple Haze eyes done by Russ Foxx (done with an utter minimum of ink, which all other things being equal increases the safety level), , next a pair of cyan eyes with a magenta iris outline (this type of design should be treated with the utmost of care due to its proximity to the corneal limbus and iris/lens muscles, as discussed in the FAQ) by Max Yampolskiy, and on the bottom, a set of psychedelic rainbow eyes by Chance Davis.

By the way, I assume this goes without saying but I need to make clear that just because I post a picture doesn’t mean that I endorse or recommend the procedure or the people involved… The risks on this procedure are still being discovered, and they may be quite significant. As much as I love the way these looks, it makes me beyond uncomfortable seeing how many people are getting it done, and how many new practitioners are not just diving into the procedure, but diving right into the deep end. Please treat this procedure with the utmost of care. It has more potential to severely damage someone’s live than just about anything else out there.

Red Eyes of Doom!

Mary Jo just had Brazil’s Rafael Leão Dias finish her other eye, injecting both of them with red… It’s an interesting color, because unlike tattooing your eyes black or green or just about any other color, no one is ever going to look at you and think you tattooed your eyes — in some ways it reminds me of the guy that got hyper-realistic road-rash tattooed on his face (one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen by the way) because she will forever be freaking out people on a whole different level than everyone else with tattooed eyeballs! I’m sure it’s both very fun and very tiresome dealing with the questions.

Red is perhaps the most volatile color of tattoo ink, so I’ll be keeping watch on how her eyes progress. One important thing to understand as well is that the majority of tattoo pigments — red especially — are not completely long-term stable in the body, so even when they appear safe in the short term, as they break down over time significant problems can occur since there’s no way to remove either the ink or any chemical compounds it breaks down into. If you get your eyes tattooed in your teens, that ink has to stay there for a long, long time still. I do think it looks stunning, but it’s not a gamble I’m comfortable with personally. Of course, it’s not as if my blue ink is considered safe for use in eyes according to the MSDS data either so my worry is a little hypocritical!

When tattooing with red ink, especially in the eye, it’s extremely important to be aware of what’s in the ink, because there are a variety of compounds that can create a red ink — iron oxide (rust basically), naphthol (arguably the safest option), pyrazolone (an organic compound), cadmium red (a toxic compound common to paint), and cinnabar (which is mercury based, and also toxic). Unfortunately sometimes because the more toxic compounds give a stronger color and sometimes because they’re cheaper, it’s not uncommon to find them in tattoo inks, although it’s becoming more rare. If you want to do some research for yourself, most higher quality red inks are a mix of Pigment Red 210 C.I.# 12477 (naphthol), Pigment Yellow 65 C.I. #11740 (2-[(4-methoxy-2-nitrophenyl)azo]-N-(2-methoxyphenyl)-3-oxo-Butanamide), Pigment Orange 13 C.I. #21110 (pyrazolone), and Titanium Oxide C.I. #77891, depending on the specific tone — as well as glycerine, witch hazel, various alcohols or even just listerine, various acrylic resins, and water. None of these compounds (with the exception of water) are considered safe in the eye — although they are generally stable compounds. The only ink which has been validated as truly “safe” in the eye is — and this may come as a surprise — classic India Ink.

And see also the Eyeball Tattoo FAQ of course.

Happy Halloween!

Holy crap, Roni’s (x-roni-x.com) makeup is amazing every day of the year, so I wouldn’t have expected less on Halloween, but wow, this skull/zombie creation is over the top. The dark eye sockets are wild due to her black eye tattoos, and I’m totally loving the use of her forehead implants as an exposed skull bone.

PS. Click here for an “everyday” photo for comparison.

The Sleeper Has Awakened

Over five years since tattooing a small part of my eye blue in the very first set of eye tattoo procedures — the day that opened Pandora’s Box and launched perhaps the riskiest but most exciting body mod procedure to date — Howie (LunaCobra.net) has done the next and perhaps final stage of my eye tattoos. As you may know, my blue eyes are at least in part inspired by the Eyes of Ibad that the Fremen of Arrakis (ie. Dune) get due to their constant exposure to the powerful drug melange. Normally when Howie does an eye tattoo, the wearer is looking for a solid color — although there are obvious exceptions like Pauly Unstoppable’s unbelievable “cosmic eyes” which involve complex gradients. In my eyes we went with the “less is more” theory, using the fact that ink injected in the eye spreads dramatically to create a hazy, cloudy effect that looks different from every angle, mostly quite subtle, but almost blue-black in a few deeply saturated spots. The eye is both subtle and extreme, in an effect that’s completely alien, yet maintains its humanity and is almost even normal — I’ve noticed in public that people seem unsure what they’re seeing, whether it’s natural, or a trick of the light, or something induced.

The effect will probably continue to change somewhat over the next several months. These pictures in this entry were taken on day three, about 48 hours after the procedure, and at that point all swelling and irritation was already long gone — in fact it was gone 12 hours later, or when I woke up the next morning. I believe this is in part Howie’s experience, and in part how light we went with the procedure. I truly believe that with eye tattoos, it’s important to err on the side of going light — you can always add more in a few months (or in five years) if you went light, but if you go heavy, well, you’re going to have to live with it.

Remember, if you are interested in eye tattoos, these are a high-risk procedure that should only be attempted by those with significant experience and training. Please begin by reading BME’s Eye Tattoo FAQ.