The latest must-have tattooing procedure is helping women make the breast of their assets.
Micropigmentation, dubbed tittooing, involves darkening the nipples and the area around them so they appear more prominent – and sexy.
Here, DIANA APPLEYARD uncovers how the procedure works, why it has grown and she speaks to three women about their reasons for having it and what it has done for them.
Writer and stand-up comedienne Janice, 55, lives in Epsom, Surrey. A divorcee, she has two children, Michael, 21, and Abbie, 19. Janice says:
“I had my nipples tattooed three years ago and am delighted with the results.
“I had a mastectomy and breast reconstruction in 1996 under the NHS after I had breast cancer.
“The doctor told me they could create a new nipple out of the skin from my vulva – but I didn’t fancy that at all!
“Instead I tried a stick-on nipple, but it would peel off and I thought it could be awkward in the bedroom, can you imagine?
“But I had no idea of the psychological impact of not having a nipple. Without one, your breast is simply a mound of flesh.
“The advances in nipple tattooing are amazing, they can look so realistic.
“In many ways, my nipple tattooing – which cost £400 – was cosmetic in that I wanted it for aesthetic purposes to create higher nipples, and it meant I could create the nipple I really wanted. In 2010 a plastic surgeon made the new nipple and aureole.
“The new nipple was created slightly higher than my original nipple, so when Kelly coloured it and the areola using pigmentation, she also “lifted” the real one, by creating a higher, darker shape.
“Both my breasts look much perkier and I now have amazing breasts for my age.
“She darkened the area around my nipple, making it look more pronounced, and created a rim that looks incredibly natural. I can’t understand why I waited all those years to have it done.
“It’s made all the difference to how I feel about myself as a woman. My main aim after the breast cancer was to try to get back to feeling and looking like a normal woman, and this is such an important step.
“I’ve had a partner since my divorce and he said they looked wonderful, and this has given me the confidence to be happy with a new man.”
Law student Monica, from Cambridge, is single and has a two-year-old son, Maximilian. The 35-year-old says:
“I had my second nipple tattoo session two weeks ago and I’m thrilled with the result.
“I had breast implants a year and a half ago, then a further uplift. However, I wasn’t happy with my breasts or the look of the nipples.
“There was quite a lot of white scarring and my nipples looked rather pale and too low.
“Now, thanks to the tattooing, they look much darker and far more prominent.
“I don’t know if these are common side effects but they are now also far more often erect and much more sensitive.
“I think they look fantastic. I was quite apprehensive at first, as I had no idea what to expect, but the procedure didn’t hurt at all.
“My new nipples are higher than they were before, which makes my breasts look perkier and younger and creates the image of an uplift.
“Also, the darker colour hides the white scarring I had around my nipples from the cosmetic surgery.
“My two breast operations cost me around £5,000 and the nipple tattooing was £300 for two sessions.
“It was a bargain as I am much happier with the tattooing than the operations.
“I was worried having the nipple tattooing would mean they wouldn’t look very natural, but I really do not think you could tell the difference between these and natural nipples.
“People might say it is a frivolous thing to have done but I was actually quite depressed about my breasts and I didn’t feel sexy or feminine.
“Now when I look down at them I am thrilled. They really are the cherry on the cake.”
ASHLEA CORMACK, 21, is single, lives in Leeds and works as a tattoo artist. She says:
“I have quite a few tattoos and when I heard about this new procedure I thought it sounded amazing.
“When I was 18 I had a breast reduction operation, and ever since I haven’t been happy about the shape or colour of my nipples.
“I got in touch with Kelly and we started chatting about what I wanted. I said, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to have a heart-shaped nipple?’ She laughed and said, ‘Why not?’
“I wanted the areola to be much darker as that makes the nipple look more prominent and sexy. I had two sessions and it didn’t hurt at all. It is quite a weird sensation though, as your nipple is so sensitive.
“The reaction to my new heart-shaped nipples has been tremendous.
“Some people love them but some are rather shocked that I have tampered with nature in this way and don’t know what to say when I tell them. The nipple is such an intimate area, and having pretty nipples makes you feel very feminine.
“I also had shading beneath the nipple, which creates a kind of 3D effect, making the nipple look bigger.
“Nipple tattooing is becoming quite a big thing – there are lots of social networks set up to discuss it.
“Women are becoming much more aware of their nipples.
“Kelly tells me she’s getting many more enquiries now for heart-shaped, star-shaped and diamond-shaped nipples.
“It is really important you go to a proper practitioner though – a micropigmentation specialist – as the colour in normal tattoos might not look natural and you need to be in the hands of a professional.
“Considering the effect, at £400 it isn’t expensive.
“My former boyfriends have certainly found it sexy and different.
“I am so glad I had the courage to have it done.”