What are the requirements that I must adhere to because of COVID-19?

All services are by appointment only, please fill out the contact form to set up an appointment.

Due to COVID-19, all consultations and appointments are booked online.

A face mask is required to enter the studio. Please clean your hands when you enter the studio, there is hand sanitizer immediately in front of the door.

If you feel sick, have a cough, fever, chills, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath, loss of sense of smell or taste, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, loss of appetite, have traveled in the last 14 days, have been around someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days, or if you have personally tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days, you need to self isolate, and cannot enter the studio.

All of our artists wear a face mask for every tattoo, piercing, and related service. All artist wash their hands before and after each client, and the massage table that clients use are disinfected with an intermediate-level surface disinfectant (just like a hospital does) that adheres to provincial standards. All contact surfaces (door handles, sink handles, scissors, phone, computer, ect.) are disinfected daily.

Even if you do not have COVID-19, you should not be tattooed or pierced while sick or immediately before or after surgery because your body needs to focus on healing and should not be overloaded.

We strive to maintain a safe and sanitary environment for everyone who enters the studio, and appreciate your compliance in doing so.

Is it safe to get a tattoo or piercing?

Yes, for most people tattoos and piercings are completely safe. Each artist, and the entire studio strictly adheres to Universal Precautions and Blood Borne Pathogen Safety. You can be assured that Harbourside Tattoo & Co. requires each artist to hold client safety as the first and foremost priority.

We have the highest level of sterilization possible and go above and beyond all local health codes and laws. Both of our autoclaves are spore tested monthly, and each package that is processed in the autoclave contains an indicator strip for extra assurance of sterilization. The massage tables and working surfaces are disinfected after each client with an intermediate disinfectant, just like a hospital would use. All needles are single-use and disposed of immediately after each client. All artists wear a face mask for each tattoo, piercing, or related service.

We do have a consent waiver/release form which identifies certain instances when it would not be appropriate for an individual to receive a tattoo or piercing, but these are rare instances. If you have an allergy to red food colouring, we can do a patch/poke test to see if the tattoo ink affects you. If you have hemophilia, diabetes, bloodborne pathogens, a weakened immune system, ect. you may possibly still be able to get tattooed or pierced, but with the consent of your doctor. Please contact us if you have any allergies or medical conditions that you think may affect your healing or ability to get a tattoo.

Anyone who is pregnant should NEVER get a tattoo or piercing, until at a minimum your baby is several months old, depending on the piercing.

In some cases, a doctor’s note may be required before we can tattoo or pierce you.

Does it hurt?

This is not a question with a yes or no answer.

Certain locations of the body (like the ribs or the back of the kneecap) would be considered more painful. Soft shading is much easier to get done than solid colour packing.

If you have recently eaten your pain tolerance will be higher. If you are currently menstruating, your pain tolerance will be lower.  In general, an individual’s pain tolerance varies from person to person.

Many people would describe a piercing as a tiny pinch, and it’s over very quickly.

So in short: It may hurt a bit, but not enough to stop you from doing it!

It’s a great idea to eat a healthy, well-balanced meal before your appointment.

What is the consultation process like?

All consultations are currently done online due to COVID-19. Please fill out the “Contact Us” form or send us an email describing what it is you would like to have tattooed on you, where on the body you would like it to be, what style of art you would like your tattoo to be done in, with any reference photos that you may have, and what your budget is.

Piercing consultations are mostly done through email, some consultations need to be done in person.  Piercings are anatomy dependant, and initial insertion jewellery is selected to suit your individual anatomy. All body jewellery has a high polish surface and is made from biocompatible materials that are recommended by the APP

The most common metal allergy is to nickel. We carry ASTM-136 titanium, 14K gold, niobium, and glass jewellery that is nickel-free. If you have any allergies or suspect you may, please consult your artist.

How will coloured ink look on my skin tone?

Tattoo pigment sits underneath the epidermis, so the amount of melanin and skin tone you have will change the way the pigment appears.

Very pale skin has less of an effect on the way pigment will appear. Darker skin tones don’t show very pale or pastel pigments as much, so brighter, more vibrant colours are advised to be used.

White ink is great as a highlight in a tattoo, but is not typically used to solidly fill a large area of a tattoo. When a tattoo is healed, you will see your skin tone over top of the white ink, so a warmer vs cooler complexion will display white ink differently.

Prolonged sun exposure fades tattoo ink over time. If you spend a lot of time in the sun, your tattoo will start to fade over time. Your tattoo artist recommends that you wear sunscreen over your tattoo once it is healed. Do not expose your tattoo to direct sunlight before it is healed, it will damage the new healing skin and can be exceptionally itchy for weeks if you do, and may scar.

The artists at Harbourside Tattoo & Co. have decades of experience, and knowledge of tattooing all skin types.

How much will it cost?

That depends on the size of the piece and the detail involved. Most people typically sit for 4 to 6 hours at a time, but not all tattoos can be completed in one sitting. You will be given a quote once the artist has all of the details of what you want. The hourly rate is 200 for tattooing and 225 to 250 per hour for cover-ups.

The total cost of your piercing(s) will depend on the initial insertion jewellery that you select. Advanced piercings have a slightly high cost than “standard” piercings.

We have cubic zirconia and synthetic opal jewellery, basic implant grade options, and handcrafted solid gold with genuine stones. Please contact your piercer with any questions that you have.

Deposit Policy

It is our policy to collect a 200 non-refundable deposit to book a tattoo appointment. We accept deposits via cash, debit, credit card, or E-Transfer. The deposit will come off the final price of your tattoo.

Artists carefully schedule and book their appointments based on blocks of time.  If you do not show for your appointment, they do not have adequate time to fill your vacancy and it hurts them. Deposits serve to show your commitment to your appointment, just as you are committing to the tattoo you will be enjoying for the rest of your life.  Your deposit will be used to compensate the artist if you fail to show for your appointment time.

Deposits are NEVER refundable.

If less than 24 notice is given for a cancellation, you lose your deposit and must leave another deposit if you wish to reschedule.  If you rebook your appointment with more than 24 hours notice, you may apply your deposit towards your rescheduled appointment. We NEVER under any circumstances will refund a deposit.  If you are not certain that you are ready to get a tattoo, or have not fully decided on what you would like, then wait until you are ready before booking an appointment.

For piercings, if you would like us to order you a specific or custom piece of jewellery a deposit of 50% will be required prior to ordering. Once we have the specifics of your jewellery, we can let you know the price and manufacturing/shipping time frame. The manufacturing time frame varies, if you are in a rush, we will let you know if it is realistic to expect a specific piece by a certain time.

Are there any special requirements to get tattooed or pierced?

You must be 18 years or older get a tattoo or piercing due to local health rules and regulations. Some piercings may be done on people under the age of 18 with a guardian or parent present with valid government-issued photo ID for both the guardian/parent and the minor to sign a waiver. Nipple and genital piercings will NEVER be performed on a minor. The minimum age for all other piercings depends on the location. Piercing placement and viability is anatomy dependant. For example, if you don’t have a sufficient ridge to support an industrial or a navel piercing, your piercer may decline to perform the piercing and/or suggest other options that your anatomy is suited for. It is up to the piercer’s discretion whether or not they will perform a piercing.

The artists very rarely tattoo someone who is 17 or 16, depending on the desired tattoo, and the location. It is up to the artist’s discretion if they will perform the desired tattoo.  If the artist decides to tattoo a minor, a parent/guardian is required to be present with a valid government-issued photo ID for both the guardian/parent and the minor to sign a waiver, as well as our official notarized document, must be completed.

We are strict in our requirements to ensure proper age and that valid legal parental consent is presented, so please call the studio at 604-336-9126 or email us at info@harboursidetattoo.com ahead of time to find out exactly what you will need to bring to your appointment.

The artist has the right to refuse any tattoo, piercing, or related service.

For any tattoo, piercing, or related service you must present a valid government-issued photo ID which by law must be documented. You (and your parent/ guardian if your a minor) must also read and sign a waiver/ consent form.

Your legal name must be documented on the wavier, but we will call you by your preferred name and use your correct pronouns if you let us know what they are.

If less than 24 notice is given for a cancellation, you lose your deposit and must leave another deposit if you wish to reschedule.  If you rebook your appointment with more than 24 hours notice, you may apply your deposit towards your rescheduled appointment. We NEVER under any circumstances will refund a deposit.

Please refer to the COVID-19 considerations that are mentioned above. A face mask is required, and anyone with any symptoms is not permitted inside of the studio.

I have a tattoo that's really bad, can it be fixed?

Mike specializes in cover-up tattoos and has almost 3 decades of tattooing experience. Each cover-up tattoo is designed so that when it is finished, you will not be able to tell that you ever had the old tattoo.

Mike uses strategic placement and shading, which is why his cover-up work is so seamless. Mike also reworks old tattoos. The approach he takes will depend upon what your tattoo currently looks like, and what your goals are. He has even successfully done cover-up tattoo work that clients had previously thought would need to have laser removal done to.

How long does it take to heal and what kind of aftercare should I do?

Written and verbal aftercare guidelines for tattooing and piercing are given to every client.

You must not expose your new tattoo to the sun or any body of water to avoid infection or damaging it. Do not pick, itch, or scratch your tattoo. If you do not have an allergy to adhesives, you will be given a second skin bandage that should be left on for 7 days. If the second skin has totally filled with fluid in the first 24 hours, please return to the studio so we can change it. If the second skin has fluid leaking out, it must be removed immediately, as there is now an entry point that micro-organisms could access. If you are not given a second skin bandage, leave on the covering you have been given for 24 hours, and then wash the tattoo gently in warm water. If you use soap, please use a gentle, non-scented and alcohol-free soap. Allow the tattoo to air dry. Do not put clothing over the tattoo while it is drying. Once air-dry, apply a thin amount of an unscented and alcohol-free moisturizer. Please moisturize sparingly several times a day as needed. In the first 24 to 48 hours, the tattoo may weep, if you do not gently rinse or wash this off, you will get a thicker scab, which can be quite itchy. Make sure that your tattoo is only exposed to clean surfaces (no pets, no bodies of water, no dirty chairs). Don’t touch your tattoo unless you have just washed your hands.

The healing timeframe varies from piercing to piercing location. Here is the  recommended piercing aftercare instructions.

Please clean your healing piercing with sterile saline, 2 to 3 times a day. Do not twist, or pick at the new piercing. Leave the jewellery in at all times. Piercings like to be clean and dry, so after cleaning, dry with a disposable item like: paper towel, facial tissue, toilet paper, or gauze. Do not go to sleep with wet hair when you are healing an ear or facial piercing.

Piercings swell while they heal, so you will be pierced with jewellery that has a diameter appropriate to accommodate the swelling. You can purchase shorter/smaller diameter jewellery to have put in once the swelling has gone down. Your piercer can help you with this.

If you don’t want an infection, don’t go swimming or hot-tubbing while your piercing is healing. Don’t expose your healing piercing to fluids from another person while it is healing.

Please contact us if you have any questions.