Interview: Missy LePink & Her Tattoo Tonic
Missy LePink is the beautiful lady who fronts Rockabilly band Viva LePink (check out the London Crawlin’ EP, it’s immense!). She’s also the brain behind a new tattoo aftercare treatment, the Tattoo Tonic. Here’s a bit of information before we carry on:
Missy LePink’s Tattoo Tonic contains only 100% natural, vegan and Certified Organic ingredients. Unlike many tattoo aftercare treatments already on the market, and other popular non-purpose formulated products commonly such as Bepanthan, Missy LePink’s formula is free from parabens, petroleum and lanolin which can block pores and delay healing.In place of colour-stripping synthetic preservatives the balm uses wheat germ oil – a vitamin E rich natural product that actively relieves inflammation of abrasion and wounds. Lavender oil has been selected for its natural skin healing properties and ability to relieve itching and inflammation, and rosemary oil is a skin softening agent that also serves to prevent infection.
So, how did the whole thing come about with the tattoo tonic?
Well, I have made the majority of my own cosmetics for the past ten years. In my teens I was always a strict vegetarian/vegan, and being a fan of natural foods and products, I found once I started using cosmetics and various potions (moisturisers and make up) I would react badly to them, so I started experimenting with plants and herbs from my Mum’s wonderful gardening efforts and soon realised that the basic, natural stuff was always the least irritating and had the best effect on me, and my pocket! Hence I ended up researching how to make my own shampoos, creams and balms. When I started getting into tattoos (way too young and illegal at the time!) I realised that the usual things tattooists would recommend were either full of nasty man/lab made chemicals that would not only irritate my skin, but were not good for actual skin healing/tattoo longevity. That’s when I decided to make my own. Word spreads fast and i ended up making things for friends as presents/remedies for various skin complaints, so the tattoo balm to fill a void in the market was a natural progression for me, and here it is!
The packaging and product itself really ties in with your music and how you look. Is this something which was really important to you?
Definitely. I wanted something fun and eye catching. Often natural products can look a little too dowdy or too “hippy” for my style, so the packaging had to reflect the character that produced it. Bright, alternative and cheery all the way. Life’s too short to be surrounding yourself with drabness!
A lot of musicians get a lot of shit for giving their name to certain products. As much as the phrase ‘they’ve sold out’ is boring as shit to hear, is it something which you took into consideration when you decided to go down this route?
I don’t feel this affects me personally. First and foremost I made this balm myself, it’s not exactly car insurance which I know absolutely sod all about! (sorry Iggy!) I created the product every single step of the way, which was a lot of hard work that I’m proud of and feel happy to put my name to. Secondly, I’m a pink punk to the core and couldn’t give a toss about what anyone else thinks about me, so potential commentators can either like it and find it useful to them, or plain and simple fuck off! :)
Your music really rocks as well. I know a lot of people in the punk scene found tattoos through music, do you think the same can be said about rockabilly?
Thank you very much missy! And yes, definitely. Rockabilly was a huge influence on loads of the great Musical spin offs we hear today, and not just for the Music. The overall image, clothing, artwork and cars have a very distinct and unique look that encompasses the whole genre, and makes for some very beautiful tattoo styles. I know it happens to be very popular at the moment, but you see it seeping into many tattoo styles in different ways overall.
Who have you been tattooed by?
Mainly by the lovely Tracy D when she worked at Haunted in Holloway Road, she did my entire sleeve….I was also tattooed by Bugs when I was a teenager. (I assume he wasn’t so good at guessing my age at the time or he probably would never have done it!!) I have one other “incident” on my tummy I would rather forget about, I was young, stupid and truly wish the (remaining unnamed) culprit hadn’t done it at all!!
I’m sure you must be using the tattoo tonic yourself! How have you found it with your own tattoos?
It’s the only aftercare product that has ever gone on my skin smoothly, gently and done what it ought to have. The colours of my ink are staying lovely and bright, and I’ve healed quicker than ever before by using it. I’ve also used it on any cuts, (and the scabs that follow – I’m extremely accident prone!) and scars I’ve had over the past year, and it even cured an infection I got from a nasty deep cut whilst away which meant I could avoid using the hospital prescribed antibiotics. I’m rather over the moon about that!