High Maintenance: The new art on the scene: 'Permanent skin design'

"Permanent skin design,” more commonly known as tattoo, has become the newest beauty accessory. Tattoos today have turned into beautiful, flattering art pieces for men and women. Skilled tattoo artists, such as the ones we see on TV shows like Miami Ink and Inked, can do free-hand body art. Instead of the old way of picking a design off the wall to be traced and then tattooed on the skin, these tattoo artists draw the designs free-hand. The design is shaded with vibrant color so the tattoos look fake, almost like it is actually a sticker. It’s unbelievable how fantastic these sentimental art fixtures look when they are finished.

So where do we go for a quality tattoo like the ones we see on TV? I recommend Fuzion Studios in downtown Rockford on East State Street. Chris Hummel and his tattoo crew, combined with Brent and Alison Beehler (from the former Salon Kamaili), brought together an upscale tattoo lounge along with a hair and nail salon. Alison says she was apprehensive about the collaboration at first, but the innovative salon concept has become a hit since opening on the first of the year. The salon is full of employees including four tattoo artists, seven stylists and two nail technicians. The whole staff is professional with a rock star style. Not only is everyone there nice, you won’t get that uncomfortable feeling when you walk through the door.

The building, which is on the corner of State Street and 1st Street, is rather large with enough room to keep all the departments separate from one another. The decor is funky and artistic, and the business is kept very clean. Fuzion Studios won this year’s Heart of Rockford Award for the best new renovation of a building.

Jessi Hesterly, one of their nail artists, also won first place for her free-hand nail art display at a charity nail competition held in Rockford Sept. 24. All the creative talent possessed by the staff is quite impressive.

Fuzion Studios welcomes anyone to come in with an elaborate idea for a tattoo, hair design or nail design. Bring in a picture of what you want, and Fuzion will match or improve the design. Walk-ins are welcome, but it is a busy establishment, and appointments are recommended. If you head out for ArtScene this weekend, don’t be shy—stop in and check out all the different types of art to be seen inside.

Heather Hall is a nail artist at Digits in the River District and national educator for nail professionals. Inquiries or comments about the world of vanity can be e-mailed to HiMaintenance15@aol.com.

From the Oct. 4-10, 2006, issue

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