Photographed by Ashley Armitage.


Tattoo Artist And Musician Shannon Perry Talks Ink And How She Gets Her Signature Red Lipstick To Last

Spoiler alert: She’s hella cool

When did you start tattooing?

About a decade ago, but I hadn’t been properly trained and only wanted to tattoo myself. Tattoos are expensive, and I figured I was good enough at drawing and poor enough to try to overcome my fear of needles. I didn’t properly apprentice until I was almost 30 years old. Getting my own studio was just a matter of being in the right place at the right time. It’s a beautiful space, and I’m very lucky to be able to share it with my awesome flatmates, [the owners of] Actual Pain, whose name is probably more appropriate for a tattoo shop, but they sell clothes.

How would you describe your tattoo aesthetic?

I always knew I was more into a line-based style, and part of the reason I ended up tattooing myself is because I didn’t see that kind of work anywhere. Nowadays, there are tons of alternative-style tattooers and line-based tattooers. It’s nice to see the world of tattoos opening up! I pretty much just converted my drawing style over to tattoos. I actually avoided following tattooers when I started out for fear that I would subconsciously assimilate to what was “normal,” or accidentally rip someone off. Nowadays, however, I feel very comfortable with my personal style, so I follow a ton of tattoo artists. There are so many nuanced styles out there; it’s really fun to watch.

What are you guys coming out with this year?

We released our debut album, Die Alone, on the Hardly Art label only a few months ago, but I’ve already been working on new material for the summer.

How does your stage makeup differ from your daytime makeup?

I typically dress and present myself as fairly freaky 24/7, but I’d have to say there’s a lot more eyeliner and sequins at night!

What inspires your stage makeup?

For my eye makeup I tend to aim for ‘80s glam goth. I usually stick to bright red lipstick and a ton of blush, more rock ’n’ roll vibes. I draw my eyebrows on much larger and darker than they are—I call them “power brows.” They’re sort of a reaction to the over-plucked tiny brows of the ‘90s. I guess my theme is kind of a spoof on how everyone was wearing too much makeup in the ‘80s, because I put on an unnatural amount on purpose.

Who is your ultimate beauty icon in music?

David Bowie.

Any beauty tips for female musicians on tour?

For the amount of makeup I wear, I keep it very simple. The biggest thing for me on tour was just accepting the fact that there will not always be time to present yourself the way you want, and sometimes showering isn’t even an option. I keep a lot of makeup-removing wipes on hand, and in addition to using them to clean my face, I use them to clean my makeup brushes. And grease-blotting sheets—I don’t leave home without them.

What are some of your must-have products?

I’ve only recently been dabbling in the world of nicer cosmetics. As an artist, I’ve always prided myself on making my work without fancy art supplies. That said, once you experience nicer stuff, it’s harder to go back. A lot of my girlfriends and I use Sephora’s Cream Lip Stain in #01, which is the perfect deep velvety red, and it stays on forever. I
tell people about it any chance I get. It goes a long way, and it smells so good! The other product that I’m religious about is Wet ’n’ Wild’s MegaLiner in black. As a former goth high-schooler who’s been wearing liquid eyeliner since I was born, and as an adult who frequently covers my eyelid all the way up to my eyebrow, it’s a great value, and the brush allows for tiny detail. I buy this product in bulk!