Australian tattoo artist Lauren Winzer has had an impressive portfolio of celebrity clientele throughout her career.
She’s famously worked with friend Miley Cyrus multiple times and tattooed her sister Noah Cyrus too. Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner have both been inked by Winzer: Spongebob, Super Mario, and Freddie Mercury tattoos for Jonas, while Turner commemorated her time on Game Of Thrones with a direwolf.
But Winzer is disarmingly down to earth when you meet her, and she isn’t afraid to admit she “didn’t even know who [Post Malone] was” when she tattooed him: “I was out of the loop!”.
I recently caught up with the Sydney-based artist during her three day sponsorship with Bepanthen tattoo at The Tattoo Expo in Darling Harbour.
While I was there she gifted me my first tattoo — a few sprigs of lavender to decorate the length of my wrist — and subsequently, I pestered her about tattoo aftercare, her favourite celebrity tattoos, and the tattoo trends she predicts are going to make a big impact in 2023. This is what she had to say…
Her rules for tattoo aftercare
“Using Bepanthen Tattoo Aftercare Ointment ($8.99 at Pharmacy Direct) is a must,” says Winzer. “Your artist will use this right after completing your tattoo, then wrap it up for protection.”
“If it’s not too uncomfortable, I recommend leaving your tattoo wrapped overnight so it doesn’t stick to your clothes or bedding and also just to protect the tattoo while it’s still an open wound,” she explains.
“Clean the tattoo once in the morning and once at night,” she continues. “I usually wash softly in a circular motion until it doesn’t feel slimy for the first wash, then after that you can wash as usual (just be gentle) before using a soft towel to dry.”
She recommends letting the tattoo air dry for five to ten minutes and then moisturising it with Bepanthan. “Softly rub it over the tattoo and remove any excess as you don’t want a thick layer so your skin can breathe.”
Tattooing celebrities is a unique experience
“Miley was my first and she did so much for me for so many years — I love her as a friend and human being,” she gushes.
She even admits to fangirling over Toni Collette and has “been fortunate [enough] to do a few for her and her family — we’ve shared some beautiful experiences.”
“I’ve done some really fine hidden discreet tattoos [too],” Winzer admits, but she’s never had to deal with a celebrity being precious about coming into the shop.
“I’ve been so lucky that every celeb, including Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner, has just asked for the address and walked into a full shop like a regular client,” she explains.
“I love this because it shows they’re genuine and don’t expect special treatment — I have a lot of respect for that.”
However, the award for favourite celebrity tattoo goes to Post Malone. “We bonded over music and wrestling and I became a huge fan of him in many ways,” she explains. “Every time we have crossed paths [since] he’s been nothing but generous and caring.”
Her favourite tattoos she’s ever done aren’t actually celebrity tattoos though, in fact they’re distinctly personal.
“The DMX tattoo I did on my boyfriend is a personal favourite,” she admits. “And the frangipani tattoo on my mum — it was her first.”
“I’m also super proud of some of the fine art recreations I’ve done,” she says.
Her tattoo trend predictions for 2023
“I’m seeing lots of alien vibe tattoos, as well as tribal or chrome styles and just super weird new ideas and imagery,” says Winzer excitedly.
While trends come and go in such “quick waves that I don’t get the chance to get sick of them”, she admits that she’s not a fan of tattooing the side of the finger.
“[I’ll] always do them when requested,” she explains. “But I have to advise clients that due to the extra layer of skin, the healed result can vary from person to person.”
She has also had to convince some clients to rethink especially complicated designs even though she secretly gets “a kick out of bad tattoo ideas as they can be fun and silly”.
“When someone wants to add so many different elements into one tattoo to the point that it’s just going to be a mess, I generally try and compromise by either removing a few elements or making them into two or more separate tattoos just so they’re more timeless,” she explains.
Regardless of whether you’re getting a trendy tattoo or not, Winzer advises that you do your research. “You have the online world at your fingertips so use it to your advantage and don’t settle.”
“If you find a tattoo artist whose style you love but they might not create tattoo images similar to what you want, send them a request,” she recommends.
According to Winzer, most tattoo artists get excited at the idea of collaboration with their clients. But “if you find someone’s art that you like but they don’t seem excited by your idea, be patient and find someone else.”
“The experience is attached to the tattoo, so you want someone as passionate and into it as you are,” she explains.
The weirdest places she’s done tattoos
Winzer hilariously admits she has “the worst memory” and doesn’t remember every single tattoo she’s ever done, but there are a few weird tattoo placements and locations she can’t help but recall.
In what can only be described as a strange scenario, Winzer was flown to Norway a few years ago to film a home security ad: “I tattooed in a giant glass box!”.
The weirdest body part she’s ever tattooed? “Honestly, probably someone’s genitalia,” she says matter of factly.
She’s tattooed someone in Sydney’s Westfield on Pitt Street and “a car park in Kings Cross [too],” she reveals.
But she says getting to tattoo Miley Cyrus in her backyard is at the top of her ‘greatest of all time’ list — “I always wanted to tattoo alfresco.”
Not all of us are as experienced as Cyrus when it comes to tattoos however. Doja Cat actually debuted her first tattoos at the Grammys earlier this year.
Main image credit: @laurenwinzer
Briar is the Beauty Editor at BEAUTYcrew. Her 'down for anything' attitude has resulted in more than a handful of hair transformations, and she doesn't mind being used as a guinea pig for the industry's most unusual products and treatments. Her work has also appeared on Refinery29, Girlfriend and beautyheaven.