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Product Reviews > View Product Reviews

Fresh Ink Tattoo Gloss

Of Bees and Boobs

by shopwidow

January 31, 2012

Product Information

  • Product:Fresh Ink Tattoo Gloss
  • Manufacturer:FTMW, LLC
  • MSRP:$2.99/$10 4-pk

I love entrepreneurs almost as much as I love good-looking tattoos. So imagine how excited I was to learn that the entrepreneurial spirit had inspired husband and wife Michael and Jennifer Kitchen, and their partner Amanda Spirawk, to launch a new product, Fresh InkŪ Tattoo Gloss, which promises to "make your tattoo look its best."

The company, FTMW, LLC, kindly provided not one, but 2 (!) 2.5" tubes of Fresh InkŪ, accompanied by a press release announcing the selection of a product spokes model, "Manda," and directing me to the product Website at www.freshinkgloss.com. To be fair, the Website is worth a look. It features a provocative photograph of a scantily clad lovely reclining in the aromatic surf of Virginia Beach, Virginia, where the company is based. Imagine my amusement when I began to poke around a bit more and learned that this wet vixen is none other than Manda a.k.a. Ms. Spirawk herself. Imagine my further amusement when upon deeper poking I found that Manda had been featured on a digital billboard that flashed not once, but 3 (!) times in Times Square! I was even more pleased to read that "NO animal products and NO animal testing" had been used to develop this "first in the market tattoo gloss and enhancement." There's even a cute little pink bunny to show me that the product is cruelty free.

Manda photo

Okay, so the presentation was a wee tawdry. I was willing to overlook the hard sell for a decent "tattoo enhancer."

The packaging was a little disappointing. Fresh InkŪ comes in an appealing black tube, not unlike the emo/Goth/inky cousin of some popular lip balms. The benefit of a tube is pretty obvious: direct application without having to get any product on your hands. Less appealing is the inkjet-printed sticker that probably saved a few bucks on packaging costs, but was the packaging equivalent of wearing your 5-year-old's craft project T-shirt to a Maximum the Hormone concert.

Okay, so the presentation and packaging fell a little flat. I was still willing to make peace with what promised to make my expensive skin art truly "stand out."

Fresh InkŪ is a balm of natural products, which are clearly disclosed on the product label: soy wax, castor oil, coconut oil, beeswax, and vitamin E. Hang on -- beeswax? Isn't that an animal product? A quick phone call to Michael Kitchen confirmed that "we don't consider bees an animal." Well, my biology book from college and the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, DC say that honey bees, or Apis mellifera, as I like to call them when I'm being condescending, are most certainly of the kingdom Animalia -- though I grant that they are invertebrates, and somewhat less cute than bunny rabbits. I was also a little put off by the claim that this product is any more novel or effective than, well, a certain other tubed beeswax product that came onto the market in 1991.

I was running out of things to be excited about. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking "hell, that certain other tubed beeswax product is damned expensive and it comes in an unattractive box with some old shit's ugly hippy beard on it." And you have a fair point. Except that Fresh InkŪ is only available by mail in packs of 4 at $10 a pop ($2.99 per tube if someone actually signs on to sell it retail) and the hippy stuff costs $9.95 for a 4-pack ($3.00 per tube in most drug stores, gift shops, supermarkets, etc.). Virtually no price difference, tackier packaging, and a less appealing formula.

I had nearly run out of reasons not to throw the tubes of Fresh InkŪ into the bin. Nearly. I still hadn't tried the stuff, had I?! Okay, here goes: IT'S ABSOLUTE BOLLOCKS. The stuff goes on like lip balm, is greasy like lip balm (despite their claims otherwise) and, apart from imparting the skin with a veneer of shine that highlights every flaw in the skin's surface, does absolutely nothing that a tube of any cheap lip balm can't do.

Sorry, but this is something to pass on.

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