14/08/2014 16:36 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Tattoos: What To Think About Before You Get One

Here's the deal, I really want a tattoo. I've wanted one since I was 16, but have never had the courage to get something permanently inked on my skin.

Over the past eight years I've sketched my own designs, created mood boards (*cough, cough* on Pinterest) dedicated to tat-spiration and held friends' hands while they've gone under the needle. Yet I'm still a tattoo virgin.

There's one and one reason only why I haven't succumbed to a seat in the tattooist chair: everyone's reaction when I tell them I want one. "Really? Don't you think you'll regret it?" That simple response (oh, and one look at Harry Styles topless) has been enough to deter me for the best part of a decade.

But now I'm flippin' the Vs at all the dissuaders and ready to get my tat on, but before picking up the phone and booking an appointment I spoke to experts at London tattoo studio The Family Business and asked them what you really should consider before getting that first inking?

Size matters
There's always the temptation to get a small, discreet tattoo at first, but that's not the way to go! "The most common regret is related to size," said The Family. "Small tattoos are rarely a good idea. They don't age nicely."

Learn from Johnny Depp's mistake
When JD had Winona Ryder's named inked on his arm I'm sure he thought their relationship WAS forever. Turns out, it wasn't actually. The guys at The Family Business site lovers names as the second most common tat regret, so it's best to avoid these at all costs.

Give a damn about reputation
"The main thing to consider [when getting your first tattoo] is to find a good quality tattoo studio with a good reputation," advise TFB. Sure, Cara Delevingne, Cheryl Cole and the likes will be up for scrawling permanently onto their pal's skin but when it comes to YOUR first tattoo go somewhere with a little more cred.

Cheap doesn't equal cheerful
"Cheap tattoos are no good, good tattoos are not cheap," TFB tells me. "You should be immediately suspicious if a tattoo is too cheap, a good quality tattoo would always be a fair price that represents the complexity and size of the design." A friend of mine only had a £20 note on her when she went to get her first tat. She ended up with a pretty dodgy peace sign and a handful of change. I think that says it all.