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Tattoo Cartridge Needles, to membrane or not?


A lot of PMU and Tattoo artists use a pen-style tattoo machine today and needle cartridges should have membranes when used with these machines to prevent backflow into the machines and cross-contamination. 

A cartridge may look like it has a membrane but there are a couple of tests to be sure!  The easiest test is to use water or ink to test the membrane for leakage. (see video).  The other way is to actually blow on the back end of a needle cartridge. If you hear air, there can be a possibility of backflow into your machine.  DONT USE TEST  NEEDLES ON CLIENTS!

Why would manufacturers even make needles without a cartridge? Keep in mind that some tattoo machines have a separate grip from the motor. So, in that case, you could use any needle as it's not leaking back into the machine.....  if it leaks, it's only into the disposable or autoclavable grip.


Image result for pen style tattoo machine vs rotary
Non Pen-Style tattoo machines can use any needle cartridge as there is not backflow into...
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Tattoo Needle Class


 “I almost missed this class thinking I knew enough about needlesWrong.” 

 Investing in your knowledge and skills is paramount to satisfying clients and attracting more. The I.N.K. Masterclass is designed to get you there – no need to rely on guesswork, be confident in your needle choices. Take the course at your own pace and repeat as many times as you need to.

 Take this opportunity now and make your PMU world a huge success and know your needles!

Start Course Now!


 To your PMU success,

PMU Artist & Needle Specialist
Inside Needle Knowledge, I.N.K.

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Q & A With Tattoo Needle Course (Inside Needle Knowledge) Creator Jill Höyer


Q/A with Jill Höyer about the online needle course, Inside Needle Knowledge.

Q: What prompted you to develop the Inside Needle Knowledge (INK) program?

A: There’s a need for needle education in our industry.  Many artists initially use one or 2 types of needles they learned on and find it intimidating to try new needles.  I like to say, “the more you know, the more you’ll grow.”  If artists really understand needles they will start combining various needles, techniques, and develop their own style.

Q: Why did you choose this format for the program?

A: I like the idea of a platform where you can watch the course 24/7 and re-watch the course and download the pdfs for reference.  I like how the course is set up with lessons that you can easily replay as needed plus you can post questions after each lesson or email me privately for answers. 

Q: How long have you been studying needles?

A: I’ve done permanent makeup for...

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New tattoo needle cartridges fit nicely on pen style tattoo machines.


The new cartridge tattoo needle by TatSoul has some nice features.  Having used their quality, smooth running needles in the past I had to try this cartridge with a soft silicone finger ledge. It's like a squishy pencil holder. 

What I found a huge plus is the way the Envy finger ledge integration fits into the pen style tattoo machine making it easy for the way I wrap my machine for cross-contamination prevention. 

Another style needle cartridge is the Vertix tattoo needle cartridges.  Both the TatSoul and Vertix tattoo cartridge needles are great quality, have a lip on the cartridge making it fit nicely up to the edge of the machine tip, and they both have a membrane that prevents the backflow of ink into the machine. 



 To your PMU success,

PMU Artist & Needle Specialist
Inside Needle Knowledge, I.N.K.


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Manual vs Machine Tattoo Needles


I want to share a question I was asked from a PMU artist seeking information about my I.N.K. course and sizes relevant to microblading needles and digital or machine tattoo needles. If you've wondered the same question about the course or needles, hopefully, this helps!  

Message:  Hi Jill
Please, can you advise if your I.N.K. course is relevant to microblading needle configurations as well as digital? Thanks, D.

 Me:  Hi D.
In general, many aspects of the lessons on needles apply to both machine and manual type needles.  As an artist, I use both manual and machine needles.
Maybe you have a specific question I can answer?

 Message:  Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. I’ve got an understanding of the different configurations. It’s just understanding the benefits (or should I say drawbacks) of the different gauges of needles. For example, 0.16 needles provide a crisper line, however, when...

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What tattoo needle should I choose?

Uncategorized Jul 01, 2019

I never know what needle I'm going to choose for my client until I know these top 2 things...

Top 2  are:

  • first and foremost, what is her skin type?
  • what does she want- what's her vision/goal for procedure area?

    These  2 elements are just about equally important to one another, however,  I do put more weight on her skin type as this will dictate my result.

This idea of not doing exactly what your client comes marching through the door asking for can require a bit of client education. Especially if her heart is set on a hair stroke brow and her skin is oily or bumpy, or eyeliner that extends out too far when her skin is sagging.

In the end, you will be very glad you took the time to explain options of what will look best and the why. 

Our needle choice is personal and based on what we've learned. For sure, knowing your needles will lead you towards an educated decision even for the most difficult skin types.

 To your PMU success,

PMU Artist...

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A Thick Eyeliner Tattoo?

Which eyes could be tattooed with a thick eyeliner? Tattooing the eyes can be a challenge and a thick eyeliner poses risks.  Many women would love to diminish the morning eyeliner chore. Permanent makeup would seemingly be a great solution.  Well, it is, but the thickness of the permanent line may not be the same thickness that you apply with your topical makeup. WHY NOT?

Wrinkles (3,5)- the permanent eyeliner will never be straight when healed when the skin is crepey and folds. Photo

Distended Capillaries (2,3,6)– This is caused by the popular eyelash growth serums. The pigment will migrate and follow the capillaries causing color displacement.

Thin Skin (3,6)- Delicate skin must be handled with care as it can easily tear and capillaries are often prevalent.

Which eyes could be tattooed with a thick eyeliner? If you guessed Photos 1,4 you are correct.  However, I still don’t recommend to tattoo a thick eyeliner.

Photo 1 is my healed work on a...

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Check Your Tattoo Needles!

Uncategorized Jun 15, 2019

I can't say how important it is to check your needles.  A jewelers eye loupe gives you an up-close look.  I prefer the ones with a light. Amazon has many to choose from.

You're looking for: 

  • soldering quality
  • bent needles
  • needle burrs

A burr is a hook on the end of the needle and it will cause a lot of skin trauma and bleeding during a procedure.

Check your needles, it only takes a few seconds and will save you time in the end.

To your PMU success,

PMU Artist & Needle Specialist
Inside Needle Knowledge, I.N.K.



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#1 Permanent Makeup Request Is Microblading

Uncategorized Jun 03, 2019

The permanent makeup techniuque, microblading, is most often requested by clients because of its celebrity status and the whole world seems to know about it or knows someone who's had it done. Although, microbalding is still  popular, what I’ve noticed lately is clients want a softer look and realize the look of microblading may look more like a tattoo if they don’t have eyebrow hair to disguise the faux tattooed lines.

Many clients also request that they don’t want to do the morning brow makeup routine. This means they want their permanent makeup to look similar to their topical makeup and this can be a great soft look if it’s done by the right artist. Permanent makeup techniques today allow just a hint of color, a shadow of color, or a watercolor effect all which will go undetected as a tattoo and pass for a look of makeup.

I often will start the brows with the soft background color then add more dimension and or darker color on a second visit....

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Tattooing 24/7

pointillism single needle May 01, 2019

My response to the question was, “I tattoo more,” (permanent makeup, microblading etc. are all considered tattooing.

The question:
Recently, my last client of the day asked me “what I will I do when I get home for the evening?”   In the last years, there has been a huge movement to online classes and artists displaying their techniques on Internet platforms. (Some good some really bad).

As an advanced artist, I love seeing what others are doing.  We never know it all and since permanent makeup is a craft, I never stop researching, learning, creating, and incorporating techniques from all over the world. Right now I’m interested in an artist from Spain.  He is a tattoo artist shedding light (for me) on the use of liner needles to create beautiful shading.

So at home, after some family time, I’m practicing, watching tattoo videos, or analyzing/critiquing my day’s creations and thinking about new techniques.  

My craft...

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Liner Shader Guide

This chart helps you pay attention to your hand speed, machine speed, and hand movements when using liners for a liner effect and shaders for a shaded effect.

It also shows how you can use:

  • Liners for a shaded effect 
  • Shaders for a liner effect

A great go-to chart is just the beginning!