If you're obsessed with ink, you know that nothing is off-limits for tattoo inspiration. But there's one rite of passage that can intimidate even the most seasoned ink-lover: the group tattoo. Successfully coordinating it is nothing short of a miracle. So when we caught up with Shay Mitchell, who herself was part of that epic Pretty Little Liars ensemble tattoo back in October 2016, we needed to ask: how did she do it?
For one, Shay said, the cast dreamed . . . small. "Fortunately, for me, the tattoos were not that big," she admitted. The gang chose to stamp their index fingers with their character's initial written in a typewriter font. "The full Pretty Little Liars [show name] would have been a little hard," she said. According to Shay, the idea was first suggested by Ashley Benson, and the crew went to LA's Shamrock Social Club to do the deed.
And if you're the one friend in your group who keeps dragging your feet when it comes to making your ink official, you're in good company. Shay was that girl, too: "I really did have all the girls kind of coaxing me in to do it." Luckily (and obviously, because the tiny tattoos are so pretty), Shay has no regrets. "It's something that is permanent, but our relationship and our experience that we had on the show was one that I'll never forget." So, basically: go for it.
As for healing fresh ink, Shay suggests turning to the same go-to beauty product that gives her that signature, full-bodied hair we all hope is us on a good day. "I love coconut oil because I can use it for many different things: moisturising dry skin, cuticle oil, lip balm. I'll put my hair up with a bunch of coconut oil and kind of let it sit for a whole day," Shay said.
In fact, some days it's the only product she applies. After working out (usually in the boxing ring), she'll ditch makeup altogether. And it's not because she's lazy — this look is extremely purposeful. As Shay put it, "I think hair up with a clean face just shows the effort that you put into making your body stronger, and I think that in itself is attractive." If you're not quite ready to go completely bare, Shay recommends doing your brows and adding a quick lip gloss as a minor touch-up to your low-key look.
Right before saying goodbye, Shay revealed a little secret that was too adorable not to share. The Bioré spokeswoman revealed that when she was 16, she wore the brand's products religiously — and she's got the documentation to prove it. "I actually do have a photo that I need to find [where] my friend and I had pore strips on." (Cue us checking Shay's Instagram every Thursday to see if she's posted the epic throwback yet).
To Shay, the fact that she's currently working with Bioré to promote GirlUp, a UN-backed charity that supports women's rights around the globe, is simply cosmic. "I'm a big fan of manifesting, and I think it's come full circle now that I'm the spokesperson for the brand myself."
So there you have it: friend tattoos are always a good idea, and teenage dreams do come true. Can we be Shay Mitchell, please?