the most part, tattoos fall into one of two categories: beautiful
pieces of body art depicting something a person is passionate about or
terrible ideas brought on by drunkenness or poor decision-making (tribal
tramp stamps, anyone?). But there's a third category that many don't
realize is prevalent as well: survivor tattoos.
Lusby's been providing breast-cancer survivors with areola restorations
from her La Jolla-based permanent-cosmetic center, NaturaLook. That
entails tattooing nipples and areolas onto women after they've undergone
a mastectomy, so their breasts can retain the look they had before.
creates what she calls the “allusion of protrusion” by using an
instrument similar to a tattoo gun to color, shadow and build depth on
the breasts to give the appearance of a nipple. She even builds areola
glands to be as authentic as possible. The service is free.
many women, it's important to be able to look in the mirror and see the
person they were prior to the trauma—and Lusby's happy to give them
always an emotional thing with these women,” says Lusby, who's been
doing the procedure for 12 years. “They go through so much. When they
finally get to me, they're at the end of a long journey. I'm the final step in the process. The cherry on top of the sundae.”