For a lot of breast cancer survivors, the loss of their areolas after they've undergone a mastectomy can serve as a daily reminder of the painful experience they've been through.
That's where cosmetic and paramedical tattoo artists like Linda Titow come in.
With more than 12 years experience applying areola tattoos, she says it's amazing how much it can help women move forward from what they've been through.
"They honestly just get back a little piece of themselves they've lost," she said.
"By getting that little bit back, mentally I think it's a huge thing for women."
Having spent a number of years in Sydney working as a cosmetic and paramedical tattoo artist, Linda has just opened her new business Clinink in Forster, where she believes she is the only practitioner offering areola tattoos.
A relatively simple procedure, Linda said it took around an hour to apply the tattoo after the initial consultation process.
But the outcome was long-lasting.
"It will last around 10 years before it needs a touch-up," she said.
"It makes a huge difference."
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As a paramedical tattoo artist, Linda also works on scarring resulting from cosmetic surgery, on top of standard cosmetic tattooing procedures such as eyeliner tattoos, eyebrow and lip tattooing and scalp micropigmentation.
She said cosmetic and paramedical tattooing appealed to a wide range of people, from those with health conditions like alopecia to those who just wanted to feel more confident.
Clinink is also set to become the only certified training centre for cosmetic tattooing in the Manning-Great Lakes region, with training due to start from January 2020.
"A lot of people are interested in it," she said.
"Having something in the area will be great."
The business held an official opening at its Wallis Street premises on the evening of Saturday, November 16, where Linda said the response was overwhelming.
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