35-year-old Steve from Scarborough in the United Kingdom always wanted to be covered in tattoos, ever since he was a small child. "I'd seen the old guys on the bus with 'Love' and 'Hate' on their knuckles, and I'd always wanted to be coated," he says, "but my mother was deadly against it."
Steve got his first tattoo just before his 18th birthday in what he describes as "rebellious fashion." Then, he got ink on his arms, hands, and neck. The next step would have been to get his head and face tattooed—"I never liked my reflection in the mirror too much, I always wanted to hide"—but it wasn't until he was rushed to hospital with kidney failure that he decided life is too short and went for it.
"I wouldn't have done my head and face otherwise, because I didn't have a full career, plus my mum and dad," he says. After making a recovery from being at just 3 percent kidney function, he made an appointment with the tattoo artist. "So then I got my face blasted!" He jokes. "Life's way too short."
Steve is happy with the way he looks now, but he is conscious of how some people perceive him. "A lot of people do tell me that they were intimidated or they were scared," he says. "I think it looks decent, but if it scares some people, then it's kind of unfortunate I guess."
In a recent episode of Truly's Transformed webseries, Steve agrees to have all of his ink covered up to see what he would look like without his tattoos. "This is going to be the first time I've seen myself without tattoos for at least 20 years," he says.
Makeup artists Kelly, Molly and Emma start by applying a base coat of orange concealer to counteract the prominent dark ink, followed by a layer of makeup which has been mixed to match Steve's skin tone.
"I don't hate it," he says once he has taken a look at the new him in the mirror. "I wouldn't want to look like this in public, but I don't hate it. I've got a decent jawline."
Steve invites his friends over to see this version of him, and they're all shocked by the transformation—although one friend that he looks like "some kind of hired killer." Ultimately, Steve decides that he likes his tattooed self best and that the covered-up version is the more off-putting, saying: "I think you'd cross the street if you saw me like this."
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