Mum claims eye tattoo nightmare in Queenstown

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A distraught holidaymaker is threatening legal action after an allegedly “botched” Queenstown tattoo job on her eyes. 

Shelly Rowlands claims she needs $20,000 of plastic surgery to fix her permanent eyelid ink – and she wants tattoo artist Deane “Deno” Jones from QT Ink to pay. 

Mum-of-two Rowlands alleges Jones “went in too deep” on her right bottom eyelid, resulting in a “bleeding” effect as well as “making a mess” of the rest of her eyes. 

“The ink has bled into the fat and it’s now there permanently,” she says. 

Her claims are vehemently denied by Jones. 

Dubai-based Rowlands paid Jones $200 to have her eyebrows and lids tattooed in three sessions in March. 

She’s had semi-permanent tattoo eye work done in Auckland for 12 years but decided to make it permanent while in Queenstown visiting her two sons. 

Afterwards, Rowlands had to fly to Auckland and claims she had to shell out a further $520 to get Jones’s work “tidied up” by a permanent makeup specialist who uses mineral-based pigment instead of ink. 

The Auckland cosmetic tattoo expert, who won’t be named, alleges Jones’s work is “second rate”. 

“The bleeding of colour, or whatI’d refer to as colour migration, has left Shelly with an undesirable bruised and smudged look,” the specialist says.
“The rest of the ‘eyeliner’ was poorly positioned and inconsistent … the resulting work on Shelly fell well below the expected standard.” 

For one appointment, Rowlands paid $100 to a Queenstown doctor at the now-closed Midtown Medical Centre, to anaesthetise the area. Jones alleges the drugs made her “hyper” and caused her eyes to swell. 

Rowlands also claims Jones asked her to reschedule a morning follow-up appointment – because he’d been boozing the night before. 

Jones, 36, who’s tattooed for 15 years, says Rowlands’s claim is “complete b******t”. 

“I’m a solo dad with two kids, I don’t go out. You can’t drink and work … I’m a professional.” 

He swears he hasn’t had a drink since last September, after being sentenced in Queenstown District Court to four months’ community detention, nine months’ supervision, and drug and alcohol therapy. 

He was also disqualified for 16 months for driving with a breath alcohol level of 922mcg, having been convicted twice previously, the Southland Times reported. 

It wasn’t till after the tattoos healed that Rowlands realised the permanence of what she first thought was temporary bruising. 

She claims she went to see Jones three times to discuss things but he wasn’t there and her messages weren’t returned.
Last Monday, she called in again but Jones asked her to return later. 

Jones claims she “got nasty” so he told her to leave. 

“All she needed to do was to come back in 20 minutes and then I would have sorted it out. I’d have tattooed a skin colour over the area and it would have fixed it instantly. But because she was so nasty, I thought stuff it,” Jones says. 

He’s “100 per cent sure” he didn’t go too deep to cause the ink bleed. 

“It’s a very precise tattoo. I’ve probably done it about 100 times and I’ve never had a complaint. 

“When she left here, it was perfect. She even said so herself.” 

Jones: “I guarantee my work for life. But when someone else touches it, what can you do about it?” 

Rowlands has since visited an Auckland doctor who’s referred her to a plastic surgeon. 

“I just want to get it fixed because I don’t want to look like this for the rest of my life,” she says.