Mum gets face tattoos to beat drugs and is unrecognisable after transformation

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Sarah-Jane Howell is often stared at in the street after she underwent a jaw-dropping transformation by covering her face in tattoos.

But the Essex mum is unconcerned with the judgement of others and says the tatts have helped her stay sober.

The 26-year-old – who has battled a drug addiction – is days away from being half-a-year clean.

And her face tattoos include the quotes ‘love is pain’ and ‘stand out be original’ along with the name and date of birth of her daughter. She also has a butterfly on her cheek that covered up a pervious tatt of a crying angel.

Speaking to the Daily Star, Sarah-Jane said: “At first I was a bit concerned about walking the street publicly and what people would think.

“But after a week I got used to it and now I forget I have them to be honest.”

However, some strangers have rudely stopped her to offer their opinion.

She explained: “I get stared at and stopped a lot and I had a woman last week who pulled me and asked what my trauma was.

“I usually give a sarcastic answer and I told her it was childhood trauma and she said ‘oh I can see that and I really hope you get better’ and I was like 'cheers'.

“I just have a laugh with it.”

Sarah-Jane – who regularly shares her body art via her 'essexink' TikTok page where she has 74,000 followers – started getting tattoos aged 18 and hasn't looked back since.

She said she can’t count how many she now has but she is is hopeful of getting her whole body covered as soon as possible.

And one of her favourites is a Mike Myers Halloween portrait tattoo on her arm. Explaining why, she joked: “I’ve always liked a man in a mask.”

The barmaid said her life hit a low point a couple of years back after getting in with the wrong crowd.

Seeking help, she didn’t see her daughter for a year and she described how the face tatts helped her cope.

She said: “Drugs are a way to escape reality and when I stopped doing them I got more tattoos because I obviously had more money and time.

“I just find when you’re sitting in that chair it is that relief and release at the same time. It’s that way of letting go and just being under the needle.”

Her little girl is now seven and Sarah-Jane spoke about showing her the face art for the time time.

She remembered: “I went on a Facetime with her a couple of months ago and I was a bit concerned she wouldn’t recognise me but she didn’t say anything.

“But a few minutes in I told her and pointed to her name and birthday and she was shocked but in a happy way.”

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