Attention, ink lovers of Brooklyn! A new tattoo parlor, Cake Is a Lie, has emerged onto the scene, located at 963 Manhattan Avenue. The talented staff at this AAPI, women-owned business offers a range of styles, from bold graphics to ethereal fine line work.

We spoke with owner Crys to find out more about her shop and how she decided to open up in Greenpoint.

The interior of Cake Is a Lie. Image courtesy of Cake Is a Lie.

What attracted you to opening in Greenpoint? Do you live in the area?

I have been working around Williamsburg/Greenpoint for about 2 years. The area has always attracted me with its lively energy and incredible neighbors. Since opening, the small businesses around us have come to congratulate and welcome us into the community. The community aspect is what really attracted me to the area. My goal for opening this studio is to promote community. In recent years, tattooing has moved away from intimidating traditional shops to intimidating higher end shops that’s sometimes not accessible to everyone. I want to create a space that upholds quality and integrity while still remaining welcoming and warm. One of the recent and best compliments we’ve received recently from a client was “this feels like I am just relaxing at home.” I currently live in Bushwick, but am soon moving to Queens to be closer to the shop!

What was the process of opening a store during a pandemic?


Honestly, opening a shop like this was a bit hectic, but as is anything in life. Having my own studio has been a longtime dream of mine, and I have been planning what it would be like for the last 6 years. I was lucky and had the support and assistance of my friends. I found the location walking around the neighborhood and chanced upon the shop. When we met with the landlords, they were extremely supportive, welcoming, and helpful. I knew I had found a perfect spot for the shop. Of course, with any business, there were the not fun parts of getting licensing, organizing legal paperworks, and allocating finances, but ultimately it was just kind of a hands-on just do it type of deal.

What inspires or influences your tattooing style? 

When I first started tattooing I struggled very much with my own art identity. There’s an existing pressure with social media as well as the competitive nature of the industry that forces people to think styles need to be current, trendy, or a specific style. I have finally found home in doing styles I like…which includes both blackwork and color work alike. I have fun because my tattoos and my experiences with the clients during each session serves as a way for me to communicate to people, and I love that my art can bring happiness to my clients. Subject wise, I find inspiration in my past experiences as a musician (bassoonist of 8 years), competitive video game player, and kinetic illustrator (I worked on animatronics, 3D design, and basic robotics). I am still very active in the gaming scene and I am actively trying to bring the two cultures together in my art. 

I see that Cake is a Lie also offers permanent makeup. Could you tell us more about what permanent makeup means, and what kinds of permanent make up do you offer?

Our PMA Christine is amazing! Currently she is offering ombre brows. The process creates a fuller effect while remaining very natural after the healing. The brows are semi-permanent as it does require touch-ups. The brows are done by machine! In the future, she is planning on offering full service such as microblading, lip tint, and lash extensions. While it is tattooing, it technically is labeled as semi permanent since touch-ups are required. To maintain natural looks, you never want to have a PMA go too aggressively on the colors.

Our regular tattoo artists also offer nail tattoos! Essentially, the tattoos go onto the top layers on the nails, it does not hurt and will be gone once the nails grow out. And the best part is, if you’re bored of it you can just paint over the designs with regular polish!

Anything else you’d like our readers to know?

The name “Cake Is a Lie” is a nod to the 2007 puzzle platform game, “Portal.” I love gaming and tattoos so I want to find a way to create a space for the niche audience.  We are planning on hosting monthly Super Smash tournaments, Mario Kart, or DnD meetings and provide prizes for the winners (ie. discounted or free tattoos). Of course, we are in the very beginning stages of the shop, so all the fun stuff will come later!

Cake Is a Lie is open every day from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome.

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