History of Tattoos in America

History of Tattoos in America

Walk Through the History of Tattoos in America

Walk Through the History of Tattoos in America

The Americas have a rich tradition of tattooing. Continue reading here to find out more about the history of tattoos in America.

Thinking about getting a tattoo? Do it! You’ll be joining the many that have come to understand the rich art that is tattooing.

Though, tattooing wasn’t always viewed that way.

Before you go jumping the gun, let’s take a look at the history of tattoos in America. You’ll be surprised to find how this art form has developed, and may even find inspiration for your next piece!

Let’s dive in.

Early History of Tattoos in America

Towards the end of the 19th century, tattoos were widely considered taboo in America. Socialite Ward McAllister had this to say about them: “It is certainly the most vulgar and barbarous habit the eccentric mind of fashion ever invented. It may do for an illiterate seaman, but hardly for an aristocrat.”

Though socialites like McAllister may have looked upon tattoos with disgust, there were many who valued tattoos for what they represented. Those in the military, especially, shared the understanding that tattoos were symbols of courage and patriotism.

Records of these 19th century-style tattoos were found in naval logs, letters, and diaries written by seaman. The designs of these traditional American tattoos developed from the artists who traded and improved upon each other’s styles. The tattoos evolved a series of stories and symbols that united soldiers and sailors across the World Wars.


The most well-known tattoo artist of the time was Martin Hildebrandt. In 1870, Hildebrandt opened a studio on Oak Street in New York City, considered the first tattooing establishment in America. He worked there for over 20 years, where he would soon see a shift in the country’s perception of tattoos with the rise of the traveling circus.

The Circus Sideshow

The traveling circus was the spectacle of the year for many small, rural towns across America. There, those who never left their homes and farms could experience such wonders and horrors that seemed out of this world.

One of these sideshow attractions was that of the fully tattooed person.

Frank and Emma DeBurdg were one of these exhibits. Along with the usual designs of patriotic insignias and religious symbols, the couple also displayed tattoos they shared to represent their relationship and bond.

Frank had tattooed on him a beautiful script with the words “For Get Me Not” inscribed above a pretty portrait of his wife, Emma. She, in return, had their names beautifully adorned and displayed prominently for all to see.

This display of affection for one another caught the attention of the public, appealing to their romantic senses. The DeBurdgs saw great success touring America and Europe, and with their exposure so did the art of tattooing gain appreciation with the public.

O’Reilly’s Invention

Traditional tattooing was a bit cumbersome for the artist.

Early tattoo artists used a needle attached to a wooden handle. They would dip this needle in ink and then manually stab the skin two to three times to imprint the ink onto a specific spot. The technique required great dexterity and mental fortitude.

Samuel O’Reilly revolutionized the practice almost overnight.

In addition to being a talented artist, O’Reilly was a skilled technician and mechanic. He theorized that if up and down motion of the needle could be automated, the artist could tattoo nearly as quickly as they could draw on paper.

In 1891, O’Reilly released his invention and offered it to the public along with enriched colored inks, tattoo designs, and other tools. Tattooing in the United States was turned on its head overnight. O’Reilly was swarmed with orders for his invention as more and more artists entered the field of tattooing.

World Influence

Working class men in America commonly adorned tattoos primarily as symbols of masculinity and pride. Soldiers and sailors that served on foreign lands, however, brought home with them a different form of body ornamentation.

While on their travels, these soldiers and sailors experienced the practices and customs of the indigenous cultures of Asia, Africa, and the South Pacific. Their individual uses of tattoos were a bit different from that of typical American art.

This caused a revival of interest in tattoos in American societies across the country. That is to say, specifically, the rebel youth culture of the late twentieth century.

The Beatniks of the 1950s and the Hippies of the ’60s gained a great appreciation for Asian tattooing practices. They admired the personal expression of spiritual and mysticism found in these cultures.

Conversely, the youth of the Punk movement in the ’70s and ’80s used tattoos as symbols of rebellion. They found solace in tattoos as a representation for their feelings of imprisonment by society’s standards for class and decorum.

Modern Tattooing Practices

History of Tattoos in AmericaWhile tattooing was once a taboo topic in America, now it’s a rising career field for many fledgling artists.

More and more artists are being professionally trained in academies across the country. A study done in the late 1980s estimated that the number of trained artists per year has doubled in comparison to the number of artists that graduated in the ’70s. However, not as many galleries are being built to host the works of these young artists.

But there are plenty of people looking for tattoos.

As a result, these trained artists are bringing with them the plethora of skills and techniques they’ve learned from these art programs. They carry a sense of innovation and experimentation, already giving rise to new tattoo styles such as New Skool and Bio-Mechanical.

What was previously a disdained and marginalized artform, tattooing has been undergoing a process of cultural reform the past few decades. New meanings of tattoo are being developed by gallery exhibits and critics that reframe the practice for what it is: art.

Get Tattooed Today!

There you have it—the rich history of tattoos in America!

If you’re in the area, give us a shout and we can give you an in-depth look at our history with tattooing. Our artists are always happy to give a consultation on any tattoo or design!

Book Tattoo

Book Tattoo

Inking Your Love of Books: The Top Tattoo Ideas for Bookworms

Are you someone who always has their head in a book? If so, read on to learn about the top book tattoo ideas for bookworms.

Are you a literature lover in need of a new tattoo?

You’re not alone. 4 of 10 U.S. adults have at least one tattoo, visible or not.

Tattooed individuals are also unlikely to stop at just one inking. That first tattoo often inspires more, especially if you’ve found a tattoo artist who truly understands your creative expression.

The sky really is the limit when it comes to tattoo designs, though. If you’re a bookworm in need of some inspiration, keep reading (pun intended).

In this post, we discuss the top book tattoo ideas every word lover is likely to appreciate. Read on!

1. Fluttering Pages

Most bookworms adore the smell of the pages of a new novel plucked from a bookstore shelf. There’s nothing quite like the feel of fluttering pages, either, even if you have your Kindle on you at all times.

Express your profound love of the page by literally inking it into your skin. Your booklover’s tattoo may, for example, involve the image of an open book with fluttering pages.

The best designs we’ve seen portray some of these pages actually fluttering out of the book itself. Some of these loose sheaves turn into birds, taking flight out of the book and across your skin.

With the fluttering page design, simpler is better. We recommend leaving text out of this design, letting the image of fluttering, blank pages stand on its own.

2. Animals and Books

Do you crave curling up with a book next to your beloved feline?

Plenty of literature lovers would agree that animals and books pair extremely well together. Consider getting a tattoo that displays your adoration for both.

An iconic image in this regard is an animal perching on top of a stack of books. If you like owls, get a tattoo of a Great Snowy White with its claws digging into your favorite texts.

If you’re more into claws than feathers, dream up a design that shows a kitty leaning up against a tower of books. If you don’t like the idea of a stack of books, stick with just one text.

Other animals that make for an excellent design include birds, wolves, and jungle creatures.

3. The Magic in the Pages

Books can really be magical, inviting anyone to step into another world for a short spell. If you’ve caught the allure of reading, express this in a tattoo.

Your tattoo may show an open book whose pages are actually the cresting waves of an ocean, for example.

Or you may ask your tattoo artist to inscribe the image of a book surrounded by the cosmos, including stars and moons.

Love Harry Potter? Pair the image of a book with a wand, wizard’s staff, or ancient rune.

This is a great design for individuals who want a colored tattoo.

4. Literary Quotes

You likely can recall a few sentences from your favorite books. Why not make those sentences a part of you?

Inscribe a quote of the first line of your favorite novel on your forearm. Or ask your tattoo artist to ink a few words from your favorite poem in a circlet around your ankle.

If you’re having trouble coming up with some great literary quotes, check out this article for inspiration.

If you do choose to get a literary quote as a tattoo, think carefully about how you would like those words arranged. Sometimes it’s nice to inscribe quotes into tattooed banners or ribbons, for example.

Or perhaps you want to display a quote with the image of a book as its background.

Your tattoo artist can help you explore other ideas about using quotes, too.

5. Quills, Quills, Quills

Pay homage to the ancient past of books by getting a tattoo of a quill and/or ink bottle.

The image of a quill is easy to incorporate into almost any tattoo design, because it is so feathery, light, and tapered. This makes it ideal to use in larger-scale and smaller-scale designs.

In fact, if you are getting your first tattoo, you may be thinking of a smaller, more discreet design. A quill is perfectly suited to this, especially if you tattoo a tiny quill on your wrist.

If you’re musing about how best to show off your literary quote, why not get a tattoo of the image of a quill actually writing that quote on your skin?

6. The Art of Reading Itself

If quills aren’t your jam, you can always resort to a classic of book tattoos: the image of the reader. In this book tattoo design, we get an actual glimpse of someone in the act of reading.

This reader doesn’t necessarily have to be you.

You can get a tattoo that shows an animal reading a book, for example. Or you can merely suggest a reader with the image of a pair of hands gripping an open book.

Another tattoo design that celebrates the art of reading may show someone reading a book on a windowsill, gazing out at the stars.

7. A Sleeve of Books

If you’ve been thinking about getting a tattoo sleeve, consider one made entirely of inked pages or the titles of your favorite books.

You may also wish to inscribe an entire poem or favorite paragraph on an arm (or both).

Bookworms may also appreciate the idea of bookshelves wrapping around a forearm or tricep. If you want a subtler sleeve, return to the fluttering pages idea, and inscribe loose sheets of paper fluttering up and down your biceps.

Final Thoughts: The Best Book Tattoo Ideas

Tattoos give us all a creative opportunity to showcase our passions. If your passion involves books, why not permanently etch this love into your skin?

When it comes to book tattoo designs, most people opt for the image of a book itself. An open book with fluttering pages can do nicely here.

Or you may wish to combine the image of a book with other things, such as sprouting flowers, animals, or stars.

You can also always get a tattoo of your favorite quote from literature.

Hungry for more tattoo inspiration? Check out this post on tattoo trends you don’t want to miss!

wedding ring tattoos

wedding ring tattoos

Forget the Diamonds: The Top Tips and Ideas for Wedding Ring Tattoos

Wedding ring tattoos – With 2.3 million couples getting married each year, it’s hard to come up with a unique idea to represent you and yours. But, modern brides are setting new trends every day.

The traditional wedding ring is no exception. Yet, that ring may not be what you’re expecting, these days. Today’s brides are choosing wedding ring tattoos over the diamond.

You read that right. Couples are getting tattoos. Right on their ring fingers to represent the wedding band.

Well, why not?

They’re beautiful. It’s a permanent symbol of your bond. And, if you get the right one, it’s timeless and classy, too.

It checks all the boxes of a traditional wedding ring, without investing 3 months wages.

So, how are couples choosing the perfect wedding ring tattoos? Let’s find out!

Wedding Ring Tattoos: Tips and Ideas to Help You Choose!

It’s not exactly a new idea, but it’s definitely gaining ground. Maybe because tattoos are more popular than ever. Or, it could be the savings involved.

Wedding ring tattoos are far less expensive than a traditional wedding ring. You can get one for $50 to $2,000, depending on the design and the artist. That’s a lot of money you can save for the honeymoon!

But, the real reason may have more to do with the tattoo itself. The most valuable thing about a wedding ring tattoo is not the price tag. It’s the meaningful design that a couple chooses together.

They’re personalized in a way that the traditional ring isn’t. And, that’s what couples want.

Choose Your Style

Every couple is unique, and so is their personal style. That style will merge into your ring tattoos.

Only about 16% of the world has tattoos. That already makes you unique. But your tattoo style says even more about you.

Here are a few styles to consider.

  • Traditional/Classic
  • Tribal
  • Colorful
  • Symbolic
  • Bold & Blackwork
  • Watercolor
  • Cultural

There are many more styles to choose from. The style you choose depends only on your preferences.

Symbolism is Important

Here’s where it gets personal. Choosing a wedding ring tattoo should include something symbolic. Something special that represents the relationship between you and your spouse.

Find good symbolism in your past, present, and future. Consider how you met, what you like to do together, and your favorite things.

Places you’ve traveled to and struggles you’ve overcome can be meaningful symbols, too. Find something that represents your relationship and its special strength.

Here are some ideas to think about.

  • Special Places: beaches/waves, mountains, sunshine, palm trees
  • Health and Wellness: heartbeats, peace, double hearts, yin/yang, lotus
  • Love and Closeness: hearts, love knot, Claddagh, Celtic Knot
  • Dreams, Spirit, and Strength: moon, crescent moon, clouds, stars

These are just a few symbols. Do your research and you’ll find one that suits you! Remember, not all symbols are simple enough for a tattoo. So, make sure you choose one that works.

Speak with your tattoo artist to see if it can work in your ring tattoo.

Keep it Simple

A simple tattoo makes a classy statement. It’s also the best bet for this situation.


To start, fingers are very small areas! Your tattoo artist will have an easier time and do a better job on a simple design.

Here are a few more good reasons to keep it simple.

  • It’s a painful area – less is more
  • Simple lines and shapes look better
  • Simple finger tattoos blurless
  • Easier to touch up later

Choosing a simple design doesn’t mean you’re settling for boring. Talk with your tattoo artist to get it right!

Plan It Before You Ink It

This isn’t the kind of tattoo you do on a whim. It’s far more important and symbolic than that. Take the time to plan your design before you have it done.

Choosing an Artist

This is the most important part of the whole process! You need to choose a tattoo artist that understands your vision. And, one that can do the work in the style you like.

Start by checking out some tattoo artist’s online. Look at their web portfolios and read reviews from past clients. Narrow it down to three artists that seem good.

Then, schedule appointments with your top three choices. Meet, ask a few questions, and get to know your potential tattoo artists.

Ask if they have experience with wedding ring tattoos. It’s not a deal breaker if they’ve never done one. But, make sure they are confident they can do the work.

Take a look around the shop. You’ll get a feel for how they handle their business.

Is it clean? Professional? Do you feel comfortable here?

You’ll need to come prepared to discuss your design vision or look at options. Talk about pricing, too. It’s ok if they give you a range, as long as it works for your budget.

Schedule Design Visits

Once you decide on an artist, you’ll need an appointment to plan and complete your tattoo design. Bring notes about your ideas with you. If you’re not sure, as for guidance.

Most artists have many, many options you can choose from right in the shop. But, whatever you choose, personalize it a little bit. Then, negotiate to have it removed from the options.

This is yours. No one else should have it.

Picking the Right Time

Schedule inking appointments, next! It’s up to you whether you do it before or after the wedding.

Talk to your artist about what it’s like to get a tattoo. This can help you choose the right day.

Getting it done on your wedding day is not the best option. Think about everything else going on that day. It’s a very busy day, and you don’t want to add to it.

You can always use plain bands as your symbol during the ceremony. For best results, don’t rush your tattoo appointment. Schedule it during a time when you can relax and enjoy the moment!

wedding ring tattoos

Talk to a Tattoo Artist, Today!

Don’t go the traditional route. Look into wedding ring tattoos, instead! They’re personal, symbolic and beautiful.

It’s a unique and meaningful way to represent your marriage!

Looking for your next tattoo? We’ve got locations in Las Vegas and Hawaii. Contact us for details, today!

Tattoo Sleeve

Tattoo Sleeve

Roll Up the Sleeves: The Top Must-Know Tips for Planning a Tattoo Sleeve

The Top Must-Know Tips for Planning a Tattoo Sleeve

Tattoo sleeves can look awesome. But, you need to plan them right. Read on to learn the top tips for planning a tattoo sleeve.

Thinking of getting a tattoo? You’re not alone: four out of ten adults in the U.S. have at least one tattoo.

However, if you really want to stand out then a tattoo sleeve may be the way to go. This high impact tattoo design typically starts at the shoulder and extends all the way down your arm, ending just before your wrist. It also covers your entire arm like a piece of clothing; hence, the name.

This type of tattoo is rather extensive, however, and requires some planning. Here are some tips on achieving the tattoo sleeve of your dreams that you’ll love for the rest of your life.

Take the Time to Find the Right Design

This is the most fun part of getting a tattoo sleeve, but it may also require a lot of research. Take the time to determine the tattoo design you want. After all, it’s only going to stay on your body for the rest of your life (or unless you decide to have the tattoo removed.)

You can start by browsing tattoo sleeve ideas online. Instagram, Pinterest, and of course, tattoo shop websites are great places to start to find cool designs.

It’s important to choose the right tattoo color. Do you want a full-color design or a black and white one?

Should the design have special personal meaning to you? Will it reflect perhaps your astrological sign, your favorite flower, movie, or music idol?

These are all important questions to ask yourself and you should definitely know the answers before you schedule a consultation with a tattoo artist. If you know someone with a tattoo sleeve that you absolutely love, it may be a good idea to choose the artist they used so you can achieve the same effect.

Prepare for Your Consultation

Once you determine a design or have some concrete ideas for one, now you can schedule a consultation with a tattoo artist. They will fine-tune the design idea for you and let you know how long and how many appointments the tattoo will require.

You should bring photos of the artwork you have in mind and the designs that you like. However, try not to overwhelm the tattoo artist with too many ideas and themes. You should decide for yourself some of the specifics so they can work with you and your vision to create a sleeve tattoo you’re in love with.

Prepare for Some Discomfort

The most nerve-wracking aspect of getting any tattoo is the pain factor. The good news is some parts of the body are more comfortable to get a tattoo on than others. You can refer to a tattoo pain chart to get a better idea of which body areas are the most sensitive.

The bad news is a tattoo sleeve involves putting part of the design on your shoulder, which does tend to be a more sensitive area for most people. The flesh around the shoulder bone is thinner, which makes this part of the tattoo a little more painful.

There are several layers to your skin. Tattooing requires that the tattoo needle be inserted into the dermis part of the skin, the deeper area that contains nerves and pain receptors.

The needle is basically injuring the area every time it’s inserted (which can be hundreds of times per second.) This sends a signal to the brain that something is wrong, which is the reason why we feel pain when getting a tattoo.

However, there are a few steps you can take to make the process more comfortable.

Prepare for Your Tattoo Session

One of the best things you can do the day of your tattoo appointment is to stay hydrated and eat a healthy meal. Try to avoid alcohol and drinking too many caffeinated beverages before your appointment as both can cause dehydration.

Keeping your body hydrated and eating a balanced meal the day of your session will help keep your blood sugar at a healthy level. This will help prevent you from passing out and it also helps the skin absorb the ink better.

Get a good night’s sleep the night before. Shower or bathe as usual and don’t apply any lotions, oils, or moisturizers to the arm getting the tattoo.

You’ll also want to avoid taking any over-the-counter medication until after your appointment. Many of these medications can thin the blood just like alcohol can.

You can ask your tattoo artist to stop by raising your other hand or saying something if a portion of the tattoo becomes very uncomfortable. Ask them if it’s possible to take a break from time to time.

Chatting with your artist (as long as it doesn’t distract them) is another good tactic to help keep your mind off the tattoo application.

Healing Each Section of Your Tattoo

A tattoo sleeve is a very involved design that can’t be completed in one sitting. So, you will need to follow the tattoo artist’s instructions on tattoo healing after each visit. This will help keep the area clean and prevent infection.

They may give you bandages to place over the tattoo for a specified amount of time. You’ll want to gently cleanse the tattooed area with a gentle cleanser and lukewarm water. You should also limit sun exposure to the area.

You’ll be repeating the process after each section of your tattoo is completed.

We Can Give You Your Dream Tattoo Sleeve

tattoo sleeveGetting a tattoo sleeve requires some preparation, but many people who have one will tell you it’s well worth it. A well-done tattoo sleeve leaves a lasting impression and helps you express your individuality.

Here at Skin Factory Tattoo, our tattoo artists are well experienced in tattoo sleeves as well as all kinds of tattoo designs. When you’re ready for a tattoo consultation, contact us. We have three locations: Las Vegas, Henderson, and Maui.

Travel Tattoo

Travel Tattoo

Inking Your Wanderlust: The Top Travel Tattoo Ideas for Your Vagabond Heart

Inking Your Wanderlust: The Top Travel Tattoo Ideas

Are you absolutely obsessed with travel? Are you thinking about inking your obsession? If so, read on to learn about the top travel tattoo ideas.

There are 5,000 airplanes over the US at any time. Curious what that looks like? This website will let you have serious travel jealousy as it tracks planes in real time as they traverse the globe.

If you have a passion for travel, why not ink it on your skin? Then whenever you start to dream of your next adventure you can glance at your travel tattoo.

But what should you get to show your love of travel? We have a few ideas for you.

World Map

You could go simplistic with your world map by choosing to do an outline of the continents. Or you could fill them in and have solid black for a bolder look.

For a more creative look, you could make the continents colorful inside the rigid outline. Or go more freeform and choose a watercolor design.

Now all of these designs would be a flat hang on the wall type of map design. So you could change it up and get a globe tattooed instead.


You’ll never be lost as long as you know where North is.

For a more traditional look choose a highly detailed and shaded design. While a minimalist design will have few details beyond two crisscrossing lines and the four directional letters.

If your heart is in the sea look for a nautical compass. These are slightly different as they have a nautical star as a part of the design.


What better way to show your love than to get an airplane? You could continue the minimalist trend that we’ve talked about so far.

Or you could go with a more realistic design. Or how about a new-school colorful cartoon design? This would make your airplane stand out among all of the other people with plane tattoos.

Something Cultural

Do you have a favorite place to visit? Then why not get a tattoo that is symbolic of that place or culture?

Many people go to Thailand and get a traditional talisman tattoo known as Sak Yank tattoos. Or you could travel to Japan for a traditional tattoo.

If you go this route try to honor the culture by staying as true to form as possible. Make sure you follow the rules of the culture and style.


As far as design most people stick to one style when it comes to coordinates. They use a more solid traditional block letter. Then you have the numbers in a line.

We’re not saying you have to go this route, but why try to fix what isn’t broken? This presentation looks the best and allows for the coordinates to be read.

You have freedom when it comes to what coordinates you choose though. You could put the location of your home to always remember where you came from.

Or you could put the location of your favorite place to go. A third option is to put the location of your bucket list place that you haven’t been to but hope to go to one day.

Waves or Ocean Inspired

For some travel is all about the ocean and being near the water. You could follow in celebrities’ footsteps by getting a mini tattoo.

A small and simple line in the shape of a wave will subtly express your love for the sea. A mini tattoo is the perfect tattoo style for those who want a tattoo but aren’t ready to commit to anything too big or noticeable.

You could go in the exact opposite direction and go with an American traditional ship. These tattoos feature traditional colors and bold black lines.

Inspirational Sayings

Instead of going for the imagery you could opt for a meaningful saying. Some of the best sayings are short and simple. You could even go with just one word that has significance or meaning to you.

For a softer look opt for a delicate script. Just make sure you can read the letters. If you want a bolder look, you can choose a san serif type of font or block lettering.


Do you feel a special connection with an animal? You could have that exotic animal tattooed as a symbol of the country it’s from.

Many people choose to get an elephant for Africa. Or how about a sea turtle for the tropics?

You could go for a big statement piece that is a portrait on your arm, thigh, or back. It could have a lot of shading to add depth and dimension.


Palm trees are popular with travelers who love the tropics. If this sounds like the tattoo for you, then stop by our Maui shop,

Las Vegas Tattoo shop or Henderson tattoo Parlor.  The most popular design is a solid black tattoo. The trunk of the tree is slender with a slight curve.

You can scale the tree for where you want it on your body. Place it on your arm or leg, and you can make the trunk longer. Place it on your foot and curve the trunk more.

Pick Your Travel Tattoo

travel tattooDon’t be afraid to mix a few different ideas. Pick one tattoo style, but then combine the world map and compass. Or you could do a wave with a fish.

Whatever you decide on for your travel tattoo, make sure you find the right tattoo artist. This can make or break your tattoo.

Ask your artist what type of styles they are comfortable tattooing. When you find an artist you like, work them to create something that is unique to you and your passion for traveling.

Have an awesome idea for your travel tattoo? Give us a shout and let us bring your tattoo to life.

Tattoo Color

Tattoo Color

7 Simple Tips to Help You Choose the Right Tattoo Color

7 Simple Tips to Help You Choose the Right Tattoo Color

Are you getting a tattoo, but struggling to decide on the color? Read on to learn 7 simple tips to help you choose the right tattoo color.

Did you know the tattoo industry’s estimated at $3 billion?

Are you thinking of getting a tattoo but not sure how to choose colors? Not to worry! In this article, we’ll go over seven tips on how to decide on the right tattoo color for your design.

Want to learn more? Keep reading to find out!

Selecting the Right Tattoo Color

Choosing to get a tattoo is a unique experience. You want to give it some serious thought before having it done. Consider what area of the body you want it on and how the design will appear once finished.

It’s essential to think about the colors beforehand if you plan to have a colored tattoo. Once inked, the color is on for a lifetime. Decide if you want a bright or dark tattoo.

From fairies to mermaids, you can choose bright colors that give life to the pattern you decide to ink.

Let’s look at ways to gauge a good color choice.

1. The Science of Your Skin

Overtone and undertone describe two different things. Overtone refers to your skin tone. Skin tone is the color of your skin. Some examples are olive, brown, or porcelain.

Undertones are cool, warm, or neutral. When you’re looking for a pigment that will suit your skin, match the ink color with your skin’s undertone.

Cool undertones describe people with pink, blueish, or ruddy complexions. These complexions reveal blue colored veins. Warm undertones are golden or peachy complexions. They show green colored veins.

Neutral undertones are an even complexion. Undertone aligns with your surface skin tone, and you can’t distinguish vein color.

2. Your Body Color

The color of your body is a factor to consider when picking colors. Understand that some colors may look good on certain skin tones whereas others don’t.

If you select the wrong color for your body, the design may appear smudged.

Skin is complex, and various factors contribute to the color. Three biological chemicals determine the color of your skin.

One of the biological chemical’s is hemoglobin, and it’s red. Melanin is your skin’s sun protection agent. It’s red-yellow or brown. Carotene is orange-yellow.

Your veins appear blue with the less melanin you have. You’ll have what’s called a cool complexion. If you have lots of melanin, your veins appear green, and your skin looks bronze.

The amount of carotene and hemoglobin determines the variation in your undertone.

3. You Must Take Care of Colored Tattoos

Colored tattoos need a lot of care and effort. Bright tattoos are more expensive because they need touch ups, unlike black tattoos. If you’re not ready for the after-tattoo care, avoid choosing any fancy colors for the tattoo design.

You can always return for a colored tattoo down the road if you can’t commit to one right away.

4. Sun Exposure

Did you know that tattoo ink rests in a place in your skin where light-receptive skin cells are? These cells are melanocytes, and they secrete melanin when exposed to the sun.

Melanin is what makes the bronze color on your skin after you’ve tanned for a few hours.

Your tattoo dulls when melanin mixes with ink pigment. How long do you spend in the sun? Consider this when choosing a tattoo. Sun exposure can change the tone of your tattoo.

UV rays can make your tattoo fade. They break up pigment particles in your tattoo. Wear sunblock to protect your tattoo from any sun damage. This will help your tattoo remain bright.

5. Color Combination and Design

Have you decided on a colored tattoo and know you’ll take the time to care for it? Making sure the colors you choose look good together is vital. The combination you choose will make the design exquisite and noticeable.

Don’t choose colors because you think it’s going to make the tattoo interesting. Make sure you select color because it’s going to make the design stand out.

6. Chat with Your Tattoo Artist

Once you’ve chosen a design, you’ll still want to find a skilled artist and consult them on the colors. Try and steer clear of cheap outlets or shady joints. Walk into a well-known tattoo parlor where you know they’re trained professionals.

Professionals know how to guide you on your final color combination choice. They’ll have a sense of how the tattoo will turn out.

They can even help you test a few colors on your skin in a hidden spot. Having a test spot will give you a chance to see how it looks.

Testing a color is a safe way to rule out any possibility of allergic reactions as well.

7. Colors that are Difficult to Remove

You may not want to think about laser removal. We know you’re reading this article to learn about choosing the right colors. Yet, if you ever wanted to remove the tattoo, certain colors are easier to remove than others.

For example, orange and yellow are quite resistant to laser removal. Make sure you avoid these colors unless you are super confident in your choice.

Want to learn more? Check out our guide on 2019 tattoo styles you should consider.

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We hope you found this article on tattoo color insightful. Make sure you consider the color of your skin and how tattoo ink will show up. Consider the design and pick colors that will make it pop.

Want to learn more about tattoos? Contact us today. We would love to chat with you!