I Love White Tattoos, But Are They Worth It?


While body modification often has a new trend on the yearly, the art of tattooing has stayed relatively sedate in terms of novelty until the last few years. The latest trend du jour is the ‘White Tattoo’, a new favorite amongst women who are looking for something feminine, subtle & unique. The result of a white tat is an almost ‘branding’ effect and everyone from model Cara Delevingne to singer Ellie Goulding have one.


Cara Delevingne Reminder to Breathe Deep


Ellie G

Ellie Goulding’s White Arrow

One of the most popular trends are to have a lace ‘sleeve’ of white flowers going down ones arm…

White Lace...

White Lace…

Or again the white lace ‘look’ on the top of foot…

Lacey Foot

Lacey Foot

But wait! White Tattoos sound & LOOK great in theory, but they are cumbersome little sucka’s that need considerable care to work for you.


Having the ideal skin tone is the #1 deciding factor in White Tattoo qualifications. I had previously thought that the darker one was, say African-American–the better a white tattoo would look, being that there would be such a greater contrast.

Not So.

White Tattoos, tend to take on the skin tone of the plebe whose getting one, and a milky white visage is the IDEAL tone for best results, as there is a transparency in white skin that allows for a better base. Darker skin literally swallows up the white ink, and it eventually disappears completely.


Because White Tattoos have the propensity to fade very easily, location of your white tattoo is paramount. The first rule of thumb is to stick it where the ‘Sun Don’t Shine’…figuratively of course.

Great places to avoid the damaging effects of harmful rays are on the underside of ones wrist or the top back of neck. Those areas also happen to be the highest pain threshold points as well. Even in these covert locales, the proper usage of an SPF 30 will help prolong the brightness of your tattoo, but there is still a good chance that the white can turn a yellowish-green down the road. EW.

An example of the trajectory a white can tattoo can take two months post. I'm certain the sweat on palms didn't help in this case.

An example of the trajectory a white can tattoo can take two months post. I’m certain that sweating didn’t help in this particular palm tattoo.

Best case scenario would be to get a white tattoo done in November + December, to avoid any kind of preliminary sun damage, at least up until Late February/March. Plus it’s a great time for themed tattoos. A white dove, an angel or a snowflake?

IT TAKES TWO TO MAKE A THING GO RI-IGGHT; (or Three, or even Four).

So once you’ve qualified the skin tone and location round of the game show sweeping the nation “ARE YOU READY FOR A WHITE TATTOO?,” there’s still one last hurdle to get over. You’re white tattoo may not ‘take‘ the first time around. You will have to wait 10 days healing time to see if it does in fact take, and if not you have to go back to your tattoo artist who will hopefully touch you up for free. In fact it is an unwritten rule that a white tattoo needs at least THREE touch ups to ‘take’.

Cara Delevingne Reminder to Breathe Deep

I recently got my first white tattoo on the upper part of the back of my neck and let me tell you, it was no picnic. For someone with a very high tolerance for pain (I have other tattoos and was formerly pierced in various places) I can tell you I was squirming for it to be over. My mother passed  from Cancer and one of the most amazing things she said (and there were MANY) during her last weeks was “G-d is a Butterfly“. I tattooed this lovely sentiment on the back of my neck in a beautiful cursive, and ten days later I can honestly report that it has pretty much faded into obscurity.

Maybe I went to the wrong artist, or perhaps it just needs to be done over a couple of more times. Maybe white tattoos are merely a roll of the dice, that work on some and not on others—despite having the right criteria of both location and skin tone?

I’m now deciding if I should go BACK to my tattoo artist who promised me a touch up ‘pro bono’ or if I should just be like every other herded sheep and go over it with black ink?

Or perhaps I can do what this person did. Incorporate it into a really clever sentiment underneath some black writing?

Let me know how your White Tattoos have fared!

Clever Idea!

Clever Idea!


PS. Check out my Pinterest page for a collection of my favorite white tattoos here


New Crop


3 thoughts on “I Love White Tattoos, But Are They Worth It?

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