Tattoo trends have evolved in many ways. For one, today's designs are often much more inspired than the campy ones that used to be all the rage (the mustache finger and YOLO tat come to mind). Ink is also steadily gaining popularity and approval. According to History of Tattoos, 42% people in the United States don't think tattoos affect a person's attractiveness. Possibly because of this, more people are willing to say yes to pieces that will last forever, saving you from the long process of tattoo removal.
Most important, you have to care for your tattoo so that it heals properly and ages gracefully. If you've gotten tatted before, you know that the healing process can be a little itchy and uncomfortable, so you're going to want to keep skin hydrated. Mad Rabbit Soothing Gel is packed with aloe, which has a cooling effect and is anti-inflammatory. You can expect fast relief and redness reduction. It's smart to apply once a day for two weeks as your tattoo heals.
Once it does, you have to protect it from the sun since ultraviolet light can cause the degradation of ink. Staying out of the sun is always your best bet for protecting your skin in general, but when you are exposed, be sure to slather on SPF. A stick applicator like Ink Eeze Ink Shield Sunscreen Stick is great for targeted application, and it's easy to stash it in your bag, preparing you for the event of unexpected sun exposure.
For 2023, tattoos are continuing to be about artistic expression. Customers will often spend hours researching artists and designs in order to find the one that best fits their vibe. To help you get started, we asked top tattoo artists to predict the biggest tattoo trends of the year. Good news: There's something for everyone.
“Clients are looking for works that feel more unique, collaborative, and complementary to one’s body,” says Eva Karabudak, a tattoo artist and founder of Atelier Eva in Brooklyn. This type of art and collaboration really puts an emphasis on the client-artist relationship and speaks to how important it is to do research before finding the one that's right for you.
“Clients have begun to seek out more nuanced, one-of-a-kind artists,” she says, which often entails creating a freehand or hand-drawn design with the tattoo artist versus bringing in an image that you want a carbon copy of.
A sleeve tattoo is nothing new, but there's something so cool and intriguing about a sticker sleeve. All the little “stickers” seemingly have nothing to do with each other, but when placed in the right way, they don't appear random or mismatched at all. Instead, it's just a cool way to direct the eye from one tattoo to another. A type of human vision board, if you will.
“Small [sticker] pieces are a great way for people to experience a tattoo [sleeve] without committing to the hours and hours of a more detailed piece that covers larger surface area,” says Amanda McGrath, a tattoo artist and owner of Day Tripper Ink in Bohemia, New York.
Flowers and butterflies and birds, oh my! Tattoos inspired by nature aren't going anywhere. “People always connect to the natural world,” says Jason Schroder, a tattoo artist based in Austin and Los Angeles. “You can associate a meaning to a flower, plant, or animal, and that can add some emotion or meaning to the wearer."
And just because they're popular doesn't mean that they're overdone. Your flower can be completely different from someone else's flower—things like scale, color, and placement all come into play when keeping your ink unique. This is a great option for getting a group tattoo. You can all feel connected through the unifying memory or meaning behind the ink, without sacrificing your own personal taste for the sake of satisfying a group.
Small minimalist pieces
“Lately, the micro tattoos are super popular,” says McGrath. A micro tattoo typically uses a single needle and is the smallest and most precise. They're obviously the easiest to hide too, if you need to in a professional setting (or at dinner with Grandma). But they're also fun and intriguing in a sort of “Is that?” or “Isn't that?” way when catching a quick glimpse of the ink on someone. People also seem to be a little more quirky in these smaller designs, as it doesn't feel as big of a deal. For example, a tiny croissant or cowboy hat can be fun. On a more serious note, this type of design is also perfect for initials or meaningful numbers for someone who is wanting to commemorate something in a way that's special to them.
What probably comes to mind is the memory of a sheet of tattoos that your friends used to stick on each other at birthday parties (if you remembered to peel the plastic off, that is). And guess what? There are cool, grown-up versions of those—we love the super-realistic designs from Inked by Dani. But putting a little more commitment (and legit-ness) into noncommittal tattoos is the made-to-fade tattoo company Ephemeral. Its temporary tats last up to 9 to 15 months, so you really get to experience the feeling of getting and having a tattoo, just not for the rest of your life.
“They give people a chance to take a walk on the wild side,” says Aja-Noelle Po, a tattoo artist with Ephemeral, “without fully committing to the wildness of it all.” This is a great option for a trendier tattoo that may not hold as much meaning in a few years or if someone wants to see what it feels like to get a tattoo before deciding whether they want one forever.
Ignorant style tattoos
These tattoos are typically all line work with no color or shading, and they have a kind of loose, cartoony look to them. As to why this style is popular right now (other than the fact that Harry Styles is a fan), Po says, “It adds an ironic humor to the experience, which, coincidentally is a lot of people’s coping mechanisms.” I challenge you to look up the hashtag #ignoranttattoo on Instagram and not smile—there's some really fun design inspo and lots of cute caricatures. You can also expect to see ignorant designs in groupings similar to what you'd find in a sticker sleeve.
Originally Appeared on Glamour