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Pretty White Ink Tattoos For Girls

Updated on December 9, 2013

Why white ink?

White and pastel tattoos have become much more popular in recent years, possibly due to celebs like Kate Moss and Lindsay Lohan sporting them, and possibly as a backlash against the current tattooing craze. White ink tattoos are subtle; almost scar-like in their appearance and have a beauty all their own.

White ink isn't as opaque as black, and doesn't create as hard of a line. These tattoos are prone to fading over time, so you may want to have your worked touched up every few years. Some poor quality inks can appear yellow or blotchy when they fade, make sure your artist uses a quality tattoo ink such as Intenze, Eternal or Skin Candy---and be sure to check out their portfolio to see any other white ink tattoos they've done. Some artists will NOT work with white ink on its own, and many will not provide a guarantee on the inks longevity.

Sun damage is #1 for fading ink, so use a sunscreen everyday, there are tons of great products now just for tattoos that have sunscreen right in them so there's no excuse to let the sun wreak havoc on your ink, or skin for that matter! long do they really last?

Photo: Zodiac Tattoo, CA

Longevity of white ink tattoos is something of a debate, and even more dependant on the ability of the artist and the quality of materials than a standard black & grey or color tattoo. All ink fades to a certain extent, and with white and pastel inks being so light to start with, it's just more noticeable.

This image shows one persons experience with a white ink tattoo, from the day it was done right up to two months later. Most of the ones I've seen fade to about 50% of their original look within 1-2 years, but they are very simple to touch up since they are typically just lines. And of course, if you find the fading upsetting, you can always have the whole design colored in black at any time!

Choosing the right design

Choosing a design suitable for a white or pale ink is a little different than choosing a regular tattoo, but with a few simple guidelines you can pick something that will work perfectly.

Since this type of tattoo tends to be just linework, choose something with simple, flowing lines that don't have too much detail. Designs with alot of color or shading may look odd if they are left as just lines, so consider tracing the lines of your intended image to see how it will look without the shading.

Simple tribal designs, henna & mendhi styles and lettering are popular in white ink, and all work very well. This beautiful flower with Tibetean script is a wonderful example of a white ink tattoo done well, it's fine and delicate but still readable.

Tattoo byPaul Taylor

Can't draw? Create My Tattoo is the place to go! Create a contest to come up with your perfect design and watch world-class artists battle it out to create your winning design. It's fun, starts at around $20 and has a money-back guarantee.

Stick to simple, clean lines

Tattoo: PoundedInk

White ink doesn't show up quite the same as black, its effect is softer, more shadowy. But this doesn't have to be a disadvantage, just keep it in mind when you choose your design. Large blocks of white can look spotty, so keep solid bits small or broken up, like the pieces on this white Ouroborus tattoo.

"Tattoos have a power and magic all their own. They decorate the body but they also enhance the soul."

-Michelle Delio

perfect placement

Tattoo: Horns & Halo Tattoo, Sherman Oaks, CA

The perfectly round shape of this flower of life design is ideal for the placement on the centre chest, where the accuracy of the lines can be seen. Be sure a piece like this is centred, there is nothing worse than an off-kilter tattoo that's otherwise well done.

Would you consider a white ink tattoo?

Do you like white & pastel ink tattoos? Think you'd get one?



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    • purplemadhatter 3 years ago

      its quite beautiful


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      Swirly Mendhi-inspired details!

      Tattoo: Mareva Lambough

      Traditional Mendhi style is very popular for white inkwork, and quite ideal for it, given the focus on fine lines and detailed swirls, dots and patterns. It's also one of the easiest styles to test out, simply pick up a henna kit with a few designs or draw something of your own. It won't be exactly the same since henna isn't white, but is a great way to see how you like the size & placement of your design before making it permenant.

      The lace-like bits and delicate patterns in this lovely piece make it a natural for white ink, looks so subtle and feminine!

      Free white ink tattoo designs

      Here's a few simple designs to spark some white ink ideas! These are small and delicate with simple linework that would be perfect for white or pastel ink. Save & print out along with the stencil (black & white sheet), can be resized a little larger or smaller. 100% Designed by me & absolutely free for personal use.

      exquisitely soft pastels

      elegant & feminine!

      stencil (full size)

      simply print out the stencil in whatever size you like.

      small and meaningful

      Tattoo by: Ink By Finch, Singapore

      Since white and pale ink tattoos are so subtle, even those who need to keep their style conservative for work (or whatever) can often get away with a little bit of white ink!

      Ink not your thing? Check out these awesome printed stockings & tights!

      Delicate is in the details

      Tattoo: Mastermind Ink, Chicago IL.

      This beautiful floral piece is a wonderful example of one of the larger white ink pieces out there; the lines still very simple and smooth, and it works perfectly for the subtle white ink. A pale pink or lilac would also be pretty I think!

      a few choice words

      Photo: White Ink Tattoos Centre

      Simple handwriting works well for white ink designs, be sure the letters you choose are 'open' enough in letters like the lowercase e, b, d and such...having loops that are too close together is a recipe for a blurred mess!

      question or commment?

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