40 Tips For Getting The Perfect Tattoo

Avoid embarrassment by following these simple steps.

1. Subtlety is the key.

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2. Watch your grammar.

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3. And your spelling.

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4. Because if you don’t, that all-important mirror selfie might not have the effect you were hoping for.

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5. Take extra care if your tattoo is intended to be uplifting and inspirational.

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6. Because poor spelling tends to undercut the effect somewhat.

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7. Try to avoid anything that could be misconstrued.

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8. Especially where children are concerned.

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9. In fact, kid stuff in general is a no-go area. Bit creepy.

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10. When using a photo as a guide, accuracy is paramount.

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11. Pinpoint. Accuracy.

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12. Can’t stress that one enough.

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13. If you’re going to get tattooed in a foreign language, it’s advisable to consult a translator beforehand.

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14. Try to avoid internet abbreviations. They won’t age well.

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15. In fact any kind of faddish popular reference is best left well alone.

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16. Unless you can be absolutely certain it will stand the test of time.

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17. Song lyrics are another tricky area.

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18. Because, again, there’s a chance the references might not date terribly well.

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19. His and hers tattoos, however, can be delightful.

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20. Just make sure yours communicate something meaningful, personal and profound. Like these ones.

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21. Or these.

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22. Or these.

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23. A few subjects to avoid if possible. Firstly: religion.

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25. Politics.

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26. That applies in the UK, just as it does in America.

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27. Also on the ‘best avoided’ list: Patrick Swayze as a centaur wearing a bowtie.

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28. A unicorn humping a dolphin.

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29. Which bring us to sex. Look, just steer clear of anything to do with sex.

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Because no-one comes out of that with their dignity intact.

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30. Still with me? Good. I ought to say a few cautionary words about tattoos of pop stars as well.

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31. Because while they can be a wonderful way to express your devotion…

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32. Bear in mind that the artist who means so much to you now, may not seem so significant a few years down the line.

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33. Like Counting Crows’ ‘Adam Duritz, for example.

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34. Or Avril Lavigne.

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35. Or Nickelback.

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36. Or Creed.

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37. Who knows, maybe even this Skrillex tattoo will one day seem ill-advised?

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38. Though if you must get a music-related tattoo, at least choose a flattering image of your idol.

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39. One that really captures that musician at their best.

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40. And always, always do your homework beforehand.

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Luke Lewis is the executive editor of BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.
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