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Here's What You Need To Know About Getting Popular Tattoos

None of this is to scare you — it's to help you get some better-looking tattoos!

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As someone who has tattoos and loves searching for new inspiration, I've come across a few popular ones that both my friends and I have gotten. But, an image doesn't tell the whole story, so before you get inked, there are a few important things to know.

To get the lowdown, we spoke to David Côté, an artist from Imperial Tattoo Connexion based in Montréal, Quebec, about precautions for each type of tattoo.

1. The size of the tattoo matters.

Sampa Tattoo / Via instagram.com

If you're planning on getting an intricately designed tattoo, you might not be able to get it as small as you'd like. Some artists will just pass on your request and others will only do it in a bigger size. But depending on the artist and your skin, these can turn out really well.

"It's not a myth that the tiny tattoo you saw on Pinterest will look like pudding in a few years," Côté tells BuzzFeed Life. "Skin is not like a regular canvas; it goes through a lot of things."

2. On certain areas, the ink might take longer to heal and also fade faster due to increased movement and exposure. These areas include:

In and around the ear.

tpitsos / Via instagram.com

Not only is the pain exacerbated in this area for most people, the ink doesn't hold as well and could easily become irritated by hair products.

"These places are the ones that fade the most on the body," says Côté. "I don't recommend them unless you want a tattoo that looks really aged/not nicely healed. Depending on how you treat them, they can take a long time to heal."

On the wrist.

Caitlyn / Via instagram.com

Some external factors that may affect your ink are sun exposure and bath products. The tenderness of the area also affects the heal time and the life of the tattoo.

Anywhere on the finger.

@quicktattoo from @officialinktattoo / Via instagram.com

A friend of mine got tattoo rings around her thumbs, but within a month parts began to crack and disappear. She still likes them, but it was definitely unexpected.

Here's a picture of my finger tat:

stinalala13 / Via instagram.com

While finger tats might fade faster for most, I've had this tattoo for a year and I've never gotten any touch-ups. It still looks exactly like it did on day one, so for any of these "cautionary areas," it really comes down to your body, your skin.

3. As cool as white ink sounds, it's pretty unpredictable.

giegiedotcom / Via instagram.com

It disappears the fastest compared to any other color, and pretty soon afterward, it could change color due to your own skin's pigmentation. But some people can absolutely rock it.

"White ink tattoos are overrated," says Côté. "It just doesn't look good. I saw some healed ones that turned brown, pink, yellow, or were just completely gone. Be smart and go for a black tattoo."

4. Watercolor tattoos are incredible but extremely hard to get right.

Ivana Tattoo Art / Via instagram.com

Because of the loose style, colors could blend into each other over time, especially when there isn't a strong black line base. Not every artist has the skill set to do this, so make sure you find an artist who specializes in this type of tattoo.

"I recommend [watercolor tats] if the tattooer knows what they're doing," Côté says. "Pastel colors don't work on the skin. It's just not nice within a few years. My favorite artist is Ondrash from Czech Republic. He uses a lot of black and knows what he's doing.

Here's an example of a watercolor tattoo done by Ondrash.

Ondrash Tattoo / Via instagram.com

You'll still probably need to get more touch-ups than a regular ink tattoo, but the black outlines will help the colors last longer.

5. Stick 'n' poke tattoos may seem cheaper, but you should find someone who does it professionally.

elinavladr / Via instagram.com

The original DIY method that's been used in various cultures for centuries is usually cheaper and seems easier. Many people do it by taking a needle, attaching it to a pen or pencil, dipping it in India ink, and repeatedly poking individual dots into the skin until the picture forms. Because of this and depending on who uses the technique, it's harder to be precise and there may be more blood.

"Stick ’n' pokes are cool if they're not done by a drunk buddy in a kitchen," Côté says. "People underestimate the importance of doing them in a safe and clean environment. It's very dangerous to reuse needles, and to use anything other than certified tattoo inks."

These tattoos can, however, be part of meaningful experiences, like this stick ’n' poke tattoo that covered up a burn scar.

Syd Chan / Via instagram.com

While you do need to be careful with who you choose to mark you up, these simple tattoos can turn unfortunate memories into happier ones.

6. Those awe-inspiring black work tattoos? They mean work. Like painful work.

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Do they look intimidating? YES. So if you’re willing to look like the bold, courageous lion that you are, you have to be willing to endure a potentially excruciating battle.

"I personally think they are the best," says Côté. "They are the ones that age the best (if they are well done). They bleed a lot when you get them done depending on the person and the way the tattooer works. It doesn't really affect the way it heals."

7. No matter what kind of ink you want, the most important thing is to think about what you want and to RESEARCH THE ARTIST!

Ondrash Tattoo / Via instagram.com

Yeah, it's permanent. So if you want it done well, do the work in finding the right person who can fulfill your wildest tat fantasies. And oh, you need to be willing to shell out some mean cash for this. To start, check out these crazy talented artists. But to warn you, once you start, there's pretty much no way to stop.

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