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24 Tattoo Cover-Up Before And Afters That Prove Ink Isn't Always Permanent

Here's some serious proof that you should think before you ink.

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We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to show us photos of their terrible tattoos and awesome cover-ups. Here are some of their best:

1. "My first tattoo was a good lesson in getting what you pay for."

"Ten years later, I found a capable artist to blast over it with this gorgeous koi. I can now wear shorts again without feeling like everyone is literally laughing at me behind my back." – BugOperator
BugOperator / buzzfeed.com

"Ten years later, I found a capable artist to blast over it with this gorgeous koi. I can now wear shorts again without feeling like everyone is literally laughing at me behind my back." BugOperator

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2. "I got the Celtic symbol for friendship on my inner arm with a very good friend of mine. Long story short, we're no longer friends."

"The cover is by Josh Fallon at Big Top Tattoo in Utica, Michigan. He’s amazing and I couldn’t be happier!" – megans21
megans21 / buzzfeed.com

"The cover is by Josh Fallon at Big Top Tattoo in Utica, Michigan. He’s amazing and I couldn’t be happier!" – megans21

3. "The first one was blurry and lame."

"The cover-up is by Earl Nixon at Born 2 Lose Tattoos. He added the coordinates where we laid my father’s remains in the ocean. I'm so happy with it." – amoreyamyr
amoreyamyr / buzzfeed.com

"The cover-up is by Earl Nixon at Born 2 Lose Tattoos. He added the coordinates where we laid my father’s remains in the ocean. I'm so happy with it." amoreyamyr

4. "People don't believe me until I show them the before and after!"

"Huge thanks to Javier Eastman at Causality Tattoo in Norwalk, Connectituct – I can't believe the improvement even almost four years later!" – elizabethi47b899697
elizabethi47b899697 / buzzfeed.com

"Huge thanks to Javier Eastman at Causality Tattoo in Norwalk, Connectituct – I can't believe the improvement even almost four years later!" elizabethi47b899697

5. "The cover-up was done by Christopher Layman at Living Canvas in Columbia, Missouri."

– sheenamarie
sheenamarie / buzzfeed.com

6. "Getting it covered helped me move on for good."

"An abusive boyfriend gave me the first ugly tat and a badass friend covered it up for me with the alien spider years later." – portlandzombie13
portlandzombie13 / buzzfeed.com

"An abusive boyfriend gave me the first ugly tat and a badass friend covered it up for me with the alien spider years later." – portlandzombie13

7. "We called the first attempt my 'chicken nugget'."

"I asked for an owl sleeping on a blue branch. I was so embarrassed!" – dianam4ba1d7219
dianam4ba1d7219 / buzzfeed.com

"I asked for an owl sleeping on a blue branch. I was so embarrassed!" dianam4ba1d7219

8. "Covered with new sparrows, an exploding heart, and my daughters' names."

"Cover by Ross Kennedy at Armature Tattoo Company in Pittsburgh." – Johnnyrazor27
Johnnyrazor27 / buzzfeed.com

"Cover by Ross Kennedy at Armature Tattoo Company in Pittsburgh." – Johnnyrazor27

9. "When your tattoo artist tells you not to get a boyfriend's name on you, you should listen."

"This is actually my third cover up. On the left, if you look, you can see 'Chris' in the feather (upside down). I covered that up with a peacock feather. After a few years I decided to cover that up as well, and am totally in love." – emmar45c02312b
emmar45c02312b / buzzfeed.com

"This is actually my third cover up. On the left, if you look, you can see 'Chris' in the feather (upside down). I covered that up with a peacock feather. After a few years I decided to cover that up as well, and am totally in love." – emmar45c02312b

10. "As you can see, I have much better taste now."

"The original tattoo got bleached out when I worked at a pool store the summer after high school. The awesome cover-up was done by Tim Strating at Anthem Tattoo in Gainsville, Florida." – kelliw47ce7c9be
kelliw47ce7c9be / buzzfeed.com

"The original tattoo got bleached out when I worked at a pool store the summer after high school. The awesome cover-up was done by Tim Strating at Anthem Tattoo in Gainsville, Florida." kelliw47ce7c9be

11. "I was happy I was able to transform my cliché tattoo into something more meaningful to me."

"Dennis McPhail at Artist At Large in Wichita, Kansas, did both." – efjames33
efjames33 / buzzfeed.com

"Dennis McPhail at Artist At Large in Wichita, Kansas, did both." – efjames33

12. "The letters of my quote started to spread, so I got a cover-up that I love!"

– amandas3085
amandas3085 / buzzfeed.com

13. "I realised once I saw the initial tattoo finished that the artist had redrawn what I brought in into a bird with a boob head."

"I christened it Titty Bird and lived with it for about a year. It took seven removal sessions and three tattoo sessions to get it covered (with one more to come for touch-ups and shading). So worth it." – lieslh
lieslh / buzzfeed.com

"I christened it Titty Bird and lived with it for about a year. It took seven removal sessions and three tattoo sessions to get it covered (with one more to come for touch-ups and shading). So worth it." – lieslh

14. "My ex-girlfriend convinced me to get it and it was a horrible mistake."

"The old tattoo was the Gemini and Scorpio symbols. I decided to get it covered up with a half sleeve so I never have to see it again for the rest of my life." – courtneyk4e77ac2a4
courtneyk4e77ac2a4 / buzzfeed.com

"The old tattoo was the Gemini and Scorpio symbols. I decided to get it covered up with a half sleeve so I never have to see it again for the rest of my life." – courtneyk4e77ac2a4

15. "I got this dreadful haunted house and found out afterwards the artist had been using other people’s tattoos and passing them off as his own."

"The original stencil looked so good, but he obviously couldn’t do the actual tattooing work. I wore long sleeves for a good two years before finding an amazing artist that was willing to and capable of covering it up, and I’m still as in love with it now as I was on the day I got it." – evelynhk
evelynhk / buzzfeed.com

"The original stencil looked so good, but he obviously couldn’t do the actual tattooing work. I wore long sleeves for a good two years before finding an amazing artist that was willing to and capable of covering it up, and I’m still as in love with it now as I was on the day I got it." – evelynhk

16. "I got my initials as a teenager and soon regretted it!"

"It took me over 10 years to find an amazing tattoo artist who agreed to cover up the monstrosity. Needless to say the shop where I got my initials done has since been shut down…" – dayap
dayap / buzzfeed.com

"It took me over 10 years to find an amazing tattoo artist who agreed to cover up the monstrosity. Needless to say the shop where I got my initials done has since been shut down…" – dayap

17. "Crappy L turned sex panther!"

– LPretty
LPretty / buzzfeed.com

LPretty

18. "Seriously, you can't go wrong with a winged wheel."

"I don't worry about people hating on it. I live in Chicago as a Detroit fan. I can handle the hate. I just laugh." – murielc475d46a60
murielc475d46a60 / buzzfeed.com

"I don't worry about people hating on it. I live in Chicago as a Detroit fan. I can handle the hate. I just laugh." murielc475d46a60

19. "The original was my first tattoo ever."

"It was based on a painting I had done that was way, way better than what the artist scribbled into my skin. I got it redone a few years later by an artist I had worked with on another tattoo." – oliviap4c4fc2637
oliviap4c4fc2637 / buzzfeed.com

"It was based on a painting I had done that was way, way better than what the artist scribbled into my skin. I got it redone a few years later by an artist I had worked with on another tattoo." – oliviap4c4fc2637

20. "He freehanded the drawing on my leg. Amazing work!"

"Jake Eaves at Blackbeard in Chattanooga, Tennessee, did the cover-up." – chelseajewells
chelseajewells / buzzfeed.com

"Jake Eaves at Blackbeard in Chattanooga, Tennessee, did the cover-up." chelseajewells

21. "Seven years later, I finally decided it wasn't really me."

"I got the lightning bolt when I was 21. I thought I was cool getting that while everyone else got stars." – nancytodden
nancytodden / buzzfeed.com

"I got the lightning bolt when I was 21. I thought I was cool getting that while everyone else got stars." – nancytodden

22. "I messed up by doing no research on the artist!"

"RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH. Stephen at Mr Lucky's Tattoo in San Antonio saw my vision and gave me exactly what I wanted!" – Srosales
Srosales / buzzfeed.com

"RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH. Stephen at Mr Lucky's Tattoo in San Antonio saw my vision and gave me exactly what I wanted!" – Srosales

23. "It's my tramp stampede."

"Emily Sloman at HaveFunBeLucky in Baltimore transformed this pathetic little flash into true art. The original head became the baby elephant in the cover-up." – EllyZee
EllyZee / buzzfeed.com

"Emily Sloman at HaveFunBeLucky in Baltimore transformed this pathetic little flash into true art. The original head became the baby elephant in the cover-up." – EllyZee

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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