As the proud wearer of a tiny micro tattoo, I can say with a somewhat biased authority that they are the best tattoos to get. They're also gateway tattoos: It's highly likely that you will start off with a tiny tat and then want to add to it. If you're looking to get your first tattoo, there's a lot to consider. Do you want a literary tattoo with a quote from your favorite book? Or do you want a hilariously clever tattoo idea, or one filled with personal meaning? (All of the above is a perfectly acceptable answer.) When you're getting a tattoo, remember that it doesn't need to mean anything to anyone but yourself. You are the only person who needs to be head over heels in love with it, because it's permanently etched on your skin.
The beauty of tiny tattoos is that they are not too busy looking, and the details tend to be basic. The symbol or words will speak for themselves. My tattoo is a tiny design taken from a large and intricate traditional Indian henna pattern. It's about an inch long and has faded comfortably into my heel in an uninstagrammable but beautifully weathered design. Getting a tattoo is a huge decision — there are undoubtedly emotional stages to it — but in the end, as long as you are happy with it, nothing else matters.
Here are 20 gorgeous miniature tattoos that will send you straight to Yelp to find the closest tattoo parlor:
"Ohana" means family — haven't you seen Lilo and Stitch? Tiny writing above the elbow has become a very popular micro tattoo spot. It fits with the flow of your arm but is easily hidden.
2. Tiny finger tattoos to match your personality
I'm absolutely in love with the cupcake. And while we're at it, I think her infinity ring would make a great micro tattoo.
3. A simple heart on your finger
Filled in or not, this makes for a beautiful addition to anyone's hand.
4. Tiny black and white rose
This is on her lower side, but could work pretty much anywhere on your body.
5. If you're a photographer, you need this
If I were the subject of that photo, I'd forget to smile because I'd be too busy asking her where she got her tat.
6. Behind the ear
This is one of my all-time favorite tattoo spots, especially if you wear your hair up a lot. But be warned: It's supposed to hurt like all hell.
7. A heart at your heart
Looks great in a bikini or covered up.
8. Collarbone art
I love how this is lazily exposed, and how the star is so tiny that it's easily missed unless you're looking for it.
9. Wrist words are always a great choice
The way she incorporates both wrists makes the tattoo look so much cleaner on each wrist.
10. Matching sunflowers
My tattoo has a tiny flower within the design, and it's hard to get that amount of detail in a small space. Find a designer who's willing to work with you to get the detailing you want into your micro tat. It's doable and well worth it.
11. Minimal Winnie the Pooh
... Will melt your heart.
12. Emma Stone's tattoo, which was drawn and designed by Paul McCartney
The blackbird's feet are meant to celebrate her mother beating cancer.
13. For the adventurous
Or the jet-setter in all of us.
14. For the European traveler
That London Eye is more adorable than I can handle.
15. Planetary fingers
16. Important dates on the back of your ankle
Travelers also like to put latitude and longitude coordinates.
17. Immortalizing Dory's words
Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.
18.The cutest elephant you will ever see
20. A few sketches to consider for your next small tattoo