When it comes to ink trends, micro tattoos may be one of the most popular, particularly among celebrities, and the small bits of body art are ideal for those looking for a piece that's easily concealable.
Amy Leavell-Brandsford, founder of tattoo studio SparrowHawk in Atlanta, tells Bustle that micro tattoos are popular for a variety of reasons. "It’s such a sweet way to honor a moment, friendship, pet, or other memory — and much less commitment than going in for a full sleeve or back piece," she says. "It’s an ideal start for someone a little hesitant to get a tattoo and looking for their first experience." Leavell-Brandsford adds that while you can get a micro tattoo anywhere on the body, the inner arm, wrist, and ankle are a few of the most popular places.
In a previous interview with Bustle, celebrity tattoo artist and owner of Body Electric Tattoo Brian Keith Thompson recommends keeping a few things in mind. First, make sure you find an artist who does the work: Not everyone creates tiny tattoos, and it's important to check someone's portfolio before choosing an artist. Thompson adds that the fine lines used in micro tattoos often involve less ink to limit bleeding into the skin, meaning they fade quicker, but that they're also easier to touch-up over time.
If you're considering getting a micro tattoo, scroll on for 16 ideas to inspire you.
For those who may not want matching tattoos, draw inspo from the Pretty Little Liars' cast finger tattoos. The actors got single letters inked on their ring fingers (a la the show's iconic opening). The coordinated — but not matching — designs are great if you want to get something with friends but keep things a little individualized.
Shaped Script Tattoos
Delicate script is another common idea for micro tattoos, and you can make it unique not only in the phrase or word you choose but also in how it's shaped. This rounded quote from Winter Stone differentiates itself from the classic single line technique.
Tattoo artist Dragon, who works at Bang Bang NYC, is truly goals when it comes to small but hyperrealistic tattoos. While it's easy to assume that micro tats have to be simple, Dragon's small pieces of body art — like the cat — are proof that you can get something demure and super detailed.
Tattoos For A Cause
If you're passionate about a specific cause, consider getting a permanent reminder of it. Selena Gomez, alongside 13 Reasons Why cast members Tommy Dorfman and Alisha Boe, got tiny semicolon tattoos representing the movement to help those facing depression and other mental health issues and inspired by charity Project Semicolon.
Color isn't off-limits with micro tattoos even if most do seem to be black and white. Watercolor is another option when it comes to tiny pieces, and Vanessa Hudgens' small sunflower is a great example of incorporating brightness into your design.
Religious symbols are also popular. Rihanna has her famous Isis tattoo along the front of her ribcage just below her breasts, but she also has a small, nearly imperceptible cross on her collarbone.
Have a particular passion or hobby? Get a piece dedicated to it. This tiny tattoo done at Leavell-Brandsford's SparrowkHawk is perfect for those who love baking, but those with other interests can easily adapt the idea too.
Dr. Woo's linework is arguably some of the best out there, and it's on display in this arrow tattoo. The precise line inside the tip, the delicate details along the tail, and the intricate feather at the end prove that micro tattoos can be just as detailed as any larger pieces.