Tattoo Trends From The 2010s We're Already Regretting

Tattoos are one of society's favorite forms of self-expression and understandably so. There are so many incredibly talented artists out there creating sentimental, meaningful one-of-a-kind pieces for their customers. 

That said, we all know at least one person who gets tattooed on a whim. Not every design needs to be packed to the brim with meaning, of course, and some people are content to go with the trends. Every few years, we see tattoos fall in and out of favor as the public's wider tastes change. While some of the trends age beautifully, there are some that don't exactly stand the test of time.

Believe it or not, there are people out there who are already regretting their ink from the 2010s. Some of the decade's biggest tattoo trends are now being covered up or lasered off by those who aren't fans of their design ideas or how their ink has aged, per AP News.

Finger tattoos get tricky with age

Finger tattoos surged in popularity in the 2010s as artists found new and exciting ways to bring beautiful detail to the limited space. At first, this was a space for novelty tattoos, with a lot of tiny mustaches being tattooed on fingers (per BuzzFeed). 

As the decade went on, however, the designs became more intricate. This is, in part, thanks to Cara Delevingne, who got an intricate lion tattoo on her index finger in 2013 (per StyleCaster). Other celebrities including Rihanna and Zoë Kravitz also helped make the trend popular.

Despite the rise of the super-detailed finger tattoo, many artists have warned against tattooing hands. Some artists actually refuse to tattoo fingers and hands altogether. Los Angeles artist Paul Timman is one of many artists to speak out against the practice. "Microscopic tattoos on the fingers will not work, they will not hold up, they will collapse and fall apart and look awful in two to three years time," he told Racked. "You will be stuck with a blob on your finger."

Watercolor tattoos only age gracefully when done right

Watercolor tattoos also came into popularity in the 2010s. The beauty of a well-done watercolor painting is undeniable, so of course ink enthusiasts were excited to see how it translated into body art, per TattMag. The combinations of bright and pastel colors are visibly striking, but not every artist is on board.

The reason? Like watercolor art, watercolor tattooing is a serious process that takes years to perfect. That doesn't mean it'll stop some artists from inking them anyway, whether or not they have the chops to do so. In a 2014 interview, artist Gene Coffey expressed he was "turned off from the 'watercolor tattoos.' Mostly because they seem to have become an excuse for just doing bad tattoos. If you search Instagram for #watercolortattoo, it's filled with badly done, poorly conceived tattoos that are going to stay out there in the world forever" (per Insider).

This technique is one that necessitates a really skilled artist, but not everyone has the time or money to wait for one. As a result, there's more than a few people looking to laser off their watercolor tattoos from the last decade.

Lip tattoos don't promise longevity

Lip tattoos were the 2010s answers to those who weren't 100% sure they wanted to get inked. The tattoos were easy to hide an the placement served as a playground for tattoos people wouldn't necessarily want to have forever. That's because even at the height of their popularity, many artists and patrons alike knew that this ink wasn't built to last.

"The abbreviated longevity compared to tattoos on external skin is due to the rapid turnover of skin cells in the [lining of your mouth,] which means that the ink sheds more quickly," Dr. Hadley King, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, told Bustle.

Miley Cyrus and Kesha were at the forefront of the trend, which meant it wasn't long until there were lines out shop doors with eager enthusiasts begging for them. Fast forward a few years and not everyone loves that their lip ink is still there, especially since it served as a place for silly, temporary-esque tattoos.

Harry Potter tattoos were some of the most popular of the decade

Many "Harry Potter" fans came of age in the 2010s and wanted to do something special to commemorate their favorite book/film series. There was a serious slew of "Harry Potter" tattoos that popped up throughout the decade. Even celebrities such as Ariana Grande and Zayn Malik have tattoos that celebrate the franchise, according to Insider and Marie Claire.

Some fans have felt some regret about those tattoos since author J.K. Rowling's transphobic comments, which began in early 2020 and have continued to trickle out since (per Some artists even offered to do cover-ups of the popular tattoos and donate the proceeds to organizations supporting the transgender community. 

"It no longer represents what it did. I mean, there's already so many borderline things in those books. It just felt like, okay, well, this thing that meant something to me, I have to reevaluate my relationship to it," one fan told Vice News. "The tattoo just started feeling like, if that was visible around my friends who are trans, I wouldn't want them to feel like I support the things that she says."