This Modern Tattoo Trend Is So Pretty

When J.Lo was asked to give her thoughts on her ex Ben Affleck’s vibrant phoenix back tattoo — besides leading with "Awful!" — she gave a piece of advice: “His tattoos always had too many colors."

Many people agree that body ink looks best when limited to a simple palette of black, gray, and other neutrals. However, the latest tattoo trend might just change this belief. Spoiler: It makes even the most vibrant hues look refined and soft.

Hugely popular in Japan and South Korea, watercolor tattoos lend black-and-blue ink a happy lift — without overrunning the skin in hyper-color pigment.

Tired of your simple line tattoo? Add a wash of pale pink or blue to the mix. Looking for a way to rock a little ink that’s only noticeable to those who look closely? Try a design made with the faint body paint. And if you’re looking for the dopest designs in the game, consider taking your inspiration from Japanese tattoo shops, where artists are absolutely killing it.

Ahead, a little inspo to take to your tattoo artist (even if that “tattoo artist” is the maker of temporary watercolor tats on Etsy — which look pretty bomb, too).

Photo: via @graffitattoo.
A mini flamingo is a good reason to bust out all the pinks.
Photo: via @ilwolhongdam.
Splashes of blue, green, and yellow make this compass tat extra dreamy.
Photo: via @theinkfactory.
Ombré watercolor leaf work gives new dimension to this dino-themed line art.
Photo: via @hill_tattoo.
One way to feel on top of the world: Wear every phase of the moon and each planet on your sleeves.
Photo: via @naked_magazineee.
This watercolor number is combined with another big trend in tattooing: origami art.
Watercolor tattoos are not limited to shapes, animals, and the like — text can be done in the dreamy technique, too!
Photo: via @_cutegirlytattoos.
This diamond in the sky (shoutout to RiRi) combines heavy line work with saturated watercolor.
Photo: via @tattooist_banul.
Is there a cuter way to show Pisces love?
Photo: via @hannersn.
A chest tattoo is pretty hardcore, but these blossoms — created in faded pink — are more pretty than punk.
Photo: via @pezzeep.
Okay GoT fans, this is how you wear a song of ice and fire on your chest like a badge — whether winter is coming or not.
Photo: via @tattrx.
This piece cleverly hides a written message within a color-drenched berry branch.
Photo: via @shettynimisha.
These birds in flight look like a more colorful version of Demi Lovato's ink.
Photo: via @drikalinas.
Can you think of a happier way to remind yourself to be on time?
Photo: via @fflowerporn.
Kendall Jenner may have a white heart on her finger, but we’re forever in love with this magnolia, rendered in watercolor white.
Photo: via @tattooarmada.
We love the way this massive half-sleeve is framed by simple line work at the top and bottom.
Photo: via @iristattooart.
This idea for matching tattoos is genius: No matter what happens with BFs and BFFs, one’s love for avo never fades.
Photo: via @soltattoo.
A giant moon pops above the forest, thanks to swirling shades of purple and pink.
Document the passage of time in the prettiest way possible.
If your love of the ice cream cone is strong enough to want it etched onto your body, this watercolor version can't be topped.
This tiny turtle design is definitely one of our favorites.
One of our favorite minimal designs for 2018 just got better with this watercolor effect.
Photo: Via @whiterabbittattoostudio.
It's like this massive pine tree jumped up from a portrait and onto this guy's arm.
This elephant tattoo is sure to bring you good luck — and plenty of compliments.
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