If a just-released makeup product isn’t swatched a million times on social media, does it even exist? Sure, it’s helpful to see an array of forearms with varying skin tones smeared with eyeshadow, highlighter, and contour shades before throwing down on a particular product. But no matter how hard it may be to pull that perfect stripe (ahem, KKW), thumbing through the billionth makeup-loaded arm post doesn’t exactly make us stop the scroll.
Enter the tattoo swatch, a burgeoning trend in which black-ink designs created in outline only are colored with highlighter or filled with the rich hues of an eyeshadow palette. Take Twitter user Eviris Coldy, a self-described tattoo and anime fan from Spain, who uploaded a tattoo swatch of shades in the Kat Von D Pastel Goth Palette. The characters in her crawling Ghibli-inspired ink are brought to life with soft hues from the all-matte palette — the shading showing off the palette’s pigment and looks cool enough to be permanent.
Meanwhile, an Instagram user who goes by moonboymakeup washed a skull design in sparkly Nyx Illuminating Powders and Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Blush — creating a dreamy effect that's on-par with the latest watercolor tattoos.
Others have filled Harry Potter tats with lipstick swatches and delicate, diamond-shaped ink with popping highlighter for extra shine. One tattoo artist took the trend one step further, by drawing a very real-looking tattoo in Kat Von D products alone.
It’s enough to make us pause and tap heart icons every time — and rethink our latest tattoo inspo. After all, why go all in on a filled-in piece when we can change a design’s colors whenever, wherever with our favorite new Sephora scores?
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