7 Mistakes To Avoid When Getting A Tattoo

Photographed by Beth Sacca.
It took me seven years to build up the courage to get my first tattoo. I knew I wanted one, but I agonized over where to put it, what design would look best, and which artist to go with. I spent years doodling designs on my wrists in permanent marker, building Pinterest pages of minimalist tattoos, and saying I was going to do it — only to back out at the last minute every single time.
Let's face it: Getting a tattoo can be scary! It's not exactly a life-changing choice (as long as it's done safely), but it is one that's painful and very difficult and time-consuming to remove if you ever change your mind. So, I wanted to be sure I was doing absolutely everything by the book. When I finally decided to go for it a few months ago, I reached out to three of the best tattoo artists I know for what not to do when getting your first tattoo. With their help, I finally did it — and I'm so glad I did!
Read ahead for their surprising answers.

More from Beauty


R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
A look at the subcultures around the world that colour what we wear — and why.
Watch Now
The craziest trends, most unique treatments, and strangest subcultures in the beauty world.
Watch Now
Explore the world's most vibrant cultural and culinary centres—in 60 seconds, of course.