Which are the best tattoo colors for pale skin?
Which inks fade the least, and are there any colors to avoid?
These are all crucial questions when you’re deciding which tattoo to get.
Today, we’ll provide answers about choosing the best colors of ink for fair skin.
We’ll begin by talking about choosing shades based on the undertone.
How to determine your skin’s undertone to pick the best tattoo colors
If you choose ink based on your skin’s undertone, it will suit your appearance better. There are three undertones: cool, warm, and neutral. It only takes a few moments to determine which one you have.
First, in natural daylight, take a look at the veins in your wrist. People with blue-colored veins and a pink complexion typically have cool undertones. Those with green veins and a golden complexion have warm undertones. Then, the folks with indistinguishable color veins have neutral undertones.
You can also determine your undertone by comparing how your skin looks with silver (cool) or gold jewelry (warm). Or it may be easier if you hold a plain white sheet of paper next to your face. Do you look pinker or more peachy?
Why does the undertone matter? It’s because the tattoo ink lies beneath a layer of skin with melanin. Melanin is a natural pigment that determines your skin color. It creates a filter that affects how you see the color of the tattoo ink.
Once you’ve determined your undertone, you can follow the guidelines below to choose ink colors.
How to choose colors for a tattoo
If you want the tattoo to stand out, choose an ink that’s significantly lighter or darker than your skin tone. Black looks good on everyone.
On the other hand, if you want a discreet tattoo, go with white ink, UV-reactive, pastel colors, and muted shades.
Blue, purple, and gray inks are bold and crisp on pale skin with cool undertones. Red ink is vibrant but may fade more quickly than other colors.
(How long any color of tattoo ink lasts depends on how much time you spend in the sun. Wear sunscreen to protect tattoos from fading).
Meanwhile, green, orange, coral, and bright yellow look good on a person with a warm undertone.
Finally, those with neutral undertones look just as good with pink and gray as they do warmer shades.
However, take care when choosing black and gray ink. These have warm or cool undertones, so it’s smart to double-check with the artist about which specific shade they plan to use.
Best Tattoo Colors for Pale Skin in 2023
Intenze Tattoo Ink Kit Bob Tyrrell Advanced Black and Gray
Black and gray tattoos look good on every skin color. They can be incredibly stunning on pale skin.
This kit from Intenze features a selection of shades used by famed artist Bob Tyrell. It’s perfect for creating realistic tattoos with the right amount of contrast. What’s nice is you don’t have to mix the washes yourself.
There are six one-ounce bottles, including Dimension Black, Sculpting Black, High White, and light, medium, and dark tones.
By the way, Intenze sells only pre-sterilized ink that meets US and EU safety standards.
Intenze Earth Tones Color Tattoo Ink Set
If you have warm undertones and want a tattoo with muted colors, this set is ideal. The inks come in unique shades that are difficult to remix.
There are ten colors in total: Desert Sand (light, dark, and medium), Rusty Brown, Army Green, Ocher, Auburn, Earth, Mud Green, and Milk Chocolate.
Intenze Tattoo Ink Artist Series Set Mario Barth Gold Label Set
Mario Barth collaborated with Intenze to design this set of distinctive colors. Use them to create hyperrealistic portraits and lifelike images.
The selection of one-ounce bottles includes Lining Black, Snow White Opaque, Flesh, Bright Red, Cherry Bomb, True Magenta, Bright Orange, Hard Orange, Banana Cream, Lime Green, Light Brown, Dark Chocolate, Lemon Yellow, Mario’s Light Blue, Mario’s Blue.
What’s interesting is that this ink is sterilized without using radiation. (Many ink brands use gamma rays to sterilize ink). A third-party laboratory certified that the ink is still sterile after one year in the bottle.
Intenze Tattoo Ink Pastel Color Set
Pastel shades make for gorgeous tattoos on pale skin.
This set of half-ounce bottles includes Bahama Blue, Baby Blue, Carol’s Pink, Lavender, Rose Pink, Peach, Sea Foam Green, Creamsicle, Banana Creme, and Platinum.
Kuro Sumi Tattoo Ink Lining and Shading Set
Kuro Sumi ink is an exceptional choice for sensitive skin. They use only organic ingredients for optimal healing. Moreover, the formulas are highly-pigmented to resist fading for years to come.
The inks have a smooth consistency that flows nicely into the skin so that you don’t have to go over lines. This handy kit has black and greywash shades for tattoos that stand out on any skin color.
Keep an eye out when you shop for Kuro Sumi ink because it’s often copied. Be sure to purchase from approved distributors and avoid fakes. The real stuff is made in the USA.
Kuro Sumi Tattoo Ink, Samurai White
This bright color is suitable for white ink tattoos. Kuro Sumi’s white is less likely to discolor after healing.
But remember that the amount of melanin in the skin may alter how it appears. If you go tanning, the brightest of whites may look beige or brown.
Kuro Sumi Tattoo Ink Full Set, 59 Colors
Go big and get the entire collection of Kuro Sumi ink. It’s a brand promoted by professionals and used by artists around the world.
The most significant criticism we’ve heard about this ink is that it comes in leaky bottles. But it appears that Kuro Sumi has upgraded its packaging to take care of this problem.
Dynamic Color Tattoo Ink Set Circa 2003 Colors
Dynamic ink created this selection of dreamy pastels that will look gorgeous on pale skin.
It comes with Sky Blue, Electric Blue, Teal, Turquoise, Bright Orange, Light Brown, Leaf Green, Lyme Green, Tropical Purple, Lavender, Bubblegum Pink, and Hot Pink. Each bottle holds 1 ounce.
Typically, Dynamic ink colors are so rich they can be diluted to achieve softer tones. That may not be the case here. Yet, each one has a thin consistency that flows rapidly.
Dynamic White Tattoo Ink
Dynamic’s white ink is often imitated, so watch out for bootlegged bottles. It’s a bright shade that’s ideal for highlights on portraits as well as white tattoos.
Also, use it to mix your own pastels or greywash.
Dynamic Tattoo Ink OG Color Set
This set of colors is suitable for pale skin with both warm and cool undertones as well as dark skin. It contains a selection of one-ounce bottles with three shades of red, plus Blue, Green, Orange, Canary Yellow, Magenta, Violet, Brown, and Black.
These vibrant colors will stand the test of time. How can you know? Dynamic has been in business since 1990. They’ve had plenty of time to see how the ink resists fading in real-life conditions.
If you’re worried that the ink might not be authentic, there are clues to help you decide. First, they package in crystal clear PET plastic with a heat-sealed top coating stamped with the company’s seal of approval.
Bloodline 12-Color Tattoo Ink Set
Bloodline used to be known as Skin Candy. They’ve been manufacturing ink in California since 1995.
Their bottles have an unusual feature. Each has a metal ball so that when you shake it, the pigment stays perfectly dispersed. Artists love how this brand of ink saturates the skin and heals rapidly.
The company has a high-tech setup to ensure each batch of ink is exactly the same as the one before. They sterilize each bottle before shipping, and their inks have a 2-year shelf life.
This 12-color set of half-ounce bottles features shades that are beautiful on pale skin. They include Canary Yellow, Golden Lotus, Morning Glory, Marz Redd Kross, Stem Green, Tasty Waves, Candy Lime, Bright Red, Bellbottom Blue, All-Purpose White, and All-Purpose Black.
Bloodline 6-Color Tattoo Black Light UV Ink Highlight Set
Bloodline is one of the few tattoo ink brands that offers UV-reactive colors. You can get the full set of Highlight shades here. It has orange, red, pink, green, yellow, and invisible (that glows blue).
In daylight, these colors (except for Invisible) look pastel. But put them under black light, and they fluoresce brightly.
VIKING INK – Tattoo Ink – KIT BASIC 7 COLORS
Viking manufactures vegan ink in the USA. They have excellent shades of black that resist fading to green or blue.
Get started with this brand by choosing the basic set with black, white, red, green, orange, blue, and yellow. All are vegan and cruelty-free.
Viking Ink – Tattoo Ink – KIT Portrait
Viking’s portrait set does not contain black or white. Instead, these are flesh and earth tones for photo-realistic representations.
Pony Lawson Vintage Reserve Set of 12 Bottles — World Famous Tattoo Ink
World Famous ink’s founders have a combined 50 years of experience. It’s an American brand that holds itself to stringent European Union regulations for safety. Each ink is vegan, non-toxic, and sterile.
Here’s a collection of vintage colors that look striking on pale skin with warm undertones. However, the brightest shade is teal. The rest are neutrals and muted earth tones.
World Famous Primary Color Ink Set #1
Otherwise, pick one of the World Famous primary color sets. This one has a dozen of their most popular shades, including Paul Rogers Red, Everest Orange, and Galaxy Purple. All of these make for incredibly vibrant tattoos on any skin tone.
Each one-ounce crystal flex bottle has a twist cap that defies leaking. Also, it has a tamper-proof label that won’t fade to white the first time you wipe it.
Eternal Authentic Tattoo Ink 12-Color Sample Set
Eternal Ink is based in Michigan. They stand out from the rest for a variety of reasons. One of the most important is safety. Each ink is tested for bacteria, heavy metals, carcinogens, and aromatic amines.
While other brands are quick to declare that their ink is non-toxic, Eternal can prove that their ink actually is. Their website offers links to third-party laboratory test results and safety data sheets (1).
But safety wouldn’t mean much if they didn’t also have a superior color selection. This sampler set of half-ounce bottles offers Caramel, Dark Brown, Lining Black, White, True Blue, Robin’s Egg, Light Magenta, Light Purple, Bumble Bee, Lipstick Red, Lime Green, and Bright Orange.
Eternal Tattoo Ink Muted Earth Tones Set
Even the quieter colors in this set are still vibrant. They include Green Slime, Dirty Money, Mocha, Salmon, Burnt Orange, Hot Chocolate, Peachy Flesh, Clay Gray, Old Orchid, Dusty Blue, Baby Blue, and Slate Blue.
Millennium Moms PRIMARY 2 Tattoo Ink SET
Pale skin with cool undertones is an outstanding canvas for this ink collection. The blues, pinks, and reds are complemented by an assortment of neutral and warm colors, too. There are 14 half-ounce bottles in total.
Moms ink is made by Millennium ColorWorks in the USA. They are known for producing vibrant shades with a smooth consistency.
Millennium Moms EXOTIC SET Tattoo Ink
The lively colors here include Luscious Lavender, 1957 Chevy, Marine Green, Viper Red, Kentucky Blue Grass, Indian Orange, Snot Green, and other favorites for a total of 14 half-ounce bottles.
This is a brand used by Marcus Kuhn (The Gentleman Gypsy) and Eindhoven.
Millennium Mom’s Nuclear UV Blacklight Tattoo Ink
Moms also makes UV-reactive ink that looks great in pale skin.
This is the full range of nine colors featuring Blue Smoke, Afterglow Yellow, Smoldering Orange, Radiant Pink, Red Dawn, Raging Magenta, Atomic Green, Purple Haze, and Invisible Fallout.
Lighter skin tones offer flexibility in color selection. But tattooing pale skin requires an understanding of undertones and how they affect the inks’ appearance.
Take your time in choosing the best colors for a tattoo. Take into account the story you want to tell as well as the lifestyle and fashion choices of the collector. Soon, you’ll be the expert that burgeoning artists will turn to for advice.
1. https://eternaltattooink.com/?act=view&page=SDS%20Information accessed January 8, 2021
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