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Tattoo Mistakes

Does your tattoo suck? The chances are that it just might.

Here's a fact for you: tattoo removal via laser surgery is among the fastest growing areas of the dermatology industry. In fact, recent estimates indicate that more than 1 in 3 people who get a tattoo end up having it removed. Considering that the multiple laser surgery treatments necessary for tattoo removal often run about $5000, the number of people who would like to have a tattoo removed (but can't afford to) is probably much higher.

Does this mean you shouldn't get a tattoo? Like any lifestyle choice they're not for everyone, and that's okay. But if they are for you, make sure you get one you're going to love, not regret. How do you do that? You can get off to a good start by avoiding these mistakes...

1) Trying to get a budget tattoo.

This makes no sense to me. People will spend as much as they can afford to get the right car or home. They'll even splurge to buy an expensive suit or outfit. But when it comes to a permanent modification to their body that they will be living with for the rest of their lives, they suddenly want to pinch pennies.

If you have to spend a little extra to make sure you get the right tattoo, do it. Saving a little money now is cold comfort for living with a mediocre design etched into your skin.

2) Choosing the wrong design.

Huh? Isn't that a little obvious? No brainer, right? Well, you'd be surprised how many people fall into this trap. How? For one, they think they have to choose a design offered by their tattoo parlor. Wrong. Since you're reading this, you're ahead of the game because you know you can browse the Internet for thousands of designs. This is a much more stress-free decision-making method, and as a result you're much more likely to find a design you'll love forever.

Now I've put a lot of work into my little free tattoo design website here. And while I'm quite proud of it and think it's a useful site, I'll let you in on a little SECRET...

I wouldn't choose a tattoo for myself from a selection at one free design site.

Did I, the owner of a free site, really just say that? You bet. Free sites are great for getting a general idea of what you want, but remember: you get what you pay for. This is your body we're talking about here. The best (and most unique) tattoo designs are found on the pay sites, and the selection is better too. Unfortunately, this is just a fact of life. Pay sites just have more resources to hire the best artists and commission top-quality designs - I would be lying to myself if I pretended otherwise. So ask yourself: How would it feel to settle for an okay design now, only to realize later what a mind-blowing design you could have had? A little research now can really pay off later...

Now the best pay site for tattoo designs that I've seen so far is here: Tattoo Database. And for that reason, it's the only one that I will endorse. Not only are there some absolutely brilliant designs to be found, but they're pretty reasonable too. You can even get a short term membership - which currently runs between 5 and 25 dollars depending on which option you choose. Not too bad when you consider that that's just a fraction of what you're going to pay to get inked. And that's nothing compared to what it will cost to get a bad design removed.

3) Being in the wrong frame of mind.

Okay, first let me state the obvious: Don't get a tattoo when you're drunk. Yes I know this is a tired old tale, but many people still make this mistake. Don't be one of them. I'm also referring here to being drunk on love. Don't even think about tattooing a lover's name on your body unless you been with that person for a long while.

Also, don't get a tattoo when you're feeling depressed. Once the novelty wears off, you're just going to be a depressed person with a tattoo. Also, don't get a tattoo because all your friends are doing it. And if you feel the least bit pressured, run away. Remember this is your body - it also has to be your decision.

As much as I love spontaneity, the decision to get a tattoo should never be made on a whim. Take a month to think it over. The tattoo parlor will still be there, and while you're waiting you just might come up with a way to really improve your intended design.

4) Not testing your tattoo.

This isn't so much a mistake as it is a suggestion you may not have considered. It is actually possible to test your tattoo. You can buy tattoo paper compatible with inkjet or laser printers. You find a tattoo on the Internet (or design your own), enlarge it, and print it out on this specialty paper to give yourself a temporary tattoo.

This is a very useful way to visualize how a tattoo is going to look on you, and discover ways it can be improved. How well will the colors in the tattoo you are considering, go with your skin tone? How will it look on a certain part of your body? And most importantly, how do you feel walking around with this tattoo? Going to work with it? Meeting people? This kind of temporary solution can eliminate a lot of guesswork.

Unfortunately, most of the tattoos on this site are fairly low resolution and tend to look blocky and pixelated when enlarged and printed. Again try a pay site - most contain designs that can be enlarged. Be sure to check their FAQ before you sign up.

One final suggestion.

If you've read the above you know how much importance I place on being sure you have the right design. If your are sure, but still want to hedge your bets, there is one more option available: completely removable tattoo ink. It's safe, and looks and behaves just like regular tattoo ink, but it's completely removable with a single laser treatment. Keep in mind this is a relatively new ink and it's kind of expensive, so it may not be available in many parlors.

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Tattoo-designs-free.com relieves itself from all liability regarding an individual's choice to get a tattoo of any image that this site provides.

This page offers advice on tattoo mistakes and how to avoid them.