A tattoo is a permanent piece of art on your skin that becomes an eternal accessory piece for you. No matter where you go or what you wear, you’ll always consider how this ink adds to the outfit. While the beauty of tattoos is that you can go with any piece of design, there are certain aspects, like color, that really work well with certain skin tones. We’ve rounded up the best tips and colors for pale skin.
Related: Best Tattoo Colors for Dark Skin
Tips to Identify the Best Tattoo Colors for Pale Skin
Whether you have pale skin or you have dark skin, no two skin tones are alike. There is an entire range of shades that pale skin can come in, and this will impact and influence what colors look best on you.
Tip #1 - Impact of Your Skin Undertone on Tattoo Colors
All skin has an undertone, and makeup artists are happy to tell you all about it. It’s why that red lipstick that looks good on your friend makes you look like you are dressed for Halloween.
Undertone sits in your upper dermis and lower epidermis, which means that when your tattoo heals, it will influence the coloring. There are three undertones to skin:
Are you wondering what undertone you have? Put on a white t-shirt or hold up a white piece of paper close to your face. If your skin appears rosy or pinkish next to the white paper, you have a cool undertone. If you appear washed out or yellow next to the paper, you have a warm undertone. If you don’t notice either, you’re a neutral undertone.
Another way to check your undertone is to look at the veins around your face and neck. If they appear blue under the skin, your undertones are cool, and if they appear green or olive, your undertones are warm.
So, how does this impact tattoo ink? Certain colors suit certain undertones. In addition, colors come in warm and cool shades which will impact how they work with specific skin. Here are the best colors for each skin undertone:
- Warm: honey, olive, coral, cream, moss, brown, orange, amber, red, taupe, earth tones
- Cool: blue, lavender, rose, gray, pale yellows, turquoise, pinks, emerald, ocean tones
- Neutral: jade green, mustard, medium blue tones, brown-reds, white, black, bright red
While you may be warm undertone and drawn to light blues, consider that this may not look so great, long-term, on your skin. Your tattoo artist can always give you color suggestions.
Tip #2 - Certain Designs Look Best with Certain Colors
Now that you’ve narrowed down your undertone and what colors look best with it, you may have to start reconsidering some of your tattoo plans. Certain design styles are created with the intent to use specific colors, such as the bold and bright colors of old-school style, which look great on neutral or cool undertones.
There is always a safe bet: all black tattoos or black and gray tattoos look good on every undertone of pale skin and will produce impactful pieces.
Tip #3 - The Best Tattoo Colors for Different Pale Skin Tones
Along with the undertone, pale skin can come on a large scale of complexion possibilities. Depending on where you sit on the tone spectrum, colors may look very different on you.
- Pale Light Skin Tones: If you are a very light-skinned pale person, bright and vibrant colors will truly stand out against your skin. Black lining will appear bold and crisp, and even white tattoos will have an impactful appearance.
- Pale Brown Skin Tones: If you are pale with an olive or warm tone to your skin, dark, earthy tones will work beautifully with your skin. Avoid bright and vibrant colors which will wash you out.
- Pale Dark Skin Tones: It’s recommended that your tattoos be lined with bold black in order to stand out on your darker skin. Warm tones such as reds, browns, and oranges will look great with your complexion.
Tip #4 - Trust Your Artist
Your tattoo artist is exactly that: an artist. If you are selecting a shop with a good reputation that’s managed by professionals, your tattoo artist will know how to work with color and know how to select what will work best with your design and your skin tone.
Tip #5 - Consider the Versatility of Your Preferred Color
Remember that your tattoo will become a permanent accessory piece to every future outfit you wear. Ink is your trademark and it should “fit” with you and your style. This also means that when color is being considered, think about how it will work with outfits you wear and colors you’re normally drawn to.
Our Final Thoughts
Figuring out what tattoo ink works best for your pale skin is a matter of narrowing your undertone, your complexion, and your personal style. If you’re ever unsure about whether a design and color will work for your skin, be sure to discuss this with your artist during your consultation.
You may want to consider getting your design in a temporary tattoo format to get a feel for the color, but remember that your undertone will influence your real ink once it's healed which cannot be checked with a temporary tattoo.