Despite the tattoo mania that ensued this past summer, the hottest season is the least ideal time to get a tattoo. You may want to show off your new thigh or ankle ink the second you get a beach day, but factors like excessive sun exposure, chlorine, and sweaty friction can negatively affect how your new tattoo turns out. For that reason — and really that reason only — we’re thankful it’s finally winter.
Without a damp bathing suit or pool in sight, we can officially declare it peak tattoo season. And the perfect place for your next ink: underneath your boobs. More cutely referred to as the under -boob, the spot underneath the bottom curve of your breast has recently hit the tattoo zeitgeist. Similar to its sisters (sternum and side-boob tattoos) the under-boob area is sensitive, intimate, and — unless you choose otherwise — easily hidden by clothing.
Despite the fact that the placement is more painful than others (most likely due to the close proximity to the rib cage), it’s a spot that doesn’t discriminate. New York-based tattoo artist Mira Miriah (a.k.a. @girlknewyork) tells us that your breast size shouldn’t affect whether or not you can get a tattoo underneath your boob. Whether your boobs are small, round, and perky or hang low with a bit more weight, this is universally-flattering real estate.
The most important thing to know about these tattoos is that the after-care is more personalized, depending on your breast shape and size. “If someone with larger breasts gets [an under-boob tattoo], they can use Tegaderm during the healing process,” explains Mariah, referring to the transparent film dressing some pros prefer for protecting fresh tattoo ink. This will decidedly solve the problem of boob sweat or friction from skin and clothing. And as far as bras go, Mariah confirms it’s all relative: “If a bra is going to rub against the tattoo, skip it.” Bottom line: Chat with your artist about your concerns before you take the plunge on the tattoo because no matter what, you’ll have to find a design and after-care routine that makes sense for you.
Since there is a large amount of surface area you could easily consider the under-boob area, the size of the actual design can vary. This cluster of flowers by Mariah is perfect inspiration for the kind of ink that peeks out underneath your favorite crop top.
When choosing your ink make sure you do your research on the artist. While some artists specialize in teeny-tiny script, others — like Mariah — more often go for larger pieces with tons of realistic detail.
If you have a strong pain tolerance, consider requesting a sternum tattoo that curves underneath both boobs. Bonus: Ink like this can be shown off with a strategic V-neck.
Or request a custom design that wraps under the entirety of the breast.
If you’ve got a full collection of black ink already, this might finally be the time to consider color. Tattoo artist Knarly Gav recently created this rainbow bouquet of flowers for a client.
Although the stick-and-poke method might add an extra level of discomfort to a tattoo near the ribs, the unique detail is totally worth it. Case in point: Tattoo artist Rosa Bluestone Perr ‘s delicate snake.
Perr frequently leaves her signature on clients’ tattoos with poked halos circling the top of the design. This dainty fish was no exception.
This is the tattoo that will get you one step closer to being Rihanna.
Because, yes, she has one, too. (It’s a reimagined version of the Egyptian goddess Isis.)
And so does Ariana Grande — in honor of Harry Potter ‘s Professor Severus Snape, of course.
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