Tattoo Ink Colors

By | January 1, 2014

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Tattoo art is getting famous day after day. The craze of getting oneself inked has gained immense popularity, especially among the youngsters. People get themselves tattooed for a variety of reasons. Some consider it to be a great fashion statement while some do it for revealing certain aspects of their personality. For some people it is a way of expressing feelings, and some consider it as a fabulous body art. Whatever the reason be, tattoo art is ruling the fashion and style conscious world. There are variety of tattoo designs and types to choose from. So, if you are thinking of getting a tattoo done, you may have to consider a lot of things, right from the place you want to get the tattoo done, the pattern and design, and also the ink colors.

What is Tattoo Ink Made of?

Tattoo ink is the substance that gives colors to the various tattoo designs. The tattoo ink is injected into the skin where the color stays. Though it is meant to be permanent, it is prone to a bit of fading over the period of time. The ink comprises two basic components- pigments and carriers.


Pigments are the substances that are finely ground to provide color. It can be anything, from minerals, plastics, vegetable dyes to metallic salts like calcium copper silicate, iron oxide, chromium oxide and zinc oxide.


Carriers are liquid substances that are used to deliver pigments under the skin. They distribute the pigment equally, without any clumping, and also have some disinfecting actions. Some of the commonly used carriers are Listerine, propylene glycol, vodka and glycerin.

Different Colors of Tattoo Ink

There are a variety of tattoo ink colors available in market. Not only are there many colors but there are also many different recipes used by different tattoo artists to make these ink colors. The basic colors are :

  • Green
  • Red
  • Purple
  • Yellow
  • Orange
  • Blue
  • Brown
  • White

The tattoo artists use these basic colored inks to mix and make different color shades. Most people are content with the standard tattoo ink colors; however, there are some who want specific colors or shades. Mixing colors comes to their help in such cases. Some tattoo ink suppliers offer a tattoo ink color chart to choose from, which has some special colors along with the basic colors mentioned above. Some of the special colors are:

  • Gold
  • Magenta
  • Ecru
  • Crimson red
  • Mud red

Choosing tattoo ink colors can be quite challenging. One should choose a color depending on the skin tone. If you have a fairer skin, avoid yellow and orange, or other light colors. They do not complement fair skin and will hardly be noticeable. Those with a darker skin have a hard time choosing the right tattoo color. Dark reds, light pinks or blues are some of the ink colors for dark skin which will show up clearly. There are certain colors that are made specially for those looking for something beyond the normal color or shade.

UV Tattoo Ink

Tattoos made with this type of ink require the presence of a UV light or black light to glow. These tattoos appear in bright vibrant colors in normal light, and glow on exposure to black light. There are also some tattoos that glow in absolute darkness. But these inks are toxic and can have certain side effects.


Henna has been used for tattoos since long. It is obtained from the plant known as Lawsonia inhermis. It is temporary and can be used on any surface like the skin or finger nails. Many people opt for henna tattoos as it is relatively inexpensive and painless.

White Ink

White ink tattoos are becoming popular all over, as they are much different than the traditional tattoos. Those who are conscious about the visible bold tattoo designs go for these faint white lines.

So, this was all about tattoo ink colors. Choose the color that suits your skin the best, and your tattoo will be a hit among all your friends!

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