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Guy Smarts ​Don’t make these five tattoo mistakes

The perfect tattoo should go beyond popular trends and really be something you’ll love forever.

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Tattoo mistakes to avoid. play

Tattoo mistakes to avoid.

(Men's Health)

​They’re the difference between meaningful art and a permanent flub.

Tattoos are one of the most stylish—and permanent—accessories you can buy. The perfect tattoo should go beyond popular trends and really be something you’ll love forever. But how can you be sure? We talked to celebrity tattoo artist Lalo Yunda who gave us the lowdown on common mistakes, and how to avoid them.

1. Don’t: Act too Quickly

“The way you should pick your tattoo and artist should mimic the way you would buy an expensive piece of art,” says Yunda. “They’re kind of the same, really—your tattoo is your art.”

So instead of hopping into the nearest shop on a whim, really do your research. There’s so much great work on social media, you have no excuse not to get a killer tattoo, says Yunda. Look up work you like, artists in your area, and portfolios you admire. Explore your options and meet different artists to see the type of work that’s possible—that’s how you get a tattoo you’ll like forever.

2. Don’t: Make too Many Compromises

Get an artist who will help you figure out what’s best for you, but not override your opinion. For example, says Yunda, a lot of tattoo parlors won’t tattoo fingers because the ink doesn’t hold as well.

But there’s nothing imminently wrong with a finger tattoo—you just have to know that it’s a novelty, and it’s never going to be perfect. Your artist should explain that to you.

Make sure your chemistry is good too, says Yunda. You need to trust the person who’s about to mark your body.

3. Don’t: Let Your Mom Get In Your Head

Still worried your family might not approve? Prioritize what you want first.

“Don’t get inked on your back instead of your wrist just because your family won’t see it,” says Yunda. “You’re going to go home and wish you just got the tattoo you really wanted.”

The best tattoos are genuine, and are truly representative of your personality. If you connect with it, you’ll have less trouble explaining yourself. Your mom will still love you.

4. Don’t: Believe All Myths

For example: color tattoos fade, or you won’t get a job because of it.

“Just be smart about it,” Yunda says. “Will a tattoo on your face hinder your career? Don’t get it.”

And about color fading—the technique for a color tattoo is more complex than black, which is why they don’t always look as sharp. This is where that extensive research you did for the perfect artist will come in handy.

“An artist who is technically sound will do a killer color tattoo,” says Yunda. “It should last 15-20 without any unnecessary touchups.”

5. Don’t: Not Do It

If your favorite artist has a wait list, wait for it; if you have to wait until after summer so the sun won’t damage the color, wait for it. These aren’t reasons to not go through with it, but reasons to get excited about crafting the perfect tattoo for you.

“Do whatever you have to do to make it perfect—save up money, travel to meet artists, anything,” says Yunda. “Tattoos are timeless and forever. Don't rush them.”

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