Fine Line Tattoos - What You Need To Know

Fine Line Tattoos - What You Need To Know

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Tattoo in header by Caotida, who works at Atelier Eva

Fine line tattoos are definitely having their moment in the spotlight. We've noticed fine line tattoos everywhere, on our newsfeeds and poking out of sleeves on our commute home.

Celebs such as the queen of the fine line tattoo, Cara Delevingne, have definitely helped their rise in popularity –  most of Cara's tattoos have been done by Bang Bang in NYC, FYI. 


So, if you're thinking about getting a fine line tattoo, here's our guide to EYNTK. 

Okay, what exactly is a fine line tattoo?

A fine line tattoo is exactly what it sounds like. A tattoo with very fine lines. The tattooist will use multiple very small needles or one single needle to create a delicate-looking tattoo on your skin. The tattoo will often look like a work of art (you might also hear these referred to as watercolour or fine art tattoos), super simple lettering, or just a simple line tattoo without any colour inside it (aka a minimal tattoo). Fine line tattoos can be created in either black and grey or coloured ink. 


Tattoo artist, Eunwoo Kim, for example, calls himself a "one line" tattooer for the super simple, fine line tattoos that use just one single line. 

Are fine line tattoos less painful?

Here's the thing (sorry), I don't believe that any tattoos are completely painless – needles are always being poked into your skin. But the pain of tattoos is completely subjective, what one person finds extra painful, another might hardly feel. 

However, fine line tattoos might hurt slightly less than a super bold tattoo with super thick lines, as the tattooist usually uses smaller needles. Anecdotally, tattoo collectors often also say that tattoos done by machine hurt more those those that are hand poked, for example. 

You'll also need to factor in placement on the body, though, as that can also affect how much getting a tattoo hurts. You can delve into this in our guide all about The Least Painful Places To Get Tattooed

Do fine line tattoos last? How do fine line tattoos age?

All tattoos will, of course, eventually fade and blur over time. That's the thing about ink on skin, it fades and ages with your body, and your tattoo won't stay as perfect looking as it did on the day that you first got it done.

But most tattooists are in agreement that fine line tattoos fade more quickly than regular tattoos. But the longevity of your tattoo – in any style – relies on the location of the tattoo, how well you care for your skin and the quality of the tattooist's work. 

How to heal a fine line tattoo

You should heal a fine line tattoo in exactly the same way as you would any other tattoo. Make sure you use proper aftercare products and keep your new tattoo clean and away from direct sunlight. Also don't submerge it in water, that means avoiding swimming or taking a bath while your new tattoo is healing.

Can all tattoo artists do fine lines?

As with all tattoos, do your research and find a tattoo artist who specialises in the kind of tattoo that you want. There are so many incredible tattoo artists who create out-of-this world fine line tattoos that look like pieces of art on your skin.

There's even tattoo studios that are devoted to the art of the fine line tattoo. Atelier Eva, in NYC, for example, was opened by fine art tattooer Eva Karabudak. Eva has curated a selection of the best fine line tattooers in the world to work in her spa-like studio in New York. 


"The beauty of fine line tattoos is that they are like fine works of art created primarily for aesthetics and from the innate desire for artistic expression with meaning derived from the eye of the beholder," Eva explains on the Atelier Eva website.

How to find a fine line tattoo artist 

There's also loads of amazing artists in the UK who can create fine line tattoos. Math, in London, for example calls himself a fine line tattooer and his script tattoos are exquisite. 

Tattoo by Math

Stephen Doyle is also amazing at fine line tattoos. He's based in Ireland. His style is super minimal and he's also known for his tiny tattoo flash – featuring little objects such as cute coffee pots, coat hangers and tea cups


If you're into this kind of tattoo, we recommend having a deep dive on Instagram, as there's a whole new world of fine line tattoos to discover. Here's some we found for you...

Fine line tattoo ideas

Make sure your tag us in your own fine line tattoos over on Instagram, @storiesandinkskincare


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