A Woman’s Guide to Ink – 80 Extraordinary Tattoo Examples

Instead of looking down at your bare skin in dismay, you should be celebrating the fact that you’re about to be guided on a journey through the finer side of ink. For any woman considering getting a tattoo design, this guide should be a required stop on your way to finding that perfect tattoo design that all women secretly desire. From tiny and subtle to over-the-top extravagant, this guide to all things ink will show you the best of what’s out there today. These women got the tattoo of their dreams. Now the only question is: Will you?

A watercolor flower

Watercolor floral tattoos are like jerks, every girl eventually falls in love with one. There’s no shame in it, and if you’re like most of us, you’ll completely obsesses over more of them than you’d like to during your time on this earth (I’m talking about floral tattoos of course). Here’s one that’s definitely in the running.

A floral bouquet

It’s no surprise that women love floral tattoos. In fact, whether it be on purpose or by complete accident, I seem to always end up including a healthy amount of nature’s most beautiful creations into each list I create—it simply can’t be avoided. This upside down (or right side up, depending on who’s looking at it) bouquet of wildflowers checks all the boxes when it comes to floral tattoos that inspire awe.

A clock

Mini Lau has created a number of these watercolor clocks over her career. And the fact that they keep popping up confirms their popularity among Lau’s following. There are designs that you just can’t help but love, and pretty much anything Mini does falls directly into that category.

A lion

For those women out there who are absolutely sick and tired of all the dainty floral designs and itty-bitty bundles of cute, this ornamental lion piece may come as a breath of fresh air. If I had to get a tattoo design tomorrow, this would probably be it.

A black background

This is a concept that I don’t see too often but each and every time I do I feel obligated to showcase it here. The concept of setting a flower against a solid black background isn’t a new one, but it’s done so rarely that every time one sees one it feels like an entirely new discovery. However, it’s not too often that I see flowers in color used with this concept, it’s usually a white flower which looks ever-so-elegant.

A window into the world

My favorite landscape tattoos usually have some sort of to die for sunset. The clouds in this example catch the light light from the setting sun in a way that can only be described as simply divine. And when you normally would assume that a street light would absolutely ruin this scene, it provides just enough contrast to accentuate the rest of the scene even more.

A world map

Honestly, when was the last time you saw something so elegant, so feminine, so beautiful? For me it was probably when I first laid eyes on Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. So I’d like to think that she would approve of this particular design.

A small boat

“Our life is a journey, with its roots and its paths.” This is what the artist had to say about this piece. I’m always a fan of artist designs that are anything but normal. After all, creativity is the mother of all innovation and adventure.

A mermaid

There are times when I want to head into a shop and say to the artist “You remember this design that you did way back when? Ya, I’d like an exact copy of that.” I know that this is usually frowned upon in the industry but the heart wants what the heart wants. This design makes me want to do just that.

A deadly nightshade

This flower was likely given the name “Deadly Nightshade” for its toxicity and role in numerous murders throughout history. Its scientific name is Atropa belladonna and most simply refer to it as “Belladonna.”

Pink roses

Behold, the most beautiful floral design of 2018. Or not, but ever since I first laid eyes upon these roses I haven’t been able to get them out of my mind. The location, the color, the composition, everything just works so well.

A watercolor stag

Koray has a fondness for these over-the-top watercolor stags with gorgeous flowers decorating their antlers. No one’s complaining of course, except for perhaps the competition. Koray has a watercolor style that’s one of the best you’ll ever see.

A sunset

An artist could practice their whole life and never capture a sky like this. The color of this fading sunset or sunrise is something that borders on the unbelievable. Saegeem’s landscape designs which feature the sky are the tip of the sword when it comes to current tattoo trends.

An arrow

Arrows have long been a popular design choice. But ever since a few of our favorite Korean artists started giving them soft and colorful feather ends I’ve been seeing the designs in a completely different light. This is a great example of what I’m talking about and the detail on that shaft is quite impressive.

A black and grey ink rose

Red roses are beautiful, but black and grey ink roses are simply divine. Black and grey ink pieces always have a more elegant vibe to them for me, and of course timeless nature that their colorful counterparts simply do no posses.

A beautiful neck piece

Tattoos have gotten so elegant these days that people no longer fear putting them on display 24/7. Okay, that’s not fair. Maybe I should say “Tattoos have gotten so elegant these days that many people who usually would have been to shy to get a tattoo in a high vis location are now getting them with little to no apprehension.”

An owl

Owls are fascinating creatures that people love to get as tattoo designs. I have seen a lot of owl tattoos in my days of scouring the web for new and interesting tattoo designs and can say with all confidence that this is definitely my favorite. Jeon absolutely killed it this time around and is quickly becoming a regularly featured artist on the site.

A thigh piece

Sometimes you discover a design, and even though you have no idea what’s going on, your eyes instantly get wider and you know that the next 30 seconds of your life are going to be highly entertaining. Okay, maybe that’s just something someone completely addicted to tattoos would think to herself but you get the point. This piece is amazing, and I need it on my body.

Floral armbands

I normally only like to post images where the design is the focal point, and while this example would still fall into that category it’s definitely teetering on the edge. However, this design was just too good to pass up—I felt I owed it to you.

A clover

Many people confuse four-leaf clovers with shamrocks. So here’s a short and sweet guide to set you straight. Four-leaf clovers are simply shamrocks with a fourth leaf. Yes, it’s as simple as that. And as far as four-leaf clover tattoos go, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better example than the one above.

A double exposure hot air balloon

Double exposure tattoos are all the rage these days. I’ve been seeing an increasing amount of designs over the past few years and I think the industry is better for it. There are a lot of creative and interesting designs being created based on the double exposure concept.

A koala

Koalas are super cute but I’m not gonna lie; they smell horrid. There are places where you can get up close and personal with these clingy creature but I recommend enjoying them from a far instead. This tattoo has a wonderful zoomed-in effect illustrated by the soft bokeh visible in the background.

Sea creatures

A few of the artists in Sol’s stable of wonder kids have been creating these collections of small colorful designs. I’ve been wondering if they were planned all at once or simply collected one at a time.

Wine

What every girl wants to see after a long and hard day of doing life. Hyperrealism tattoos of everyday objects are always fun to look at.

A bow and arrow

This is one of those designs that you just know would sell through the roof as a temporary tattoo. Bows, arrows, bows and arrows, they all make for great tiny tattoos which is evident by their popularity. And I don’t see that changing any time soon.

An ornamental arm piece

You see those chains hanging down from the sun and moon designs? Those represent opulence and grandeur and are what I’ve always believed would make an amazing design all by themselves.

I’ll be your best

Okay, so of course I had to throw in a super Instagramable design just for the sake of all the good people on social media. But words and phrases like these are often the most powerful and enticing designs of them all. These words are so poetic.

A crescent moon

This design has so much texture and detail that if you look closely you can almost make out the time on Neil Armstrong’s watch. No but seriously colorful crescent moons are super trendy right now and what really makes this design stand out is its realistic surface features and its thin black outline.

A double exposure whale

What appears to be a tree line and a mountain top are just barely visible enough to make me question if that indeed was the artist’s intention. I can only think that in 10 or 20 years those fleeting features will be all but gone. You know what they say, “Blink and you’ll miss them.”

A fingerprint

Ever since a small a pair of fingerprint tattoos a couple had gotten modeled on their real life fingerprints I have been fascinated by the concept. I’m not sure what the bird’s purpose is in this example but I really do love it.

An X-ray flower

Ever since X-ray flower tattoos burst onto the scene they’ve been nothing short of groundbreaking. Many artists have taken a shot at these types of designs but only a handful of tattooist can really do them justice. Fatih Odabas is one of those few.

A landscape

Have you ever sat down and stared in appreciation at an oil painting for so long that you actually went out, got some kit, and tried your hand at painting even though you had no earthly business doing so? As if your stick figures would some how transform into beautiful sunsets and luscious landscapes simply because you felt inspired. But it’s that type of inspiration that leads to designs like these, which you can never really get enough of even if you happened to be the proud owner of a work like this.

An epic sunset

Another sunset, another inappropriately good design that makes other artists think to themselves “Oh now he’s just showing off.” But seriously, is Saegeem just like on a different level or what. Sometimes I think we have a tattoo robot living among us to wipe out an entire generation of tattoo artists.

A micro airplane

You may want to clean your screen and put your glasses on for this one. Micro tattoo designs taking over the world right now. Instagram, Pinterest, and just about every other image sharing platform is awash these tiny little trendy bundles of joy. This airplane is, well, just cool.

A vibrant floral arm piece

I don’t know what’s more dazzling; the tattoo or the bright orange shirt? One things for sure though, this woman isn’t afraid of a little attention. Koray impresses again with knowledge of color which just begs to be noticed.

A bunny

If you were to stroll into a tattoo studio and shout “give me something cute. I don’t care what it is just make sure I’ll always have the cutest tattoo in the room, ” this would be it. Even the word “bunny rabbit” just oozes adorable.

A watercolor poppy

Poppies are a flower you rarely see in person yet can’t seem to get away from in the industry. Poppies, especially watercolor poppies are a dime a dozen but that doesn’t mean that this design isn’t beautiful, original, and every bit as striking as any other design on the list.

A songbird

If you’re going to get a tattoo of a small songbird, take notes, because this is how you do it. The fluffy textured feathers give life to this bird with a delicate balance of white and red ink tones.

A floral band

It not too late to add this to your Christmas list. Yes people do get tattoos for Christmas, and frankly, if you’ve never received one I feel a little bit sorry for you. Gift certificate for four hours at your local studio? Yes please.

A stunning back piece

Nature is undeniably beautiful. But the amount of color featured in this design is rarely found outside of the Great Barrier Reef. Butterflies and flowers go together like fingers and superglue, and for some reason I never seem to get sick of them.

An hourglass

This design is beautiful in every way, but what really stands out is the way the artist was able to capture the warmth of the wood. Saegeem slays anything and everything, and yet she still manages to dazzle me on a regular basis.

A British short hair

I’m not very savvy when it comes to identifying the various breeds of cats but I can say that I am now a fan of the British short hair. A few weeks back I did an entire list of cat tattoo and discovered first hand just how passionate people are about their cats.

Sunflowers

Here we have a creative way of showcasing four beautiful sunflowers. Flowers by themselves are of course, well, they’re flowers but coming up with new and interesting ways to display them goes a long way. I have nothing against looking at a beautiful bouquet of sunflowers but when a creative element is adding into the mix I often find myself applauding.

A captivating half sleeve

This short sleeve is completely inspirational. If I say this on my body the only thing that would prevent it from spreading to the rest of my body would be money.  Jayce’s style is so all-consuming that it leaves little to be desired.

A baby cheetah

Cheetahs are cute. Their babies, even cuter.

A floral portrait

This is the location of my first tattoo, and while I love it, I kind of regret getting it. My design is pretty much identical to this design as far as size, shape, and layout go. I love my tattoo, but I wish I wish I had gotten it in a more visible location. I often forget it’s there, and the only time I can show it off is when I’m at the beach.

Cupid

I’m always surprised we don’t see more cupid tattoos. When it comes to tattoos, love is one of the most popular themes there is. So why one of love’s greatest facilitators isn’t a more common sight is beyond me.

A dandelion

I decided to bring this design back for a well deserved encore. A different view of course, but it still illustrates just how exceptional this design is. The dandelion paired with the poppy wrist piece—this girl knows what’s up.

Small paw prints

People get tattoos of their dogs, cats, and other pets in stunning realism but choosing to go with a small set of paw prints can be a creative alternative that represents your relationship with all of your dogs instead of just one.

A cheetah

Did you know that everyone has a spirit animal? The cheetah symbolizes speed, esteem, and focus, representing people who are free and protective. Getting a tattoo of your spirit animal is a common trend. A quick quiz online is all it takes to discover which spirt animal is yours.

A portrait

If true elegance is what you’re after, then capturing someone truly elegant is one way to go. I’m not exactly sure who this is but I’m guessing a film star from yesteryear. If anyone recognizes this young lady, please leave it in the comments.

A few tropical fish

We’ve all spent time staring at fish swimming in an aquarium. There’s a therapeutic nature to aquariums which is probably why they can be found in so many waiting rooms. I’m not so sure if those therapeutic benefits translate to ink and skin but here’s to trying.

A rose in bloom

A familiar concept, an exceptionally executed example. Whether it be vertical or horizontal, the blooming flower progression never disappoints. Unless it’s lacking in the skill department then that’s a whole different story.

A 3D object

What is this? Amazing? Yes. Original? Yes. Uncomfortably awesome looking? Yes. Carlos Magone creates these three-dimensional geometric objects with utter precision and a gritty shading technique.

A spider web

If you’re looking for something a little more edgy, then there’s nothing more attractive than a web done spider web. This particular web features a massive spider in the middle, which is really the focal point of the design. All of those eyes are a little creepy though I must admit.

An extensive floral back piece

The back is the ultimate canvas. It’s large, it’s flat, but the one downside is that you need a mirror to inspect it yourself. Or you can rely on a photo of course. This floral back piece features tons of color and a variety of different floral species.

Minnie and Mickey

Fun fact: Mickey was originally named Mortimer but Walt’s wife thought Mickey sounded better. I don’t think Mortimer would have been that bad of a name but Mickey sounds more cuddly. Mickey and Minnie are Disney’s stars, and this minimalistic design definitely does them justice.

A watercolor peony

Peonies are so much more fun to look at than roses. Roses smell better but when it comes to almost every other aspect, peonies reign supreme. I really don’t know why they aren’t more popular. However, when it comes to the tattoo world, peonies and roses are on a much more even playing field.

A feather

They say that diamonds are a girl’s best friend. But when it comes to ink, feathers are by far the most fawned over designs. The soft and delicate nature of a feather makes them the perfect feminine tattoo design.

Black and white leaves

If you take a second to check out Lara’s Instagram portfolio, you’ll notice that she has a fondness for inking these elegant leaf-like designs. I’ve posted them many times before, but this black and white ink duo has to be my favorite.

Freesia

When I first saw this design I was speechless. Now I’ve been a fan of Nando’s work for quite some time and he always hits it out of the park but I think he really outdid himself this time around. Absolutely stunning.

A phoenix

In mythology, the Phoenix has the ability to regenerate itself over and again to be reborn like the rising sun every morning. In this example, Mini displays her trademark triumph of a color scheme and of course incorporates her fascination for all things floral.

A planetary yoga design

Yoga is like football or basketball for women—it’s just what we do. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find a woman these days who doesn’t enjoy a thick slice of Yoga in the morning. Tattoos should represent you as a person. Your loves, passions, and personality should be reflected in each design you get.

A tree swing

The most meaningful images always tell stories. And while I can only speculate, I’m fairly certain there’s a beautiful story behind this particular design. The way the artist created her own unique type of tree swing is nothing short of spectacular.

A heart-shaped condensation trail

If you’re getting sick of this particular design then you’re definitely alone. Because no matter how many times I stumble upon this concept I never seem to get sick of it. I’m actually even starting to consider a design of my own.

A wandering vine

Don’t you just hate when you get a tattoo and then like the next day you see something like this and secretly regret your design choice just a little? Because I do and I did. Why can’t I think of things like this?

A butterfly effect

Here we have an abstract butterfly design that provides the viewer with almost endless entertainment. This is one of those designs that the longer you stare at it the more you start to see.

An angel

I’d love to know a little more about the context of this design. I’ve always had a fondness for classical tattoo designs and this one makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Famous painting perhaps?

A blue ink Hokusai wave

The Hoksai wave is from a famous Japanese painting. It’s more famous than Hawaii’s Pipeline and just happens to be a wildly popular tattoo design. I’ve posted many of these wave tattoos before but this is the first time I’ve come across an example done entirely in blue ink, which is funny, since ya know water is blue and all.

Three little bears

Again, I’m not sure of the context of this design but I have a feeling it references something more than simply three random bears. So why would I post a tattoo of three random bears on this list? Simple. They’re adorable!

Flanking florals

When it comes to tattoos, I’m always a sucker for symmetry. These matching floral designs were done freehand and aren’t exactly symmetrical as they’re not identical but they still give off that symmetrical vibe upon first glance.

Hydrangeas

I post a lot of extravagant and exotic tattoo designs on this site that many people criticize for not being realistic tattoo options. What they are referring to is the fact that most of the designs on this list are out of the reach of most tattoo artists, which is true. But the point of this site is to inspire you, no less, no more. And seriously, who wants to see average tattoo designs?

A floral lightning bolt

Anna Botyk strikes again with this beautiful floral bolt of lightning. Double exposure tattoo designs can be described as designs that house a “picture in a picture,” and this lightning bolt is just one example.

A daisy

We’re starting to see a lot more white ink being used in designs these days, which I welcome with open arms. White ink was often looked upon as unconventional but artists are starting to see the benefit and versatility white ink has to offer.

No rain no flowers

Inspirational tattoo designs like the one above are extremely powerful—especially when they’re paired with scars and photographed just so. This design was so well done it looks as if it was commissioned by a greeting card company.

A floral face tattoo

Now I know this isn’t going to spark millions of women to run out and get face tattoos (as if I had the readership) but it does illustrate just how beautiful face tattoos can be when done in good taste.

A floral map

The world is a beautiful place. Sometimes we forget that with all the negative headlines being published every day but there is so much beauty in the world and what better way to illustrate that then with a wonderful floral map of the world.

An eye

It’s a sad day when you realize that a fake eye tattoo has a stronger eye shadow game than you do. And I say this with the upmost respect and literally hundreds of hours of YouTube videos under my belt.

A name

Sexy, sweet, adorable, I need this now. I’m just trying to decide if I should use my own name or just make of an imaginary lover. Sigh.

An amazing forearm piece

What if I told you that a tattoo like this would instantly boost your confidence and change your life for the better? Sounds like a load of BS, right? But it’s not. Tattoo designs, like clothes, can boost a person’s confidence and that’s a proven fact.

Small flowers

Delicate and dainty don’t even begin to describe how magical these micro tattoo designs are. The resident artists at Sol Studio are some of the best in business. I highly recommend checking out each artist’s portfolio—there’s some really great work to be seen.

A dream imagined

There’s a great big world out there just waiting to be discovered. Eva did an excellent job capturing a dream in an illustration if you ask me. But then again, it’s Eva Krbdk we’re talking about here (she doesn’t need little old me vouching for her).

Beauty and the beast

You can’t go wrong with a Disney tattoo. Even the villains make for great tattoo designs. Did I mention you get preferential treatment at Disney theme parks worldwide? Okay, I just made that up, but here’s to dreaming.

A black and grey ink rose

So sophisticated that you’ll be able to go to the Oscars in only your underwear, this elegant black and grey ink rose is the epitome of a classy tattoo design. Dragon is one of the top tattooists in the world, and images like this are photographic evidence.

A floral moon

Floral crescent moon tattoos are more common than real crescent moons—and more beautiful. But that doesn’t mean that every time I see one executed in near perfect fashion that I don’t get all excited as if it was my first time seeing the design all over again.

An elephant

If you told me that you could pack more detail into an elephant tattoo I wouldn’t believe you. Doctor Woo does what others simply dream of, creating works of art so intricate that you literally need a magnifying glass to appreciate them.

Another X-ray flower

This has got to be one of the cleanest examples of an X-ray flower I’ve ever seen. Well, most of the X-ray flower tattoos I come across are pretty clean as it takes a relatively high level of skill to pull them off in the first place, but what you get my point.

Ted

Even though Ted is vulgar and the complete opposite of someone you would want your son to become, the fact that he is a teddy bear kid of gives him a pass on all that nastiness. I really don’t think it’s possible for a teddy bear not to be cute.

I always miss you

I’m not one for lingering on old relationships, it’s just not healthy, but I can see how more than a few situations could apply to this design that don’t involve past beaus. However, regardless of the situation, if you’re going to get an “I always miss you” tattoo then this is a great way to go about doing so.

Batgirl

Tattoos are supposed to be fun. So why not make your design REALLY fun? And Batgirl smoking a cigarette is fun. Wouldn’t you agree? Jefree’s portfolio is full of interesting designs and each and every one is executed to the highest standard.