Beauty 9 Tiny Cuticle Tattoo Ideas We're Copying From Celebs Naturally, we're taking inspo from Rihanna. By Audrey Noble Audrey Noble Twitter Audrey Noble is NYC-based contributing beauty commerce writer. She covers all things beauty, hair products, and makeup. InStyle's editorial guidelines Published on April 13, 2023 @ 04:49PM Pin Share Tweet Email Photo: Getty Images Leave it to Rihanna to inspire the next big tattoo trend. As hand tattoos continue to be a celebrity favorite, there's a new popular placement in town: cuticle tattoos. Let's get one thing straight: they aren't what you think — at least not exactly. According to High Hopes tattoo artist Jaz Paulino, a cuticle tattoo is not a tattoo that is drawn on the cuticle. It's actually drawn either right below or at least above and around the first top knuckle. They make for some of the most interesting designs, but there are a couple of things you need to know before getting one. Are Cuticle Tattoos Painful? Pain is always relative but both Paulino and Diana Divina, another artist at High Hopes tattoo salon, say that getting a tattoo on your hand can be one of the more painful areas to get inked. "They’re more painful due to it being a bonier area," says Divina. "Tattoos on the bone (hand, ribs, elbows) are generally more irritating than an area with more muscle and fat." "This placement has a tendency to be a bit spicier," adds Paulino. "Fingers, well hands in general, you need to tread very lightly. This skin is typically very thin and has a lot of nerve endings. Thankfully these tattoos do not take much time, so the suffering period is short." What's The Process Like? Both experts agree that getting a cuticle tattoo involves the same processes as any other tattoo. Paulino says that the artist will set up standard sanitary precautions. Apparently, though, designs differ a bit from the norm. Cuticle tattoos tend to be pretty minimal due to the nature of the placement. Though the same ink is used on your hands as on other parts of your body, Paulino explains that nails will look "dirty" post-treatment as the ink may sit in the pockets of your nail beds if you're getting inked close to the cuticle. But that's an easy fix via washing or gently scrubbing. Do Cuticle Tattoos Fade Faster? Divina says that any hand tattoo is more prone to fading or spreading out. Touch-ups should be expected when considering a cuticle tattoo. What's the Aftercare Like? Paulino says that aftercare is the same as with all other tattoos. "Keep them clean, moisturized — but not too oversaturated — and protected (especially from the sun)," she says. Cuticle tats can be hard to take care of because of how often you use your hands, so she recommends coconut oil or shea butter to help the healing process. You'll also want to avoid any strenuous activity for 24 to 72 hours and to proceed with caution for the next few weeks to let the tattoo fully heal. But always ask your artist for advice, as they can give you a good aftercare game plan. So now that you know everything that you need to know about cuticle tattoos, now is the time for some inspo. See how celebs like Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, and Zoe Kravitz are wearing theirs below. 01 of 09 Miley's Evil Eye Getty Images Miley Cyrus has some of the most fun tattoos out there and should definitely be on your mood board for new ink inspo. We especially love this evil eye design on her pointer finger that sits just above the first knuckle. 02 of 09 Rihanna's Artful Designs Getty Images Rihanna's ink shows designs right below the cuticle area. They take up most of the space above the first knuckle for a stunning look. 03 of 09 Good Vibes Only Instagram @brujadelbloquee You don't need much to match the adorable dotted smiley-face design that's been drawn on both hands. Simply place two dots on each middle finger for some symmetry. 04 of 09 Celestial Being Instagram @west4tattoo The mix of minimal star and sun designs on different fingers work cohesively for something that feels really peaceful. For any spiritual girlies out there, this is definitely for you. 05 of 09 Dreamy Moon Getty Images Zoe Kravitz is another celeb we always look to for tattoo inspo. This crescent moon on her middle finger is a simple yet striking design. 06 of 09 Connect The Dots Instagram @justmashaoffcial To elevate any tattoo design, opt for dotted lines instead of drawn-out ones for something more interesting. 07 of 09 Spidey Senses Instagram @brookesweston Go for fun spooky witchy vibes with these spiderweb designs right below the cuticle and above your first knuckle. 08 of 09 The Minimalist Instagram @lottietomlinson If you're not looking to really commit to any intricate art, simply placing three vertical dots below the cuticle area is a great way to go. It's simple but still makes a statement. 09 of 09 Mixed Bag Instagram @pssyclaws Mix together a bunch of different designs under each cuticle for something really fun. As seen here, it is a nice added touch to any nail look.