A traditional tattoo can make a unique statement, but its visibility and permanence isn’t for everybody. So, what if you took this concept and infused it with ink only seen under ultraviolet light? These 20 awesome glow-in-the-dark tattoos are sure to get you dancing in the dark…
20. Beauty and the Beast
This ode to the animated movie Beauty and the Beast was created by tattoo artist Rob Simas of Richmond Street Tattoo in Providence, Rhode Island. The stained glass shines with a luminous blue sheen and the enchanted rose emits a red glow, making this a vibrant and colorful UV fan tat.
19. Vine design
This inked work of shoulder art is almost other-worldly, with its visual dissection of a flower and what appears to be a dragon emerging from it. Likewise, the UV ink highlights the almost mosaic-like vine design. Our conclusion: this compelling tat really pops under black light!
18. Soda bottle
The details in the crevices of this soda bottle black light tat truly take it to another level – making it a refreshingly simple design that is expertly executed. And the lighting effects are simply Fanta-stic…
17. Mountain forest
This lovely design by Chris Murphy of Chameleon Ink Tattoo in Bellingham, Washington is as ethereal as it is scenic. Also known as UV-responsive or black light tattoos, these forms of body art are created using ultraviolet ink, which brings images like this mountain peak to life while also providing a nice touch of artistry.
16. Jimi Hendrix
Guitar legend Jimi Hendrix’s eternal flame burns brightly in this detailed UV piece by an unidentified ink artist – a feat expertly achieved through the hidden sections of the tattoo. Once in darkness, music notes shoot out from the psychedelic phenomenon, as does the flaming aura that appropriately exudes an almost purple haze.
15. Cheshire Cat
This tattoo artist went for a truly unusual after-dark design – one that completes this Wonderland animal’s naturally ecstatic look beneath black lighting, where its dazzling ink is revealed. Some such inks are made of phosphor – which may cause allergies – while others aren’t but are still not FDA regulated.
14. Curling tree
Festivals are the perfect events for debuts of cool new UV tats like this one – apparently shown off at Coachella, according to Instagram user Tiffany Lin. In addition, black light tattoos are also popular fixtures at raves. And this striking piece in particular features subdued hints of red to enhance its delicate color scheme.
13. Yoda and lightsaber
Intimate Body Art Studios used mastery to fashion this visceral tat of Yoda from Star Wars with its standout glow-in-the-dark lightsaber. “This took me five hours to complete in one sitting. Used UV reactive ink in the lightsaber, eyes and nails. Hopefully I did Master Yoda proud,” said the artist.
12. All-seeing eye
This elaborate eye tattoo utilizes a varied color palette, accentuated by swatches of special ink. In fact, expert artists like Billy Hill of Envy Skin Gallery use medical-grade ink containing tiny black light-responsive beads, but they have also warned customers that this good stuff is pricier than regular tattoo ink.
Ever wanted to rock a badass face tat but feared that your employer might not appreciate it so much? Well, this hidden starburst design demonstrates another perk of black light tattoos. “It’s pretty cool stuff – you can hide things,” Billy Hill has said of the secret ink.
This underwater-inspired inkwork looks crude in its daylight state, but once it comes to light in the dark it makes up for it. The serenity of the ocean is portrayed in the tentacled marine mammal – a credit to the tattooist. A word of warning, though: don’t get too close!
9. Mother Nature
It’s hard not to be hypnotized by this spellbinding glow-in-the-dark tattoo, which explores themes like time through nature’s cycles. Leaves, flowers and butterflies are all intricately fused together in this luminescent beauty – which is evergreen in more ways than one.
Fan of James Cameron’s sci-fi classic Avatar? Then you’ll love the lifelike depiction of one of the Na’vi by Pennsylvania tattoo artist Kenneth Bryan. The foot tat – which took close to three and a half hours to create – transforms under black light, with the character’s mysterious blue speckles sparkling surreally.
7. Pain in the neck
Neck tattoos are notoriously painful; nevertheless, it appears to have been worth it for this forever-Halloweener, whose blood effect UV tat looks a scream. But, fear not, the healing process isn’t too bad: according to one black light tattoo recipient, it takes about 15 days.
6. Crystal legs
It’s easy to see why even celebrities like ex-One Directioner Zayn Malik have enthusiastically adopted the UV tattoo trend. Looking at these leggy tats, maybe pro tennis’ Williams sisters will be next. And these sometimes glowing crystal shards are not your everyday tats: check out how these bad boys glimmer under a black light!
Florida tattooist Wylee Wadsworth certainly doesn’t shy away from more complex designs, as evidenced by this stunningly hypnotic mandala ink piece. In fact, geometric and intertwining patterns helps to make this a cosmic delight when ultraviolet rays are thrown into the mix.
4. Human tree
In the earlier days of black light tattoos, the media in Singapore reported a wave of teenagers getting UV-inked to prevent their parents from protesting. So it’s not surprising that this tat wearer has taken this a step further by hiding his ink on his torso – although the branches extend, taking the phrase “branching out” to new levels.
3. Shoulder flower
Glow-in-the-dark tattoo ink comes in different colors like neon yellow and – in this cool girl’s case – radiant pink. And there’s no doubt that this pulsating work – with its dizzying pattern and mesmerizingly bright hue – will have heads turning.
2. Binary code
This UV tattoo works perfectly – in both form and function. As such, it only comes to life with the use of a black light – almost like running a scanner alongside it – leaving admirers with cryptic barcode, hidden from view in daylight hours…
1. Incredible Hulk
The Incredible Hulk achieved his menacing coloration thanks to anger and some gamma radiation. This Hulk tattoo does it with fluorescent ink and the artistry of tattooist Rob Simas. His attention-grabbing arm tat creation is enhanced by the glow-in-the-dark electricity enveloping the beloved comic book star.