Even celebrities aren’t immune to ink regret. Some made suspect design choices long before they were famous, while others actually let their famous friends take the needle and imprint them with some truly dubious doodles. And then, of course, there are the tattoos that have lasted longer than the celebrity marriages they were meant to commemorate. And so while many stars still adore their tats, these famous folk are proof that you should think very seriously before you ink…
20. Blake Shelton
Country crooner and The Voice judge Blake Shelton loves the outdoors so much he went ahead and inked deer tracks on his arm. But the tat didn’t quite achieve the masculine man-of-the-woods image Shelton had desired: most people mistake it for a cluster of ladybugs. And so the singer lamented to GAC, “I probably have the crappiest tattoo, not only in country music, but maybe in the world.”
19. Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber has no fewer than 50 inkings depicting everything from Jesus to a seagull, and so there’s bound to be some dodgy doodles among them. There’s one tat, however, that he regrets more than any of them: an inky portrait of his former pop star girlfriend, Selena Gomez. Poor Bieber told GQ in 2016, “I kinda tried to cover her face up with some shading, but people still know.”
18. Jesse Metcalfe
Desperate Housewives hunk Jesse Metcalfe and Girls Aloud beauty Nadine Coyle formed one of the hottest celeb couples when they got together in 2006. It was all over just a year later, however, but by then Metcalfe had something to remember his ex by: a nude inking of her on his arm. Understandably, then, the actor has mixed feelings about the tat after the split. Indeed, in 2009 he told People, “If I could get it removed, I would. At the same time, it’s my favorite tattoo.”
17. Jessie J
Let’s hope pop star and The Voice UK judge Jessie J’s tattoo didn’t come with a high price tag. After all, the singer has admitted that she has a permanent spelling error tattooed on her waist – and her sobbing mom was the one to break the bad news to her. “I have ‘Don’t loose who you are in the blur of the stars’! It’s really big, which is awful,” Jessie divulged to British talk show host Graham Norton in 2015.
16. Jessica Alba
Jessica Alba went under the needle multiple times during her youth, but the 35-year-old isn’t quite as fond of her ink now. Indeed, in an appearance on The Late Late Show, she admitted to James Corden that she dislikes one tat in particular: a bow at the base of her back. The actress deemed the drawing a “tramp stamp” and “really bad,” but nevertheless justified herself by adding, “You know what? I was going through a breakup.”
15. Adam Levine
Maroon 5 rocker Adam Levine arguably has one of the most unfortunate tattoos in the music industry, and there’s some tough competition out there. The musician got his first tat aged 21, and he’s been adding to his collection ever since. But one inking he wishes he hadn’t gone through with is the large Russian prison tat-inspired emblem that covers his right shoulder. Levine told Anderson Cooper in 2012 that the monstrosity now reminds him of a “cauliflower with a sun in the middle.”
14. Kathy Griffin
A wedding ring is a lot easier to remove than a tattoo ring, and Kathy Griffin found this out the hard way when she separated from husband Matt Moline in 2006. The comedian admitted to the Windy City Times in 2012, “I have one tattoo on my whole body, like an a**hole, and it’s a f**king wedding ring – and I’m divorced.”
13. Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj got her arm tattooed when she was just a teen, but she has since advised young people against making the same mistake. Indeed, the rapper has admitted that at 16 she wasn’t mature enough to commit to the etching, a Chinese design that translates as “God is with me.” “You have no idea what you want to put on your body at the age of 16,” Teen.com quotes her as saying. “You need to wait until at least 21 and decide.”
12. Nicole Richie
Ever-candid reality personality Nicole Richie made the decision to stop getting inked after she was 21, but not before she’d added a few regrettable tats to her body. In particular, the Simple Life starlet hates two inkings she had done when she was a teen: a bow on her neck and the word “virgin” on her wrist. She would go on to describe the latter as an “embarrassing and desperate” choice in a 2014 interview with E! News.
11. Amy Schumer
Amy Schumer’s tattoo provided her with the title of her first book, The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo. Nevertheless, the comedian has said that her inking, which she got when she was just 18, is on her list of regrets. “This is a huge regret,” she told Stephen Colbert on The Late Show in 2016. “I did this to myself.”
10. Harry Styles
Harry Styles is known for his scattered array of seemingly random tats; he has even admitted that he often allows his pals to etch their designs on his body instead of visiting a professional. One famous friend, however, seems to have done a worse job than all the rest. That’s because the One Direction star has claimed that that a padlock on his wrist – the handiwork of none other than Ed Sheeran – is definitely on his list of regrets.
9. Demi Lovato
After rising to fame as a Disney child star, a teenage Demi Lovato shook off her clean image by getting a dozen tattoos inked by the time she was 20. Now, however, the 24-year-old has been left with a few misgivings. In a 2012 appearance on Live With Kelly and Michael, in fact, the singer admitted that one inking – a doodle of her pal’s lips – was a “spur-of-the-moment stupid decision” and especially regretful. So much so, in fact, that Lovato later had it camouflaged with another design.
8. Adrienne Bailon
Adrienne Bailon has spoken candidly about her tattoo regret following her breakup with Rob Kardashian. The one-time Cheetah Girl made the mistake of getting his name tattooed on her derrière – only for the two to split up when Kardashian was unfaithful. “Ten-letter last name. Kardashian. It’s pretty bad, yeah,” she admitted on The Real. “Don’t follow my example.”
7. Jennifer Lawrence
Getting inked is an act of defiance for many teens and twenty-somethings. Not so for Jennifer Lawrence: she told press at Comic-Con 2015 that, if anything, her barely-there “H20” tat was “a watered-down rebellion.” The design conveys a very important health message: remember to keep hydrated. The only problem is, her tattoo artist clearly wasn’t up to speed with his periodical table and made a mistake with his needle. “The two is high and, in H20, the two is supposed to be low,” the actress admitted. “I should have Googled it before I got it tattooed on my body forever.”
6. Tom Arnold
When Tom Arnold and ex-wife Roseanne Barr were going through some problems, they didn’t go to counseling or book a romantic break. No, they went to the tattoo parlor, where Arnold got the comedian’s face etched on his torso in a grueling 12-hour procedure. Unfortunately, however, the romantic gesture wasn’t enough, and the couple split shortly afterwards. Arnold later told TMZ, moreover, that it was the “stupidest thing [he] ever did.”
5. Kaley Cuoco
Kaley Cuoco took to Instagram in 2015 to warn others of the dangers of inking before thinking. The star of The Big Bang Theory had her wedding date with former hubby, Ryan Sweeting, etched onto her back, but love quickly returned to regret when the marriage fell to pieces. “Note to self – do not mark your body with any future wedding dates #under30mistakes,” she posted on Instagram, alongside a picture of her back in the tattooist chair having the offending design corrected.
4. Kelly Osbourne
Kelly Osbourne regretted getting a keyboard inked on her wrist almost immediately, but she pretended to love it so that she wouldn’t get a lecture from her famous mom Sharon. “The next morning I woke up and thought, what’s this on my arm?” she told OK! in 2011. “But I thought the only way I wouldn’t get a massive telling off from my mum was to own it.”
3. Helen Mirren
Dame Helen Mirren seems an unlikely candidate for the tattooist’s chair to begin with, so it’s perhaps not so surprising that the actress now regrets the tiny tat on her hand. In a 2010 interview with Good Morning America, moreover, the Hollywood veteran explained that she was especially intoxicated when she decided to go under the needle – and now considers it rather common. “It was a very, very long time ago, when only sailors and Hell’s Angels were tattooed,” she explained. “Now I’m utterly disgusted and shocked because it’s become completely mainstream, which is unacceptable to me.”
2. Lily Allen
When Lindsay Lohan is cheering you on, you know you’re probably about to make a mistake. But Brit pop star Lily Allen had to learn that out the hard way when she joined the Mean Girls wild child for a double date at the tattoo parlor in 2009. Allen got “Shhh” etched on her finger, apparently unaware that Rihanna was already sporting the design. “I thought I was being original,” Allen sheepishly admitted later.
1. Liam Payne
Just like his One Direction bandmate Harry Styles, Liam Payne is no longer in love with some of his body art. And in a 2015 appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the pop star admitted that his least favorite design was a series of arrows inked on his arm. In fact, his regret was almost immediate. “I woke up in bed and the first thing I Googled was, how do I get this thing off me?” he revealed. “My mum cried, my dad probably cried a bit, everyone was crying and stuff. So I thought, this was a bad move.”