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Article: Choosing the Best Tattoo Colors for Your Skin Tone

Woman with a multicolored tattoo sleeve
Best tattoo colors

Choosing the Best Tattoo Colors for Your Skin Tone

Color is a key part of any tattoo, adding depth and meaning to the design. The right colors can make a tattoo look great and show off your personal style. However, tattoo colors can change over time and may look different years later. It's important to understand how different colors work with various skin tones to choose a tattoo that stays vibrant and appealing over time.

What Are the Best Colors for Tattoos?

Woman with a multicolored tattoo sleeve

Choosing the right colors for a tattoo depends on a variety of things, including your undertones, skin shade, and the types of inks used. Some colors might “pop” more on one type of skin than another. For example, certain yellows and oranges might show well on light skin but blend into darker skin. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get a fully colored tattoo on dark skin. It’s all about creating a thoughtful design that looks great on you.

You always want to work directly with your tattoo artist to find the right ink colors and types for your specific design and skin, but there are a few handy guidelines for different skin tones that can help you narrow it down.

Start by Determining Your Undertones

To determine your undertones, try these simple steps:

  1. Check Your Veins: Look at the inside of your wrist. What color are the veins? If they appear purple or blue, you likely have cool undertones. If they have a green tint to them, you probably have warm undertones. If it's hard to tell, you might have neutral undertones.
  2. Jewelry Test: Consider whether gold or silver jewelry looks better on you. Gold tends to complement warm undertones, while silver suits cool undertones better. If both look good, you likely have neutral undertones.
  3. Reaction to Sun: Think about how your skin reacts to sun exposure. If you tan easily, you likely have warm undertones. If you burn, you probably have cool undertones. Neutral undertones can experience a mix of both reactions.

Best Colors by Skin Tone

Cool Undertone


Pastel colors are some of the best colors for pale skin with cool undertones. Soft blues, lavender, and pinks enhance the natural cool tones of the skin. Additionally, white ink can create striking highlights and details.


Medium skin with cool undertones pairs beautifully with vibrant colors. Deep purples, rich blues, and emerald greens stand out against the skin. These colors maintain their vibrancy and provide a stunning contrast.


Dark skin with cool undertones can be complemented by bold and bright colors. Reds, electric blues, and bright purples create a vivid contrast.

Warm Undertone


Light skin with warm undertones benefits from earthy colors. Warm reds, oranges, and yellows highlight the skin’s natural warmth. Additionally, olive green and browns add depth and richness to tattoos.


For medium skin with warm undertones, vibrant colors like teal and magenta are excellent choices. These colors pop against the skin and maintain their intensity over time.


Dark skin with warm undertones shines with jewel tones. Ruby reds, emerald greens, and sapphire blues are particularly striking.

Neutral Undertone


Light skin with neutral undertones is versatile and pairs well with a variety of colors. Pastels, muted tones, and even bright colors like turquoise and coral work beautifully. This skin tone can handle both cool and warm shades effectively.


For medium skin with neutral undertones, a wide range of colors is suitable. Bright pinks, blues, and greens look vivid and appealing. Neutral skin tones can balance both vibrant and subtle colors, making them versatile for tattoo designs.


Good tattoo colors for dark skin with neutral undertones are ones that are bold and intense. Vibrant reds, blues, and purples provide a striking contrast.

Universal Tattoo Colors

Tattooed man wearing a Sullen button up shirt

Black, white, and greyscale tattoos might seem simple, but they work well on all undertones and skin shades. Black ink creates a strong contrast on light skin, making designs bold and clear, while white ink stands out vividly on dark skin, providing a striking effect. Regardless of your skin tone, black and white inks can be used to create timelessly beautiful tattoos that you can love for years to come.

Show Your True Colors Through Your Tattoos and Style

Sullen Clothing is all about self-expression, and our designs highlight and celebrate all kinds of tattoos, no matter the color or style. With artwork inspired by tattoo culture, our clothing can help make your ink stand out and show the world who you are. Shop our collection now and find the perfect wardrobe pieces to elevate your style and highlight your tattoos.


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