The 'blackout tattoo' trend sweeping the internet

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Tattoos, once the reserve of the rebellious by nature, have become a mainstream beauty accessory over the past few years. But the latest trend for 'blackout tattoos' is only for extreme ink lovers.

Singapore-based artist Chester Lee of Oracle Tattoo recently drew attention to the trend when he posted a photo on Instagram of one of his clients sporting a large tattoo with scalloped edges spreading across her upper torso and covering her arms. The image has since gone viral, garnering thousands of likes and sparking online debate about the daring look.

The artist has also shared pictures of other clients who have opted to completely cover different body parts such as lower legs or backs. Some have opted for a design that combines large sections of block color with intricate designs, giving the impression that large swathes of the body are entirely covered up. The overall effect is not unlike that of body paint, with the difference being, of course, that this art form cannot be washed off.

As Lee explains to, one of the principal advantages of blackout tattoos is their capacity to conceal and correct past mistakes, although this is a look customers will want to be sure about before they commit. Meanwhile, other ink fans are using the concept as a way to create a background for striking graphic designs that are created via the negative space created by the bare skin left peeking through.

Additional tattoo artists to have taken to Instagram to show off their spin on the trend include the UK-based Northside Tattooz and Second City Tattoo Club.

The concept is in stark contrast to the recent trend for minimalist micro tattoos led by fashionable but clean-cut celebrities such as Kendall Jenner, Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens. Other key looks that have become popular over recent years include 'watercolor tattoos', whose abstract multicolored designs give the appearance of a watercolor painting, and the more temporary metallic flash tattoos.

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