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15 Tattoo Mistakes And Their Coverups

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It’s tough to pick a tattoo you’ll love for the rest of your life. That neck tat of a genie smoking a joint on the toilet might have seemed rad when you were 19, but as you become an adult, it might lose some of its magic.

If you’ve got a case of tattoo remorse, you could opt for expensive, painful, removal surgery that might not even work. Or, you could be like these people who got a second tattoo that vastly improved on the first. Buzzfeed asked their readers to share before and after photos of their tattoo coverups, and there were a LOT of responses. Some regretted their tattoo because they outgrew them. For others, their tattoo was associated with a painful memory. And a few of them apparently went to a tattoo artist who was legally blind.  Whatever the reason, at least things worked out in the end.

1. Goodbye, Jolly Roger

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“People don’t believe me until I show them the before and after!”

2. Flames? Lame.

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“My first tattoo was a good lesson in getting what you pay for. Ten years later, I found a capable artist to blast over it with this gorgeous koi. I can now wear shorts again without feeling like everyone is literally laughing at me behind my back.”

3. The Owl, Take 2

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“We called the first attempt my ‘chicken nugget’.”

4. Getting a tattoo of a boyfriend’s name is ALWAYS a good idea.

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“This is actually my third cover up. On the left, if you look, you can see ‘Chris’ in the feather (upside down). I covered that up with a peacock feather. After a few years I decided to cover that up as well, and am totally in love.”

5. The Artists’s Touch

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“I realised once I saw the initial tattoo finished that the artist had redrawn what I brought in into a bird with a boob head. I christened it Titty Bird and lived with it for about a year. It took seven removal sessions and three tattoo sessions to get it covered (with one more to come for touch-ups and shading). So worth it.” 

6. Anchors Aweigh

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“The first one was blurry and lame. The cover-up is by Earl Nixon at Born 2 Lose Tattoos. He added the coordinates where we laid my father’s remains in the ocean. I’m so happy with it.” 

7. A Bug’s Life

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“An abusive boyfriend gave me the first ugly tat and a badass friend covered it up for me with the alien spider years later. Getting it covered helped me move on for good.” 

8. Miracles DO happen.

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“Seriously, you can’t go wrong with a winged wheel. I don’t worry about people hating on it. I live in Chicago as a Detroit fan. I can handle the hate. I just laugh.”

9. Bird Up

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“Covered with new sparrows, an exploding heart, and my daughters’ names.”

10. That one didn’t age well.

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“I got my initials (‘DP’) as a teenager and soon regretted it! It took me over 10 years to find an amazing tattoo artist who agreed to cover up the monstrosity. Needless to say the shop where I got my initials done has since been shut down.”

11. Listen to your gut.

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“My ex-girlfriend convinced me to get it and it was a horrible mistake. The old tattoo was the Gemini and Scorpio symbols. I decided to get it covered up with a half sleeve so I never have to see it again for the rest of my life.”

12. Hakuna Matata

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“I was happy I was able to transform my cliché tattoo into something more meaningful to me.”

13. Heart On His Sleeve

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“I messed up by doing no research on the artist! RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH. Stephen at Mr Lucky’s Tattoo in San Antonio saw my vision and gave me exactly what I wanted!”

14. Tramp Stampede

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“It’s my tramp stampede. Emily Sloman at HaveFunBeLucky in Baltimore transformed this pathetic little flash into true art. The original head became the baby elephant in the cover-up.” 

15. The Plagiarist

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“I got this dreadful haunted house and found out afterwards the artist had been using other people’s tattoos and passing them off as his own.  I wore long sleeves for a good two years before finding an amazing artist that was willing to and capable of covering it up, and I’m still as in love with it now as I was on the day I got it.”

 

h/t: Buzzfeed