What is Up with Eyelid Tattoos? 

What is up with eyelid tattoos? 

With the end of restrictions, we are all going a little crazy (even though it seems as if the predicted recurrence of the ‘roaring twenties’ is still some way off). Ideas that may have seemed far off in the imagination might all of a sudden feel reasonable as we come back to life full force and affirming the preciousness of the time we are given. Tattoo studios have seen an increase in requests for larger pieces, because hey, life is too short not to get that gorgeous full-back design done, right? 

However, there may be a few tattoo ideas that are perhaps better left in the realm of daydreaming – or at least engaged in with caution and after careful consideration. In either case, we thought we’d take a closer look at what is really up with the growing trend of getting your eyelids tattooed. 

Lil Wayne

Eyelid tattoos began gaining in popularity some ten years ago and were spurred on by Lil Wayne getting ‘Fear’ and ‘God’ inked on his. While effect producing (we all need to blink from time to time, flashing some art while you do so is a pretty impressive upgrade to such an ordinary occurrence), tattooing these delicate but essential body parts is not without its controversy or particular challenges. Plus, you will never get to see them yourself except for in photos. 

Delicate differences

People’s eyelids differ slightly in thickness. That is why some can keep sleeping in a bright room while others go mildly insane without blackout curtains. However, they are still home to the thinnest skin on the body. And as you know, for tattoo ink to be permanent, the needle needs to penetrate beneath the top layer of the skin. That leaves a very small target surface for the artist to work with on the eyelid itself. 

Because of this, some artists that do offer eyelid tattoos often hand poke them onto their clients as they say this provides more control of pressure. Others say that they have no particular technique but rather go about it as they would any other place on the body, but with slightly more caution. 

Without a particularly delicate touch, there could be an increased risk of a blowout, which would leave the canvas with an undesired permanent eye-shadow effect. There is also the theoretical risk of penetrating the eyelid with the needle and hurting the eyeball, although there is no obvious evidence that this has ever happened. 

eyelid tattoosPain and potential aftercare complications

As far as pain goes, anecdotal evidence varies. It does not seem to be as painful as one could imagine, given all the nerve endings running through them. However, they can be tricky during the healing process given the continuous… fluttering of the location.

Eyelid tattoos are also easily prone to infections, given the large number of oil glands. Anyone who has ever had a stye can attest to the particular discomfort of things being not quite right when you blink or close your eyes trying to sleep at night. Proper aftercare is always essential, even more so with eyelid tattoos. 


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