Reported by Trevor Nault
Once the last frontier of tattoo counterculture, face tattoos appear to be going mainstream, according to a number of industry insiders.
Pop culture influences
Face tattoos have become more common in the media with rappers like Lil Pump, Lil Xan and Xan Frank, who has an ink portrait of Anne Frank on his face. Fashion magazine Allure declared it a trend in 2015 after makeup artist Tom Pecheux incorporated celestial themed makeup in tattoo-like designs on the model’s faces.
Tattoo artist, and owner of Ambassador Tattoo based in Calgary, Dan Cameron said he has seen the trend in Eastern Europe and it’s gaining steam in North America.
“Especially with pop culture and mainstream media exploiting that type of thing,” Cameron said. “You’re seeing it a lot more, so you’re desensitized to it, so more people are doing it.”
Brittany Horne, a tattoo artist who describes herself as ‘the shop mom’ at Funhouse Tattoo in Vancouver said she has seen the interest in face tattoos increase.
“It seems like it’s an everyday thing now, like it’s becoming so much more accepted,” said Horne who also sports a small black heart inked under her right eye.
Jordie Lunn, a professional mountain biker who has an all-seeing eye tattooed on his eyelid and an ancient Viking symbol near his left eye said he has no regrets.
“I have other tattoos elsewhere that I’m not happy with visually, that I will eventually have covered with others, but I like the ones on my face,” Lund said. “Tattoos are so common now, and for the most part, accepted.”
Michael David, manager at Gastown Tattoo Parlour, said although face tattoos have grown popularity not all shops are willing to tattoo faces.
“A lot of shops still go by the old-school rules that your hands and neck and above are the last spots that you get tattooed, only when you’ve ran out of all other real estate,” David said. “We don’t want to be the reason someone can’t get a job or something.”