Choosing the best ink for a flawless tattoo sounds challenging. We reviewed several ink brands for the unique effect you want to achieve.
Every tattoo artist tries to take pride in his work as much as possible. To show off the successful work and gorgeous colors is important, but that depends on many factors. One of those important factors that affect the final result is the tattoo ink that artists use.
We are all aware that different salons use different products, and to choose the best tattoo ink can be chaotic with numerous choices available. Because of this, we will try to help you upgrade your tattoo business with our selection of the greatest tattoo ink types below.
We covered enough products to narrow down the choice that would fit you the most. Of course, it is essential from all aspects to choose something fit for you and your needs, while at the same time you increase both your earnings and your art quality.
We managed to select 10 brands of tattoo ink to help you choose the best one. You can choose between regular ink, or glowing UV ink, or even ones for practicing and professional usage. Their specifications are presented down this page.
So, let’s begin!
Read also: Best Black Tattoo Inks
Why do you need a good tattoo ink brand?
It goes without saying, but you need tattoo ink to start tattooing! This is one of the few essentials needed to make a (good) tattoo. And the ink is probably a crucial thing for tattoos, because they are permanent, and need to be perfect. Tattoos are a final result of the artist’s skill, and the equipment used (ink in this case). It is better to pick better now, than risk a double cost by another choice much later.
Good tattoo brand inks are intended for tattoo artists, despite the confused belief that cosmeticians can use tattoo ink for microblading or beauty services (like semi-permanent makeup). Every ink is created to fit a specific purpose, thus, tattoo ink is fit for creating tattoos, in a safe and suitable environment.
The Best Tattoo Inks 2021
1. Millenium Mom’s Tattoo Ink
If you are an artist that is happy to mix and match colors, you respect vegan manufacturing, or you work with all sorts of pigments that are extremely durable, this is the right ink brand for you.
The brand Millenium Mom’s offers this gorgeous set of different colored inks that come in vibrant colors and strong pigments. This is our best overall pick because the finish is smooth, consistent, it doesn’t fade fast, and the components are all tested and safe.
The package size is 7.5 x 3.3 x 2.1 inches, and it weighs just 1.05 pounds.
- Vibrant pigments
- Safe components
- Durable colors
- Easy flow under the skin
- Trusted brand
- The package needs extra securing and tightening before shipping (checkup for quantity and quality of package could be better)
2. Kuro Sumi Tattoo Ink
In case you are a tattoo artist that is not concerned with budget, but more with the quality and reputation of a business, we recommend this product. It is certified and this is a guarantee for its quality.
As our premium pick, we chose the ink by Kuro Sumi. This product is specific and unique because the pigments are not just bold, but they are organic as well, and this would be convenient for all types of skin without any risks. Apart from organic, they are vegan as well, and durable too.
This is a lightweight package of 2.65 pounds, and convenient dimensions too, of 11.5 x 4 x 4.5 inches.
- Organic colors
- No animal cruelty (vegan)
- Strong pigments
- Bright colors are vibrant
- A sustainable and renowned brand
- No fading
- Could be pricier than other ink types
- Product labels easily wear off
3. Solong Tattoo Ink
Because this is our budget pick, the Solong ink is a fit for you if you are on a budget, but you still want to create gorgeous and colorful tattoos. Often, quality products can be bought for a fair price
The brand Solong and its ink is our budget pick that offers good budget-friendly quality. The variety of colors is vast, so you can choose from many shades. These colors are all sterilized, and they are fully soluble in water as well.
The package dimensions are 7.87 x 5.12 x 3.94 inches. The package weight is 1.15 pounds, and it arrives fast!
- Popular budget-friendly brand
- A good pigment that will not fade
- Flawless package and shipment care
- Sterilized ink
- Some pigment shades are not bold enough as others of the same brand (depending on color shade)
- Bottles could be manufactured in a larger size as well
4. Hawink Tattoo Ink
The Hawink brand manufactures ink that comes with an average good price, and quite good quality too. The color fixates well and is simple to use. Ink vibrancy remains durable, even with delicate shades or designs. With this ink, the skin will absorb all the pigments quickly, and nicely as well.
The package has 7 shades included, and one bottle of ink has 2 oz liquid content. The weight of the package is 4.8 ounces, and its dimensions are 3.1 x 1.96 x 2 inches.
- Simple usage
- Durable pigment
- Stability of color
- Good for shades and coloring too
- Good price
- Some colors could be rejected faster (blue or red shades)
- Ink could be thicker than other types
5. One Tattoo World Premium Tattoo Ink
This product will suit you well if you are still relatively new to the tattooing business, and you are surely transferring to professional tattooing. It is fit to practice with it and to continue working with it as well.
The One Tattoo World ink is a product with double usage – it is fit for both practicing, as well as professional tattoos. It is a good pigment for touch-ups or minor cover-ups too. The colors are vibrant and lasting, and they can be mixed well for any design.
The package is very light, only 1.05 pounds, and relatively small too, 10.2 x 4 x 1.7 inches.
- Fit for practice, and regular use
- Vibrant colors
- Affordable price
- Easy to work with
- Quick shipping
- A larger color variety would be good
- Ink has a specific scent
- Bottles must be tightened well to avoid leakage
6. INTENZE Color Tattoo Ink
If you are a tattoo artist that is against animal cruelty, but you are also ready to invest in pricier inks with better ingredients, this is a good choice for you to make. As a plus, you can mix the colors to witness the unique saturations!
The brand Intenze offers ink in various colors that are quite popular in the tattoo community. Their best feature is that they boast vegan-friendly ingredients and no animal testing, as well as all other remaining ingredients as healthy and safe for usage. Their colors are lively and have a specific hue to them.
The package arrives with dimensions 11.5 x 4.4 x 2.4 inches, and with a weight of 2.75 pounds.
- Good quality
- Vegan and animal-friendly
- Safe ingredients
- Strong saturation of colors
- A bit pricey compared to other brands
7. Bloodline Tattoo Ink
The Bloodline ink is a good choice for you if you want to start tattooing quickly – shipping will be fast, and colors are perfect for practice. They will also be practical to continue working with them after practicing as well.
The Skin Candy manufacturer created a nice set of various colors for enhanced and colorful tattooing, under the brand name line Bloodline. All of the colors are nice shades that are easily mixed to receive new vibrant colors. This ink is sterilized of course and nicely packed with ink caps of medium size. With Bloodline, you can practice, and work professionally.
The dimensions of the package are 8 x 2 x 3 inches, and it weighs 12 ounces flat. Also, in the package, you receive extra 20 tattoo ink caps with a flat bottom surface.
- Nice pigments
- Extra ink caps in the package
- Good for multiuse (beginner and expert)
- Bright colors are quite vibrant and less fading
- Fast shipping
- Some bottles are not full until the top
- Bottles should be tightened better before shipping
8. Immortal Tattoo Ink
This is a good pick for you if you are just recently into tattooing, and you wish to work easily with colors that flow fast and efficiently once in the machine and on the skin. These links are great as practice material for any level of beginners and apprentices.
The brand Dragonhawk offers a set of gorgeously packed tattoo ink, line Immortal, in several colors available. You will notice the subtle, yet vibrant shade of the pigments and their quality, and these inks are unique because their pigment is as pure as possible.
The inks are packed in bottles of 5 ml each, which is good for saving the pigment in liquid form and avoiding waste or clumping from air exposure. The overall package has dimensions of 6.5 x 5.4 x 2.2 inches, weighing just 3.99 ounces.
- Practical packages of 5ml to avoid drying and waste
- Pure pigment
- Easy to work with
- No fading or layers after tattooing
- Bright colors remain the same
- Fast shipment
- Better checkup before shipping could be required (for tightening of bottles and packages)
- Maybe another brand of this list would be better for expert usage
9. Bloodline Black Light UV Ink
This product is a great pick for tattoo artists who want to offer more than the already known services. If you want to create glow-in-the-dark tattoos that don’t fade fast and obtain them for a good price, you could try out this product.
Again we continue with the Skin Candy brand, but this is something quite different and interesting – UV glowing ink! You can now dare to be different from others and offer tattoos that glow in the dark. Surely, the glowing ink is known everywhere, but it doesn’t hurt to purchase it. All of the offered colors are stunningly neon-vibrant, and each bottle contains ½ oz ink. This brand is not something new when it comes to UV inks – they are the leaders!
The package has dimensions of 5.43 x 4.02 x 1.77 inches, and it weighs only 6.46 ounces as well.
- Bold and neon colors
- Made by the leaders in UV ink producing
- Good price
- The product looks the same as it is described
- Caps are easily sealed
- The glowing is flawless under black light
- A possible mixup of shades in the package (one color instead of another)
- Some of the shades could have dried up residue in the bottle
10. STIGMA Tattoo Ink
The STIGMA ink is good for you if you are a tattoo artist that loves an organized palette of inks with stunning bright shades especially. You can pick this product if you love mixing pigments to get even brighter and livelier colors.
The brand STIGMA manufactured by Solong, is a set of lively colors to add a touch of life and fun to the tattoos you make. These pigments are of good quality and average good price. Besides, the ink is quite durable, leaving a nice finishing texture. The STIGMA ink offers many interesting bright shades of colors that get even brighter and vibrant when mixed as well.
The package arrives with default dimensions of 7.48 x 3.54 x 2.36 inches, and a notable lightweight of 1.01 pounds.
- Smooth, finishing texture
- Good quality
- Vibrant bright shades
- High in pigments
- Packed with the right amount of ink to avoid waste
- Herbal ingredients
- Fast shipping
- Less fading than other inks
- Some bottles are not tightened enough before shipping
How we picked and tested the products
We needed to pay attention to the best features of tattoo ink; we had to focus on the features that are vital for tattooing, its purpose, your aim for the tattooing in general, and the quality;
- Pigment vibrancy
- Fading factor
- Simple usage
- Multi-purpose (shading, coloring, lines, practice, and expert use)
Tattoo Ink Buyer’s Guide
Ingredients of the ink and their possible reactions
We are all more or less aware that ink is for the big part, made of chemical compounds, or “unnatural” compounds most of the time. This is a product that’s made with certain chemical components that give a long-lasting color, or a vibrant pigment that stays fixated under the skin.
For reference, blue pigments contain cobalt illuminate, and red pigments have mercury sulfide – this is not extremely urgent information for you at the moment, but in the long run it is because such chemical components could (extremely rarely) react in someone’s organism.
The expected possible side-effects as a reaction to the ink could include:
- Red and bumpy skin (granuloma)
- Skin patches that itch (lichen planus)
- Red-purple nodules and patches (pseudolymphomatous issues)
However, the consoling part is that this happens rarely, because ink nowadays gets more and more improved and updated with the least possible side effects as in the past.
Usage of the ink
In general, with a good type of tattoo ink, you can do wonders and all sorts of tattoos (given that you know your drawing skills as well!).
Still, there are some vague classifications of the inks and their purposes. Please, refer to our top 10 reviews above to check out any specific purposes, and if they apply to you.
For example, some inks are good for practicing, and some for both practice and expert work. Some are pricier and some cheaper. There is also a black light UV glowing ink, as well as regular types. We tried to cover every category to fit every artist’s needs – all explained in the section above.
Chances of skin infection from some types of tattoo ink
Yes, skin infection is a possible thing when you are tattooing. Luckily, this does not happen too often, because nowadays most, if not all artists, do tattoos in a controlled, clean, certified, and professional environment. Sometimes infections could occur due to various reasons; personal hygiene, aftercare of the tattoo, and of course most importantly in this case – the equipment and ink of the tattoo artist.
If we exclude the needles for one usage and the machines for tattooing, we are left with the main suspect, the ink. There is a high possibility that the ink has not been safe, and has been in touch with debris, or some contaminants like germs, bacteria, or water used for dilution (impure water) – all of this poses a risk for infection. Unfortunately, sometimes even the artist is not aware of the already contaminated ink before he purchased it.
Is allergy caused by tattoo ink different from an ink infection
Yes, there is some difference between these two conditions caused by ink problems, still, this difference is not a major one, but one tends to be less serious than the other.
For example, the allergic reaction is milder and shows through itching, redness, swelling, or burning around that skin, and this usually passes on its own after several weeks. On the other hand, if contaminated ink caused an infection, this is more serious, with extreme redness, oozing, or tattoo deformation along with flu symptoms too.
This is all easily avoided if the tattoo artist shops for safe and checked ink and tattoo equipment beforehand.
How to ensure ink safety and your safety (both as an artist and customer)
It is always a good, and obligatory idea to double-check the origin of the tattoo ink. Whether you are the customer or tattoo artist, it doesn’t hurt to check a few times regarding the shipping, origin, seller rating, and similar vital information. It takes only one bad ink order, or one tattoo infection to gain a bad reputation as a tattoo salon – and that kind of business reputation is hard to erase in the future.
Unfortunately, when suspicious ink orders occur, they are inks with suspicious components not always listed on their labels (such as car paint, or paint used in paper printers). Our advice is to always purchase tattoo ink from trusted, or at least rated sellers.
Another way to ensure the utmost top-level hygiene and ink safety is to always use clean ink caps for ink usage or dilution during the tattoo session. Even the best ink could get contaminated if it’s put in a cap already used or tainted!
If you are the customer, pay attention (if you can) whether your tattoo artist takes out new and clean caps (the tiny small caps that hold a few dollops of ink) for this to layout on the area for preparation.
We have seen all the pros and cons of our top selection of tattoo inks, and in conclusion, thestands out as a vegan and vibrant ink, extremely durable, and with proven quality.
Of course, do not forget about the other options, such as– a type of ink that has a distinctive price, but it comes with a certified reputation and flawless pigments. And, of course, the that is affordable, yet good to work with, and offers less costly tattoo preparations.
Remember, a good tattoo is just as good as the quality ink, combined with the artistic skills of the tattoo artist. You have to always make sure to purchase already rated products for the best service you could offer.
Be responsible, professional, and happy tattooing!