Getting a tattoo is a major decision, but for some people, it seems to come really naturally. We all have that one friend who just adds to their collection of ink whenever they feel like it, and they’re not alone. A surprising amount of celebrities have a major obsession with getting tattoos, and it’s not always who you’d most expect. While some go with giant chest tattoos and full sleeves, others rack up tiny tats in places you wouldn’t even notice.
If you’re in the market for a new tattoo, whether it’s your first or fifteenth, feel free to take some inspiration from these tatted-up celebs. You might even get a few ideas of what not to do because getting tattoos can clearly be a bit of a learning process. We know about some of the best celebrity tattoos, but these days it just might be more about quantity over quality.
18. Harry Styles
Every One Direction guy except Niall Horan has a few tattoos, but Harry Styles has always been a big fan of ink. Harry has lots of tattoos on his arms and a few on his chest, and he’s been collecting them for several years. One of his most prominent designs is a large butterfly in the center of his chest, which is pretty tough to miss. Above the butterfly, he has a pair of swallows under his collarbones, which supposedly are a reminder to always find your way home. He also has a half-naked mermaid on his forearm, which we’d love to hear the story behind.
17. Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus is always full of personality, and her many tattoos are no different. Rather than big pieces of art, most of Miley’s tattoos are typically small and minimalist. She clearly likes to have fun with her body art, as evidenced by some of her tattoo choices. There’s an avocado, “ROLLING $TONE” on the bottom of her feet, and an eye on one of her fingers. She also has some more meaningful tattoos, like a portrait of her grandmother, a quote from a Teddy Roosevelt speech, and an anchor that represents safety.
16. Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran might look an average guy you might see walking down the street, but he’s dropped some major money on tattoos. His arms are covered in colorful ink, and most of the designs have stories behind them. A teddy bear is a reminder of a childhood nickname, one is a Bon Iver lyric in Bon Iver’s own handwriting, and one was actually given to him by John Mayer. The crown jewel of Ed’s tattoo collection, however, is the giant lion that adorns his chest. It’s big and colorful and honestly a little scary, but it’s his body, and he can do whatever he wants with it.
15. Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga has lots of tattoos, but you wouldn’t know it from looking at her right side. Almost all of her ink is on the left side of her body because she promised her father she would keep the other half normal. No one can say that Gaga isn’t unique! On her back, she has an insanely detailed hand, covered in lace and beads, forming her signature monster claw. Moving down, on her hip she has a tattoo of a unicorn inspired by her album Born This Way. Sorry mom, but I might have to get a unicorn tattoo.
Like the other 1D boys, Zayn has wasted no time covering his body in some major ink. He recently made headlines when he allegedly got a chest tattoo of his girlfriend Gigi Hadid’s eyes, and it definitely looks eerily realistic. He used to have a tattooed portrait of his ex-fiance, Perrie Edwards. Romantic gestures to lovers aside, Zayn has lots of other tats too. On one of his fingers, he has a glow-in-the-dark ink lightsaber, which we didn’t even know was a thing. He also has a henna-style flower on his wrist, which is very ornate and beautiful.
13. Soulja Boy
Pretty much every inch of Soulja Boy’s body is covered in tattoos, which certainly makes him stand out in a crowd. He’s also delved into the crazy world of face tattoos, but he did have one tat of the Gucci logo removed from his forehead back in 2015. The center of the forehead is about the most noticeable place you could get a tattoo, so maybe he’s saving that area for something else in the future. It’s hard to decipher what a lot of his tattoos are, but he does have a giant Superman logo on his stomach and “Soulja Boy” written across his belly.
12. Adam Levine
When Adam Levine isn’t busy touring with Maroon 5 or being a judge on The Voice, it seems like he must spend most of his time in tattoo shops. In 2016, he revealed his massive back tattoo that took a mind-blowing six months to complete. It centers on a mermaid holding a skull, but the level of detail is truly a masterpiece to behold. Adam also has a tattoo of a necklace around his neck, a large eagle on his abs, and about a million other tattoos that we won’t even get into right now. Seriously, how does he not get bored while getting these done?
11. Liam Payne
Like his former bandmates Harry and Zayn, Liam Payne is a bona fide tattoo addict. He has nearly two dozen tats, and his arms are basically covered at this point. Like Zayn, he also has a tattoo of his girlfriend Cheryl’s eye, but this one is in a bit more subtle location on his arm. He also has a half-sleeve design of a clock with some gears, which probably has some meaning about using the time you’ve got. Other assorted ink includes a feather, some Egyptian hieroglyphics, and a large chevron design on one of his arms.
10. John Mayer
John Mayer might be one of the best singers and guitarists out there, but he also has a pretty impressive tattoo collection. On his left arm, he has a full sleeve that consists of Japanese-inspired designs, including flowers, waves, and koi fish. The colorful sleeve is some seriously beautiful work, and it must have taken forever to get done. On his right arm, he has three squares, which were empty when he got them. One by one, he’s filled them in with different designs. This is a creative idea, especially for someone who is so into tattoos.
9. Megan Fox
Most actors shy away from getting noticeable ink because it’s difficult and time-consuming to cover up during shoots, but Megan Fox clearly wasn’t afraid of losing movie roles over her tattoos. She used to have a detailed portrait of Marilyn Monroe on her arm, but she later had it removed over concerns that Marilyn’s personality disorders would draw negative energy into her life. We’re not sure about the science behind that, but it’s not important. Megan has plenty of other tattoos that were allowed to stay, including a Shakespeare quote, a Chinese character meaning ‘strength,’ and a crescent moon and star on her ankle. She also has her husband’s name tattooed, so let’s hope they never split up.
8. David Beckham
Ex-footballer David Beckham is famous for his beautiful body, and it’s covered in at least 40 different tattoos. His first tattoo ever was a guardian angel that sits in the center of his back, and many of his other tats also carry religious significance. He’s got two cherubs tattooed to represent his first two sons, and then later got himself tattooed with the cherubs, representing Jesus. Yes, David Beckham has a tattoo of himself as Jesus. His wife Victoria Beckham can’t be forgotten, and he has a tattoo of her name in Sanskrit.
7. Lea Michele
While most of the celebrities we’ve covered so far have covered their bodies in ink, some prefer to keep things a bit more subtle. This includes Glee and Scream Queens star Lea Michele, who has over a dozen tattoos scattered around her bod. While some of her body art remains completely unknown, there are a few that she regularly puts on display. On her side, she has a simple ‘5,’ as a tribute to Cory Monteith. That was Finn’s football jersey number on Glee, and this small but meaningful tattoo is the perfect way to honor his memory.
6. Hilary Duff
Hilary Duff might not spring to mind when you think of tatted up celebs, but she has quite the collection of ink. Most of her tattoos are fairly simple compared to others on this list, but she still has some really lovely work. One is a beautiful bird, which is paired with the phrase ‘stand by me.’ She also has a tiny red heart, as well as the word ‘shine’ on one of her fingers. Sometimes less is more, and Hilary’s artwork is proof of that.
5. Cher Lloyd
Cher Lloyd wasn’t even old enough to get a tattoo when she rose to fame on The X Factor, but now she has over 20 tattoos all over her body. On her right forearm, she has a detailed half sleeve, which contains several butterflies and a bird. Complex tattoos like this can be extremely expensive and time-consuming, but the final product is truly a work of art. On her other arm, she has an equally impressive sugar skull, with red hearts for eyes. She also has a lower back tat of a bow, because why not?
4. Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber is another young star who has become obsessed with adding artwork to his body. His tattoos were visible in the shirtless photo featured on the cover of his album Purpose, but he’s definitely added to his collection since then. Some of his most prominent ink includes a large cross, a bear, and a lion, all on his chest. He also has a big owl and a fish on one of his arms, which are pretty cute. Justin does have a Selena Gomez tattoo that he had talked about covering up at one point, but we have a feeling it might be staying for now.
3. Lil Wayne
There’s a lot of tattoos, and then there’s Lil Wayne, who’s really in a whole different league at this point. He has no less than 60 tattoos all over his body, including several on his face. Some of the face tattoos include stars, teardrops, the word ‘baked,’ and a smiley face on the inside of his lip. Face tattoos are not for the faint of heart, but Weezy must be pretty used to them at this point. He has a few tattoos to represent his native New Orleans, and he also has one of the ESPN logo… because who doesn’t love ESPN?
2. Ariana Grande
Like Lea Michele, Ariana Grande is a star who likes to keep her love for tattoos a little more private. She has about a dozen tattoos, but all of them are small and delicate, which is a great way to get something you love without changing your overall look. She’s mostly into finger/toe tattoos, including two hearts, the word ‘Hi,’ and the symbol for female. It’s rumored that she got a tattoo in remembrance of the bombing victims in Manchester last year, but no one has seen it to know for sure.
The resident coolest girl in music/fashion/everything, Rihanna has been racking up tattoos since she first became famous. She has at least two dozen tats, and some of them are serious statement pieces. Her abdomen tattoo of the Egyptian goddess Isis, visible on the cover of her album Unapologetic, is a beautiful tribute to her late grandmother. She also has some intricate tribal-inspired artwork on her right hand and wrist that provides a cool contrast with all the high fashion outfits she wears. Her other tattoos include a trail of stars on her neck and back, a gun on her ribcage, and a star inside one of her ears.