60+ Face Tattoo Ideas That Are Worth The Pain

By Jason Hamilton / August 21, 2019
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Face tattoos are the finest frontier in modern ink culture, and the trend is constantly being elevated to new levels of slick machismo. There are literally no limits when it comes to sporting facial firepower!

By acquiring a face tattoo, any man can gain membership to today’s prestigious club of body art masters.

These eye-catching insignias will instantly craft an elite reputation that will be noticed by everyone.

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Should I Get Face Tattoos?

Even if you have lots of tattoos, most people do not get face tattoos. They are complicated in placement, painful, stigma and will no doubt affect your future. It’s a very, very visible statement. Keep reading to find out more, and figure out whether a face tattoo is what you really want!

The Stigma Behind Face Tattoos

The reason for this is that even if culture is changing, the majority of jobs do not like you to have visible tattoos and facial tattoos are very hard to cover. There is stigma still about having tattoos, especially facial tattoos. Many people who work in the tattoo industry have facial tattoos because they can, they’re never going to fail to get hired because they have a visible tattoo.

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A large face tattoo of two spiders on webs.

A rifle tattoo and stitched mouth tattoo inked on the face.

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A large and realistically detailed face tattoo of a child inked on the side of the face.

A tattoo of two teardrops near the eyes and words on the mustache area.

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A fairly sized blue and red tattoo of a stylized R inked near the temple.

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Be warned, people will look at you differently. Facial tattoos are still pretty unusual which means you’re likely to get stared at and judged.

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How Painful Is A Face Tattoo?

Tattoos are certainly not for everyone, but if you’re considering one, make sure you know what you’re getting into. This pain chart highlights the parts of the body that can hurt the most when the needle comes down.

Various words tattooed on different areas of the face as a face tattoo.

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A forehead tattoo of a pistol.

A face tattoo of various words and three stars.

A skull styled face tattoo with intricate detailing.

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A highly detailed face tattoo inked below the lip, above the eyebrow, and on the forehead.

Getting a tattoo will hurt; there’s no way around that. However, some parts of the body are extremely sensitive to pain, and only the bravest of brave should even consider tattoos in those zones. This pain chart from Tattoos-Hurt.com explains it all using color, with yellow being the least painful to purple being excruciatingly painful. It’s not surprising that the most painful areas are also considered the most vulnerable areas of the body.

Tattoos of various quotes and a small dagger inked on the face.

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A tattoo of barbed wire on the forehead with the words “stay away” and “always tired” inked near the eyes.

A highly detailed rose and cobweb tattoo inked on the side of the face.

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A highly detailed sugar skull tattoo inked on the entire face.

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A skull themed face tattoo.

For a general rule, if you’re extremely ticklish in an area, it will probably hurt really bad to have it tattooed. An important thing to consider, however, is the fact that everyone has different thresholds for pain. This chart won’t be spot on for everyone, but it is still effective at giving you a general idea for choosing a location. Just make sure you pick something you really love, or you might end up wanting to cover it up.

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The History Behind Face Tattoo

In Ancient Rome, slaves who fled or attempted to escape from their masters would frequently be branded on their foreheads or tattooed against their will. These tattoos portrayed the crimes committed and were a punishment because of the inability to cover up a tattoo on the forehead. As the Roman world entered late antiquity, extreme Christian sects began to use former-slave forehead tattoos as religious symbols and signs of strength. Religious facial and head tattoos were not socially unacceptable within these circles though in the greater Roman mainstream there was still an association between face tattoos and former slavery. In 315/316 CE, an edict outlawed facial tattoos and facial branding/tattooing for slaves.

A highly detailed geometric tattoo of various lines inked on the side of the face and on the ear.

A black neotraditional tattoo of a dagger and rose on the face.

A cute and intricately detailed knife tattoo on the side of the face near the temple.

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A black heart tattoo inked near the eyes and the word “haunted” above the eyebrow.

A medium sized and intricately detailed face tattoo of an assault rifle.

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Medieval pilgrims would frequently get tattoos whilst visiting the Holy Land, including the occasional face tattoo. Crusaders may have got facial tattoos as permanent proof of their participation in the Crusades, although this is unknown.

A fairly sized and highly detailed tattoo of Adidas’ logo inked on the cheek.

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A large forehead tattoo of the word “Drake”.

Various tattoo designs inked on different areas of the face.

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A large face tattoo of three slashes and the words “zzz lover” inked on the cheek of a man.

An intricate tattoo of a face inked on the cheeks of a woman.

The Face Tattoo In Modern Day Culture

Presently, face tattoos are considered socially unacceptable and “outrageous” and generally will prohibit the tattooed person from finding employment and results in discrimination in many cases. Most tattoo artists will attempt to dissuade clients from getting a facial tattoo or may outright refuse to do a facial tattoo.

Many gangs and criminal organizations mark members with tattoos, including visible areas such as the face, head, and neck. Members may get excessive facial tattoos as a form of intimidation. This started in California in the 1980s before becoming widespread. And because of that, face tattoos have become often associated with criminality.

A 2013 study published in Psychology, Public Policy, and Law concluded that face tattoos often lead to bias in the jury and more frequent convictions. Many ex-convicts also have facial tattoos, due to prison tattooing, and the culture of prison tattoos includes the indoctrination of people within the prison populace into gangs, which often require tattoos to show aggression. These tattoos include teardrop tattoos indicating that the bearer has either taken a life or lost someone close to them; a five-point crown, a common Latin Kings symbol; and a number of different facial tattoos alluding to Nazism in the Aryan Brotherhood and Salvadorian culture in MS-13. In the mid-2000s, the trend of getting a facial tattoo emerged among celebrities, starting with Mike Tyson’s large tribal tattoo in 2003 and the ascension of rap music from the underground to the mainstream. This allowed artists with a criminal background and face tattoos to become well-known, including Birdman, Lil Wayne and The Game. Lil Wayne’s excessive tattooing of his face created a minor trend that he helped pioneer inspiring rappers like Gucci Mane and then-chart topper Soulja Boy to get facial tattoos.

An intricate rose tattoo inked on the side of the face with the word “cursed” in cursive above the eyebrow.

A vibrantly colored and intricately detailed flower and butterfly tattoo placed on the face.

A full face sugar skull tattoo.

A large hiphop style tattoo designs inked on the face.

A full face tribal tattoo with a large star tattoo on the forehead.

Hip-Hop culture

The influence of artists like Lil Wayne getting face tattoos wasn’t fully realized until the mid-2010s with the resurgence of trap music and the “SoundCloud rap” scene. Artists such as Lil Uzi Vert, Travis Scott, 21 Savage, and Migos all have facial tattoos and emerged between 2014 and 2016, soon entering the mainstream and the Billboard Hot 100. The facial tattoos are often used by these artists as motivation to limit attaining meaningful employment, leading them to focus entirely on their music career. This, alongside with the entrance of hip-hop culture and black culture into the mainstream has led to face tattoos increasing in popularity.

Though discrimination remains in the fashion world for models who have facial tattoos, generally models with face tattoos of the brand they’re modeling for, such as having a Chanel logo under your eye, is becoming acceptable.

Multiple tattoo designs inked on various parts of the face.

Various tattoo designs inked on the face as a face tattoo.

A half face tattoo of a word inked on the lower half of the face.

A tear themed face tattoo inked around the eyes and on the cheeks and nose.

A sugar skull tattoo done as a face tattoo.

The Styles You Can Do With A Face Tattoo

Since the face tattoo is more of a niche tattoo, only a few tattoo designs styles are available for this tattoo. Despite being a niche tattoo, beautiful tattoo designs can be made for this tattoo.

Here are some of the best face tattoo designs we saw:

The Tribal Tattoo

Tribal motifs dominated arts and culture for centuries, if not millennia. Not long after, they have also dominated the skins of powerful men to signify their status, power, and influence within the community. Their interweaving and interlocking designs made tribal tattoos even more daunting and thus also made the wearer be feared and honored in their society.

A full face modern tribal motif tattoo inked on a woman’s face.

A quarter face tattoo of a modern tribal motif or design.

A half face modern tribal pattern tattoo with stars.

A black ink modern tribal pattern tattoo on the whole left side of the face.

A traditional African themed tribal tattoo inked on the whole front of the face.

People with influential social status wore tattoos which were big in size while smaller tattoos implied lower social stature. They were used as an identification mark in certain ancient tribes, with these marks being used to identify the members of the clan in life and after death. Moreover, tribal tattoos had a story to tell, with images of animals, warriors and natural forces being featured in them to throw light on an event in the life of the bearer.

A full face traditional Chinese themed tribal tattoo.

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An extremely detailed traditional Polynesian themed tribal pattern tattoo inked on the forehead.

A somewhat simple but elegant tribal pattern tattoo inked on the forehead and right side of the face.

Most tribal tattoo designs that dominate today’s body art industry came from, if not inspired by, traditional Polynesian tattoos. This tattoo design is classified by its highly intricate lines and imagery that is present in every tattoo. Here are some of the tribal tattoo designs we have seen on the internet.

A large black ink tribal tattoo on the whole left side of the face and the chin.

An extremely detailed Maori themed head and face traditional tribal tattoo.

An intricate tribal tattoo inked on the left side of the face.

A modern and detailed head and face tattoo of a tribal pattern.

A highly detailed and intricately made full face tribal tattoo.

The Geometric Tattoo

As the days go by and tattoo designs come and go, a lot of the designs that come out in recent years continues to challenge tattoo artists and tattoo enthusiasts alike. One of the most challenging to be released in the past few years was geometric tattoo designs. Everyone in the body art industry and the tattoo community are raving about geometric tattoo designs for quite some time now and for sure you would like to ask us if it’s worth the rave reviews and comments it is having now. Well, it is for you to decide but worry not as we will help you figure out if it is really worth it.

A highly detailed and intricate geometric tattoo of radial and cubic pattern.

A highly detailed geometric cheek tattoo.

A fully detailed geometric pattern tattoo inked on the face.

A highly detailed and intricate full face tattoo of a geometric pattern flower.

A full face geometric pattern tattoo.

Geometry is a branch of mathematics that is concerned with questions of shape, size, the relative position of figures, and the properties of space. This branch of mathematics, and in extension, science, is mostly considered as a graphic, logical, and numerical form of thinking. It is filled with figures, lines, and measurements which makes it a very interesting field of mathematics.

A highly intricate geometric pattern tattoo inked on the side and lower portion of the face.

A large forehead tattoo of a low poly geometric heart.

A simple but intricate lower face tattoo of a geometric pattern fading into the cheeks.

A highly detailed geometric pattern tattoo inked on the lower portion of the face.

A very intricate geometric flower tattoo inked on the lower portion of the face.

Since its introduction in the body art industry a few years ago, a lot of designs were made that can be classified under the geometric tattoo design category. Most of these designs are modern and artsy and here are some of the designs which feature geometric themes:

Another very intricate geometric flower tattoo inked on the lower portion of the face.

An intricate and full face geometric pattern tattoo.

A large geometric flower tattoo inked on the side of the face.

A highly intricate cloud themed geometric tattoo inked on the face.

A simple large geometric tattoo inked on the face.


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About the author

Jason Hamilton

Jason has been an avid fan of tattoos for over 13 years now. He is currently 35 years old, and he got his first tattoo at the age of 22. Since then, he has added over 20 tattoos to his collection. He is also into writing, which is why he decided to celebrate both of his passion and hobby through tats ‘n’ rings. Jason dreams of having his very own tattoo parlor soon. Jason would be very happy to answer any questions about tattoos that you may have! Leave a comment below and he’ll answer it for you right away!

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