The new tattoo trend means white is the new black - but is more subtly-coloured ink a good idea? Annie Vischer reports

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Tattoos have always been a touchy subject and there seems to be a new fashion for white tattoos which is taking the would-be-inked among us by storm. On paper you can almost see the appeal, especially for women. A soft white feather across the side of a rib cage for example is a far less intimidating thought than a blacker than black plume in the same place. Some are making the decision to go white purely for the enjoyment of seeing it glow under UV lights in clubs, festivals and beach parties, and with the likes of Rihanna and Lindsay Lohan favouring the style it was only a matter of time before it became the latest must-have.

RiRi, who has never been afraid of going under the needle, had ‘Thug Life’ tattooed in white across her knuckles in 2012, whilst Lindsay Lohan opted for the word ‘breathe’ scribbled across her inner wrist. It is also reported that Kate Moss boasts a string of white hearts on the side of her body. Well, if Kate Moss does it... right?

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Wrong! Even the most accomplished tattoo artists admit that white ink is hard to work with and that they wouldn’t necessarily advise it for everyone. Firstly the thickness of the ink requires a larger, sharper needle and a higher number of passes over the skin to strengthen the colour. Ouch! And after all that, the mark might not even stay around for long, with exposure to UV rays notably speeding up the fade factor.

Whilst the thought of an ethereal lacy design over a subtle area of skin may sound relatively appealing (to some), a quick scan of white tattoo images on the net is enough to convince even the more easily tempted that it might not be the best idea. The raised and often irritated skin set against white ink makes the tattoo look more akin to a scar or an unfortunate skin ailment (depending on the design). All in all, not a look we would want to risk for the sake of a new fashion. If it is something you are desperate try, perhaps opt for a long-wear white liquid eyeliner instead – no pain, no permanency, no problem.