Hand tattoos aren’t a fad, they’re beautifully intricate and painful forms of art that have been a part of human culture for centuries. Some of the first instances archaeologists uncovered were on mummies found in the Chiribaya desert who lived about 800 to 900 years ago.
Other early instances were found on the Ice Man Otzi, who was discovered in 1991. Otzi is 5300 years old and still has this ink; talk about tattoos lasting forever! It is thought that all of Otzi’s were there for the purpose of pain relief, as they were on pressure points all over his body and not just on his hands.
This has been the year of the hand tattoo, as more and more female celebrities make the choice to decorate their digits with both simple and intricate designs. Here are some of the most popular celebrity trendsetters with tattoos you have to see.
Rihanna’s hand tattoo mimics henna designs, a common tribute to Indian and Hindu culture. Mandalas are gorgeous, swirled designs that people seeking completeness in their lives tend to lean towards. Rih got her own mandala inked over an originally tribal tattoo on her hand, representing New Zealand-er culture. The hand tattoo is a gorgeous mash-up of multiple cultures, making Rih’s worldliness stand front-and-center.
Beyonce is known for making cryptic statements regarding new music, so why should her hand tattoos be any different? Queen Bey has never really confirmed what they mean, but we love their abstract quality.
Demi Lovato has a large cross on the end of her hand, in addition to a large lion face on the top. The lion represents her zodiac sign- she is a Leo- and as with most cross-symbolism, the one on her hand makes a statement about the closeness she feels to her higher power. Her artist Bang Bang posted an image of the lion hand tattoo back in 2017, and we have to say it represents Demi to a T.
Singer Kesha has the image of Saturn on her palm is one of our favorites. It is unusual and quirky, just like she is. Compared to the massive traditional-style lion gracing the top of her hand, the planet is a fine juxtaposition.
Ariana Grande has a tattoo on the top of her left hand of a swirly sun, moon and stars. She got hers last December in honor of her Woman of the Year nomination. The fingers of her right hand are sweetly decorated with the word “babydoll” and a heart outline. In addition to these, her fingers also display a venus symbol, an “A,” the word “honeymoon,” and a tiny Hebrew phrase honoring her faith.
Singer Lana Del Ray tattooed her hands with the words “trust no one” and “paradise.” She has the words “die young” in script along one of her fingers, as well as a simple, cursive “M” at the base of her thumb. The “M” is a sweet nod to her grandmother, and it warms our hearts. Lana is obviously deeper than meets the eye, so we can only imagine the meanings of most of hers.
“Black Widow” actress Scarlett Johannson has a tattooed chain on her wrist with a sweet “I heart NY” charm on it. Easily concealed, the piece rarely makes an appearance in photos but is a darling tribute to the city she loves. Johansson is very modest with her tattoos. She keeps them pretty concealed. But we appreciate it when she reveals her carefully-placed hand tattoo.
Blac Chyna is famous not just for being a model, but also for her connection to the Kardashian family. Proud mama bear, Blac Chyna inked her children’s names on her hands as tribute to her unconditional love. The name of Blac Chyna’s first-born, King is tattooed on the side of one hand, the name of her second-born, Dream is on the other. Her devotion to her children is sweet and a perfect reason for her ink.
Model and actress Cara Delevingne has a number of different designs on her fingers. Not only does she have a tribute to her zodiac, Leo, but she also has a thin snake slithering down to her wrist, a red heart outline, scripted lettering on the side of her hand, the initials “AC,” and the word “silence.” They are just an eclectic mix for an eclectic woman that we just can’t get enough of.
New momma, Shay Mitchell showed off her hand tattoo post-Coachella 2018 in a teasing post to her fans. “Real or fake?” was the caption. One way or the other, we think this piece is sweet as honey (haha, see what we did there?) and we stan that placement between her thumb and forefinger.
Popstar Miley Cyrus’s are as quirky as she is. From an alien face to a watermelon to a heart, we cannot put rhyme or reason to the patterns and images other than the fact that she liked them.
Rita Ora’s are pretty subtle compared to the rest of her body art. On the tips of her digits, she displays a pretty mix of dainty dots, and at one time she had a massive blackwork rose along the side of her hand. After apparent reconsideration, Ora actually had the rose removed back in 2017. Because it was a cover-up for a feather she had had in the same spot, we only miss it a little.
Androgenous model Ruby Rose has a tattoo of her adorable pooch, Bubbles, covering the back of her hand. The piece features him wagging his tongue and being an overall “good doggo.” In the tweet Rose made about the hand tattoo back in 2013, she said, “Nobody is perfect… except my dog.” I mean, she’s not wrong. Ruby Rose also had the words “Just Love” scrawled across her knuckles for a while, but now the mostly-removed ink is difficult to see.
Singer Dua Lipa gave us a full view for two-out-of-three of her hand tattoos in May 2019. Her thumbs are decorated with a smooth-gyrating figure (definitely am obsessed with this one) and a teeny-tiny printed word-- patience. Because patience is a virtue, we’re guessing? One of her other fingers is decorated with a starburst.
Model Hailey Bieber has numerous mini tattoos all over her hands, and can you blame her? The tiny tattoo aesthetic is the trend. Not only does she have a “B” on the knuckle of her pinky but to complete her collection she has a teeny flower, crescent moon, sunset, stars, dots and arrows.
Hand tattoos were once taboo to the world of classy ladies. Now? Think again. They’re are the biggest ink trend, and we are here to tell you to take a leap of faith and get some while you’re young! Or even get some when you’re a little older. No one had to tell Dame Helen Mirren twice.
Dame Helen got a hand tattoo as a tribute to a Mayan phrase she came to love. “In La’Kesh” means “You are my other self,” or in simpler terms, “We are all in this together.”