Choosing Tattoo Inks Guide

best tattoo ink

As a tattoo artist, you’ll be committed to delivering the best possible work for your client. After all, your customers become your walking art gallery and your designs will adorn their skin for the rest of their lives. To achieve the best results possible, you’ll not only need to hone your skills, but you’ll also need to choose the best tattoo equipment to work with.

Using the highest quality ink will create the crispest and vibrant tattoos, and choosing the right brand for you has the possibility to take your work to the next level and enhance your skills as an artist.

When you’re choosing an ink brand to work with, consider the following things:

  • Ingredients – look for organic ingredients and never use a brand that refuses to disclose what is in their inks: you’re putting this liquid into a person’s body so it’s important to know what’s in there.
  • Vegan-friendly – some brands use animal ingredients such as bone char for black inks, but it’s possible to find vegan options that perform just as well as non-vegan inks.
  • Color variety – beginners will want to create a comprehensive color palette while ensuring that inks won’t react negatively to one another. So, it’s wise to choose a brand with a wide range of colors, and look for companies that offer sets of colors to cover all the main bases.
  • Brand credibility – while all inks may seem the same at first, not all of them will retain their brightness after a year. Avoid inks that seem low-priced and look for companies that have been around for a while.
  • Country of origin – check where your ink was made to ensure that it complies with health and safety regulations. Also make sure that USA and E.U regulations are adhered to.

Here are five of the best tattoo inks available right now.

5. Kuro Sumi

Named after ancient Japanese warriors, Kuro Sumi inks promise that your tattoos will live on forever, just like the noble fighters themselves.

  • Bold and bright colors stand the test of time
  • Available to buy in sets of 16
  • Vegan-friendly inks support eco-friendly lifestyles

Kuro Sumi is the favorite brand of professionals around the globe, and with good reason: their inks are highly pigmented and the colors really pack a punch. Colors go into the skin smoothly and tattoos heal with the same level of vibrancy as when the tattoo was fresh. The impactful color means that you need to use less and so the bottle lasts longer, too.

Last update on 2019-10-23

Kuro Sumi has an excellent commitment to safety and they list all of their approved distributors on their website to help artists avoid bootlegs. Their organic inks are all made in the USA which adds to the safety factor.

It’s worth noting that these inks are extremely dark and are known to perform well over time, so it will be almost impossible to cover up a Kuro Sumi tattoo.

4. Intenze

Intenze Tattoo Ink’s customers love that that they work directly with tattoo artists to continuously develop and innovate their range.

  • Easy to work with inks developed with artists in mind
  • More inks than any other brand on the market
  • Compliant with American and E.U quality and safety requirements

Inks have a good flow and thickness, and artists continuously report that they’re super-easy to work with. Colors go in nicely and tattoos look fresh, crisp and vibrant for years. They have hundreds of colors on offer and a great selection of ink sets. Choose from a selection of 19 most popular colors, 10 great pastels, and many other variations.

Last update on 2019-10-23

They even sell a kit containing 101 of their best colors, so it’s absolutely possible to remain brand loyal without short-changing your customers on color choice.

Safety is also extremely important to Intenze, and every batch of ink is verified to be sterile by a third party group. Inks are also all vegan, making them suitable for any customer.

3. ​Millennium Moms ​

Don’t be fooled by the cute name, Millennium Moms have been around for decades and have earned their place at the top of the game.

  • Over 84 shades allow for a comprehensive palate
  • The range includes black light-sensitive colors
  • Seven color sets designed to suit your tattooing style

Millennium Moms’ continuously research and improve their formula to ensure that they’re delivering the best possible product to their loyal professional fan base.

The huge range of colors can be purchased separately or as part of one of seven sets. These sets consist of colors designed for genres such as portraits, nature, or vibrant exotic artwork, so you can choose the shade to suit your unique work.

Last update on 2019-10-23

Mom’s Nuclear Colors take the brand into the emerging world of black light-sensitive tattoos, and they’re considered to be the brightest and best, as well as the safest. This an exciting brand to follow: who knows what they’ll come up with next!

2. Bloodline

Once known as Skin Candy, Bloodline Tattoo Inks are known to create some of the most vibrant and long-lasting inks on the market.

  • Vegan water-based inks cut down on healing time
  • Manufactured in their own California-based clean room
  • Ultra-deep black is extremely versatile

When the company started its life back in 1995 owner had a strong commitment to perfection, and that hasn’t wavered in the last 23 years. Customers love Bloodline’s commitment to fast application, even skin saturation and reduced healing time, as well as the wide variety of colors and color sets on offer.

Last update on 2019-10-23

Made in the USA, Bloodline use an E.U-certified pigment dispenser to weigh out pigment before blending and color-matching. This delivers the purest product that’s safe to use and has a shelf-life of over two years.

Their black ink is one of the best on the market for deep, dark color that suits tribal designs, and it can be diluted to suit other outlining work. It’s worth noting though that without a borderline the ink has a tendency to blot.

1. Dynamic Inks 

Looking for an ethical, innovative tattoo ink brand with decades of experience? Dynamic Inks has got you covered.

  • Perhaps the most intense inks in the world
  • The pre-dispersed formula is quick-healing and long-lasting
  • Committed to reducing bootlegging

Dynamic Inks are known as the go-to brand for high-quality colors, and they are so incredibly bright that the company actually recommends cutting them to create softer tones.

The pre-dispersed formula means that the particles are finer so the ink flows freely and smoothly. This allows the ink to go into the skin more easily than other formulas, reducing irritation and resulting in beautifully healed tattoos.

Last update on 2019-10-23

As with Kuro Sumi, Dynamic Inks take significant steps to ensure that their customers are only sold their safe inks. Any brand that puts their customer’s health and safety first is ok by us.

Conclusion

A good tattoo depends on a multitude of factors, but the power of good quality materials cannot be underestimated. Ensuring that your ink is of a high standard will result in the best possible work that you and your clients will love.

Whichever brand you choose to use, always be careful to ensure that you’re buying legitimate inks from reputable distributors.

Which tattoo ink brand is your favorite to work with? Let us know in the comments.

About the author

John Thatch

John Thatcher is a computer science educated artist. He uses technology to solve artist problems. His friends don't like it when he speaks of himself in the third person. But John does it anyway, because he's a rebel.

Leave a comment: