Best Tattoo Inks for Tattoo Artists

  • Written By Dan Hunter on February 02, 2023
    Last Updated: March 17, 2023

As tattooing becomes increasingly popular, there are more and more products available. It can be overwhelming choosing the right tools for the job, especially with tattoo inks. There are so many brands available it can be challenging to know which one you should buy. 

You need tattoo ink that’s safe to use on your customers, and it also needs to be long-lasting with bright, vibrant colors that don’t fade. With this in mind, it’s essential to choose a brand that’s recommended.


We’ve reviewed some of the best tattoo ink out there to give you a better understanding of what is a good choice, saving you time and research. Our favorite set of tattoo inks has to be the INTENZE Color Tattoo Ink Set as this gives you a great choice of bright vegan-friendly colors in good-sized bottles. 

Check out our review on the best tattoo inks around right now and see what you think:

Best Tattoo Inks Reviewed 

INTENZE Color Tattoo Ink Set—Best Overall

Intenze tattoo ink is a brand that’s known by professional tattoo artists all over the world. The US-based company was established in 2002 by tattoo artist Mario Barth, who started his tattooing career in Austria in 1978. Intenze has one of the longest track records in the production of high-quality tattoo ink, with its first 19-color tattoo ink set being released in 1997. 

As well as high quality, the company is dedicated to providing organic products that are 100% vegan friendly. The inks contain no animal products and are cruelty-free. 

The inks are sterilized through a gamma radiation process and then delivered to your door in pre-sterilized, sealed bottles. This gives you confidence in the product and the safety procedures.

Users love the product and some of the reviews posted online state the following:

“As stated. Works great, good color saturation. Great quality and value.”

“It is exactly what I ordered, and I verified by intenze it is authentic.”

The company collaborates with legendary tattoo artists such as; Boris, Bob Tyrrell, Mike Demasi, Freddie Negrete, and Mark Mahoney. You have to be good to get the backing from these guys who definitely know their tattoo inks.

Specifications

Color Range: 19 Colors.

Size: 1 Ounce bottles.

Tattoo Style: Lining, color packing, and shading.

Vegan Friendly: Yes.

The Intenze color tattoo ink set is our best overall choice due to its versatility. There are over 250 color options available in their range, and you can use the inks for all kinds of tattoo styles; line work, color packing, and shading. 

They offer rare pastel colors that you don’t usually see in tattoo inks. It’s this variety and the quality of the products that make them stand out from the crowd.

Pros

  • Large color palette available.
  • 100% Vegan friendly, no animal testing.
  • Made in the USA.
  • Easy to work with and quick to dry.
  • Safe and sterile.

Cons

  • Expensive for some users.

Bloodline 12 color Tattoo Ink Set —Best Ink for Vibrant Colors

When you think about the vibrant tattoo colors that stand out from the crowd, the brand that comes to mind is almost certainly going to be Bloodline. The brand was founded in 1995 by Mark August Worchell and was known as Skin Candy.

The Bloodline brand became famous when it was used on the live tattoo reality show Miami Ink. From this, they became a leading manufacturer of around a third of all tattoo inks used in the United States at one point. 

The Bloodline 12 tattoo inks are all vegan with natural, hypoallergenic ingredients, making them suitable for all skin types, even those with sensitive skin. 

The high-quality, non-toxic ingredients are processed with real attention to detail. Their traditional mixing process was revamped in 2010 to give high-performing dispersion inks that are bold, bright and stable. This also ensures that there’s minimal liquid-to-pigment separation and that the ink is easier than ever to apply.

The tattoo inks are made in the USA, with every stage from mixing and pouring to bottling, packing, and shipping happening under one roof. This will give you the confidence that your tattoo ink is processed to high standards and hasn’t been tampered with in any way during the process. 

Users are pleased with the product and are raving about the strong, bright colors. Below are just a couple of comments that we found online:

“Wow… I didn’t expect much from this ink set at all. I bought it on a whim just to try it out. I have never heard of this brand before. The next day I did a tattoo on a client, a huge detailed piece with tons of color. The color packs so well, and it goes in solidly and is just so beautiful. Super vibrant colors go in easy and very bright (in a good way).”

“When it became time to order more ink, I decided to try Bloodline because this kit had the colors I needed. This ink is, by far, way better than several others, in my opinion. Way easier to lay down, and the colors are more vivid.”

Specifications

Color Range: 12 Colors.

Size: 1/2 Ounce bottles.

Tattoo Style: Lining, color packing, and shading.

Vegan Friendly: Yes.

The colors included in this 12 color set are mainly primary colors but not like you’ve ever seen them before. The colors are bright and vibrant, and the great thing is that they look exactly the same once the tattoo has healed. There’s minimal fading to be seen, and the colors last like you hope they would.

The Bloodline tattoo inks are reasonably priced, meaning that you can splash out on many more of the color options they offer, building your kit and giving your customers the stunning tattoos that they wish for. 

Pros

  • Bright and vibrant long lasting colors.
  • Contains superfast healing pigments.
  • Safe and suitable for all skin types.
  • Made in the USA.

Cons

  • The packaging could be better, some users reported leaks.
  • More suited to professionals rather than beginners.

Dynamic Color Tattoo Ink Set —Best Long Lasting Ink

If you’re looking for a tattoo ink that will last for a very long time, Dynamic Color tattoo ink may be the ink that you’re looking for. Founded in 1990, Dynamic Color has produced tattoo inks with great consistency and excellent staying power for over 30 years.

They offer a wide variety of tattoo ink colors that are produced using ingredients that are completely safe and don’t contain any harmful or dangerous chemicals. Even the most sensitive of skins can use these inks without the worry of any allergies. The inks are also 100% vegan friendly and are not tested on animals.

All Dynamic Color tattoo inks are pre-dispersed, which means they’re ready to use straight from the bottle. You don’t need to shake, stir, or dilute them, saving you lots of time. If you want to soften the most vibrant colors, Dynamic Color recommends that you add a little of their white tattoo ink to the color until you get the color you desire.

The users of Dynamic Color tattoo inks have some great feedback. Some of the comments can be seen below:

“The best brand and colors. The way the tattoo heals is the best!!”

“Love these colors. They go in nice and bright.”

Specifications

Color Range: 12 Colors.

Size: 1 Ounce bottles.

Tattoo Style: Lining, color packing, and shading.

Vegan Friendly: No.

When completing a tattoo, you always worry that the color won’t last as long as it should and will start to fade soon after the skin has healed. There’s no need to worry with Dynamic Color tattoo inks, as these inks are made to last. 

With this set, you get 12 colors in one-ounce bottles. They include primary colors as well as black and white ink. The colors will stay the same from the start of the tattoo process through the healing period and way beyond.

Pros

  • Strong, long-lasting pigment.
  • 100% Vegan-friendly with no animal byproducts and no animal testing.
  • Made in the USA.
  • Suitable for all skin types and skin tones.

Cons

  • Some of the tattoo inks may need diluting before use.
  • There have been issues with some counterfeit inks being received.

Millennium Mom’s Tattoo Ink Set —Best Consistent Ink Colors

Moms Millennium Ink is a highly reputable brand in the tattoo industry, and they offer high-quality inks that are consistently good. There’s no need to worry about color matching; every bottle is the same. The company prides itself on the high-quality pigments used as these give you a balanced composition for use on all tattoo styles. 

The brand launched in 1998, offering a few colors of ink, and they now produce over 120 different colors for you to use. This tattoo kit gives you 14 of the most vibrant primary colors around.

Moms inks have always been vegan friendly, and they were the first homogenized mineral-based tattoo ink in the world. They use all organic products to create the inks and don’t do any animal testing, so you can be confident that they’re 100% vegan friendly. 

The tattoo inks are put through stringent tests to ensure the safety and quality of the products. They are sterilized and tested by a third-party laboratory before being packaged into sealed sterilized bottles for delivery to your door.

The tattoo inks are used by both beginners and professional tattoo artists who love them, and they have a loyal customer base. You can see some of the comments that we found online about Moms tattoo inks:

“I LOVE these colors, and so far, I’m having great luck with these. As a new artist, I wanted something to really make my art pop out, and these colors are great!”

“Best ink ever, hands down!”

Specifications

Color Range: 14 Colors

Size: 1/2 Ounce bottles.

Tattoo Style: Lining, color packing, and shading.

Vegan Friendly: Yes

For professional tattoo artists, consistency is crucial, and this is why we love the Millennium Moms tattoo ink set. You never need to worry about shade consistency or color mismatches again. The vibrancy and the pigment durability are thoroughly checked to make sure that there are no discrepancies. 

They also check the flow rate of the ink, making sure that this is regulated to give the right soft-edged consistency that they’re famous for. 

The ink is ready to go, so it doesn’t need any shaking, stirring or diluting before using. This is ideal for saving time and getting the colors that you expect.

Pros

  • Suitable for all skin types.
  • Consistent colors, no need to color match.
  • No need to shake, dilute, or stir inks before use.
  • 100% Vegan friendly, no animal testing.
  • Made in the USA.

Cons

  • It can take a while to dry.
  • Some users reported bottles leaking.

World Famous Primary Color Ink Set —Best Collaboration Inks

World Famous approaches the production of tattoo inks uniquely, with the manufacturing process being built around the World Famous family. These are a network of famous tattoo artists and rising stars from around the world. 

The World Famous team all have a say in how the inks are created and produced, giving you tattoo inks that will work for everyone, on all skin types. 

The World Famous brand was founded by Lou Rubino, a professional tattoo artist who started tattooing straight after high school. He was trained under the guidance of his tattoo artist dad, Lou senior.

All of the World Famous inks are vegan friendly, not tested on animals and are EU approved. They are sterilized with gamma radiation and then stored in crystal-flex bottles with a secure twist cap and a tamper and waterproof label. This ensures that you receive the ink in a perfect condition that can’t be tampered with before it reaches you.

There are many people happy to shout about the outstanding quality of the World Famous inks. Below are just a couple of the comments we found online:

“Heard this ink was bomb ass stank ass, so I got it, and this stuff is bomb ass stank ass greatness.”

“Came perfectly, the colors are amazing, and everything was good.”

Specifications

Color Range: 12 Colors.

Size: 1 Ounce bottles.

Tattoo Style: Lining, color packing, and shading.

Vegan Friendly: Yes.

How do you create the best tattoo inks? You involve many great tattoo artists from around the world in the process! That’s exactly what World Famous do with all their tattoo Inks to give you the best quality and strong, vibrant colors. 

The Primary Color set gives you 12 colors in good-sized bottles to get you started. There are hundreds more colors and types of ink available, and the team is constantly working together to produce new inks to add to your collection innovatively.

It’s easy to see why they connect world-class tattoo artists to create the World Famous tattoo inks that are in high demand.

Pros

  • Made by tattoo artists, for tattoo artists.
  • Easy to use, tamper-proof bottles.
  • Vegan friendly and non-toxic.
  • Made in the USA.
  • Suitable for the most sensitive of skins.

Cons

  • Can be expensive.
  • Some users reported a longer healing time.

Best Tattoo Inks Buying Guide

There are many things to consider when looking to buy your tattoo ink. You should always purchase the inks from a reputable supplier that you can trust to provide you with high-quality, safe ink that can be used on your customers.

We’ll let you know just what you need to be looking for when choosing your tattoo inks.

Tattoo Ink Ingredients

The manufacturers of tattoo inks are not required by any law to list the ingredients contained in the ink they produce. This means that it can be challenging to know exactly what your tattoo ink is made from. 

While they don’t have to list the ingredients that they use, we know that most tattoo inks contain a base substance, known as a carrier, and pigment of some kind. What they use will be different for each brand, but most professional tattoo inks will include ingredients such as; metal salts, iron oxides, or plastics.

Ink Carrier

Tattoo ink carriers will help you keep the product mixed thoroughly and will also aid with the application of the ink. These are generally harmless substances that keep the ink-free from pathogens and make the skin more permeable, allowing the pigment to penetrate the skin.

Some of the substances used as a carrier in the tattoo ink are; ethyl alcohol, distilled water, methanol, and glycerine. These will all help with the prevention of ink poisoning and infection.

Tattoo Ink Pigment

The pigments added to the inks to make the bright, vibrant colors are where the ingredients become interesting. Traditionally, tattoo inks were made by grinding carbon or ash to give the black color. This was used on tribal tattoos created by ancient tribes.

Many mineral pigments are still used on today’s tattoo inks to create the vibrant colors that you find in many tattoos. Plastic-based or vegetable-based pigments are also used to create specific colors:

Black – Nickel, Animal bones, rust, tar or tree resin.

White – Lead, Zinc, Titanium or Barium.

Red – Mercury, Cadmium, Iron or Cinnabar.

Blue – Cobalt or Copper.

Yellow – Lead, Cadmium, Zinc or Tumeric.

Green – Lead, Chromium, Aluminum or Copper.

Orange – Cadmium.

Brown – Iron, Clay or Yellow Ocre.

Violet – Aluminum.

Tattoo inks have been shown to use more than 200 different pigments and colorants to produce the colors that we see in body art today. 

You need to choose wisely as some tattoo inks are known to include industrially developed pigments for use in paints or printer ink. These were never intended to be used on the skin, so be careful when buying your tattoo ink.

Safe and Ethical

It’s easy to think that all tattoo inks are made to a high standard, tested thoroughly, and are perfectly safe to use. However, this isn’t always the case. Some countries don’t have the same standards in place when producing tattoo inks, and you can also find many counterfeit products out there.

The US has yet to put in place FDA regulations specifically for tattoo inks, but many US tattoo ink manufacturers have their own self-imposed strict standards to adhere to when producing ink. 

All tattoo ink must be sterilized before making it out to the marketplace. Many manufacturers use gamma radiation to sterilize the ink. This technique involves high-frequency electromagnetic radiation entering the ink to break down any harmful microorganisms.

Check out the ingredients where possible to ensure that there are no toxic ingredients used in the tattoo ink. As the ink enters the dermis, harmful toxins can sometimes transfer from the tattoo into the body, creating health problems.

Organic or Vegan

Many people are now looking toward organic or vegan products to give them a healthier lifestyle, and this is the same with tattoo inks. There are lots of organic or vegan inks now readily available on the market. 

Tattoo ink manufacturers have made the transition from mineral-based inks to organic ones by using different ingredients. The majority of these inks are carbon-based, while others also use azo pigments, which contain nitrogen-based ingredients and account for lots of organic red, orange, and yellow pigments.

Organic inks can contain animal products, such as; beeswax, bone char, shellac from beetles, cod liver oil, or animal fat glycerin. 

Vegan ink manufacturers will replace animal products with vegetable glycerine and Virginiana extracts. They will also guarantee that none of their products have been tested on animals when being produced.

Durability

The performance of the ink over time is an essential factor in choosing tattoo ink. It should be durable, making sure that it lasts for many years without fading. You don’t want a tattoo ink that changes color or blurs once the tattoo wound has healed. A tattoo is permanent, so you want it to look its best for as long as possible.

It’s difficult to know how the tattoo ink performs without actually trying them out, but you don’t want to try them out on a customer without knowing how they will last or wear with time.

One way to find out is by checking out reviews of the products online to see what other users have to say. The tattoo inks that we’ve reviewed definitely live up to their claims of being high-quality and durable. 

You should also speak to other reputable tattoo artists to get their thoughts on the tattoo inks that they’ve used. Direct feedback is the best way to know what ink works and which inks to avoid.

Price

Tattoo inks used by professional tattoo artists don’t come cheap, but you get what you pay for. The more affordable tattoo inks are great for practicing, but you need to look to spend a little more when completing body art on paying customers. 

Reputable manufacturers of tattoo inks will offer guarantees about the durability of the ink and the prevention of fading, blurring, and distortion of the image over time. The more expensive tattoo inks will have higher quality ingredients and will have been tested many times in a lab to guarantee the quality of the ink.

As a professional tattoo artist, you will be able to easily spot the difference between expensive, high-quality tattoo ink and cheap ink.

Conclusion

There are many different tattoo inks available on the market, so it’s important to know which brands you can trust. As the ink is being inserted into your skin, you need to ensure that it’s safe.

Our favorite tattoo ink out there right now would be the INTENZE Color Tattoo Ink Set. The ink is easy to work with and safe to use on all skins. They have an extensive color palette available to choose from, and all of the inks are vegan-friendly, with no products being tested on animals. It’s an excellent all-round product that will give you outstanding results.

A close runner-up would be the Bloodline 12 color Tattoo Ink Set. The Bloodline tattoo inks are renowned for their consistent colors across the brand. There’s no need to try to color match; every bottle will be the same. This ink is also ready to use, so you don’t need to shake, stir, or dilute the ink before using it.

We hope that we’ve helped you to choose the most suitable tattoo ink for you and have made the decision a little easier. Have fun with your colors, and go create some stunning tattoos.