15. Angelina Jolie - Everyone knows there is an unwritten law in documenting celebrity skin — you have to include Angelina Jolie. Who are we to break the law? Let’s get AJ out of the way first then, since she’s a bit, shall we say, overexposed? After a ton of practice (see: her other tattoos) she finally got it right with the recent Buddhist Pali incantation written in Khmer script by Bangkok artist Noo Kanhphaain. May her enemies run far away, but never her fans. She’s too fun.
14. Mena Suvari – Maybe it’s just the younger sect in Tinseltown that “gets it.” Mena Suvari, American Beauty/Pie hottie, seems to be one of the few who actually pull off skin art with class. Her “Word. Sound. Power.” neck piece, with a line art lion atop, sits well on her lovely neck. Wait…hold the presses…further research has unveiled that she more recently got a big “13” on her chest. Yuck, so close.
13. Lady GaGa - No, we’re not fishing or dishing here by hyping up the buzz crowd. Okay, maybe a little. Still, Lady GaGa’s newest art/stunt deserves mention, if not for its simplicity then for sheer marketing genius. “Born This Way” is not only the name of her next album, but also the words she had inked around a simple unicorn on her thigh, knowing full well that there would soon be a zillion photogs snapping and re-posting the words online. See, now you know the name too. Dammit, how does this diva keep outsmarting us?
12. Kim Kardashian - Love her or hate her, KK’s tat is a rare example of how the rich & famous don’t need to be the dumb & clueless. This colorful, trippy flower design is actually pretty dope.
11. Justin Bieber – This little bird (it is a bird, right?) tattoo makes the 15 best list on the sheer hilarity of the fact that now, millions of pre-pube girls around the world are stomping their feet because mommy & daddy won’t let them get drilled. Don’t worry, it’s going to show up on the 15 lamest list too, but man, this kid’s got the world by the balls and his haven’t even dropped yet!
10. Ville Vallo – The Finnish “Love Metal” god is a household name amongst the Hot Topic sect who worship his band, H.I.M.. His “Heartagram” logo that has become synonymous with H.I.M. (and made famous by Viva La Bam star, Bam Margera) is probably inked in the pale flesh of more angsty goth kids than any since Marilyn Manson’s heyday. Ville’s sense of dark musical style is paralleled profoundly by his unique black art designs, most notably the hand drawn, paisley-esque arm sleeve he sports.
9. Marilyn Manson – Love him or hate him, when referencing Marilyn Manson, you’ve got to give the man props for putting the shock back in shock rock. His tribal eye inner-arm tattoos were ahead of their time back in the early ‘90s. Even if his star has faded over the years, the pigment and effect barely has.
8. Kat Von D – It hardly seems fair to include a professional tattoo artist in a list of celeb tattoos. However, Kat crossed the line from artist to the stars to boner fide starlet herself when her reality show, LA Ink, thrust her into the homes of salivating American young’uns. The iconic pin-up became famous for inking idols like [then] boyfriend Nikki Sixx, and her ability to permanently sketch portraits became a trademark, earning her an hourly chair fee most shrinks would kill for. With so many wonderful pieces to choose from, you kind of have to take Von D’s body of work as a whole. Oh, you’d love that, wouldn’t you?
7. Nikki Sixx – See how this list just flows like the ink from a gun? Mr. Sixx has been the poster child for wild tattoos since the early ‘80s. His main band, Mötley Crüe, even had an album named New Tattoo – that’s how synonymous he is with the art. While 6’s much publicized breakup with #8 garnered him some fan sympathy, don’t shed a jailhouse tear for ol’ Nik – the guy came back from the dead twice, he’ll be fine. In the meantime, he’s a classic example of all that is right in the world of tattooing. His torso designs are rad, but the sun on his back is one of the best you’ll ever see.
6. Tupac – Two words summed up the life and death of the world’s most celebrated rapper: Thug Life. Tupac advertised the lifestyle proudly on his highly defined abs, and although he pulled off the look successfully, not everyone is as lucky.
5. Steve-O – Only this jackass would get a huge portrait of himself tattooed on his back. But you know what? It’s actually pretty good.
4. Megan Fox - Okay, okay, back to the real movie stars. “It girl” Megan Fox is really skilled at transforming her image. The poem she stuck on her rib cage reads: “there once was a little girl who never knew love until a hug broke her HEART.” Dear Megan, thank you for sharing your touching prose. May we suggest a few cover up ideas? Seriously though, if you’re gonna get it in you for life, better to do something that means a helluva lot to you. Guarantee this wasn’t flash on the wall at Hollywood Ink.
3. Mike Tyson – Nothing screams “you should be afraid of me” quite like tribal face tat. This was probably a hail Mary attempt to intimidate opponents in the ring after the former heavyweight champ lost his unbeatable left uppercut. Scary, yet effective – another notable win for Iron Mike.
2. Jessica Alba – Yeah, we realize this is a bodysuit – but we can still marvel at the dream, can’t we?
1. Tommy Lee – The only reason T-bone beats out his Crüe-cified bandmate Nikki for top honors is because: A) He’s a slightly bigger celeb, and B) His “Mayhem” stomach tattoo became as iconic to the white trash wannabe rocker generation as Tupac’s “Thug Life” did to the white bread wannabe gangsta rap scene. If one word could sum up the dangerous personality that tattooing used to rep, “Mayhem” ain’t a bad choice. Tommy 4eva!