Love isn’t always forever, but when someone is all wrapped up in the honeymoon phase they don’t always recognize that. And many couples have solidified either a relationship or marriage with a tattoo.
Sometimes it’s to show the commitment of the couple, like in the case of some couples’ wedding ring tattoos, while other times it’s an act of love or devotion on one person’s part.
And it always seems like a good idea at the time. The relationship is strong, they're totally in love, and there’s nothing they can’t handle as long as they're together. Right?
Unfortunately, for many couples the relationship doesn’t last forever. Life pulls people apart, and it sometimes even causes them to fall out of love. This eventually leads to splitting up.
It’s a little hard to break up with permanent ink, though. After a breakup, tattoos serve as either a loving memento or a sore, permanent regret. This is especially prevalent in the celebrity sphere, as many of them are stuck having their tattoos on display on the red carpet.
Celebrity tattoo cover-ups are varied in their effectiveness and style, but one thing is for sure: these celebs are definitely happier now without the visible daily reminder of their ex.
20 This Ex-Couple’s Cover-Up Is Still Made For Matching
This is one of the most recent cover-ups on our list, but still one of our personal favorites. By now everyone has seen "Thank U, Next" and witnessed the change in Ariana Grande’s finger tattoo. Pete Davidson has followed suit, as we can see from this photo.
Spin reported that both Grande and Davidson decided to cover up some of their more obvious couple tattoos.
They’re still matching, though and they’re actually really sweet! Pete and Ariana opted for a heart symbol to cover their bunny mask tattoo and “Pete” script, respectively. That’s the kind of relationship reminder that we could definitely live with.
19 ... But Pete Davidson Has Also Had Some Less Flattering Cover Ups
Pete Davidson might have covered up a few of his Ariana Grande tattoos with flattering images, but not all of his ex’s tats have gotten such flattering treatment. Way back before the whole Ariana Grande engagement thing happened, Pete Davidson was with Cazzie David. They were together for a while and seemed super sweet. Refinery29 reveals that he had a cartoon portrait done of her on his forearm. It was definitely a lovely gesture, but the relationship didn’t end up lasting. Cazzie didn’t quite get the same hearts-and-arrows treatment that the Ariana inspired tattoos got, though. Refinery29 reveals that he covered her portrait with some trees.
18 Johnny Depp’s Hilarious Tattoo Edit Is One We All Know
We’ve all heard about what Johnny Depp did to cover up his Winona Forever tattoo, right? For those that aren’t in the know, there was a period in history when Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder were together.
Depp decided to show his love by getting “Winona Forever” tattooed onto his upper arm.
Big surprise, the relationship didn’t end up working out. Refinery29 says that the cover-up of that tattoo is more iconic than the original, and we have to agree. After all, we all know about Depp’s “Wino Forever” ink. Sure enough, that was his big solution: all he did was cover up the last two letters in “Winona.”
17 But How Many Of Us Have Spotted Depp’s Most Recent Cover-Up?
If we look very, very closely at this photo, we believe that we can see Johnny Depp’s newest tattoo cover-up. Continuing on the trend of altering his relationship tattoos rather than fully covering them up, Johnny Depp has yet again rewritten his history. Insider pointed out that he had gotten “slim” tattooed onto his fingers during his last relationship. Slim was the nickname of his ex-wife, Amber Heard, which was also luckily way easier to alter than a nickname like “baby” or “dear.” Unsurprisingly Depp decided to change this tattoo into something along the same lines of “Wino Forever.” Insider reports that he altered the letters to say “scum” instead.
16 Kaley Cuoco’s Also Had Some Humor (And Some Big Wings)
Believe it or not, sweet Penny ended up getting a tattoo to honor her ex, Ryan Sweeting. According to Refinery29, she opted for the above image of a moth for a pretty hilarious reason.
Refinery29 says that Kaley Cuoco opted for a moth rather than a butterfly “because it was big enough to cover the numbers... the wings. Big wings. It's just what I picked out when I was there."
Honestly, we’re just glad they didn’t have a sale on airplane tattoos! Those have some pretty big wings as well, but they’re way less aesthetically appealing. At least the moth looks good with Kaley Cuoco’s brightly colored style!
15 Rihanna Owned Her Magic And Actually Added To This Tattoo
The world loves Rihanna, and honestly, so do we. She’s an incredibly powerful, brilliant woman who’s rocking the makeup, fashion, and pop music world. We don’t think she’ll ever stop either! To have that amount of work ethic is a kind of magic. Cosmopolitan reveals that after her relationship with Chris Brown (thankfully) ended, she was stuck with a star tattoo that she’d gotten while they were together. While we can’t confirm it was directly linked to Brown, it’s safe to say that it served as a reminder regardless. Rihanna ended up reclaiming all that magic, though and decided to add more stars to the cluster she already had.
14 Amber Rose Knows All About “Facing” Her Consequences
Amber Rose, the outspoken, tattoo-covered beauty who’s often found gracing the red carpet certainly knows about cover-ups. Rose was married to Wiz Khalifa for a while, and during that time she ended up inking a portrait of him onto the back of her arm.
Refinery29 says that they divorced roughly around 2016, but the tattoo wasn’t necessarily out of sight, out of mind after this breakup.
Refinery29 writes that Rose ended up covering up this portrait with another portrait of Slash, the famous guitarist. It’s a strong move, but we get it. At least music is one love that won’t end in a breakup!
13 Marc Anthony’s J-Lo Tattoo Is Still Deep Down, Covered By This Design
J-Lo and A-Rod might be our most recent favorite couple, but he’s not the first that J-Lo has been attached to. Marc Anthony was famously married to J-Lo until they divorced in 2011, as People reminds us. The divorce didn’t seem to be the end of their connection, though, as Anthony had inked quite an obvious tribute to J-Lo onto his wrist. People says that it wasn’t long after the divorce before Marc Anthony covered his devoted tattoo. We still can’t quite tell what the design that’s on top is. Is it a galaxy? Is it feathers? We have no idea. We’re sure that he’s probably happier with that intricate pattern rather than with his J-Lo design.
12 Jhene Aiko’s Cover-Up Is Out Of This World
It’s a little hard to see in this photo, but Aiko had done a great job covering up her old partner tattoo. To be fair, we aren’t sure we can call Big Sean an ex-partner yet.
While Insider says that they unfollowed each other on social media, sometimes a couple does that just to provide a little privacy and space.
Insider continues by quoting Aiko, who tweeted this explanation: "I covered ALL my tats w/ a [big] Dragon w/ a Phoenix wing breathing life and light into a new galaxy. NEW ART! NO BEEF!" We’re not quite sure if that new galaxy includes Big Sean or not, but it’s certainly a beautiful tattoo!
11 Blac Chyna Sported These Elaborate Covers
Blac Chyna was actually really thoughtful when it came to this tattoo cover up move. Too often we see celebrities covering up names, dates, and portraits with other images, totally covering the original tattoo and adding yet another art piece onto their arm, back, or wrist. Blac Chyna has gone a more thoughtful route here with a cover-up she did to honor her kids. Allure revealed that Chyna had actually gone the removal route before doing this cover-up. She took off Future’s name from her hand and tattooed over the remaining ink with the word “Dream.” For anyone unaware, that’s the name of her and Rob Kardashian’s child. It’s matched on the other hand with her other child’s name, King.
10 Charlie Sheen Ended Up “Winning” At The End
This is a tattoo that’s so Charlie Sheen it’s ridiculous. Everyone knows that the famous catchphrase of “winning” was made popular by the ever-winning Charlie Sheen.
Well, he’s certainly owning that fact, and we just can’t get over how much he’s embraced that winning attitude!
He’s loving it so much, in fact, that he used it to cover up a tattoo he got when he and Denise Richards were married. Cosmopolitan writes that Sheen used to have Denise’s name tattooed onto his wrist. While the name is still there, it’s long since been covered up with this winning catchphrase of his.
9 Angelina Jolie’s Fresh Tattoos Are Actually Covering An Old One
We all know that Angelina Jolie has gotten several tattoos over the years. They’re often on display when she walks the red carpet, as many of them are located on her back and upper arms. One tattoo in particular always catches our eye, and that is her list of coordinates. Refinery29 revealed that these are some very important places. These are the coordinates of each of her children’s birthplaces, which she used to cover up the scar from her famous tattoo faux pas. Way back when she and Billy Bob Thornton were together she got his name and a questionable dragon tattooed on. Lasering that off left some marks, but we almost can’t see them today thanks to all her kids!
8 Keith Urban Clearly Couldn’t Contain His Fiery Passion
Keith Urban and passion go together like peanut butter and jelly. This superstar puts his heart into every song, and it’s no surprise that that spills over into some of his relationships. One of his most famous relationships was between him and Niki Taylor. Cosmopolitan reveals that both of them got matching tattoos that said “love conquers all” in Latin.
Love couldn’t conquer this cover-up, though, which Urban did by adding some cool flames over top of the phrase.
It’s a classic design, but we don’t know if we support it. “Love conquers all” is a pretty well-intentioned phrase, regardless of the romantic connotation.
7 Eva Longoria Made Hers Disappear
Sometimes we wish that certain things just didn’t happen. That’s part of the reason that we totally understand Eva Longoria’s stance on getting rid of her old tattoos. People revealed that Longoria had actually gotten a total of three tattoos, all celebrating her (now-ex) husband. From his jersey number to their wedding date to his initials, Longoria was pretty thorough when it came to getting ink. People also states, however, that she was thorough when it came to getting them removed. Two years after their divorce and the tattoos were no more. She made them disappear, like the magical woman that she is.
6 Levi Johnston Just Blocked It Out
Levi Johnston might be a lesser-known star, but he’s still got a great tattoo cover-up story. We couldn’t leave him off this list, especially when it’s just so visible. Cosmopolitan reveals that this author extraordinaire went through a pretty negative breakup, which then resulted in him having to go through a tattoo cover up as well!
Hiding a name can be hard, but Johnston managed to find a way.
While Ariana Grande might have opted for a heart to cover up Pete’s name, Levi Johnston opted for the other obvious choice: Alaska. At least it had the surface area to cover his ex’s long name!
5 Nick Carter Made An Appropriate Change After He And Paris Split
Nick Carter, who was a pretty cool dude back in the 2000s, has since lost a bit of his luster. We kind of miss the boy band days, though we’re not sure if anyone in those bands misses the fervent fandom that came with their celebrity. Nick Carter was caught up in the thick of it, especially due to his relationship with Paris Hilton. Cosmopolitan reminds us that he famously got Paris’s name tattooed on his arm, and then covered it with a fresh image after they broke up. Unsurprisingly, the cover-up wasn’t a tattoo of the Eiffel tower. It was a classic skull, which definitely proved to everyone that that relationship was past its best before date.
4 Nas Covered Kelis’s Face, But Left The Rest Of Her
How many times have we wanted to get rid of everything our ex ever gave us, but couldn’t quite let go of that dress, purse, or painting that’s still hanging on the wall? Nas essentially did the tattoo cover up equivalent of rewriting an object’s story and making it independent from the person who gave it to us.
Cosmopolitan revealed that Nas wanted to cover up the ¾ length portrait he had done of his ex-wife Kelis, but wanted to keep certain attributes from it.
Instead of covering it all up he just threw down a lion’s head on top of hers and called it a day. It’s a bold move and one that, artistically, kind of works.
3 Kat Von D Might Have Created Her Famous Foundation With This (Since Removed) Tattoo In Mind
Kat Von D is the makeup mogul we all wish we could become. Not only is she steadfast in her beliefs, but she’s done some great things in the world of vegan and animal testing free makeup. Her history with tattooing means that she’s well versed in the world of skincare and wearable art, which might be part of the reason that this foundation is such a big seller. Cosmopolitan revealed that the childhood portrait of Kat Von D’s ex, Jesse James, was finally removed from her ribcage in 2012. We suspect, however, that it provided the inspiration for Kat Von D’s Lock It Foundation, which Allure reports does indeed cover any and all ink.
2 Even Kylie Jenner Has A Cover Up Story
Just in case anyone was concerned that we were going to go through a whole list without mentioning one of the Kardashian-Jenner sisters, rest assured that Kylie is indeed rocking a tattoo cover up. Pulling a move that’s more in line with Johnny Depp’s tattoo alterations, Kylie didn’t officially cover anything up.
Refinery29 revealed that she actually just adapted the T that was previously on her ankle into the letters LA.
The Tyga-inspired tat will now forever be an homage to one of her favorite cities. Or maybe it was just the easiest initials to work in. Regardless, we think that it’s a sophisticated and subtle inking, and very Kylie Jenner!
1 Though Demi Lovato’s Might Just Take The Cake
Demi Lovato is, and forever will be, one of our personal favorite artists. She’s done so much good for the world, and we’re sure that she’s going to continue impacting it in many profound ways. This tattoo we’re about to discuss, however, was not one of those profound things. Insider reported that Demi Lovato at one point debuted a tattoo in the shape of a lipstick kiss mark. It was in a fairly obvious place, and many photos were snapped that showed off its pink-hued, wrinkly form. People started to giggle about it, as it ended up looking less like lipstick when she had her arm down. This was quickly fixed by turning it into a set of roses, proving that beauty can bloom where questionable tattoos used to lie.
Sources: This is Insider, Refinery29, Cosmopolitan, People, Allure