A relationship may not be long-lasting, but a tattoo definitely is. If there’s anything we can learn from Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson’s breakup, it’s that you should think long and hard before you get a tattoo honoring your significant other—no matter how “in love” you may feel. So far, only a couple of their tattoos have been covered, but we’ll likely see way more tattoo cover-ups in the future, considering they had a whopping eight matching tattoos together.
Relationship tattoos have two paths. They can either work out really well (like David and Victoria Beckham’s) or become extremely unfortunate (let alone awkward). There are other ways you can show your S.O. you love them, right? Why tattoo their name on your skin when you can get a necklace with their name on it instead?
Ink is super painful to remove and can fester as a living reminder of an unsuccessful relationship. Removing an ex’s phone number is a lot easier than removing a tattoo, so why do so many celebrities get the latter? We’re not quite sure, but what we do know is that there are various ways celebrities have taken action to erase the past from their skin and cover up their ex-lover’s ink.
Whether it’s with another tattoo, a simple Band-Aid or a painful laser, here are the ways these stars have removed (or covered) their otherwise long-lasting tattoos.
The “Thank U, Next” singer recently performed at NBC’s Wicked special after breaking off her engagement in October with Pete Davidson. Fans quickly realized Grande had a bandage on her ring finger where she had the name “pete” tattooed. She got the tattoo for Davidson in June and has temporarily covered up the ink with a simple bandage. Davidson has a matching tattoo that says “ari.” It was so adorable at the time, but now it’s just sad.
Ariana Grande (Again…)
We told you there would be more coming. The 25-year-old is slowly covering up all of her Davidson tats, but this time, she’s using more than a bandage. Grande recently covered her “REBORN” tattoo done for Davidson on her thumb with a laurel wreath-looking tat. She shared the updated ink on her Instagram story with the caption: “I have no words to describe how much i love and am eternally grateful for these human beings who constantly help me turn lemons into lemonade and literally heal me and put me back together.”
Pete Davidson seemed to take the easy way out when he covered his Playboy-bunny-mask tattoo inspired by Grande this year. The SNL star, who got the tattoo when he and Grande started dating in May 2018, used a solid black heart to mask the tattoo that was the symbol for Grande’s Dangerous Woman era in 2016. An a was originally placed next to the mask, but we’ll have to wait and see if Davidson ever gets that part removed—or if it means something completely unrelated to Ari. (Though we doubt it.)
Kylie Jenner and Tyga broke up in April 2017, and Kylie was left with a simple t tattoo on her left foot. This fairly dainty ink was effortlessly covered up with an “la” tattoo, which most likely symbolizes Kylie’s home in Los Angeles.
Angelina Jolie married Billy Bob Thornton in 2000, but they got divorced three years later in May. The Academy Award–winning actress had a tattoo on her left arm that said “Billy Bob” right above a dragon. Jolie has since covered up the thick tattoo with what seems to be a mix of laser tattoo removal methods and multiple coordinates of the places where each of her children were born. The coordinates also include the birthplace of her ex-husband Brad Pitt.
Heidi Klum and Seal got divorced in 2014, and Klum was left with a large tattoo on her right forearm that she covered up with a laser. The model erased the tattoo, which read “Seal” in an almost unrecognizable font. There were also three stars underneath the “Seal” tattoo—each one representing her children—but those were also lasered off.
Nick Cannon must have had a major WTF moment when he realized he had to cover the “Mariah” tattoo across his entire upper back, when he and Mariah Carey separated in 2016. (The ink also happened to be his first tattoo ever.) But Cannon claims that he added to the ink rather than covered it up. Let’s face it, it’s almost completely unrecognizable under all that ink—and the giant Jesus over Carey’s name.
Bailon’s relationship with Rob Kardashian was etched onto her bum when she got a tattoo of his name, “Robert A. Kardashian,” in the ’00s. After the couple broke up in 2009, Bailon tried lasering off the tattoo twice before seeing a final doctor who removed the remnants of her “Robert” tattoo.
After three years of marriage, Longoria filed for divorce from former San Antonio Spurs player Tony Parker in 2010. The basketball player’s jersey number was 9, so Longoria got the word nine tattooed on the back of her neck when they were together. When they divorced, Longoria used the most effective method of tattoo removal to get rid of the ink created in honor of her ex-husband: a laser.