Inked Up
Before Cardi B revealed her face tattoo, Cardi B performs on the main stage during Wireless Festival...

Cardi B’s Face Tattoo Is A Touching Tribute To Her Son

She said my face bomb.

Joseph Okpako/WireImage/Getty Images

Cardi B said “my face bomb” and meant it. The “Up” crooner went live on Instagram and showed off the facial ink she’s been keeping under wraps for most of the summer, and it’s a sight to behold. While the rapper, hairstylist Luis Santana, and tattoo artist Robinson De Los Santos have all teased Cardi B’s face tattoo in recent weeks, her Instagram Live video on Saturday, Sept. 10 was the first opportunity she’s given fans to see her ink up close. As it turns out, the delicate red tattoo is a tribute to Cardi B’s son, Wave, who was born in September 2021.

Delicate tattoos are always in style, especially as a way to honor loved ones, and Cardi B’s ink is surprisingly low-key for a face tattoo. Personally, when I think of tattoos from the neckline up, I don’t usually think, “subtle,” but that’s exactly the vibe Cardi B has going on. In fact, the tattoo is so subtle that it’s almost hard to make out. I wouldn’t have clocked it at all if Cardi B hadn’t pulled back her hair and pointed out the delicate “Wave” written in script. In the video, the rapper goes out of her way to mention that she doesn't have a filter on either, making the delicacy of her tattoo all the more impressive.

The rich, brick shade of ink she chose and the location of the tattoo — it’s along her jawline, so it can be easily covered with a swish of her hair — keeps the tattoo from drawing the eye away from Cardi B’s natural beauty and bomb makeup. This is not ostentatious ink. During the Instagram Live video, I found my eyes drifting more often to the musician’s razor-sharp cut crease than to her son’s name.

The face tattoo wasn’t the only ink that Cardi B showed fans during her Instagram Live. Proving that she lives a “Bodak Yellow” lifestyle, and “can get 'em both, I don't wanna choose,” Cardi B also revealed a tattoo of her daughter’s name. The tribute to Kulture, her firstborn, is inked on her arm.

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Cardi B isn’t the first celebrity to get her child’s name tattooed on her face. Amber Rose famously got her sons’ names inked across her forehead in early 2020. While Cardi B’s tattoo is, as I mentioned, considerably low-key, Rose’s face tattoos are definitely over-the-top. That said, both Cardi B and Rose can easily cover their tattoos with makeup.

The reason fans have been waiting so long to find out what Cardi B’s face tattoo says is because the rapper used makeup and filters to keep her tattoo under wraps. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad Cardi shared her touching tribute to her son with the world, but I’m also really impressed that she was able to keep a face tattoo so under the radar. Leave it to Cardi B to keep fans guessing. It’s kind of her style, after all.