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What is a Fingerstache?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 23, 2024
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A fingerstache is a stylized version of a mustache that is drawn on the forefinger, allowing the person to position said finger above his or her upper lip for humorous effect. One may also hear them referred to as finger mustaches, depending on the region of the world.

While people have been drawing silly mustaches and other things on their fingers for quite some time, the popularization of the fingerstache is often traced to an Ohio tattoo artist, who started tattooing mustaches on the fingers of friends in 2003. His tattoos were originally designed as jokes, and because the skin on the fingers is less than ideal for tattooing, they were also essentially temporary, typically wearing away within weeks or months. Thanks to the ease of sharing pictures on the Internet, the fingerstache started traveling worldwide, and it became a fad.

Fingerstache aficionados can share pictures on social networking sites and sites specifically designed as an homage to the form, and some attend tongue-in-cheek conferences and competitions to meet up with fellow fans. Some sites even offer templates for the uninspired. While the fingerstache is largely silly, it can serve as a point of connection and icebreaker for strangers, as something about the sight of a grown adult showing one off is quite amusing.

Some purists insist that the only true form of the fingerstache is as a tattoo, but it is of course possible to create one with pens or markers. For people who are fans of frequently changing their style, pens are definitely the way to go, as the mustache can be updated on the fly. Penned fingerstaches are also convenient for the younger generation, and for people who want to be able to wash their hands off after a night of fingerstaching so that they can look respectable in the morning.

As a general rule, creating a fingerstache is quite easy, as all that is needed is a marker and a finger — or a tattoo artist and a finger, should a person choose to go with a semi-permanent one. Most people try to create the most ludicrous, elaborate, and silly mustaches possible, with complex handlebars, twirls, and other ornaments being crucial to a good design. Some people find that it helps to draw them as a group, throwing a fingerstache party of sorts, which allows people to inspire each other with their designs.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a Sports n' Hobbies researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By Mykol — On Apr 28, 2012

I wonder if the popularity of social networking sites has created more interest in fingerstaches?

With many sites, people have a small image or avatar and I have seen some finger mustaches on several of them.

Something like this could spread pretty quickly if it became popular among the young people. I could see how they work work at making them as creative and interesting as possible.

By myharley — On Apr 27, 2012

My son is a very good artist, and when he was young he would pass the time in class by drawing fingerstaches.

He would use a marker, a pen or whatever was handy. Sometimes he would make them on several fingers, not just his forefinger, depending on how long class was and how bored he was.

Some people doodle on paper during class, and he would draw finger mustaches. He has come up with some very good designs and his friends loved them.

Many times both him and his friends would have most of their fingers with mustaches drawn on them. They would get creative and put on plays and skits using their fingers as different characters.

By SarahSon — On Apr 27, 2012

I had no idea drawing finger mustaches was so popular and that they actually have conferences and competitions for this very thing!

I always looked at this as something that young people did for fun and amusement. I never would have imagined that adults got together for fingerstache competitions.

Even though this seems a bit silly to me, I imagine some of them are quite creative and elaborate.

By orangey03 — On Apr 26, 2012

My friend is really into body piercings, but she doesn't like tattoos. When fingerstaches became popular, she decided to get one made out of dermal jewelry.

She has studs placed under her skin in the shape of a mustache on her left index finger. That would drive me crazy every time my middle finger rubbed up against it, but she is used to having jewelry in inconvenient places.

She does have the edge when it comes to fingerstache competitions, though. Dermal jewelry does seem more extreme than a tattoo, and few people would have the dedication to fingerstaching to go through with it.

By cloudel — On Apr 25, 2012

@Oceana – Wow, you really went all-out! For my kid's party, I just went and bought several sets of temporary tattoo fingerstaches. They had fun with them, but they probably would have had even more fun with glitter and glue!

It is pretty easy to find fake fingerstache tattoos. They come several to a sheet, and each one is a different type. They have ones that look like they belong on a teenager who is just starting to grow facial hair, and they have extreme ones like people in the Old West sported.

Each kid ended up using at least two fingerstache tattoos, because I made them all wash their hands before they ate birthday cake, and the tattoos came off with the soap and water. I'm glad I had plenty to spare.

By Oceana — On Apr 25, 2012

My daughter wanted the theme of her tenth birthday party to be fingerstaches. I went out and bought a variety of markers and other crafty objects so that she and her friends could have some creative fun with this.

I had different pots of colored glitter and the kind of nontoxic glue that elementary children use. The kids would paint their fingerstaches on with the glue and then dip their fingers into the glitter.

Other kids opted for markers, but no one stuck with the basic black fingerstache. I saw rainbow ones, red and green striped ones, and even polka-dot ones. We took lots of photos to remember this one-of-a-kind fingerstache blast.

By wavy58 — On Apr 24, 2012

I guess I'm out of the loop. I saw a picture of my friend's thirteen-year-old daughter on a social networking sight the other day, and her profile picture was of her face and her finger with a mustache drawn on it. I thought that was clever, but I had no idea it was a thing with young people.

It seems like it would be tiring to attend a fingerstache party and have to hold your finger up all night. My arm would probably fall asleep. I wonder if people are allowed breaks for resting their arms at these parties.

By mexicana — On Oct 07, 2008

It's funny that something that has been around for so long and is so silly has an official name!

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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