Michelle Bombshell McGee with her current face tattoos (left), as the tattoos will look in 40 years (center) and how she'd look without face tattoos (right). Photo: SoCal Glamour Girls/Splash News

By now, we've all seen (a little too much of) Michelle Bombshell McGee, the tattoo model who became Jesse James' mistress, breaking up his marriage to Oscar-winner Sandra Bullock.

Beyond the obvious "what was he thinking," what surprises us is purely cosmetic: The woman has a tattoo...on her face.

There's no covering it up.

At 24, McGee's reported age, she is probably not worried about wrinkles, lines and liver spots, and the effects aging will have on her ink, but in 40 years, she may be.

"Just remember, the anatomy changes with age, but the tattoo won't," warns Kansas City dermatologist Audrey Kunin, M.D.

As you age, tattoos sag with your skin and will fade from sun exposure. If your weight fluctuates, the tattoo with stretch, changing the image. "They lose some of their color and appear to blur," Robert Freund, M.D. a New York City plastic surgeon and author of StyleList's Post Your Face column, told us. "The old joke is that a rose tattoo on the breast becomes a long-stemmed rose as you age."

So what will McGee's forehead tattoo, which says "Pray for us sinners" become? Unreadable.

As you can see in the middle image above -- which Dr. Freund manipulated with software he uses to show patients pictures of suggested plastic surgery for our Post Your Face column-- the tattoo will blur. Coupled with wrinkles and gravity, her message will become indecipherable. Which, at 64, would be a good thing.

Watch Michelle Bombshell McGee talking about her tattoos at the "Miss Ink" Pageant in Los Vegas:


Now, face tattoos are nothing new -- that have been used for thousands of years, from Polynesian cultures to North American Eskimos, as a form of religion, spiritualism, and even a system of rank.

In Thailand, a facial tattoo was a form of punishment; criminals found guilty of a crime received marks on the face. Among the Atayal tribe of Taiwan, successful Head Hunters were marked with tattoos on their chins. Similarly, gang members in the United States are said to tattoo their faces after they've killed a rival gang member.

And it may even be in fashion.

On their Spring 2010 runway, envelope-pushing design duo Rodarte send models down the runways with all-over ink. Chanel showed neck tattoos, and are now selling temporary versions of them. All this was precipitated by Jean-Paul Gaultier, who caused a stir in 2007 when his models were made up in European editions of Vogue with moko, the Maori form of facial tattoo, on their faces.

The Maori live in New Zealand, and are perhaps the most popular purveyors of face tattoos, which they use as a system of ranking; a person without tattoos were seen as having no social status. It also acted as an identity card of sorts; specific areas on the face are used to communicate different messages like rank, family, vocation and marital status.

McGee's facial tattoo is on her forehead, the area of the face that Maori use to denote rank.

Two different types of Maori tattoos. Photo: Getty Images



Hers, which is reportedly her favorite marking, says "Pray for us sinners." So by Maori lore, Michelle Bombshell McGee is a sinner.

Sandra Bullock probably perceives her as just that, and, according to studies, society may too.

In a 2007 study conducted at the University of Liverpool, participants perceived tattooed women as less physically attractive, more sexually promiscuous, and heavier drinkers than untattooed women. Negative ratings increased with the number of tattoos.

Tattoo removal is pricey and painful. "To remove a tattoo is a long, painful process," says Svetlana Kogan, M.D., a New York City internist and founder of Doctors at Trump Place. Since the tattoo pigment runs deep into the dermis, a Yag laser would be used, and, depending on the size of the tattoo, patients would need 6-12 treatments, for up to a year. The price is based on the size of the tattoo, she says, from $3000 on up.

It also may not be complete. "Lasers can only remove some of the pigmented colors," says Freund.

"If you think you may want it eventually removed, don't get one in the first place," he adds.

Which is exactly our advice to anyone wanting to cop McGee's style.

Is there a Tiki Barber mistress now? 'Fraid so. See more stories of infidelity like Jesse James and Sandra's here.