Getting a tattoo can be an exceptionally exciting thing to do. Tattoos are an amazing piece of art that is right there on your body. They are a life-long reminder of your past times and past self as well. However, many people are skeptical about tattoos for that very reason; their longevity and difficulty of removing them.
And the reasoning is pretty legit; what if the tattoo turns out terrible, or if you get an infection? A fun time suddenly turns into a nightmare, and all you can do is sit there and endure the pain of laser tattoo removal.
But, mankind has managed to create a solution to every problem we face, and tattoos are not an exception. If you’re scared to fully commit to a tattoo, you can always try temporary tattoos. These tattoos will be pain-free, won’t last long, and will be easily removed. But, they will fulfill that lifelong dream of rocking a badass tattoo.
In the following paragraphs, we’ll take a look at these temporary tattoos, what they are and how they work. Of course, we’ll treat you to some great temporary tattoo brands and some excellent design recommendations. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
Temporary Tattoos: 9 Things You Need To Know
1. What Are Temporary Tattoos?
So, temporary tattoos are pretty self-explanatory. They are not permanent, of course, and they are not inked directly into your skin. Temporary tattoos are temporary image designs that are placed onto the skin to mimic real tattoos.
These tattoo designs are printed onto a sheet of paper, which you will use to transfer the design onto the skin much easier. The process is completely painless and takes minimum effort and time to transfer and dry. These tattoos, once applied onto the skin, react with the proteins and collagen in the skin to darken over the next day or two.
If you remember the press-on tattoos one would get in a pack of gums for children; well, temporary tattoos are pretty similar. They can of course be used by children, but the ones we’ll talk about are designed for adult use only.
2. How Long Do Temporary Tattoos Last?
The majority of temporary tattoos last between one and two weeks. But, how long they will last depends on a few things. For example, a temporary tattoo is likely to last longer if it’s placed somewhere where it won’t rub against clothes. And, of course, the tattoo will stay on longer if you’ve placed it on clean and dry skin.
It is also recommended to choose a location on the body that has smooth skin and minimum wrinkles. This way the tattoo will not only stay longer but also appear smooth and more like a real tattoo. You can even try removing hair in the region where you’ll place the tattoo. Hair can make it hard for the tattoo to stick, so it will fall apart much quicker than usual.
Tip: If you want your temporary tattoo to last longer, you can apply something known as a sealer. We recommend you check out the BlueBird FX Matt Sealer to protect your tattoos.
3. Are There Different Types of Temporary Tattoos?
As a matter of fact, there are three types of temporary tattoos. However, only one type of temporary tattoo resembles the actual, inked tattoos. Nevertheless, let’s take a look at what they are;
- Henna tattoos – some would not consider henna tattoos to be actual temporary tattoos, but we do. Henna tattoos are popular in South Asia. The ink is made from powdered leaves which are ground into a powder-like substance which later creates the henna paste. The tattoos are rarely black; because the ink is plant-based, henna tattoos are often in the realm of brown and red shades.
We recommend you only use Henna paste that only contains henna natural, plant-based ingredients. Henna pastes which are claimed to be pre-mixed or to stain fast often contain additives that can cause severe allergic reactions and leave scars.
- Press-on tattoos – these are the most common types of temporary tattoos and the most resembling of the real deal. These tattoos are pressed onto the skin and transferred from the water-permeable paper by simply adding some moisture onto the paper. Since this article is about this type of temporary tattoo, let’s move onto the third type of temporary tattoos.
- Airbrush temporary tattoos – these tattoos are high-tech temporary tattoos and many tattoo artists describe them. The design for the tattoo is sprayed onto the skin using a special airbrush machine. This is a great way to explore the world of tattoos and see whether you’re ready to make a full commitment to a permanent tattoo. Airbrush tattoos often last up to 10 days and are completely painless.
4. Are Temporary Tattoos Waterproof?
Yes, the majority of press-on and airbrush tattoos are waterproof. You can easily go swimming or take long baths with a temporary tattoo without the fear of the water removing the tattoos. This also means you cannot remove the tattoo using simply water and some soap.
5. Are Temporary Tattoos Easily Removed?
Yes! Temporary tattoos are easily removed. But, because they’re waterproof, they cannot be removed using water and soap. Instead, one needs to use rubbing alcohol, rubbing baby oil, or hand sanitizer to remove the temporary tattoos.
We recommend the following removal method;
- Onto a cotton pad or ball apply some rubbing alcohol or rubbing baby oil.
- Place the cotton pad/ball onto the tattoo and hold for about 10 to 20 seconds.
- Remove the cotton pad/ball and repeat the process if any tattoo is left on the skin.
- After complete removal, wash the area and dry it out.
- Apply some moisturizing lotion to calm the skin down.
- Make sure to NEVER rub the tattoos off of your skin!
Both press-on and airbrush temporary tattoos should be removed using this method. However, henna tattoos might be a bit harder to remove. Either way, rubbing baby oil seems to work the best in this case too.
6. Are Temporary Tattoos Safe?
Temporary tattoos do contain ingredients like polymers, varnishes, colorants, and resins. However, despite this intimidating list of ingredients, unless you’re dealing with extremely sensitive skin or a skin condition, we’d say that temporary tattoos a perfectly safe for use. Because the tattoos are applied onto the skin, not into the skin, the likelihood of infection or allergic reaction is pretty low.
However, in case you decide to go for henna tattoos, you need to be extremely careful. Avoid buying henna pastes that claim to be fast-staining or pre-mixed. These often contain additives and ingredients which are not FDA approved and can cause serious allergic reactions and even burn skin and leave scars.
Note: Temporary tattoos or temporary carbon ink are known for their wide application in a non-invasive method known as electromyography. These tattoos are made using metallic electrodes to establish an electrode-skin contact in cases of muscle diagnostics, brain-machine interfacing, post-injury rehabilitation, and gaming.
7. How Much Do Temporary Tattoos Cost?
The cost of a temporary tattoo depends on many factors, like the size or the design of the tattoo. Of course, the smaller tattoos will be cheaper than the larger ones. So, in that sense, the majority of temporary tattoo brands start the cost at $10 for basic, small tattoo designs. The prices can move up to $50 for a high-end, detailed, and larger temporary tattoo.
When it comes to airbrush tattoos, they’re definitely more expensive. These tattoos need to be done by an actual tattoo artist, unlike the press-ons, which even children can do at home. So, based on that, as well as the complexity and size of the design, the cost of an airbrush temporary tattoo can start at $100 (usually paid per hour).
8. How Should I Apply for Temporary Tattoos?
For the tattoo to look sleek and last as long as possible, you need to apply it following a specific set of instructions, including;
- Make sure your skin is clean and dry.
- Make sure the application area is smooth and hairless.
- Remove the transparent foil from the tattoo.
- Place the design face down onto the skin.
- Place a damp (not dripping wet) cloth, towel, or sponge onto the design paper and hold firmly.
- Hold the damp item on the design for at least 30 seconds (or follow the duration time recommended by the tattoo brand).
- Slide off the paper and tap dry the tattoo using a paper towel.
- You can apply a thin layer of a moisturizing lotion (make sure it is truly a very thin layer).
9. Are Temporary and Semi-Permanent Tattoos The Same?
Well, yes and no! The only difference between temporary and semi-permanent tattoos is that the semi-permanent ones do not simply stay on the skin. These tattoos allow the formula to sink into the skin a bit which allows them to last longer. But even then, the tattoos can last two weeks maximum.
Another difference would be that semi-permanent tattoos fade away, while temporary tattoos tend to peel away. Apart from these two main differences, temporary and semi-permanent tattoos are basically the same thing.
There were claims that semi-permanent tattoos tend to last up to half a year or even a full year. However, these were popular myths that have been debunked many times by the tattoo community.
The Best Temporary Tattoo Brands and Design Ideas
Inkbox is a company that provides temporary tattoos created by almost 400 artists from around the globe. The company sells more than 4000 tattoos and collaborates with famous tattoo studios, tattoo artists, and even Youtubers to provide the best possible designs to everyone. Their temporary or semi-permanent tattoos are high-quality and made from plant-based formulas and skin-safe ingredients.
- The Cost – the cost of the Inkbox tattoos is between $10 and $20 for individual, single designs. However, you can also order a bundle of 4 different temporary tattoo designs for $76. For orders higher than $30, the shipping is free, otherwise, it is an additional $3.
- The Longevity – the longevity of the Inkbox tattoos is up to two weeks. The tattoos do need up to 15 minutes to apply, and up to 36 hours to fully develop color and the details.
- Removal Methods – Inkbox recommends we remove their tattoos by washing them using saltwater or exfoliants. Even though they’re waterproof, they do react to the scrubbing of physical exfoliants. If you don’t want to utilize this method, you can always leave the tattoos to fade away.
So, if you’re wondering whether Inkbox temporary tattoos work, we’d say that definitely works. Everything works as Inbox says it will work, and they truly provide some of the highest quality temporary tattoos on the market. The tattoos are inexpensive, and they fit everyone, and every single skin type or tone. Inkbox tattoos are made from a plant-based formula and are cruelty-free.
Note: If you don’t like any of the designs Inkbox offers, you can always upload your favorite design and get a customized temporary tattoo in no time!
Similar to Inkbox, Tattly is also a company that provides temporary tattoos and designs made by over 100 artists around the world. Tattly, however, operates on a smaller scale than Inkbox, but still manages to provide high-quality and unique temporary tattoos. Alongside the plethora of different designs, you can also order your own custom tattoo design. However, the Tattly designs are incredibly fun and excellent for those who wouldn’t dare commit to such colorful and crazy tattoos.
- The Cost – the cost of the Tattly temporary tattoos starts at $5 for single, individual tattoos, while you can also buy a bundle of up to 10 different tattoos for only $15. If your order is higher than $30, the shipping is free. Otherwise, you’ll need to add $3 for the shipping to the final cost.
- The Longevity – unlike Inkbox, Tattly tattoos are designed to last between 2 and 4 days. The reason for this lies in the fact that these tattoos do not sink into the skin, but stay completely on the very skin surface. It will take only 30 seconds for the tattoos to transfer onto the skin and develop.
- Removal Methods – because these tattoos are waterproof, you cannot simply wash them away. For Tattly tattoos, you’ll need to use rubbing alcohol or baby oil to get them off. Or, you can just wait for the tattoo(s) to peel away.
Tattly temporary tattoos work, there’s no doubt about it. However, they do not last as long as the Inkbox ones, so for some people that might be an issue. On the other hand, they are so much cheaper compared to the market competition, while providing the same quality products. If you’re looking for a short-term tattoo commitment, but also a fun experience, then Tattly is your go-to brand.
Note: Tattly temporary tattoos are also safe for children. You can choose from a variety of children’s designs and buy something fun and exciting for the little ones as well.
3. Conscious Ink
We’ve recognized that some people don’t really want illustrations and images on their skin, but are rather looking for written or word tattoos. For that reason, we’ve included Conscious Ink in our list as the best brand providing temporary tattoos featuring positive, motivational words and quotes. These tattoos are non-toxic and exceed the safety standards of the FDA for cosmetics. They’re made in the USA, and Conscious Ink donates $5 from the sale of their tattoos. If you’re looking for illustrations and particular designs, Conscious Ink offers those as well.
- The Cost – the cost of Conscious Ink temporary tattoos starts at $2 for the smallest, most simple, individual ones, and goes up to $20 for a starter kit. For international orders, the shipping rate is an additional $5, while orders over $40 ship for free in the US and Canada region.
- The Longevity – just like other temporary tattoos, the Conscious Ink tattoos can last between 5 and 10 days, if they’re carefully applied and taken care of, of course. The duration and longevity of these tattoos depend largely on the skin type and the location of the tattoo placement. It will take only 30 seconds for the tattoos to transfer onto the skin and develop.
- Removal Methods – the Conscious Ink recommends several tattoo removal methods; rubbing alcohol, baby oil, hand sanitizer, and even household tape should help you remove the tattoos.
The Conscious Ink is a small-operating company that truly has a good cause. They do not only provide temporary tattoos but also want to help people restore their motivation and affirmation using wonderful quotes and meaningful words. Plus, the company donates to a good cause as well, which makes them even more customer-oriented. Did we also mention that Conscious Ink ingredients are all tested, toxic-free and safe for use by adults or children? Well, this brand has thought of everything.
For those who are afraid of full-tattoo commitment, but want their temporary tattoos to look as real as possible, then Momentary Ink is your go-to brand. The brand offers tattoos of different sizes and a different price range. Their designs are incredibly artistic and unique, so there’s something for everyone. But, if you don’t like any of the offered designs, you can always upload your favorite designs and illustrations and get a custom temporary tattoo. Momentary Ink operates similarly to Inkbox, but some of their tattoos are more expensive.
- The Cost – the cost of Momentary Ink temporary tattoos varies between $9 and $21 but can go up to $35 for a pack of 10 different tattoo designs. You can count on adding $8 of the shipping cost for international orders as well.
- The Longevity – the Momentary Ink tattoos are designed to last one week. However, there are claims that their tattoos can last even two weeks with proper application and care. The first 24 hours are required for the tattoos to adhere and develop properly, so make sure to avoid any friction to the ‘tattooed’ area.
- Removal Methods – the recommended removal methods include rubbing alcohol or baby oil as the safest and the fastest. However, if you don’t want to treat your skin like this, you can simply wait for the tattoo(s) to peel off.
So, if you’re wondering whether Momentary Ink tattoos work, we’d say they sure do. These tattoos look pretty similar to the real deal, and they’re so easy to apply. You can choose from a variety of designs and tattoo sizes. Not to mention that the tattoos are safe and non-toxic, but Momentary Ink still calls for allergic reaction awareness. So, people with incredibly sensitive skin, skin conditions, or skin allergies should avoid using temporary tattoos.
5. Amazon Best-Selling Temporary Tattoos
Sometimes it is more convenient to order your temporary tattoos from Amazon, than from the companies directly. Your shipment reaches you faster, plus you might also save some money. Either way, here are some of our favorite Amazon best-selling temporary tattoos. These are non-toxic temporary tattoos and are safe for adult and children use.
- Yazhiji Temporary Tattoos for Men and Women – here you can order a set of 15 different temporary tattoos with designs suitable for both men and women. The tattoos are completely waterproof and can last between 4 and 7 days. You can choose between different colors and patterns, which will appear lifelike and won’t change when applied to the skin.
- Pinone Full Arm Temporary Tattoos – here you can order a set of 12 different temporary, high-quality tattoos designed to mimic the sleeve or full arm tattoos. These are non-toxic and are designed to last up to a week. The tattoos are designed to be 19×7, so they are pretty big and will definitely attract some attention. These tattoos can also be quickly removed, by using rubbing alcohol.
- Zomme Flower Temporary Tattoos – these temporary tattoos are designed for everyone and can be used even by children. Here, you can order a set of 42 flower temporary tattoos, which also feature different fun and exciting designs of trees, feathers, fruits, etc. These are designed to last up to 5 days, and they are completely waterproof. It will take you 30 seconds to apply a tattoo, and even less to remove it, using rubbing alcohol.
More options: 9 Best Fake Tattoo Sleeves 2021
This was your guide to temporary tattoos and the best temporary tattoo brands currently on the market. We hope this was an insightful journey for all of you, and that you gather the courage to experience these short-term tattoos. For more information about the aforementioned tattoo brands, make sure to visit their official websites or contact them directly via email.
Temporary tattoos are awesome for those who are just tapping into the world of tattoos, or who simply don’t want to fully commit. Whatever your reasons are, we are surely very supportive of temporary tattoos, and we genuinely recommend them as a fun experience. And we all need a little bit of fun in these testing and difficult times.