When you want to try out new things in order to elevate your look, buying new stuff that will fill your closet sometimes isn’t enough. But of course, you wouldn’t want to go as far as to get a real tattoo just on a whim. That needs to be well thought out since they’re permanent—cue the temporary fake tattoos.
A temporary tattoo is a fun way to change your overall aesthetic and test out new tattoo ideas without trying too hard or bringing your mom to tears. With all the look and none of the commitment, temporary tattoos are trendy body art that lets you create a new style for every occasion.
Just to be clear, we’re not talking about the kiddy temporary tattoos that you used to wear in first grade. No superheroes or dinosaurs here. And please forget about those old-school tats that faded away as soon as you took a shower. Some of today’s best temporary tattoos are semi-permanent tattoos that will have your friends do double-take the next time you hang out. If you haven’t seen these babies at festivals or pool parties, it’s time you tried them on yourself and give your skin a hip makeover that’s realistic but won’t hurt a bit (not that you were ever worried about the pain).
Best for Artistic Expression: Traicere by Inkbox
Connect with the outdoors with Inkbox’s Rockies tattoo. This design stays on for up to 2 weeks. Vegan and environmentally friendly, it’s the perfect accessory for your hand or fingers. Inbox’s tattoos are designed by artists with trending themes that bring you unique tattoos.
Best Variety Pack: Konsait Temporary Tattoos
With 18 sheets and an assortment of slick designs, Konsait Temporary Tattoos deliver a body sticker set that has something for everyone. From dragons to musical notes, these non-toxic tats give you a realistic look that lasts 3-5 days.
Best Large: Sovereign-Gear Temporary Tattoos
For go-big-or-go-home type guys, the Sovereign-Gear Temporary Tattoos offer 8 large sheets of waterproof designs. Their genuine look is perfect to show off on your arms, chest, back, or legs.
Best Small: Coktak Waterproof Tattoos
The Coktak Waterproof Tattoos are proof that bigger isn’t always better. If you’re looking for understated body art, these watercolor designs offer 12 illustrations that are truly handsome. You’ll get tons of compliments on their fine details and uncommon style.
Best Sleeve: Xiaojmake Men Arm Temporary Tattoo
Turn your arm into a canvas of 3D art with the one-of-a-kind design of the Xiaojmake Men Arm Temporary Tattoo. These impressive temporary sleeve tattoos are easy to apply and stay on for up to 3 days. When you’re ready to remove your body art, just use rubbing alcohol and your arm will be squeaky clean.
Best for Shoulder: Toyfunny Fake Tattoo
If you like to wear muscle tanks, you’ll love the Toyfunny Fake Tattoo for your shoulder. Its tribal designs look so authentic and fresh, they’ll make your gym buddies jealous. It’s the perfect trial run for anyone considering a permanent tattoo.
Best for Festivals: The Curiosities Sheet
Available at Tattly, The Curiosities Sheet is a 2-sheet set that includes 33 glow-in-the-dark tattoos and 33 classic black ink designs. With enough tattoos for you to share with the whole gang, these fun tattoos will make your next festival unforgettable.
Best Stencils: Jagua Gel Temporary Tattoo Kit
With 4 bottles of temporary tattoo ink and 84 stencils, the Jagua Gel Temporary Tattoo Kit lets you create waterproof body art that lasts 3-5 days. The convenient lids make the ink bottles easy to store and reusable. Using the juice of Jagua fruit, this PPD-free ink is safe to use and helps you create rich temporary tattoos in the tradition of Amazon locals.
Best DIY: BIC BodyMark Temporary Tattoo Markers
Create custom temporary tattoos with the precision and brightness of the BIC BodyMark Temporary Tattoo Markers. Eight assorted markers let you design your own body art with long-lasting colors that stand out. Their versatile tips let you create thin and broad lines with ease.
Best Scented: Eucalyptus Cinerea by Tattly
If you’re looking to take your temporary tattoo game to the next level, try a scented one. This tattoo offers a fragrant and calming hint of Eucalyptus Cinerea which will leave you smelling minty. This tattoo is safe and non-toxic and you can expect it to last between 2-4 days.
$6 FROM BOUTIQUE LITTLE
Best for Quotes: Thug Ink Motivational Quotes
Staying motivated can be hard, but with these quote tattoos by Thug Ink, staying inspired has become a little easier. This pack of easy-to-apply and non-toxic water-transfer tattoos comes with 7 motivational quotes. Best of all, these tattoos are easy to remove.
What are the longest temporary tattoos?
Depending on the type of tattoo that you use, temporary body art can last anywhere between a couple of days to several weeks. In general, stick-on tattoos last up to 1 week, henna stays on for 1 month and permanent tattoos last forever.
Is there a temporary tattoo that lasts for months?
According to professionals, semi-permanent tattoos are impossible to achieve. Chinese ink is a method where a tattoo artist cuts the surface of the skin and applies their own blend of ink to create a semi-permanent tattoo that lasts up to 6 months. This technique is controversial because the ink ingredients could be toxic and, in many cases, last much longer than expected.
Henna tattoos are another semi-permanent method that can last up to 1 month, depending on exposure to water. After some time, they fade from black to brown and then orange before disappearing. Since henna can cause allergic reactions, experts recommend patch testing.
How to make a temporary tattoo
Using temporary tattoo paper, print out your desired design using an inkjet printer.
Then, place the adhesive sheet that comes with your decal paper onto the printed image. This will give your design the stickiness that makes it stay on the skin.
Next, remove the plastic and place the paper onto your skin while using a wet towel to dampen the back of the paper.
Once the design is set, peel off the paper and enjoy your new tat.
However, once you’ve become 100% sure of getting a permanent tattoo, don’t forget to check out the best lotions for new tattoos that are healing.