Temporary Tattoos

For the less adventuresome types, there are always temporary tattoos. These are non-invasive means of getting a design that mimics the look of an authentic tattoo.

The most realistic look that offers temporary effect is called Temptu (named after the New York studio that specializes in short-lived body art). The process uses "rice paper temporary tattoos." Essentially, it is made of cosmetic ink printed on an archival cigarette-like tissue paper which, is then used to paint in the ‘tattoo’ to the skin. This process is very popular in Hollywood movies and was used in such movies as Cape Fear, 12 Monkeys and Dead Man Walking.

To some, simply drawing on the skin with a non-toxic marker creates probably the easiest and most affordable temporary tattoos. Many tattoo artists actually do this initially to figure out placement and design on their clients. Crayola’s washable markers work well if the desired art is for a single event purpose only. Sharpies are best for more extended duration since their ink is permanent and they come in basic colors. However, they are only permanent if used in non-oily surfaces only, and human skin is full of oils.

In some countries, particularly India, Mehendi is used to create body art. It is usually seen in Indian weddings. Brides are covered from head to toe with intricate bridal wear (including the face). To show off as much of whatever skin they can legally or modestly show, they paint their hands and forearms with dyes made from the Henna plant. This, when applied correctly, stains the skin and can last several weeks. Mehendi has become popular with the mainstream, with a number of mehendi tattoo shops cropping up in cities like Berkeley and Los Angeles.

The use of temporary tattoos allows a wider range of clientele for body artists due to being non-invasive as mentioned above. Even children can also don colored body art without having their skin pierced or damaged. The only consideration would be allergic reactions, as some people have sensitive skin reactions to synthetic colors or even henna. these temporary tattoos also provide a sort of "test run" or trial run, like the fake tattoo sleeves do, for those who are contemplating whether or not to get real tattoos.


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