- Are There Advantages to a Temporary Tattoo?
- A 6-Month Tattoo?
- Don’t Believe Most of the Hype
- Easily Removable Ink
- What is a Temporary Tattoo?
- 31 Realistic Custom Temporary Tattoos for Adults
- How long do temporary tattoos stay on?
- A Short History of Temporary Tattoos
- How to make DIY Temporary Tattoos
- Can I buy Tattoos from Spotlight?
- What is included in this range?
- How do I apply a temporary tattoo?
- How do I remove a temporary tattoo?
- One man’s painful temporary tattoo experience has him warning others
- industry blog
- Should You Get A Temporary or Permanent Tattoo
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Returns / Refunds / Guarantees
- Safety / Compliance
Are There Advantages to a Temporary Tattoo?
Many people see body art, like tattoos, as a way to express themselves artistically. And while these tattoos can provide a unique decoration to your body, it’s important to consider the consequences and risks of permanently inking your skin at a tattoo parlor — and weigh them against the option of a temporary tattoo, such as a henna tattoo.
The Risks of Permanent Tattoos
Permanent tattoos involve using a needle to inject ink into the skin. Besides being uncomfortable to downright painful, permanent tattoos pose various potential health risks:
- Irritated or inflamed skin (dermatitis)
- Skin infections caused by bacteria
- Allergic reactions to tattoo ink
- Small lumps that form around the tattoo called granulomas
- Serious infections like hepatitis and HIV transmitted through use of non-sterile tattoo needles
There could also be long-term complications, like not being able to have a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, or having complications from the scan, because of metallic dyes and inks. After an MRI, swelling around the tattoo may result; fortunately the swelling isn’t common and generally subsides fairly quickly.
Finally, consider another big downside of getting permanent tattoos: This art will mark your body for the rest of your life. You may change your mind about the tattoo you’ve chosen or about having a tattoo at all. Though it may be possible to remove tattoos, it can be painful and expensive and may not always erase them completely or smoothly.
Temporary Tattoo Risks
You can get the effect of permanent ink through a temporary tattoo. This can be either a decal that is transferred to the skin or a henna tattoo. A henna tattoo, a body art called mehndi, uses a plant-based ink called henna, which is painted onto the skin.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved all inks used in these temporary tattoo methods. Henna, which naturally creates an orange or brown color, may contain added ingredients and chemicals to create a different color, such as blue or black.
In fact, the FDA received reports of serious and long-lasting side effects of temporary tattoos, which included raised red weeping lesions, loss of pigmentation, and permanent scarring.
Be particularly wary of any temporary tattoos that contain p-Phenylenediamine, also called coal tar or PPD, as this ingredient is known to cause an allergic reaction in some people.
There is a ban on temporary tattoos that don’t declare their ingredients on the label, so they are not allowed into the United States. But the FDA can’t regulate all temporary inks used commercially by professionals, so there’s no guarantee that the temporary tattoo you’re getting is safe.
Making the Decision to Tattoo
You can still enjoy the art of tattoos, but be safe and smart about your choice. You may want to consider a temporary tattoo before or in place of a permanent tattoo if you:
- Aren’t sure that you will always want a tattoo
- Aren’t sure that you will always want the specific tattoo that you’re considering
- Can’t afford to attempt to have a tattoo removed later on
- Are concerned about the possible health risks of infection or allergic reaction from a permanent tattoo
If you do decide to get a permanent tattoo, find a tattoo parlor that meets all the requirements of your local health department. Make sure that the tattoo parlor employs only licensed tattoo artists and is safe and clean.
If you aren’t completely sure that you want to commit to a permanent tattoo, consider a temporary tattoo that will fade over time, giving you the chance to decide if you really want it and whether you like the design that you chose.
When you opt for a temporary tattoo, regardless of the reason, remember to be safe and reduce your risk of an allergic reaction before you take the plunge.
Picture credit: “Rambo” (distributed under Creative Commons License)
A 6-Month Tattoo?
Tattoos are one of the most common forms of body modification. Cultures from every corner of the globe have used tattoos to signify and decorate. Tattoos are so widely used because they can express personal or cultural identity in elaborate ways, and the fact that conventional tattoos are permanent can be seen as part of their appeal. What kinds of things would you consider putting on your skin permanently? To be sure, only something that you felt was an unalterable part of your identity. But what if you want a tattoo only because you like the way it looks, and you don’t know if you’ll still want it 6 months later? Is there a way to get a tattoo that will fade into nothing after a certain time?
Don’t Believe Most of the Hype
Some tattoo artists have claimed that they can create a 6-month tattoo by only injecting the ink into the top layers of the skin, and several tattoo inks have been claimed to fade until they vanish. Both of these methods purport to result in tattoos that last from 6 months to several years. Both of these claims are patently false. Once tattoo ink is in the dermis–any layer of the skin–it’s there for the long run. You might end up with a faded tattoo if you use these scams, but it will be a permanent faded tattoo. However, there is one type of special ink that is actually semi-permanent.
Easily Removable Ink
A company called Freedom-2 has developed a method wherein the tattoo ink is packed into clear microscopic capsules and coated with a safe, biodegradable plastic. The ink itself, named Infinitink, is permanent, but can be easily removed through laser treatments. This is true of all tattoo inks, but the process has been streamlined. Because the ink is stored in individual capsules, it can be more easily removed. For regular tattoos, laser removal is incredibly painful and involves multiple treatments. Freedom-2’s ink can be removed in one relatively painless session. So don’t be fooled by”fading inks” or artists who claim to give “semi-permanent” tattoos. If you want a tattoo but might want to remove it later, consider this innovative technology. But remember that any tattoo should be carefully considered before it is created, and should be received from a reputable artist who uses clean equipment.
Tattoos are a unique and popular form of art. They are a great addition to anyone’s body aesthetics. Some people consider tattoos as an extreme form of expressing one’s self. There are many people who want to get a tattoo. However, since tattoos are still viewed as a taboo, not all people would want to go through a lifetime of having them; Not everyone is ready to have a lifetime commitment with tattoos or want to undergo expensive treatments to get them removed in the future.
Some people love tattoos but do not like the idea of experiencing pain in getting them. Tattoos are applied with the use of needles that’s why they are painful. Others are afraid to be judged or go through that certain stigma in their social circles. There are also persons who are prohibited by authorities in their lives. Indeed, there are many limitations and consequences to deal with when getting a tattoo. The good thing is that there are alternative options that do not require people to commit with tattoos for a lifetime, go through a painful procedure, nor spend an arm and leg to get them removed: The Temporary Tattoos.
Although temporary tattoos are easy to remove, we would not want you to waste your money. This guide will help you look closer on your different temporary tattoo options in the market; Make your choices carefully so you can get the perfect tattoo. Let this guide help you discover more things about temporary tattoos; we will tell you a brief history about them, share our top 31 picks for realistic tattoos, and teach you on how to create your own.
What is a Temporary Tattoo?
Temporary tattoos are not permanent as its name suggests. They are a non-permanent image or design that is intended to be applied to the human skin which resembles a real tattoo. There are different kinds of temporary tattoos but most of them are attached to a sheet of paper which makes them easier to transfer to the skin. Children are not allowed to have a permanent tattoo that is why there is a huge market dedicated to producing tattoos for them. They can be found in most toy stores and grocery stores. These tattoos are inspired by cartoon characters, princesses, superheroes, and other kid-friendly designs. Temporary tattoos are often given to kids as a gift on their birthday. Some cereals also add temporary tattoos in their packaging to give kids excitement and thrill in eating a regular breakfast.
However, temporary tattoos are not just for kids; they can also be for adults. There are a plethora of temporary tattoos available on the market. Some of them are even placed in vending machines. There are also high-quality temporary tattoos that can last longer than ordinary ones. These tattoos look more realistic and appealing. You may buy them in tattoo salons or online. Temporary tattoos for adults may be created by drawing, painting, and airbrushing. Popular temporary tattoo options are henna, airbrush, and ballpoint pen tattoos. You can easily find someone to apply these types of tattoos for you. Any person who is able to create an amazing drawing can make a great ballpoint pen tattoo. This can be easy to remove and relatively cheap. If you are willing to pay more, you can go for professionally designed temporary tattoos. If you do not like to apply temporary tattoos, you can also wear tattoo gloves.
31 Realistic Custom Temporary Tattoos for Adults
Martini Bachelorette Party Temporary Tattoos – Price: $20 – Get it via EtsyWaterproof Silver and Black Body Art – Price: $44.69 – Get it via EtsyMetallic Temporary Tattoo – Price: $14.9 – Get it via EtsyBirthday Temporary Tattoos – Price: $20 – Get it via EtsyHeart Temporary Tattoos – Price: $95 – Get it via Etsy Metallic Temporary Tattoos – Price: $140 – Get it via Etsy Temporary Tattoo Clear Swarovski – Price: $19.37 – Get it via Etsy Bachelorette Party Temporary Tattoos – Price: $35 – Get it via Etsy Wedding Favor Tattoo – Price: $50 – Get it via Etsy Roses Chaplet Temporary Tattoo – Price: $53 – Get it via Etsy Bridal Hearts & Flowers – Price: $37.24 – Get it via Etsy Temporary Tattoo – Price: $200 – Get it via Etsy Getting Married Temporary Custom Tattoos – Price: $200 – Get it via Etsy Getting Married Custom Temporary Tattoos – Price: $200 – Get it via Etsy 4 x Custom Temporary Tattoos – Price: $13.00 – Get it via Etsy Temporary Tattoo Spider Halloween – Price: $7.61 – Get it via Etsy Unalome Lotus Temporary Tattoo – Price: $5.00 – Get it via Etsy Large Temporary Tattoos – Price: $7.99 – Get it via Etsy Small Rose Temporary Tattoo – Price: $3.00 – Get it via Etsy Wavelength Temporary Tattoo – Price: $2.70+ – Get it via Etsy Watercolor Blue Flowers – Price: $7.99 – Get it via Etsy Temporary Tattoos Vintage Rose – Price: $4.50 – Get it via Etsy Custom Wedding Favor Tattoo – Price: $13 – Get it via Etsy Personalized Paisley Heart Temporary Tattoo – Price: $7 – Get it via Etsy Bohemian Tattoos – Price: $4.95 – Get it via Etsy Date Temporary Tattoos – Price: $10.8 – Get it via Etsy Mr. and Mrs. Disney Temporary Tattoo – Price: $6 – Get it via Etsy Pinky Promise Tattoo – Price: $6.25 – Get it via Etsy Black Temporary Tattoo Face Mask – Price: $10 – Get it via Etsy Hand-drawn Full Arm Colorful Summer Flower Bouquet – Price: $10.8 – Get it via Etsy Vintage Floral Temporary Tattoo – Price: $8 – Get it via Etsy
Temporary Tattoos are not a new concept. They have existed for centuries and have been used in many different ways. Some people use them to express religion and personality while others try them for fun and fashion. Temporary tattoos have been worn by people from different generations and backgrounds in the world. These tattoos are often easy to remove. They may even wear off by themselves through time. This versatility allows its wearer to change tattoos without needing to spend a lot of money.
This also makes it easier for the tattoo wearer to pair the tattoo with their mood, attire, and style. Through the years, temporary tattoos have been an excellent choice for people who do not want to commit but want to get the same benefits of expressing personality and uniqueness with their bodies. Today, even pregnant women can get one of these tattoos.
How long do temporary tattoos stay on?
Temporary tattoos last in the skin in different durations. It depends on the type of temporary tattoo used. Henna tattoos may typically last for 1-3 weeks while airbrush tattoos may last from 2-10 days. Rest assured that with the time these temporary tattoos are on your body, you have enough time to figure out if you like your tattoo and placement or not!
A Short History of Temporary Tattoos
Henna Powder Tattoo Kit – Price: $43.99 – Get it via Etsy
As we mentioned above, the use of tattoos has been practiced for centuries now; one of the oldest forms of temporary tattoos is called Mehndi. Mehndi is also known as Henna Tattoo. In this type of tattoo, henna plant and turmeric are used to temporarily dye the skin with unique patterns. This unique way of applying a temporary tattoo has been practiced in religious ceremonies like weddings. In many different cultures around the world, the henna tattoo is used as an adornment for brides. In the late 1990s, this way of applying tattoo was adapted in Western Cultures. It was not just adapted; it also became an instant hit. From that time forward, there have been a plethora of henna tattoo home kits available for everyone. They can be bought from local stands, malls, and shops.
Temporary Tattoos – Price: $22 – Get it via Etsy
Before the henna tattoo gained popularity in the West, transferable tattoos became popular first. In the 1800s, transferable tattoos were used as an added treat in candies and gums. Initially, these transferable tattoos were very easy to remove but through time, they became longer lasting. Today, there is a new form of temporary tattoo that is becoming more popular, The Air Brush Temporary Tattoo. It is easily loved by the public since it can achieve more elaborate designs that can really look like permanent tattoos. This form of tattoo utilizes non-toxic pain and simple stencils.
How to make DIY Temporary Tattoos
If you do not want to buy a temporary tattoo, you can also showcase your designing talent by using your own household supplies and make a DIY Temporary Tattoo. You may also buy some supplies from craft stores. Check out the DIY tattoo making techniques below using an eyeliner, stencil, paper, and sharpie.
Gluten-Free Eyeliner Tattoo Kit – Price: $14 – Get it via Etsy
For an eyeliner tattoo, you will need a pencil, a sheet of paper, an eyeliner, and a hairspray. This type of temporary tattoo can only last for a day. Start by creating a design using a pencil and paper. Once you have crafted your unique design, practice it for a couple of times on the paper.
When creating a design for eyeliner temporary tattoo, it would be best to stick with clear shapes, bold lines, and simple strokes. It would be not ideal to use fine lines in an eyeliner tattoo since they may have the tendency to smudge and spread. It would also be best for you to stick to designing small tattoos than huge ones because they look more authentic and real.
Sharp Scissors Tattoo Kit – Price: $14.88 – Get it via Etsy
After that, you can set foot to the nearest supply store and buy an eyeliner. You can choose the classic black eyeliner but you can also be bolder with other colors. When getting an eyeliner, stay away from buying its liquid version. These versions have the tendency to form a thick hard crust which can result in a fast wearing off of the tattoos. Once you have the eyeliner, don’t be too excited in applying it. You still have to practice using it in a paper so you can master the needed pressure when applying different strokes on the skin.
When you feel you are ready, go ahead and apply it to the skin. If you do make some errors, you can easily remove the tattoo and start over. Please do make sure that your skin is completely dry before attempting to draw again. Lastly, apply some hairspray to the design. The hairspray can help the temporary tattoo last longer as it secures it from coming off. You can remove this tattoo by washing it with soap and warm water.
Stencil Temporary Tattoos – Get it via Amazon
Stencil Tattoos are easy to make since you will not need to have a talent in drawing. You can completely rely on the shape you form in the piece of paper. What you will need for this type of tattoo are paper, scissors, tape, and permanent markers. Start by deciding what shape you want to apply and draw it on the paper. After that, use your scissors to cut the shape out.
You can try diamonds, circles, and other symmetrical geometric shapes so it would be easier to cut. Once you are done with the cut-out, secure the paper to your skin with the tape. Then, get your permanent marker and shade the shape of the stencil. You can also use a washable marker or a stamping ink if you have them available at home. When you have shaded the shape on the paper, give it a few moments to completely dry.
Printer for DIY Temporary Tattoos – Get it via Amazon
For the paper temporary tattoo, you will need a water slide paper, a computer, a printer, and a pair of scissors. The paper temporary tattoo may last for a week or more. Are you ready to create that familiar tattoo you often find on cereals and gums when you were a kid? Well, this time, you have more options for designs to choose from. Waterslide papers are the same type of paper used in kiddie tattoos. They are a special kind of paper that features an adhesive on one side. You can buy waterslide paper online and you may also find them in craft supply stores.
Once you have the paper, you can start designing your tattoo image on your computer. You can pretty much use any type of image editing programs. Of course, the best option for editing in Photoshop. Once you are done with image design, you need to ensure they are reversed on the computer. If you do not reverse the image, words, and quotes included in the tattoo image will be reversed when you apply them. After that, you can print the images.
When printing, ensure that you have the ink needed for the image; whether it is black and white or colored. In addition to that, you need to ensure that the adhesive side of the paper is facing the printer. You can proceed with cutting the image with a scissor. Lastly, apply the tattoo on your skin and cover it with a damp cloth for a minute. The water on the damp cloth would let the adhesive separates from the paper and stick to your skin. You can remove it by brushing your skin with soap and water.
Sharpie Temporary Tattoos – Get it via Amazon
For the Sharpie temporary tattoo, you will need a Sharpie marker, a baby powder, and a hairspray. For the designing process, it would be the same as the eyeliner tattoo procedure. The only difference is that after you draw the tattoo on the skin, you will need to apply some baby powder to it before applying some hairspray. Amazingly, this temporary tattoo can last for a month on your skin.
Temporary tattoos are definitely an easy win-win option for you to express yourself without committing. Enjoy the beauty of realistic-looking tattoos by buying them or by making them on your own. Whether you choose to buy one or make DIY options, you would surely enjoy the compliments from your friends once you have the temporary tattoos on your skin.
Hey readers! I’m Jeffrey and your tattoo artist of the day;) I have been drawing and painting my whole life, and after graduating high school I decided it was time for a bigger challenge and I started drawing on people. I’m so fortunate I got to express my creativity through my body art and even more so to share my passion with my now wife Emilie. She started working with me in my tattoo shop as a piercer and I started writing about and photographing, my creations on this blog. I love to hear from you and hope you enjoy our work together!
I’m Lisa Butterworth sometimes known as Kenzi and I’m a henna artist and the owner of a henna supply business, kenzi.com. Today I’ll unleash your inner henna artist and have you drawing henna designs all over your friends and anyone else who will sit still. I’m often asked if henna is a tattoo and the answer is a definite no. There are many differences between henna and a tattoo. As we know, tattoos are permanent and they pierce the skin to carry the ink down to the blood bearing layers of the skin to create a design that is permanent. By contrast, henna is a temporary dye that just sits on the surface of the skin. It only stains the dead layers of skin cells and it lasts about 1 to 2 weeks. Henna comes out darkest on the hands and the feet where the skin is the thickest. And by contrast, the tattoos actually don’t take as well on the hands and the feet because the skin tends to bleed and fade and ruin the tattoo design. In addition, henna is different from tattoo in the style of the art. Henna designs are usually traditional designs from India and the Middle East and North Africa, and they’re very different from tattoo designs. But, these designs can be made into tattoos.
At some point in all our lives we all think about decorating parts of our bodies. Whether we use makeup such as eyeshadows, lipsticks and foundation that brings out the best of our skin colour.
Whilst there are some of us daredevils who choose the body art of tattooing there are some of us that will opt for the temporary methods.
There are various methods such as temporary tatoos, transfer sticker tattoos also henna tattooing.
Let’s explain some of the differences between them.
Tattooing is when a design is made by puncturing the skin with sharp needles injecting ink, dyes, and pigments into the deep layer of the skin. Here are some points to consider about tattoos:
- Tattoos are permanent (so choose your designs wisely)
- They can be very painful (depending on your pain threshold)
- Trends of tattoos can change in future as fashion has a major influence
- You may regret it and want it removed for example if you have your ex boyfriends name on any part of your body after a really bad breakup/cheating boyfriend (like who would still want that, right?)
- It can be very expensive to remove with laser treatments
- It could even cause infections if the tattoo place isn’t certified properly. Diseases such as the killer HIV from needles and equipment not being sterilised properly.
Henna (Semi permanent/Temporary)
The ancient art known as ‘henna’ has become a growing trend these days and widely used across the world.
Henna is a plant that grows in very hot countries. It produces leaves which naturally contain a dye called ‘lawsonia inermis’. The leaves are harvested, set out in the sun to dry and grinded into a fine powder.
Most often this henna powder is then mixed with water and essential oil such as lavender oil then it’s left for an hour or 2 to let the magic happen. This magic being the scientific process of ‘dye release’ from the natural henna leaves. This turns the henna into a paste and is then put in a plastic bag or rolled up cone (plastic bags are easier and less messy) and then the henna paste is used to draw like a pen on any part of the body.
People make such pretty patterns such as flowers and butterflies or even their boyfriends name!
The origins of henna come from the Middle East and Asia where women used it as part of being feminine, sensual and looking good. It was also used for haircare and medicine.
- Certified real henna powder should not be painful as there are no needles being used to puncture the skin (but make sure when choosing a henna powder, they do have certified labels to make sure they are honest and don’t contain allergic ingredients or have other powders mixed with them without you knowing!)
- Henna powder has scientific healing and medicinal uses as it is a herb/plant
- It is not permanent so you can just draw another design when it fades away. This may even help in times of when replacing a misbehaving boyfriend …Haha! (just kidding, but you get the idea!)
- Trends with henna change, if only slightly altered but mostly henna is known for its floral patterns which will always stay in fashion as a base standard.
- You can remove henna as it is just a temporary herbal stain on the skin
- Henna paste can be stored differently, depending on each brand as it depends what else is inside of it (if any other chemicals added to it, extra powders, plants, artificial preservatives etc then yeah it will stay longer which is never good for anything you want to be putting on your skin!) but for our own henna as its simply green henna leaves crushed and we added lavender oil and water as given/instructed on our henna kit, we have tried and tested it, and it is still going strong after a month being in the refrigerator without all the extra of seal tight etc. But as all real organic things they do have a quicker expiration date, just imagine bread, milk etc. Think of it as thanking your skin for being with you all these years by feeding it only real ingredients.
Can I buy Tattoos from Spotlight?
Yes, you can. At Spotlight we have so many unique temporary tatts so that you can show off your personality without the permanence. Children will love their new tattoos, featuring all of their favourite characters from some of the best children’s television and films. To purchase our fabulous selection of temporary tattoos, simply click on your chosen item above, follow the instructions, and we will deliver right to your door. Alternatively, call into one of our nationwide stores to shop our entire range. With such fantastic deals and great value prices across the range, make Spotlight your number one shopping destination for temporary tattoo coolness.
What is included in this range?
This range is a fun and bright collection of vibrant temporary tattoos. It features tons of ways that a child or adult can express themselves creatively with body art in the moment. They usually consist of an image that has been prompted onto a sticker and are applied to the body using water. This selection features all of your child’s favourite characters, including Batman, Mickey Mouse, Disney Princess and lots, lots more.
They would be a fantastic stocking filler at Christmas, a great thing to add to loot bags at your child’s birthday party, or even as prizes for the party games. Children will have so much fun with these fabulous tatts! This selection also features rock and roll designs that would be ideal for adding the finishing touch to your fancy dress outfit. No rock star is quite complete without his or her ink, and a full-on sleeve is sure to make a statement. Accessorise your skin with rockin’ tattoos, all available now at Spotlight’s guaranteed low prices.
How do I apply a temporary tattoo?
At Spotlight, there is a range of different temporary tattoo designs available to choose from, perfect for an extra dash of fun! We always recommend reading the instructions that come with your individual product fully before beginning. First of all, consider the placement of your tattoo, it is recommended to stay away from areas that get oily or are likely to stretch significantly. The tattoo will also last longer if it is placed in an area that does not experience friction.
It is not recommended that you apply these tattoos to your face or neck. Place your new tattoo facedown. Ensure that the placement is correct and that it is straight, and then apply even pressure with a wet cloth or sponge. Wait around 60 seconds before removing the cloth and sliding off the paper, leaving the new tattoo on your skin. Your tattoo will last over a week or check out our handy tips below for removing it earlier. With all the cool points without the pain, these tattoos are quick and easy to apply.
How do I remove a temporary tattoo?
We always recommend that you read the individual instructions. However, there are a few things that you can do to remove your tattoo sooner. First of all, wash the area with soap and water or try wiping with a baby wipe or makeup wipe. For particularly stubborn tatts, use baby oil to wipe away any remnants easily, and eye makeup remover is also known to be successful. With so many assorted fun designs, plus quick and easy application and removal, buy temporary tatts from Spotlight today.
One man’s painful temporary tattoo experience has him warning others
Warning: Some may find the images in this story disturbing.
EDMONTON – Craig Irwin has a warning about a certain type of henna tattoo after the one he got while vacationing in the Dominican Republic not only landed him in hospital, but also might leave him with permanent scars.
“Thought it looked really cool at first,” he said of what was supposed to be a temporary sleeve tattoo. “Then within a couple hours, it started getting red.
“It started to feel like a sunburn, and then when it started blistering, I knew that something was wrong.”
The henna that was used on Irwin was reportedly advertised as being 100 per cent natural and made in India.
According to Dr. Mariusz Sapijaszko of the Western Canada Dermatology Institute, natural henna — which is made from a plant — can be safely used as a temporary dye. Only a small percentage of people will have a reaction to it.
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The risk, experts say, is with what is called “black henna.”
“ numerous additives and some of them are certain hair dyes that make it look darker; but the problem is that some of those hair dyes have a high incidence of allergic reaction,” Sapijaszko explained.
He adds that the reaction won’t necessarily be immediate. It can take up to a few days or even a week or two for it to show up. And when it does, the result can range from a painful infection, to more long-term effects such as permanent scarring.
That’s what Irwin is worried about.
He ended up having to undergo surgery at a Dominican hospital to treat a second-degree chemical burn from the black henna that was likely used on him.
“It just looked like they cut the skin off,” he said of the aftermath. “And it was raw and painful.”
Edmonton henna artist Naaila Ali refuses to use black henna on her clients.
“People will bring me tubes of black henna and ask me to get it done. And I tell them I can’t,” she said.
“Nothing about black henna is natural, and I would rather not risk putting that on someone.”
Ali only uses natural henna, and knows exactly what’s in her product: organic henna powder, lemon juice, and a few essential oils, including lavender and eucalyptus.
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Her tips for those considering getting henna:
- Always ask your henna artist what’s in the product being used. “And if they don’t know,” Ali said, “that’s almost a warning sign that there might be something not natural in your henna.”
- Do a spot test on a small patch of your skin. If you don’t react within one week, you should be safe to have the art done. “If you are getting a dark burgundy stain even in less than an hour, the henna is not natural,” Ali added.
- Know what you’re allergic to and make sure you share those allergies with your henna artist.
How to tell the difference between natural and black henna:
You can distinguish between natural henna and black henna by the colour, according to Ali. Natural henna has a dark-greenish hue going on and should stain the skin reddish-orange or brown. Ali explains that it can take a good 12 hours to “create a good stain, and even then it takes a few days to oxidize.”
Black henna, as the name suggests, goes on black and fades to a grey.
It may also have an ammonia scent or no scent at all.
The effects of Irwin’s reaction to the suspected black henna are still evident on his arm a month later.
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Still, he feels it could have been worse.
“I could have lost my arm,” he said.
“I want to make sure that no one has this happen.”
With files from Julie Matthews, Global News
© 2014 Shaw Media
Should You Get A Temporary or Permanent Tattoo
Thinking about getting a tattoo? Pondering if a temporary or permanent one is best for you? With the trend nowadays, having a tattoo is very fashionable. While it may be cool to have the permanent ones, changes in personal tastes over time may opt them to choose for the temporary ones.
You have to take note that tattooing is a process of implanting pigments on your skin and there are two methods on how to implement this.
The pigment or ink is applied only at the outermost layer of your skin. In this way, only the epidermis gets the pigment but as your skin keeps on shedding or lose skin cells, the pigment will eventually fade away. Most of the time, the pigments will last for about 1 to 2 weeks but it can be shorter if you will use detergent and hot water more often.
This is the kind of body art that lasts even until you age, but it doesn’t mean that permanent tattoos aren’t prone to fading. Yes, they might have a lighter color as compared to when you just have it done but the pigment doesn’t entirely go away. The only way to remove the pigments is through laser treatment but the pain experienced during this treatment is very excruciating. Using anesthetics to obtain a numb skin is important. It is also very costly, even more expensive compared to when you had the pigments applied. So it is very important to think it thoroughly before having a tattoo. You may need a tattoo removal cream if you really want to have them removed in the future.
What are the differences of temporary and permanent tattoos? Is it pocket friendly?
Costs for having permanent tattoos depend highly on the size, design, rate of tattoo artist, body part where it will be placed, and etc. So this means that having elaborate and big ones would cost more than little and simple ones.
If you want to make your own temporary tattoos, high quality custom kits are available at shops. You can even apply it yourself or with the help of a friend. No need for pain relieving gel here.
When it comes to temporary tattoos, there isn’t much pain present because it is only applied through paints, stickers, or brushes. Permanent ones, on the other hand, would require you to have a high tolerance and threshold for pain. The amount of pain you will experience depends entirely on your ability to bear it, but you can always rely with the help of topical anesthesia to minimize it.
No skin breakage occurs when applying temporary tattoos, unless you experience an allergic reaction to the dyes of the paints being used. There is a little bit of blood when having permanent tattoos. Not much to squirm about either if you will use anesthetic spray.
Temporary ones doesn’t have side effects, unless you are allergic to the paints. After a few days or weeks, you can wash it off almost completely. When it comes to permanent ones, it takes a few weeks for it to heal, around 3 weeks or more. During this period, it is advisable not to have it wet. You must have excellent tattoo aftercare to have a long tattoo lifespan.
A press-on butterfly tattoo may seem like an easy alternative to the pain and permanency of real ink, but the Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers that temporary tattoos aren’t risk free.
FDA officials cautioned that temporary tattoos can cause allergic reactions, in a May 13 seminar on the agency’s website.
The FDA would like temporary tattoo users to report reactions to the government, said Katherine Hollinger, an epidemiologist with the FDA Office of Cosmetics and Colors. The agency cannot currently provide any information on the number of adverse reactions reported each year.
“If you had a reaction to a temporary tattoo or any cosmetic product, the FDA wants to know,” she said.
Cosmetics (including temporary tattoos) do not have to receive FDA approval before they go on the market, while medicines do. However, the color additives in cosmetics do have to go through FDA approval.
There is no data on the number of people who use temporary tattoos each year, said Hollinger. The agency does receive voluntary reports of problems, Hollinger said in response to a question from Live Science, but would release those numbers only through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
The FDA can take action against harmful products, but in the case of temporary tattoos, can only determine the existence of a problem if consumers provide voluntary reports of harm.
Types of tattoos
There are a number of temporary tattoos on the market, said Bhakti Petigara Harp, a chemist in the FDA’s Office of Cosmetics and Colors. Beyond the wet-and-press tattoos found in bubble gum machines, there are several types of temporary tattoos that use plant-based and synthetic dyes.
One type uses henna, a paste made from the dried leaves of the lawsonia plant, which is frequently used to paint intricate designs on the hands and feet of Indian and Pakistani brides. Some henna products are mixed with a hair-dye ingredient, p-phenylenediamine (PPD), which gives the remaining designs a black or blue-black color. Although they are frequently used for skin designs, neither henna nor PPD are approved by the FDA for use on the skin.
Another dye, jagua, derives from the unripened fruit of the Genipa americana, a South American tree. Indigenous people in the Amazon have long used jagua for body decorations, but the dye is newer to the United States.
Allergic reactions to these dyes can involve rashes and blisters. Long-term effects might include scarring, skin changes and increased sensitivity to sun, Hollinger said.
Of course, real tattoos come with their own set of risks, including contaminated ink that has caused infection outbreaks.
Some people also have allergies to tattoo ink, particularly if it’s red. In February, doctors reported the case of a man who developed an allergic reaction to his tattoo 20 years after getting inked, as a side effect of a bone marrow transplant.
Follow Stephanie Pappas on Twitter and Google+. Follow us @livescience, Facebook & Google+. Original article on Live Science.
Frequently Asked Questions
My items are not showing up in my cart If you are not seeing your products in your shopping cart right away, browser cache may be to blame. Go to your view and edit cart page to review the products you have selected or to complete checkout. How long do temporary tattoos last on skin? Our temporary tattoos last about 3 days, depending on the size and placement of the tattoo. Temporary tattoos last much longer when applied in an area that isn’t rubbed often. For the best application of your tattoo, be sure your skin is dry, and free of oil, lotion and makeup, since temporary tattoos apply best to clean, dry skin. Try to choose a smooth, hair-free area of skin that doesn’t crease or stretch when you move. Once applied, temporary tattoos are waterproof, so they won’t come off in the shower, pool, or in that water gun fight with your family! Temporary tattoos can be easily removed with a bit of rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer, baby oil or even with a few strips of transparent household tape. Are temporary tattoos safe for application on my skin? Of course! These temporary tattoos are so safe, that we have applied them to babies. All of the temporary tattoos we manufacture are safe and non-toxic. We use FDA certified colorants and all products exceed US, Canadian and European Union safety standards for cosmetic and toy products. Certification documentation is available upon request. How are temporary tattoos applied? Temporary tattoos are fast and easy to apply; all you need is water. Your skin should be clean, dry and free of lotion, oils and makeup. First, remove the clear, protective top sheet. Then, press the tattoo firmly onto your skin with the design facing down. Hold a wet cloth against the back of the tattoo, press down and make sure to wet the paper thoroughly. Wait 30 seconds and slowly peel off the paper backing. Gently rinse the image with water for the best results and allow the temporary tattoo to dry before touching or covering with clothing. Every TemporaryTattoos.com tattoo has application instructions printed on the back as well. How are temporary tattoos removed? You can easily remove temporary tattoos with rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer, baby oil, or transparent household tape. Temporary tattoos are resistant to water and most soaps to ensure that they last about 3 days.
How can I check on the status of my order? You will receive an order confirmation email immediately after placing your order. A follow up email with a shipment date and details will be sent when your order ships. Please add to your ‘safe senders’ or ‘safe recipients list’ to ensure delivery of emails. If you wish to check the status of an order, feel free to contact Customer Service. Please remember that standard production time for custom classic temporary tattoos is 5 business days and in-stock temporary tattoo orders are fulfilled within 2 business days. Because we print all types of custom tattoos, talk to us about production times for special orders or unique requests. This production time should be added to your selected shipment time to determine your estimated or guaranteed delivery date. When will my tattoos ship? In-stock temporary tattoo orders ship within 2 business days. Classic custom temporary tattoo orders ship in just 5 business days, guaranteed! Custom tattoos with premium effects have a longer production time:
- PrismFoil tattoos ship 11 business days after art approval
- Glow in the Dark tattoos ship 10 business days after art approval
- Glitter tattoos ship 10 business days after art approval
Once we receive final approval on artwork, production on your custom tattoos begins on the next business day. To determine your delivery date, add the production time to the shipping time you have selected. Guaranteed 5 business day shipment excludes special circumstances such as proofs, special packaging, temporary tattoos with premium effects (mentioned above), changes, and payment delays. Here are some guidelines to help you figure out when you should be expecting your temporary tattoos:
- Proofs. We do not automatically provide digital proofs for custom tattoo orders. Our in-house art department will ensure that your artwork is set-up and ready for print for no additional charge. If you require a proof of your artwork, please leave a note in the special instructions when placing your order online. A proof may delay shipping your order by 1-2 business days. Email proofs are free upon request.
- Changes: Any change that is requested after you have place your order and submitted artwork may delay production time and will be subject to a change fee. Special Packaging. Your custom temporary tattoos will be individually cut to size, rubber-banded in bundles of 200, chipboarded in 100’s and bagged in bulk (unless requested otherwise). Contact us for details on other types of packaging or view some examples on our Special Packaging page. Allow up to 10 additional business days for special packaging.
- Premium Effects: We offer some really cool effects on temporary tattoos, including custom glitter, glow in the dark, or PrismFoil. These take a little more production time, but it’s well worth the wait!
- Payment: Payment is required online at the time of your order. Business days exclude holidays and weekends.
- Need your tattoos quickly? Faster production time is available for an additional rush fee. Please contact Customer Service if you have any questions or for rush production details.
Can I make my own custom temporary tattoos? Of course, whether you are interested in a company logo or a unicorn riding a spaceship, we have you covered! You can make custom temporary tattoos of any image you own, from personal photos to original artwork and logos. Just select the size and quantity of tattoos you would like to order, and then upload the image. It’s that easy! What sizes are available for custom temporary tattoos? You can make custom temporary tattoos in almost any size! The smallest size is 1.5 inches by 1.5 inches and there is no limit to how large we can make tattoos. For questions regarding ordering other sizes, please contact Customer Service. What is the difference between imprint size and trim size? A 1/8” margin between the printed image and the edge of the paper, on all four sides, is required for all custom temporary tattoos up to a 3″ paper size. Therefore the custom temporary tattoo itself is 1/4” smaller than the paper size selected (ex. a 2”x2” tattoo has a 1.75”x1.75” imprint area). A 3/8” margin between the printed image and the edge of the paper, on all four sides, is required for all sizes over a 3″ paper size (ex. a 3”x3” tattoo has a 2.625×2.625” imprint area). This applies to any custom temporary tattoo size you order. How many colors can be used? All classic temporary tattoos are printed in full color, using CMYK 4-color process, so your design can have as many colors as you would like. We include all of our white ink options at no additional cost. Because we use proprietary skin-safe ink, we cannot match PMS colors. We can however, come very close and help you understand our color tolerances if you call us. Custom backs are free in greyscale with an additional fee for color backs. Will I receive a proof of my artwork for custom temporary tattoos? We do not automatically provide digital proofs. TemporaryTattoos.com has a fully-staffed, professional art department that will make any touch-ups necessary without charge to you. If you need a proof, please make a note in the special instructions when you order online. Requested proofs need to be approved via email and returned before we can process your order. Once you approve the proof, we are not liable for any errors or changes made. A proof may delay shipping your order by 1-2 business days. What are the custom temporary tattoo white effect options? White ink can be tricky with temporary tattoos. Feel free to call us if you are unclear how to proceed! We offer three white ink options free of cost:
- No white ink: Any white areas in the design will be clear when applied to the skin, and your skin color will show through.
- Spot white ink: The tattoo will be printed with white ink where specified in the “Special Instructions.”
- Flood white ink: The entire image is printed with white ink behind the design. When the tattoo is applied, the colors will be vibrant and the white areas will be white.
Please note, we do not print with a white background unless otherwise specified. A 1/8” margin between the printed image and the edge of the paper, on all four sides, is required for all custom temporary tattoos up to a 3″ paper size. Are there any charges for artwork touch-up or set-up for custom temporary tattoos? There are never any charges for touch-up or set-up of your artwork. Can I have my website or other information printed on the back of my custom temporary tattoos? Yes! We will print your website, social media accounts, a promotion code or any other information for free, in black ink, on the back of your custom temporary tattoos. Please note this information in the ‘Custom Back’ field when you place your order and upload your artwork. A 4-color back is available for an additional charge. Please note: we cannot ensure compliancy when a custom back is used. Can you make metallic/flash, glitter, glow-in-the-dark, scented or neon custom temporary tattoos? Yes! Please see our Custom Tattoos page to place your order online, or contact Customer Service.
- PrismFoil tattoos are printed in full-color to make your designs shine.
- Glow in the Dark tattoos must be charged by exposing tattoos to light. The white portions of your design will glow.
- Glitter tattoos add multi-colored glitter to make your designs sparkle.
You can find in-stock glitter, glow in the dark and metallic temporary tattoos which are ready to ship, too! What artwork formats do you accept for custom temporary tattoos? We can work with any type of digital file you have available, except for CorelDraw files (.cdr) or artwork saved in Microsoft Office (.doc, .ppt, .exc). We prefer files to be high resolution, color-corrected flattened CMYK. If the file is a .jpg, .tiff, or .psd, please be sure they are at least 300dpi at the size you want printed. Vector .eps and .ai files should have the fonts outlined and all placed images embedded. How are my custom and in-stock temporary tattoos packaged? Each custom temporary tattoo is individually cut to size and has a clear, protective cover. Custom temporary tattoos are bundled in quantities of 200 and bulk bagged. In-stock temporary tattoos are delivered in a protective polybag or package. Special packaging options are available. Give us a call and we can work out just about any package no matter how complicated. Can I request samples before placing an order? We do not produce pre-production samples; however, we can certainly send you some random samples of in-stock temporary tattoos. Please email your complete shipping address and phone number to and we’ll be happy to send those out. Our sample requests are generally fulfilled within 2 business days and shipped via United States Postal Service. If you would like to receive samples sooner than this, please provide your carrier account number. What are the minimum/maximum custom temporary tattoo quantities that I can purchase? The minimum order quantity for classic custom tattoos is 25 pieces per design (100 for premium effects). There is no maximum order size. If you find a current lower price on comparable custom temporary tattoos, we will match the price and beat it by 10% – guaranteed.
What methods can I use to pay for my temporary tattoos? We accept most major credit cards including Visa, MasterCard, Discover, AMEX, PayPal or wire transfer (may be subject to additional charge). Please contact Customer Service with any questions or concerns, Monday – Friday from 6:00am to 5:00pm MST
Do you charge sales tax? Sales tax is calculated based on the current tax rate of the shipping address listed at the time of purchase. Are International duties and taxes included in the price of my order? All recipients of International shipments from TemporaryTattoos.com are responsible for any taxes and import duties, where applicable, that may be charged in the country to which the order is shipped. As with any International shipment, your national customs authority may detain the merchandise and delay its arrival while assessing appropriate duty charges. These taxes and duties differ in each country. Please contact your customs authorities for more information.
Returns / Refunds / Guarantees
What is the return / refund policy? TemporaryTattoos.com delivers innovative, high-quality products and stands behind all of them with a 100% Unconditional Satisfaction Guarantee. This guarantee means that if you are not satisfied with any purchase for any reason at any time, contact us and we will replace the product, credit your account, or refund your purchase price. We aren’t happy unless you’re happy! What is the lowest price guarantee? Nobody beats our prices. If you find a current lower price on any comparable product we offer, we will match the price and beat it by 10% – guaranteed.
How much is shipping and handling? Economy shipping is free for online domestic orders over $10 and international orders over $40 (Max $100 discount for shipping)! Shipping costs may apply for all International orders and many options are available. What shipping options are available? We offer a variety of Domestic and International shipping options through the United States Postal Service (USPS) and Federal Express (FedEx). Please note whether a shipment option is guaranteed or an estimate. We will also ship by your carrier of choice when you provide your account number and any other necessary information to do so. This does not apply to our U.S. free shipping offer.What are the U.S. (Domestic) shipping times for the options offered?
- USPS First Class Mail (3-4 business days; estimated)
- FedEx Ground (1-5 business days depending on location; estimated).
- Charges apply if you choose any of the following expedited FedEx Domestic shipping options:
- FedEx Priority Overnight (10:30am next business day for most locations; guaranteed)
- FedEx Standard Overnight (3:30pm next business day; guaranteed)
- FedEx 2Day (2 business days; guaranteed)
- FedEx Saver 3Day (3 business days; guaranteed)
You will see the cost and estimated delivery times displayed in the shopping cart for the options available for your order. Please add production time (5 business days) for classic custom temporary tattoos or in-stock fulfillment (2 business days) to shipping time to determine your estimated delivery date What are the International shipping times for the options offered?The options include:
- FedEx International Priority Express (2-5 business days; guaranteed)
- USPS Express Mail International (3-5 business days; estimated)
- FedEx International Economy Express (3-6 business days; guaranteed)
- FedEx International Ground (4-7 business days; Canada only; guaranteed)
- USPS Priority Mail International (6-10 business days; estimated)
- USPS First Class International (7-21 business days; estimated)
You will see the cost displayed in the shopping cart for the options available for your order. Please add production time (5 business days) for custom temporary tattoos or fulfillment for in-stock temporary tattoos (2 business days) to shipping time to determine your estimated delivery date.Will my order be tracked?Yes! All FedEx shipping options include Domestic & International delivery tracking. All USPS Domestic shipments are tracked. All USPS International shipping options (with the exceptions of First Class International Mail and Priority Mail International Small Flat Rate Box) are tracked until they leave the US.Are the delivery times guaranteed by FedEx & the USPS (United States Postal Service)?
- All FedEx shipping services have delivery time guarantees except for FedEx Ground Service.
- USPS First Class Mail & Priority Mail services, domestic or international, have no delivery time guarantees.
- USPS Express Mail has guaranteed delivery time on all domestic shipments.
- USPS Express Mail International delivery time is guaranteed only to certain countries (Australia, China, France, Great Britain & Northern Ireland, Hong Kong, Japan, Republic of Korea , Singapore and Spain).
Safety / Compliance
Are TemporaryTattoos.com tattoos and other products safe? You bet! All temporary tattoos exceed US, Canadian & European Union safety standards. Color additives have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as cosmetics. This means the FDA has determined they are safe for “direct dermal contact”. All TemporaryTattoos.com tattoos are manufactured in the United States. Every product package and individual temporary tattoo contains ingredient information as required by the FDA. Further, the reverse side of every individual tattoo has a link to a website where any concerns about safety can be reported by the consumer with the product number. Safety testing documentation is available upon request. Is TemporaryTattoos.com compliant with social accountability requirements? Yes! Many systems and processes are in place to support social accountability requirements including those in national, state and local laws. TemporaryTattoos.com complies or exceeds all social audit and good manufacturing practice audits. These include provisions regarding: child labor, forced and compulsory labor, health and safety, freedom of association and right to collective bargaining, discrimination, disciplinary practices, working hours, remuneration and management systems.
What does a G-7 Master Print Qualification mean? G7 is a specification defined by the Print Colorimetrics Working Group of IDEAlliance, a nonprofit association that identifies best practices for efficient end-to-end digital media workflows — from content creation through distribution. Qualification begins with a complete survey of the production process, including press, plating and proofing.
Temporary tattoos that you can customize are a fun way to amp up any corporate or personal event. Temporary tattoos can do more than just make you look cool, temporary tattoos can adhere to smooth surfaces like glass or wood, making them a perfect and ultra-modern decorating tool. Stand out at summer music festivals, decorate your wedding, or throw the most memorable birthday party ever. All of our tattoos are waterproof and totally customizable!
Make your custom temporary tattoos a staple at your next social gathering or corporate event. StickerYou uses quality tattoo ink to make sure all your logos and designs are bright and bold on any complexion. You can also get temporary tattoos of phone numbers or contact info, ensuring kids on field trips or party guests at your bachelorette never get lost!
At StickerYou we believe “more is more” and we want you to get the most out of your customized temporary tattoos. StickerYou’s specialty temporary tattoos let you make it stick in metallics, glitter, glow in the dark, and even premium with white ink. Want only part of your temporary tattoo to shine? No problem! StickerYou lets you totally customize your specialty tattoos; chose from flood, spot, pattern, even gradients for your metallic specialty temporary tattoos. With metallic, glitter, and glow in the dark specialty tattoos, you’ll be sure to stand out at any event!
Q: Why should I buy my custom temporary tattoos from StickerYou instead of making my own at home?
A: There are a few reasons we don’t recommend you make your own temporary tattoos at home .The ink your printer takes at home may not be the best quality or the right type to create temporary tattoos, so colours and lines may not be reproduced accurately. Custom fake tattoos also need to be printed on custom temporary tattoo transfer paper, which not all printers are calibrated to print on which could result in some serious splotchy temporary tattoos. Printers, inks, and special tattoo paper can add up quick, so getting high quality custom temporary tattoos from StickerYou is more cost effective in the long run. Our online image editor also makes it super easy to create gradients and design your own temporary tattoo the way you want to – no extra graphic design courses needed!
Q: I want personalized temporary tattoos for my niece’s birthday party, but are they safe to apply on children?
A: Yes for sure! Our custom temporary tattoos are printed with non-toxic inks making them fun and safe for both kids’ and parties.
Q: I customized a bunch of temporary tattoos, now what am I going to do with them all?
A: Temporary tattoos that you can customize yourself can serve many purposes in a contemporary society. We don’t have the science to back it up, but we’re 99.9% certain that temporary tattoos liven up every party. They also make for super cool and effective handouts for businesses. You can also personalize temporary tattoos with things like phone numbers or addresses to keep groups of kids safe on class field trips or squads of bridesmaids at bachelorette parties. High quality temporary tattoos are also finding themselves being used in the craft world as they can be applied to glass to create interesting votives, centrepieces, or home and party decor!
Q: How long are my high quality temporary tattoos going to last when I apply them?
A: Our high quality temporary tattoo ink can last on skin for a week, or longer, depending on how you take care of them.
Q: Are my custom tattoos going to take a long time to apply?
A: If you have a spare 10-15 seconds you have enough time to apply a temporary tattoo!
Q: Before I cover my body in my custom temporary tattoos how easy are they remove?
A: Very easy. Temporary tattoos can be removed immediately with a cotton swab dipped in baby oil or rubbing alcohol. They’ll eventually come off with soap and water.
Q: Are temporary tattoos easy to customize?
A: With StickerYou’s award-winning temporary tattoo maker we’ve made customizing your own high quality temporary tattoos super easy. You can have multiple custom tattoos on a single page and easily add text, create gradients, even chose different colours for different parts of your tattoo. If you need some inspiration, we even have huge database of images you can fully customize to design your own temporary tattoo!
Q: What makes temporary tattoo printing through StickerYou more affordable then if I ordered through an Australian print shop?
A: Some local print-shops may offer sticker printing however every step is manual (from design, file preparation, printing, cutting and laminating. StickerYou has developed proprietary system for managing the custom logo sticker printing process which automates all the steps. We then group all Australian orders together and ship them to our Australian distribution centre which forwards your packages locally. This ensures faster and more cost-effective shipping to Australia without individual duties or taxes.
For people who want to join this online tattoo party but aren’t as ready as I have been to lend a body part to a stranger with a needle, a sneaky alternative has gained momentum online: semipermanent tattoos. These temporary options use hennalike inks to stain the top layer of skin for about a week, which is just long enough to take a few good photos and maybe scare your parents. These tattoos are a reversible approach to an otherwise permanent decision, which makes them an easy fit for the ways young people perform, contort, and reimagine their appearance online.
In the past 30 years, tattoos have shown remarkable class mobility. What was once the province of roughnecks, ex-cons, and manual laborers is now de rigueur among creative directors at fashionable digital-advertising agencies in expensive coastal cities. That’s not to say that every young person has tattoos, or that everyone likes them; a well-hidden one is still verboten in some religious traditions and a gamble with plenty of families. But compared with even a generation ago, being tattooed just isn’t a very big deal.
Much of that cultural change can be attributed to relaxing appearance norms in all parts of American life. But in the past half decade, many people in the industry credit Instagram with both increasing the visibility of tattoos and helping broaden people’s understanding of who might have one in the first place. The platform’s primarily female user base and aesthetically pleasing reputation have allowed artists with different backgrounds and styles to flourish. More people now see how a tattoo might fit into their personal style: If you want something delicate or nontraditional, or if you’re dark-skinned and want to see how particular designs might look on you, the right tattoo is relatively easy to find.
Read: Why are more women than men on Instagram?
This widening appeal encourages exactly the curiosity that temporary tattoos are primed to meet. Tyler Handley, the co-founder and CEO of Inkbox, the buzziest maker of semipermanent tattoos, says that this new wave of week-or-so tattoos is made for the “tattoo-curious”—people who want to decide how they feel about seeing a rose or nautical star on their forearm every day, or those who aren’t in the market for permanent ink at all. Some people use Inkbox tattoos in situations where an actual tattoo might be a bit extreme, Handley says: “There are people who use it as an updated friendship bracelet. Maybe they’re all going to a music festival and they all get a matching diamond or star as a fun way to mark themselves as a group.” Teenagers might not be old enough to buy a real tattoo, but they still have an urge to flex for Instagram.
Like a throwback to the 50-cent temporary tattoos that kids once cranked out of, yes, gumball machines, Inkbox’s designs come on a sheet of paper. You peel a film, choose a body spot, wet it, press hard, and wait. Handley says that Inkbox developed a signature ink from a tropical-fruit extract. The company’s online store now offers more than 4,000 designs, plus options for customization. Next week, Inkbox will launch a second version of its tattoos that, according to Handley, will allow for more detailed designs, including collaborations with big-name tattoo artists. Ephemeral Tattoos, a semipermanent tattoo company that hasn’t yet launched, promises that its tattoos will be applied by artists themselves and last three months.