Temporary tattoos are removable designs which are intended to be applied to the body. Unlike real tattoos, when someone gets tired of a temporary version, he or she can simply wash it off. A temporary tattoo will also naturally wear away with time. There are a number of different types and styles of temporary tattoos, just as is the case with real ones.
Many people are familiar with the type of temporary design which comes in the form of an ink transfer. To apply the tattoo, the ink transfer is held against the skin while a moistened sponge is applied to the back to loosen the ink and encourage it to adhere to the skin. Often, the ink is mixed with a glue solution to encourage it to stay on the skin for up to one month. Some companies also make temporary designs which are designed someone like stickers or decals, operating on a similar principle with glue to adhere to the skin.
There is also a long tradition of temporary tattoos in many cultures, especially in the Middle East and India, where many women receive henna tattoos on special occasions such as weddings. In other parts of the world, vegetable dyes have been used to temporarily color the skin or make tattoos. In Western culture, face and body painting are also familiar forms of a temporary tattoo, designed to adorn the body for a brief period of time.
Other temporary designs are made with a stencil and an airbrush or paintbrush with specially designed inks. These tattoos can often look extremely realistic, as long as the designs are simple and blocky. Depending on the type of dye used, the tattoo may have considerable staying power. This temporary art is often used in film making to create tattoos for one of the characters.
There are all sorts of reasons to wear temporary tattoos. Commonly, many people get them for fun or celebrations. People who are considering real tattoos may get a temporary version of the desired design while they think about it, since living with the temporary version allows them to think about placement and whether or not they truly love the design.
Booklets of temporary tattoos can be found in some stores. People can also design their own at home, using materials around the house such as markers or by using a make-your-own kit. Professional applications of henna and vegetable dye are available at some tattoo parlors and specialty shops, and airbrushing is available through these sources as well.