How to Make Temporary Tattoos Look Real

The whole point of getting a temporary tattoo is to add a fashion statement to your body without being attached to it for the rest of your life. Unfortunately, not all temporary tattoos look as real as you want them to, but there are some tricks of the trade that you can try to enhance the image. And some of them may surprise you.

The fact is that a real-looking temporary tattoo starts with a solid transfer. Applying the tattoo correctly is half the battle of making temporary or semi-permanent tattoos look and feel real. But doing a few things before and after the application process can really make your skin art shine. 

Let’s examine some ways you can make your temporary tattoo look more like the real thing.

Shave the Area Before Applying the Tattoo

Like any good artist, you’ll want to start with a blank canvas. Shaving the area where you’re applying the tattoo will do a couple of things.

  1. It will give you a nice, smooth surface (free of hair) for application.
  2. It allows maximum adhesion. The adhesive on the tattoo will have lots of smooth surface area for adherence.

Be sure to wipe your skin’s surface with rubbing alcohol after you shave the area. This will remove any oil and dust and help extend the life of the tattoo.

Apply Baby Powder

Baby powder is not just for bottoms; you can also use it to seal your tattoo. It will soak up excess moisture, ensuring that everything dries properly and stays attached to the skin.

Just fill your palm with enough baby powder to cover the tattoo, then coat the image completely. It shouldn't bleed or smear when you rub it into the design. Wipe away any powder that hasn't adhered to your skin.

Use a Translucent Powder

Translucent powder works much the same way as baby powder. In some cases, it may actually work a little better at making your temporary tattoo look realistic. That’s because it’s typically a colorless powder that is used to brighten colors (usually makeup), reduce shine, and absorb oil.

Add Finishing Spray or Hair Spray

You can usually find finishing spray at party supply stores, and it’s designed specifically for temporary tattoos. It will act as a seal, forming a cocoon around your image and protecting it.

Hair spray can also work the same way. With this layer of protection, your tattoo will look more real because it will stand up longer, especially after a shower or a dip in the pool.

Rub on Tea Gel or Essential Oils

One of the reasons Momentary Ink temporary tattoos always look so real is because we recommend using a tea gel at the end of the application process.

Tea gels (and other essential oils) are often recommended after you get a permanent tattoo. They can help make your temporary tattoo look real by fighting off bacteria or skin rashes.

If your skin negatively reacts to your tattoo, it will not look real, so using tea gel will help your ink look its best.

Also, if you use too much water while applying your tattoo and it begins to bubble after trying, tea tree oil or a tea tree oil salve may help.

Momentary Ink Temporary Tattoos

With each Momentary Ink temporary tattoo we sell, we provide you with a tea gel to rub in after it dries. This helps to enhance your image and make it last longer. We offer hundreds of designs to pick from or you can design your own. Custom tattoos are our specialty.

If you have any questions about other ways to make your tattoo stand out, feel free to contact us anytime.