for tattooed people, and those who want to be

On again, off again ink (holiday gift suggestions part 5)


The last post about crystal tattoos got me to thinking about temporary tattoos in general.

Mehndi artTemporary tattoos have a long and glorious history. The art of mehndi has been practiced for thousands of years in India, adjacent countries and the Middle East. Henna paste is applied to the skin in elaborate patterns, allowed to dry, and then washed off, leaving stains on the skin which slowly fade over time. Creating original designs is a true art form, but nowadays we can apply our own henna designs with a bit of patience and a steady hand.

Other ancient people painted their skin with woad, red ochre, and other natural colors to make semi-permanent or truly temporary body art. While woad-it-yourself kits aren’t exactly a hot seller these days, you can buy body paint like TempTu (with or without patterns for tattoo designs) and paint yourself any color you like–at least to the capacity of the small jars in the kit. Amazon lists all kinds of interesting possibilities if you do a search with the term “body paint.”

When I was a kid, temporary tattoos were of the lick-and-stick comic-character variety. As you can imagine, the image quality produced by a thin sheet of tissue paper moistened with saliva and plastered on your arm was… um, not exactly stellar. Nowadays, we have a lot more choices. I knew that tattoos had finally made the mainstream when I discovered a store selling temporary tattoos right across from the ferris wheel in Disneyland California Adventure.

You can also buy software to design your own tattoos (and special paper to print your designs on). These seem mostly aimed at kids, but there’s nothing to say you can’t dump the Hot Wheels motifs and make your own.

Making a temporary tattoo is a great way to try out the size, color, and placement of ink you’re considering making permanent. I’m seriously considering having a bracelet done, and I want to make sure that’s what I really want before I take the plunge.

There’s still time to do a lot of exploring and a lot of painting!

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Author: infmom

I got my first tattoo when I was 46. I hope the people who read this blog don't have to wait that long. I love talking about body art.

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