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Temporary tattoos in the self-test – the result is surprising

Temporary tattoos? At first glance, this sounds like the colorful adhesive motifs that you thought were so great when you were a kid. But the adult version looks much more real – and also lasts much longer. Tikbow editor Katharina Kunath did the test and is surprised by the results.

My body is decorated with a total of ten tattoos – actually. Since a few days there are three more. A dragon is on my right ribcage, one of my fingers is adorned with a half moon and on my right arm you can also read the Italian word for love. Beautiful motifs – but they will disappear in the coming days: Because they are temporary tattoos that I test for Tikbow, so no advertising, everything is self-paid.

What are temporary tattoos?

Temporäre tattoos are experiencing a boom right now. Unlike adhesive tattoos, which are simply applied to the skin and wash off after a few days, these tattoos are supposed to look deceptively real and last longer. Depending on the part of the body, the water- and sweat-proof body jewelry can remain beautiful for up to two weeks, according to the promise. How does it work? The forerunner on the market, for example, works with a natural dye that accumulates in the epidermis. Since the epidermis renews itself approximately every four weeks, the color deposits slowly fade.

But not only the durability is longer than with conventional adhesive tattoos, also the motifs are much cooler than you might think at the word “stick-on tattoo”. Interested parties can choose from hundreds of different motifs, including limited editions that have been created in collaboration with well-known tattoo artists or illustrators.

The application is simple, but makes me skeptical

I chose a total of three different motifs that I want to test on different parts of my body: a tiny finger tattoo (7 euros), a somewhat larger font for the back of my upper arm (9 euros) and a dragon (15 euros) that I want to stick on my ribs. So I can test how fast the tattoos wear off in different places.

The application is anything but difficult: First you überlegt where you want to have the tattoo, clear. The skin area is cleaned with a supplied cleaning cloth of übererschüssigen Hautschüppchen and – fat. The tattoo is then applied. The foil must now remain on the skin for 60 minutes so that the ink can be absorbed. Sounds simple, but when I was doing the tattoos, I immediately encountered difficulties. Applied to my ribcage, the foil immediately wrinkles – and is anything but comfortable. I wonder if the dragon will turn out to be anything at all. The other two motifs are much easier to handle, once applied, I spüre the film in the next hour no longer.

Temporary tattoos
The tattoos are simply glued to the skin – then it’s time to wait…

Directly after application, the temporary tattoos are not yet recognizable as such.

After waiting 60 minutes, I carefully pull off the films. The half-moon on my finger is immediately black. The lettering, on the other hand, is still lightürkis, but this is supposed to be normal. Within the next 24-36 hours, the motif should darken and look like a real painting. And the dragon? That one surprised me the most, because despite the unattractive wrinkling of the film, the motif turned out great – but is also (still) türkis.

Temporary tattoos
Partly still a bit very bright: The temporary tattoos in the first three days.

Only from day 3 the temporary tattoos look really good.

The first two days are spent waiting. The dragon and lettering take their time to darken. Only from day three are both motifs so dark that they can pass for murals. But the wait was worth it! Because now they look at first sight so täuschend real that friends ask me about my new tattoos. Of course, if you would look at the motifs very close or drive over the skin, you would notice that it can never be a freshly stung tattoo: The typical elevations of the lines are missing. But also the pain that a real tattoo brings in the first few days.

From day 6 the finger tattoo starts to fade.

Three days it took until all tattoos "have developed". On day six, the finger tattoo slowly begins to lose color, but still looks very real. Just like a tattoo that is already two or three years old. In fact, I like the look so much better than at the beginning. The other two tattoos are still quite dark. On my skin, the tattoo color looks more bläulich than jet black. But that is normal according to the manufacturer.

Temporary tattoos
While the finger tattoo has already lost a lot of color, the other two tattoos are still dark.Photo: Tikbow

On the 9th day one of the temporary tattoos is almost gone.

Multiple hand washing has led to the fact that the originally so dark finger tattoo has faded significantly. Like a real Tätowierung it no longer looks – more like a stamp impression. The two other motifs, on the other hand, look really realistic by now: The color is rich, the shape well recognizable. Other friends, to whom I show the lettering on the arm and the dragon, think I’ve been spontaneously tätowed.

Day 12: Two of the tattoos are still visible

On day 12, nothing is recognizable anymore of the crescent moon on my finger. Simply gone – as if wäre never been there. Thus, the small tattoo has held the shortest, but is in the promised time frame of one to two weeks visibility. The two temporary designs on the ribs and upper arm, on the other hand, continue to look very good. They are not quite as dark as they were a few days ago, but they are neither smudged nor too faded. I’m curious to see how long it will take for them to disappear.

Day 22: That’s it!

Ten days later, the lettering on the upper arm has also disappeared. The dragon on the ribcage consists only of a few small spots, which will probably disappear in the coming days. Too bad actually!

My conclusion: Temporäre tattoos are better than I thought

On the whole, I am convinced of the result. The temporary tattoos last well, the motifs are beautiful and the application is easy. As a tattooed person I have to say: The motifs look damn real – even in direct comparison with real tattoos. Even tätowed friends I could trick with it several times.

In the meantime, I have fallen in love with the dragon motif so much that I want to get it tattooed right away. The finger tattoo, on the other hand, has shown me that tattoos on the hands are out of the question for me. A very helpful realization. In fact, I had already played with the thought of a real tattoo on my finger! I can therefore really recommend the temporary tattoos to anyone who is still unsure about the perfect place or the motif itself. Whether already tätowiert or complete novice.

The biggest catch is definitely the price.

Of course, I can not judge whether the tattoos on all skin types hold as well as with me. Also a pity: There are no really large motifs. So if you want to try out how a backpiece or sleeve would look like, you have to order a lot of individual motifs. Which brings us to – in my opinion – the only really big drawback, the price. The motifs cost between 8 and 20 euros per piece. If you want to experiment a lot, you’ll quickly lose quite a bit of money. On the other hand, this is of course not comparable to the price of a real tattoo or having it removed if you make the wrong decision.