A temporary tattoo is an image on the skin resembling a true tattoo, but is non-permanent. Temporary tattoos can be drawn, painted, or airbrushed, but most of the time these tattoos are transferred to the skin. Temporary tattoos of any kind are used for numerous purposes including self-expression, identification, and advertising. For example, actors who wish to add to their character's distinctiveness might take temporary tattoos painted on the skin by hand or using stencils as part of their cosmetic ritual.
Modern temporary transfer tattoos are made of ink and glue, and last much longer than older temporary tattoos. In this process, the tattoo is applied to the outer surface of the skin and remains until such time as the image fades away (typically after 3-5 days) or is removed.
While most temporary tattoos are created commercially for advertising or as novelty items, the process of creating has been adapted to the fine art of lithography as well.
Temporary tattoos usually consist of five main elements: the front of the sheet of paper, the back of the sheet of paper, ink, glue and a protective plastic sheet. The front of the sheet is covered with a special coating upon which the tattoo image is printed with special inks. A layer of glue is then applied on top of the image. A thin, transparent plastic sheet is placed over the front of the sheet to protect the image and glue layer. The back of the sheet is left untreated and has a list of ingredients and instructions printed on it.
Transfer temporary tattoos are usually applied by removing the plastic sheet, placing the image face down against the skin and moistening the backing by wetting it thoroughly. The backing can then be carefully removed, leaving the image in place.
Some temporary henna tattoos have been known up to last 6 months if one takes care of it properly, this is done with a special more permanent henna. If sunscreen is applied to the tattoo it will act as a shield from the sun, making it last longer.
Temporary Airbrush Tattoos have been in existence for many decades and are largely used in marketing, advertising and the entertainment industry. Because of the constant research and development of superior airbrush equipment and inks, airbrush tattoos today so closely resemble real tattoos that many people cannot tell the difference.
There is some discrepancy as to whether these semi-permanent tattoos are in fact "temporary tattoos" at all. In practice, semi-permanent tattoos have had mixed results, and caution would say that any tattoo performed by inserting pigment under the skin should be considered permanent.
Young children are decorating their bodies with temporary tattoos. (Originated from Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph)
Jan 16, 1995; COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. _ Matthew Waskewicz visited Snake's Tattoo Co. recently, and came out with coiled, snarling red dragons...