11 Ways to Test Out a Tattoo Before Going Permanent

11 Ways to Test Out a Tattoo Before Going Permanent

back tattoo womanTattoos are a forever commitment, and because of that, many who want to get them do not. But there are ways to try on a tattoo without permanence -- including very real-looking temporary tattoos that can even be designed by you.

If you want to "test out" a tattoo before going under the needle, there are now far cooler options than simply rubbing on a temporary tattoo from the 50-cent vending machine. These are works of art, in various shapes, and include both virtual and real options for trying out how a tattoo looks on your body. Check out these ideas on how to test out a tattoo before you get the real deal.


Image via iStock.com/baytunc

  • Momentary Ink.


    Image via momentaryink.com

    With prices starting at $12, you can get a Momentary Ink temporary tattoo that is totally custom. Work with a tattoo artist online, check out their selections, or upload something you drew yourself.

  • PepperInk.


    Image via etsy.com

    Temporary tattoos have come a long way since tired tribal designs. This gorgeous magnolia flower is just $11 from PepperInk and you can wear it for a few days before it's no more. Sure it doesn't last nearly as long as forever tattoo, but it's really cool to see what your skin would look like with some ink. Rad.

  • Ink Hunter.


    Image via Michele Zipp/Ink Hunter

    I've become a bit obsessed with the free app Ink Hunter after trying it out and placing an intricate lotus design on my arm with my real tattoos surrounding it. It's free! Which is awesome and it takes a photo of you and puts on a tattoo that you either designed or you found in its selections. 

  • Henna Tattoo Tin.


    Image via target.com

    The Henna Tattoo Tin ($11.99, target.com) comes with 10 cool stencils and three henna ink pens, which seem really easy to use. Of course, you could also visit a henna artist for help with application. But if you want to try your hand at this at home, this kit has all you need to test out a tattoo.

    More from The Stir: Lady Tattoo Artists We Love: Amy Shapiro

  • Markers.


    Image via ©bymuratdeniz/iStock.com

    Many tattoo artist will freehand certain tattoos. One way to really test out a look on your body is to book an appointment with the tattoo artist you are considering for a trial tattoo. It may cost you if you are spending a significant amount of time, so check with your artist of choice how they would like to proceed. By their drawing on your skin a rough draft of what the tattoo would look like in marker, that could give you a really good idea of if you want to make an appointment for the real deal.

  • Tatt Dat App.


    Image via itunes/apple.com

    For $1.99, the app Tatt Dat App will take a photo of you and put a design of your liking on your skin. While this won't be there IRL, you can test out your tattoo on social media to see if you really want to commit.

  • Silhouette Temporary Tattoo Paper.


    Image via jet.com

    If you have something you designed, why not make your own temporary tattoo? All you need is Silhouette Temporary Tattoo Paper ($7, jet.com). Print it out and place on your body just like you would any temporary tattoo.

  • Inkbox.


    Image via inkbox.com

    A great new ink is available for pre-order and it's similar to henna but is a fruit-based organic black ink and lasts for about two weeks. Inkbox prices start at $19 and come with ink and applicator as well as a stencil -- they have many great designs to choose from. You could also use the ink to draw something of your own as well.

    More from The Stir: 16 Pretty Back of the Neck Tattoos That Have Us Obsessed (PHOTOS)

  • Tattly.


    Image via tattly.com

    This Tattly Sprig temporary tattoo design is just $5 and you can get it on your skin and wear it to see if it feels like it should be there forevermore. Tattly has some really great designs that transfer well to real tattoos, but they also have a custom department to make the temporary tattoo of your dreams for a major tryout.

  • Tattoo You.


    Image via Michele Zipp/Tattoo You

    Guess which tattoo isn't real. The one on my neck was done with Appdicted's Tattoo You free app. They do have a limited amount of designs for free, but you can get more for a fee. However, putting one on does give you the idea of how you would look with a tattoo in the spot you are considering. 

  • Black Flowers Tattoo Stockings.


    Image via etsy.com

    We cannot handle how real these tattoos look, but it's just an illusion in pantyhose. The Black Flowers Tattoo Stockings ($25, kellyatlarge/etsy.com) are just one of many different styles of stockings you can order and all are custom-made. Try out a leg tattoo and fool everyone into thinking you did the real thing.


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