A statement of style and a means of self-expression, tattoos are less taboo today than they were a few years ago.
However, while we’re admiring everything from minimalist, fine-line tattoos to ones of our favourite characters (think: the Pokémon, Eevee, that’s tattooed on Ariana Grande’s left arm), not all of us can commit to having a design inked permanently onto our skin.
The great news is that you don’t have to choose between permanent tattoos or none at all, because temporary tattoos let you show off beautiful “inked” designs on your skin, without needing to commit to it for life.
Some of these tattoos are surprisingly similar to actual tattoos. Wear them side by side and you might not even notice a difference! So, if you’ve never dared to before, then now’s the time to finally get “inked” with these top temporary tattoo alternatives in Singapore!
Temporary tattoo alternatives in Singapore
Think of temporary “tattoos” and henna is likely one of the first that comes to mind. Henna is a plant-based dye, made from the leaves of henna trees, also known as the Egyptian privet, and mignonette trees.
These leaves contain pigments that give henna its natural brown, or reddish-orange colour.
When applied to the skin, the henna dye will naturally stain or colour the skin, which is why henna can be used to create beautiful, intricate designs on the body.
These designs last for about one week before they start to fade, or two weeks before they fade completely.
She had no requests, she just let me totally freestyle this henna piece for her! 💖💖💖
Traditionally, henna is drawn on the palms, back of the hands, or feet using a henna cone, and with common design motifs such as Sahasrara (a lotus-like symbol), flowers, and Paisley (a mango-shaped pattern).
The longer you leave the henna on to dry, the darker your “tattoos” will turn out, so you can let the henna sit on your skin for a longer time for a deeper, brown shade.
If you’re interested in getting a henna tattoo done, you can find many henna artists at Little India, with services priced starting at S$5. You can also buy henna cones from the roadside stores at Little India, or online on Shopee.
Get Maharani Fresh Henna for S$2 each on Shopee.
Another natural dye, but one that’s made from fruits instead of leaves, Jagua ink offers a temporary tattoo alternative that we think is highly realistic and very similar to a permanent tattoo.
Often confused with henna, Jagua ink is an organic fruit-based dye that’s made from the Jagua fruit, also known as the Genipa Americana.
The Jagua ink naturally deposits a blue-black pigment onto the skin that’ll first appear as a very light stain. The stain will then gradually develop over one or two days, darkening to a tattoo-blue that will last from one to three weeks!
Jagua tattoos were first introduced in Singapore by See Min, founder of Henndrawn, a Jagua tattoo studio. There are now several other Jagua tattoo artists on the island, who can ink (or should we say “juice”) stunning designs on your skin for you.
Besides getting inked by a Jagua tattoo artist, you can also get Jagua tattoo inks from online stores to create hand-drawn designs on your own.
Flö Jagua is a local brand that sells Jagua ink and ink tips so you can do freestyle designs easily, right at home. The Jagua Ink is sold at S$25 for a 15ml bottle, and S$45 for a 30ml bottle. You will also have to purchase steel or plastic tips for application.
Inkperfect.co is another that sells Jagua Ink, and its ink is sourced from the brand Fresh Jagua. Each bottle of Jagua Ink is priced at S$23 on Shopee, and many reviewers leave happy praises for the free gifts that often come with their purchases.
Jagua tattoo stickers are another way that you can get “tattooed” with Jagua ink. The stickers allow you to transfer already-finished designs onto your skin with just water.
Inkperfect.co retails Jagua sticker tattoos that last up to 14 days on your skin; the effect is the same as hand-drawn Jagua tattoos too, as it darkens on your skin to form a rich blue stain.
Shop Inkperfect.co Jagua sticker tattoos for S$5.90 to S$7.90 on their website. Non-trackable shipping is free, while trackable shipping costs S$3.50 for orders S$35 and below.
Inkbox is a brand that sells semi-permanent tattoo stickers, kits, and markers that leave a life-like tattoo stain on your skin for up to one to two weeks.
The temporary tattoos use the brand’s proprietary For Now Ink™, which includes ingredients like Genipa Plant Extract.
Inkbox tattoos, similar to ones that are created with Jaguar ink, appear light on the skin at first, then gradually darken over 24 to 36 hours as it reacts with the collagen and proteins in the skin.
The result is a blue or black stain – one that sits in the skin’s epidermis and gets gradually washed away as your skin exfoliates. This temporary tattoo alternative also mimics a permanent tattoo closely – you might not even be able to tell the difference!
Inkbox’s semi-permanent tattoo stickers come in so many different designs, and even in collaboration with different artists like Rupi Kaur, My Chemical Romance, and Gorillaz.
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All you have to do is prep your skin with a primer wipe before placing the tattoo onto your skin (sticky side down). After you’ve left the sticker on for an hour, you can remove the applicator, and the temporary tattoo will begin to develop on your skin.
Alternatively, Inkbox’s Artist Kit and Freehand Tattoo Marker let you take the reins when it comes to your temporary tattoo design – for those who are looking to make their mark, in their own unique way!
Adhesive tattoos are the ones that many of us had fun with when we were younger. They’re the temporary tattoos that you also often receive in party bags or with gift boxes!
Most of us already know how these tattoos are worn, which is by putting the applicator tattoo-side-down on the skin, wetting the applicator and letting it sit for a while, before peeling it off.
If you thought that adhesive tattoos were just for children, think again, because TikTokers are wearing them stylishly all over their bodies.
There are so many gorgeous adhesive tattoos available online too, with designs ranging from minimalistic and elegant, to bold and badass.
There are literally hundreds of temporary tattoo designs that you can find on Amazon.
And, if you can’t decide where they might look good on your body, why not get your inspiration from celebrities like Bae Suzy, Ariana Grande, and Megan Fox who all don stunning (albeit, permanent) tattoos.
DIVAWOO Realistic Temporary Tattoo
These temporary tattoos have minimalist wildflower designs and inspirational quotes, so it’s good vibes all around.
Get these temporary tattoos for S$20.97 on Amazon.
Yazhiji Temporary Tattoos
Instead of playing it safe with black or blue, why not bring a lovely splash of colour into the mix with Yazhiji’s temporary tattoos? They have watercolour designs, with colours gently bleeding into one another so that they look great on the skin.
Get these temporary tattoos for S$16.47 on Amazon.
Zomme 3D Flowers Temporary Tattoos
These ones come in large and small floral designs; apply the big ones to your back, torso, or upper arm for an elaborate “permanent” tattoo style.
Get these temporary tattoos for S$17.82 on Amazon.
EGMBGM Flower Temporary Tattoos
Just one or two small temporary tattoos on your inner wrist, ankle, or back of your neck are enough to effortlessly elevate your style. Since they’re micro and minimalist, your tattoos might feel almost like exciting, untold secrets on your body.
Get these temporary tattoos for S$16.70 on Amazon.
Glaryyears Black Temporary Tattoos
Designed to be worn on the chest, under the bust, and lower back, these temporary tattoos are the ideal accessories for when you hit the beach in your bikini this summer season.
Get these temporary tattoos for S$19.70 on Amazon.
Airbrush tattoos, too, can look similar to the real thing, though they last for only about two to seven days.
These are temporary tattoos that are, as their name suggests, airbrushed onto the skin, over a stencil. Since the ink is sprayed onto the skin, airbrushed tattoos can boast a unique graffiti effect, allow for gradient effects, and give a particularly rebellious vibe.
Alive Tattoo Studio in Singapore does airbrush tattoos (in addition to the permanent tattoo services that it offers) that are fast-drying, waterproof, and easily removed.
Airbrushed tattoos are priced starting from S$15, depending on the size of the tattoo, and the complexity of its design.
While airbrush tattoos usually last from two to seven days, their lifespan can depend on factors like skin type, the position of the tattoo, and how you care for it after.
Book an appointment at Alive Tattoo Studio here.
Featured image credit: @henn.drawn, @inkbox on Instagram