How to make a temporary tattoo stay on longer

Written by gwen wark
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How to make a temporary tattoo stay on longer
Afraid of making a regrettable body art decision? Try a temporary tattoo. (Tattoo man with headache image by MAXFX from

Temporary tattoos are a fun way to explore body art and suitable for nearly all people. These tattoos allow you to enjoy a design for a few days before it begins to fade, leaving the skin unmarked. There are many different inks, dyes and techniques used to apply temporary tattoos, and aftercare is equally important if the tattoo is to last. Taking proper care of your temporary tattoo helps it to stay on longer.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • cornstarch, baby powder or cosmetic setting powder
  • soft powder dusting brush
  • cling film

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  1. 1

    Allow the tattoo to dry completely and fully after application. During this time, keep the tattoo free from contact with clothes, water, oil, lotions or moisturisers, since these prevent the ink from setting properly and cause smearing of the design. Do not touch a wet temporary tattoo.

  2. 2

    Dust the tattoo with cornstarch, baby powder or a commercial cosmetic setting powder after exposure to water or any kind of moisture such as lotions. Sprinkle the powder on to a wide setting brush and tap the brush against a hard surface to distribute it evenly in the bristles; then brush gently against the tattoo. Allow the powder to remain undisturbed for a few moments, then brush off.

  3. 3

    Protect the tattoo during exposure to water, including baths and showers. Place a piece of cling film over the area and secure with tape to create a waterproof bandage. Once finished, remove the wrap and dust with powder again to absorb any residual moisture and keep the design set.

  4. 4

    Avoid sleeping on the tattoo and protect the tattoo while you are asleep. Do not allow tight clothing to come into contact with the artwork, since this rubs the design off. Wear loose fitting clothing over the area to prevent friction from damaging the tattoo.

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