“The look of a permanent tattoo, the lifespan of a temporary tattoo” – sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? A tattoo that looks 100% real but doesn’t require decades of commitment.
These are the words Momentary Ink, a new temporary tattoo company, boasts of their website. The service, which launched last Tuesday (November 3), delivers custom fake tattoos to your doorstep so you can try them out for a few days before taking the plunge and getting them inked for real (or no).
“I was interested in getting a tattoo…but I didn’t know what to do or where to do it on my body,” Jordan Denny, who founded Momentary Ink in January 2015, told MTV News in an email. . “There were just too many decisions to make right from the start. It’s funny, nothing else you’ll ever buy will commit you so much with so little testing. So as someone who wanted a tattoo but didn’t like the process, thought I would reinvent the way people get tattooed.”
Denny personally tried around 50 different combinations of paper, adhesive and sealants to find the perfect ingredients for the two-part “secret solution” mentioned in the image above. The first solution, blue in color, seals the ink onto your skin so it lasts longer than, say, the temporary tattoos you get in kids cereal boxes. The second solution, in pink color, removes the shine of the tattoo to make it look even more realistic.
“Each temporary tattoo leaves a shiny finish caused by the adhesive plastic remnants that are essential for transferring the tattoo from the paper to your skin,” Denny explained. “Our secret solution blends with the leftover shine to create an undetectable ‘second skin’ and produces the lived-in look we’re known for. When used with our sealant, it produces a one-of-a-kind tattoo. c is unique to Momentary Ink.”
You can easily see the difference in the before and after photos below.
As for the ordering process, it is quick and painless. All you need to do is upload an image of the tattoo you want to the website and select a size.
“If you don’t have a design yet, you can look for inspiration in our gallery or work one-on-one with our in-house tattoo artists,” Denny said. “Prices range from $15 to $21 by design by size, with huge discounts when you buy more than one, [because] we realize that most clients want to try their tattoo in two or three places.”
Denny kindly worked with MTV News to provide us with sample Momentary Ink tattoos for review. Four MTV News staffers — Taylor Trudon, Joe Lamour, Stacey Grant and Deepa Lakshmine (myself) – tried them on to see (1) if people believed they were real and (2) how people reacted to our new ink. Taylor got a rose, Stacey requested a colored fox, Joe submitted a design created by a Brooklyn-based illustrator Lauren Kolesinskas and I asked for a “This too shall pass” quote from the Momentary Ink gallery. Here’s what we thought:
The tattoo is a bit larger than something I would normally get in real life, but the shading was accurate and made the flower look very realistic. My only issue was that the perimeter of the tattoo seemed to peel and deteriorate quite quickly, making me wonder if I had used the sealant correctly or if it was just the quality. Other than that, the tattoo itself lasted over a week, which I think is more than enough time if you’re trying to figure out if this is something you’d actually want to ink on your skin in a way permed.
As for people’s reactions, my roommate definitely thought it was real on first sight, asking me, “WTF, is that it?” But the best reaction was to send my mom a picture of the tattoo. My mother has several tattoos – just like me – but her reaction was not what I expected. Although she is very pro-tattoo, I think she was disappointed that I got a tattoo without telling her first, when I assumed she would be really excited for me. Anyway, it was fun to prank him. Ultimately, Momentary Ink is a great option if you want to try a tattoo but maybe aren’t ready for the ~commitment~.
My tattoo is over a week old now, and it’s still going strong! There are some minor wear but I was careful when bathing in the shower. Personally, I think the quality is fantastic considering how real people assumed it was. Several people texted me asking about my tattoo, and many people on Facebook and Instagram were duped. Since some of these people have real tattoos on their bodies, I felt like it was a hit.
Overall reactions to my tattoo – plus, “OMG YOU HAVE A TATTOO?” — were positive. People thought it was beautiful. My mother was the only one who saw him in person. She was initially fooled, but then realized it was wrong. However, she is my mother, so she knows me very well. She knows I hate needles, and if I got a tattoo, it would never be as big as my fox.
I had been thinking for a long time about making my last tattoo a head in profile. I was planning to place it above my elbow on the back of my arm next month, but at the last moment before using my Momentary Ink tattoo, I decided to move it to my forearm, to see if I preferred to put it there.
Application for me was a little challenging – the heavy blacks and intricate design didn’t look too good on my skin, especially on the curved surface of an arm. It was also a bit wrinkled – although that could be human error – but I wouldn’t suggest trying your black tattoos on unless you have some help.
The best thing about this tattoo, however, is that wearing it on my forearm for three days definitely changed my opinion on the placement and made me want to change a few things about the design before giving it back permanent. I also continued to get compliments on social media and IRL, which made me more confident in my desire to get it (even though I would have gotten it anyway). To make someone understand what they want and what they don’t want, Momentary Ink is a great resource.
I loved my “tattoo”. The application process is a bit more involved than with your typical temporary tattoos, but it was worth it. I also have super sensitive skin and was afraid I would have a reaction to the “secret solution”. Luckily that wasn’t a problem and as the days went by I felt like the tattoo was sinking into my skin and looking even more realistic. (The photo above is from the first day I got it!)
Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, realized it wasn’t real. My parents visited me this weekend and were surprisingly cool with it. My mom even started telling me about all the tattoos she secretly wanted! They said I should have done it on my back, though. After more than 12 hours of spending time with them, I finally told them it was wrong, to which they replied, “I KNEW something was up! This is so unusual for you guys. ” But if I hadn’t said anything, they would certainly have continued to think it was real.
My friends believed it 100%. I posted a photo on my Facebook and over 70 likes later, the only people questioning its authenticity were my best friends who, like my parents, know that I’m not one to make impulsive decisions. Everyone who saw him in person – including a random stranger at the gym – asked me what he was saying. Hell, some of my friends STILL think it’s real, because I’m having way too much fun cheating on them. They’ll find out for themselves when they see me next weekend. *evil chuckle*