How to Apply a Temporary Tattoo: Step-by-Step Instructions and Tips

Temporary tattoos are a fun, trendy way to experiment with body art. Unlike permanent tattoos, temporary tattoos offer the same aesthetics without the long-term commitment. The process of applying temporary tattoos is easy and straightforward when done correctly. In this article, we'll guide you through how to apply a temporary tattoo, including instructions and tips.

Types of Temporary Tattoos

Temporary tattoos come in various forms, including stickers, decals, water transfers, and henna tattoos. Each type has its unique set of application instructions. Stickers and decals come with adhesive backing, whereas water transfers need to be applied on wet skin. Henna tattoos use a paste made out of natural ingredients and require more time for the color to develop.

Preparing for Application

Before applying a temporary tattoo, it's essential to clean the skin. Using soap and water or alcohol wipes, clean the skin of the chosen location. This process removes dirt and oils that can prevent the tattoo from adhering to the skin. After cleaning, let the skin dry completely. Pick a flat surface area of skin where the tattoo should be placed. Curved areas of the body tend to make the tattoo look distorted. In addition, the tattoo should not be in an area with hair, as it may not stick to hair fibers properly.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Start by removing the clear protective cover on the tattoo.
  2. Place the tattoo face down on the skin and hold it there for around 20-30 seconds.
  3. Grab a wet cloth and place it over the tattoo. Press down and wet the back of the tattoo with water.
  4. Carefully peel off the paper backing, making sure the transfer has completely adhered to the skin.
  5. Rinse the area with water and gently pat it dry.

Repeat the process for additional temporary tattoos. Remember, temporary tattoos last several days, but they may start to fade after a few showers or pool dips.


Once the temporary tattoo is applied, it's essential to take care of it to ensure it lasts long. Avoid rubbing the tattoo or using soap directly on it while cleaning the area. Also, apply baby powder or talcum powder on the tattoo to protect it from rubbing against clothes. Avoid using any kind of oil or moisturizer on the tattoo as it may smudge it or shorten its lifespan.

Common Mistakes

Several common mistakes people make when applying temporary tattoos can lead to suboptimal results. These may include:

  • Not cleaning the skin before application, leading to lower adhesion.
  • Applying the tattoo on a curved surface or near hair, leading to a distorted look.
  • Not holding the tattoo down for enough time, leading to incomplete transfer.
  • Not wetting the tattoo enough, leading to lower adhesion and transfer quality.

Remember to avoid these mistakes and follow our guide to get the best results.


Temporary tattoos can be a fun and easy way to experiment with body art. Applying them is a fairly easy process and requires minimal effort when done correctly. Remember to clean the skin correctly, choose an appropriate location, follow our step-by-step guide, and take care of it properly for it to last long. We hope this guide helps you apply your temporary tattoos flawlessly.

Now that you know how to apply temporary tattoos, give them a try and share your experience with us.

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