So, what exactly is a temporary tattoo? In our industry, we think that, to qualify as a a temporary tattoo, the tat has to last a minimum of one week — otherwise it's a transfer or a temp tat, which comes off with baby oil or soap and water.
If one is able to rub off a temporary tattoo, shouldn't that be called something else, like a "drawing" or "painting on the skin," the way airbrushing works? I know I'm being picky, but let's call a temporary tattoo a temporary tattoo — and everything else something else!
Could it be that all these other art forms (which amount to a variation on a temp tat) are merely jumping on the bandwagon, renaming themselves something they're not, just because real, honest-to-goodness temporary tattoos are so popular? In fact, when henna temporary tattoos became recognized as the temporary tattoo to end all temporary tattoos, that term started being used as a de facto way to describe all the other ways one can adorn oneself with a temp tat. So, aren't these other temporary tattoos being dishonest? I'd like to put Mr. Airbrush on trial and see if he holds up!
And I won't name names, but what about those lick-and-peel deals that dare to call themselves temp tats? I mean, come on. Anything that a 5-year-old would consider a temporary tattoo just isn't mature enough to be termed a true temporary tattoo. Call me a purist.
And now comes jagua, another bona fide temp tat, which passes the real temporary tattoo stress test with flying colors. Now that I think of it, I'm going to add that, not only does it need to last one week or more to qualify as a temporary tattoo, it should also be natural (I know, I know, I'm upping the ante). By "natural" I mean it should be made with a plant or fruit dye. Yes, it is body ink, which sounds manmade in a lab, but isn't; and ink, as long as it isn't inserted under the skin, is a temporary substance. As far as we know, henna and jagua are the only known natural sources of ink that stain the skin for a period of one to two weeks, and then disappear completely.
Now, you might ask, what about those "semi-permanent" tattoos that occasionally call themselves temporary tattoos (when they can get away with it)? I have a real problem with them too! Not only do you get to experience the pain of a permanent tattoo application when these supposed temp tats are applied — they are created with a bona fide tattoo gun — the evidence that they actually do disappear after a few years is iffy at best. Let's refer to a permanent tattoo as a permanent tattoo — it's certainly not temporary! — and call it a day. If you're up for the also-painful experience of laser tattoo removal, this could conceivably have your "semi-permanent" (a/k/a "not-so-temporary" tattoo) fall into the category of a real temp tat; but let's face it, that's a stretch.
I rest my case, your honor.
Representing Attorney for the woefully copied Temporary Tat,
Black Jagua Tattoo Photos »