3 Ways to Realistically Fake Tattoos

For years, I have wanted to cover my body in tattoos. Nothing dramatic or statement-worthy like a sleeve or large back tattoo, but I’ve always wanted to experiment with little symbols here and there on my body.

This YouTuber that I love - AdventuresOfJade - has beautiful tattoos, and I love that look. Medium sized tattoos in different places, almost like jewelry for your arms is how I think of it.

Check out her video on her tattoos in the link above!

Check out her video on her tattoos in the link above!

I also adore finger tattoos, neck tattoos, foot tattoos, I mean honestly I love them all quite a bit, and if I grew up in a different household I have no doubt that I would have dozens on my body already.

Cara’s lion finger tattoo is the first tattoo I found myself liking

Cara’s lion finger tattoo is the first tattoo I found myself liking

But, as the majority of people will be quick to tell you, there are serious things to think about that can deter you from getting a tattoo. The pain, the cost (a lot of people think tattoos are less expensive than they actually are), the fact that it’s permanent, how hard it is to get it removed (because, seriously, it’s not permanent), how much your parents probably don’t want you getting one, etc.

I would often think to myself that it’s a damn shame we spend so much money on getting old penises hard but we haven’t yet found a way to make a temporary tattoo that lasts for a year. I really don’t get it, but whatever, certain people have certain priorities and men in their 70s have a lot more money to spend on their penis than I, in my 20s, have to spend on fake tattoos.

Last year I did get my first tattoo (just a tiny one on the inside of my middle finger), and while I now want a dozen more, I’m currently using some tried and true methods I’ve discovered to make temporary tattoos last a lot longer. I’ll start with the basic trick we all know…

1. Sharpie (with a twist)

Who hasn’t given themselves a fake tattoo with Sharpie? My friend Nicole used to give me banger tattoos back in college with a fine point Sharpie, one of my favorites in cursive down below.

Those aren’t boogers in my nose it’s just the lighting or maybe they are boogers either way don’t look at it look at my hand

Those aren’t boogers in my nose it’s just the lighting or maybe they are boogers either way don’t look at it look at my hand

The problem with Sharpie tattoos is that you put them on before a night out, and then you rub your hand against a drink with condensation on the outside, you dance and sweat, a drink is spilled on you, and half your tattoo comes off and everyone at the bar laughs at you and says “you’re a fraud who’s trying to look cooler than they are I know you were a virgin in high school!” and 100% that will honestly happen to you every time.

So you definitely want to avoid that scenario.

So Sharpie yourself (or enlist a Nicole-like friend to do so) and then hairspray the tattoo with some extra strong hold tattoo. It will go from lasting you a few hours to a solid 48, which is like a 600% increase (I’m bad at math so that’s an estimate).

2. Tattify

Tattify is basically a more bougie version of those place and peel tattoos that we used to all cover ourselves with at a friend’s party, the YMCA, the boardwalk, you name it. They’re great to use because we already know how to do this - remove the plastic, place on your skin, wet, wait, and reveal.

If you can’t make a good tattoo out of the Sharpie option because you’e creatively stunted, or they all come out horribly, Tattify can help you with their wide variety of tattoos to pick from. Colored, black and white, quotes, animals, if you search it - odds are Tattify has made it as a tattoo.

While these are better quality than a typical stick-on tattoo from a carnival - they’re not better by much. They’ll last for a few days if you’re careful, but because they don’t last for a solid 4-5 days (like they say) I suggest filling up your cart and waiting for a good sale (they have them often) before buying!

3. Inkbox

I’m saving the best for last here with my favorite of all time - Inkbox! We’ve covered ‘tattoos’ that last 24 hours, 36 hours, but Inkbox lasts for up to two weeks which knocks it out of the park.

Similar to Tattify, they have an option to ship pre-made tattoos to your door, where you can apply them yourself. They also have (my favorite option) freehand ink that is the Sharpie method, only 10 times better.

You can draw any design on yourself, wait an hour, and then wash in the ink off. It will look like nothing is on your body by the time you’re done washing it off, but over the next 24 hours it shows up again on your skin and then lasts for a week or two. Honestly - I love it.

I also think this is great for temporary events. Going to a bachelorette party? Tattoo “Irene’s Bitch #3” on your arm. Want to make a prank video? Tat yourself before you go home for Christmas and show your parents. Honestly, the options are endless.


So there you have it! I’m not nearly close to qualified to write a blog post about getting tattoos, so this post is for the fellow readers that also grew up Catholic, and have to fake most of their ink. And if you know of any more companies with great faux tattoos, let me know! I’m always in the market for more options.