A statement of style and a means of self-expression, tattoos are less taboo today than they were a few years ago.
However, while we’re admiring everything from minimalist, fine-line tattoos to ones of our favourite characters (think: the Pokémon, Eevee, that’s tattooed on Ariana Grande’s left arm), not all of us can commit to having a design inked permanently onto our skin.
The great news is that you don’t have to choose between permanent tattoos or none at all, because temporary tattoos let you show off beautiful “inked” designs on your skin, without needing to commit to it for life.
Some of these tattoos are surprisingly similar to actual tattoos. Wear them side by side and you might not even notice a difference. So, if you’ve never dared to before, then now’s the time to finally get “inked” with these top temporary tattoo alternatives in Malaysia!
Think of temporary “tattoos” and henna is likely one of the first that comes to mind. Henna is a plant-based dye, made from the leaves of henna trees, also known as the Egyptian privet, and mignonette trees.
These leaves contain pigments that give henna its natural brown, or reddish-orange colour.
When applied to the skin, the henna dye will naturally stain or colour the skin, which is why henna can be used to create beautiful, intricate designs on the body.
These designs last for about one week before they start to fade, or two weeks before they fade completely.
She had no requests, she just let me totally freestyle this henna piece for her! ???
Traditionally, henna is drawn on the palms, back of the hands, or feet using a henna cone, and with common design motifs such as Sahasrara (a lotus-like symbol), flowers, and Paisley (a mango-shaped pattern).
The longer you leave the henna on to dry, the darker your “tattoos” will turn out, so you can let the henna sit on your skin for a longer time for a deeper, brown shade.
Get Maharani Fresh Henna for RM1.90 each on Shopee.
Another natural dye, but one that’s made from fruits instead of leaves, Jagua ink offers a temporary tattoo alternative that we think is highly realistic and very similar to a permanent tattoo.
Often confused with henna, Jagua ink is an organic fruit-based dye that’s made from the Jagua fruit, also known as the Genipa Americana.
The Jagua ink naturally deposits a blue-black pigment onto the skin that’ll first appear as a very light stain. The stain will then gradually develop over one or two days, darkening to a tattoo-blue that will last from one to three weeks!
Where to get Jagua tattoos?
The Henna Lab is one temporary tattoo studio that does henna and Jagua tattoos for its clients. It’s based in Taman Melawati, Malaysia, and you can book your appointments with Morika, the temporary tattoo artist and founder of The Henna Lab, via an online booking form.
Besides getting inked by a Jagua tattoo artist, you can also get Jagua tattoo ink from online stores to create hand-drawn designs on your own. The Henna Lab also sells Jagua tattoo ink on its Shopee store, with each Jagua tattoo ink cone priced at RM30.
You can also get bundles like the Jagua tattoo + Henna cone (10 grams per cone) for RM30, or the Jagua Kit, which includes a Jagua cone and six stencils for those who need a little help to create their temporary tattoo designs on their skin.
Jagua tattoo stickers are another way that you can get “tattooed” with Jagua ink. The stickers allow you to transfer already-finished designs onto your skin with just water.
Inkperfect.co retails Jagua sticker tattoos that last up to 14 days on your skin; the effect is the same as hand-drawn Jagua tattoos too, as it darkens on your skin to form a rich blue stain.
Shop Inkperfect.co Jagua sticker tattoos for RM19 to RM25.44 on their website. Shipping is calculated at checkout.
Inkbox is a brand that sells semi-permanent tattoo stickers, kits, and markers that leave a life-like tattoo stain on your skin for up to one to two weeks.
The temporary tattoos use the brand’s proprietary For Now Ink™, which includes ingredients like Genipa Plant Extract.
Inkbox tattoos, similar to ones that are created with Jaguar ink, appear light on the skin at first, then gradually darken over 24 to 36 hours as it reacts with the collagen and proteins in the skin.
The result is a blue or black stain – one that sits in the skin’s epidermis and gets gradually washed away as your skin exfoliates. This temporary tattoo alternative also mimics a permanent tattoo closely – you might not even be able to tell the difference!
Inkbox’s semi-permanent tattoo stickers come in so many different designs, and even in collaboration with different artists like Rupi Kaur, My Chemical Romance, and Gorillaz.
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All you have to do is prep your skin with a primer wipe before placing the tattoo onto your skin (sticky side down). After you’ve left the sticker on for an hour, you can remove the applicator, and the temporary tattoo will begin to develop on your skin.
Alternatively, Inkbox’s Artist Kit and Freehand Tattoo Marker let you take the reins when it comes to your temporary tattoo design – for those who are looking to make their mark, in their own unique way!
Adhesive tattoos are the ones that many of us had fun with when we were younger. They’re the temporary tattoos that you also often receive in party bags or with gift boxes!
Most of us already know how these tattoos are worn, which is by putting the applicator tattoo-side-down on the skin, wetting the applicator and letting it sit for a while, before peeling it off.
If you thought that adhesive tattoos were just for children, think again, because TikTokers are wearing them stylishly all over their bodies.
There are so many gorgeous adhesive tattoos available online too, with designs ranging from minimalistic and elegant, to bold and badass.
There are literally hundreds of temporary tattoo designs that you can find on Amazon.
And, if you can’t decide where they might look good on your body, why not get your inspiration from celebrities like Bae Suzy, Ariana Grande, and Megan Fox who all don stunning (albeit, permanent) tattoos.
Korean-style colourful temporary tattoo stickers
These temporary tattoo stickers have the most adorable designs and use pretty pastel colours too, which is quite unique for adhesive tattoos. Wear a cute giraffes or rocket and planets on your skin to immediately spruce up your style.
Shop Korean-style colourful temporary tattoo stickers for RM9.99 instead of RM15 on Shopee.
Cute minimalist tattoo stickers
Less is more with these minimalist temporary tattoo stickers, which boast designs from small smiley faces to beautiful butterflies. You can easily apply them to your wrist, on the back of your hand, or your neck, for a subtle but elegant statement.
Shop cute minimalist tattoo stickers for RM4.99 instead of RM10 on Shopee.
Japanese-style Ukiyo-e Armband temporary tattoo stickers
If you’re looking for a temporary tattoo that’s more realistic, then go for these Japanese-style temporary tattoo stickers. They’re designed to be worn around your forearm, and use common Japanese motifs like flowers and waves. A mini version of a tattoo sleeve, these adhesive tattoo stickers are a great way to make you feel a tad more #badass.
Shop Japanese-style Ukiyo-e Armband temporary tattoo stickers for RM19.95 instead of RM21 on Shopee.
Airbrush tattoos, too, can look similar to the real thing, though they last for only about two to seven days.
These are temporary tattoos that are, as their name suggests, airbrushed onto the skin, over a stencil. Since the ink is sprayed onto the skin, airbrushed tattoos can boast a unique graffiti effect, allow for gradient effects, and give a particularly rebellious vibe.
Dragonfly Tattoo Malaysia is a tattoo and piercing shop that does airbrush tattoos in addition to the permanent tattoo services that it offers.
Airbrushed tattoos are priced starting from RM15, and customised designs cost starting from RM80.
While airbrush tattoos usually last from two to seven days, their lifespan can depend on factors like skin type, the position of the tattoo, and how you care for it after.
Book an appointment at Dragonfly Tattoo Malaysia here.
Featured image credit: @thehennalab (left) on Instagram