Tattoo – What Type Should You Get?

By | December 31, 2013

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Tattoos are an ancient form of body art. They have been popular since the beginning of time. Ancient people wore them as a form of status or for some magical purpose. Today the reason are quite different for wearing a tattoo. It is not just sailors and bikers any longer. There are two main categories of tattoos, permanent and temporary. With beach-going season fast approaching, many people are thinking of getting a tattoo, as culturally tattoos are thought to make one look more attractive.

Permanent or Temporary?

Most people get a permanent tattoo because that is thought to be the coolest form. Permanent tattoos are meant to last for the life of your body. Such a step should be thought about long and hard because as you age and skin stretches, and most of the removal methods, done by physicians, are expensive and a little painful. The same goes for the more primitive form of tattooing known as scarification.

However, there are loads of choices in the temporary tattoo category. Rub-on tattoos for children can be found in most stores, especially around holidays when they promote holiday-themed ub-on tattoos. However, many temporary tattoo companies produce high-quality rub-on tattoos in classic tattoo “flash” designs good enough to please any tattoo loving adult. These types of tattoos are intended to last for a day or two and are meant to be worn to parties or special events or for special holidays.

Still as good as many are, the rub-ons are still not a substitute for the look of permanent ones. A close favorite with many people wanting a realistic tattoo, but not wanting it to be permanent are the airbrushed, paint-on and henna tattoos. There can be some problems with some kinds of henna, especially black henna as some people are allergic, but most companies now make hypo-allergenic forms of colored henna for use on people. Some tattoo artists have made henna-like tattooing materials from hair dye powder. Both real henna and similar henna hair dye versions are thick and are put on the skin with a special bottle and applicator designed for this purpose. Many of the henna tattoos will last for weeks, and look very real.

Black Henna Has Been Favored Type of Temporary Tattoo for Many Years

Black henna and good henna substitutes look very real and people who get them for a week at the beach are usually very pleased with this type of tattoo. Favorite styles for temporary beach vacations are usually the tribal armband designs, or barbed wire designs. Young males favor these styles in large percentages. Chinese letters are also great favorite with both sexes. Children have a wide range of favorites but for many years it was Sponge Bob and Scooby-Doo tattoos that topped the list on the beaches of the East Coast. Favorite locations on the body varied – upper arms for men was most common. Everyone has heard of the “tramp stamp” which is a lower back tattoo and favorite location women like to have tattoos placed both permanent and temporary.

Airbrushed tattoos, can be among the most realistic looking as well as the most colorful and can be jazzed up with things like glitter and rhinestones for the enjoyment especially of children. Though some tattoo artists say that the paint-ons look more really than the air-brushed ones. All have in common that a template of some type is used. Airbrushed tattoos are sprayed through a template or a stencil. For henna and paint-ons, you have to transfer a pre-designed ink pattern and then the colors are painted in. It is rather like paint by the numbers, and quality can vary with each artist.

One of the great things about temporary paint-on tattoos are if you have a flair with art, and want tattoos but not permanent ones, you can learn to put them on yourself, and change your tattoos out the same way you would make-up or clothes.

Tattooing is Part of the Family of Body Art

Body painting and face painting and tattooing are all branches of the same body art tree. Face painting as an art form has been delighting children for a long time. Many outdoor events, parties and other functions will often have present someone to do face painting. It is after all just a more elaborate form of make-up itself. For the person who has everything and likes being flamboyant, a temporary tattoo body painting of face painting kit might make a great gift. Most types of temporary tattoos can also go on the face, Though henna in all its forms is not recommended for use above the neckline. The reason for this according to professional henna tattoo artists is that skin pores above the neckline are large and can absorb more of the henna, increasing the possibility of an allergic reaction.

Oldest Tattoos on Record Were Egyptian Until Newest Find

One of the oldest existing examples of tattooing is on the fingers of the body of a man carbon-dated to be over 5,000 years old. Before his discovery the Egyptian mummies with tattoos were thought to be the oldest examples of tattoos in existence.

Today you can buy henna and other kinds of tattooing and face painting books at many bookstores as well as arts and crafts stores.

Temporary Tattoos Can Also Aid in a Decision About a Permanent Tattoo

It is always up to individual tastes as to what someone does to their own body, but doing things that are reversible is a good idea since it is human nature to change ones mind a lot. In any case, before you decide to have a tattoo, permanent or a whole trunk full of different types of temporary ones. Think about what you want and why, what designs appeal to you(there are millions). And even if permanent tattoos are your decision, have the design of your choice put on as a temporary for a few times, like trying on clothes, and then get it made permanent if you feel you will like it long term. You do not want to make a decision you will regret with permanent tattoos. And if you want more than one you really want to be sure of each one as you only have so much skin to devote to tattoos.

Some Additional References and Resources

  • The Mammoth Book of Tattoos by Lal Hardy
  • Mehndi – The Art of Henna Body Painting by Carine Fabius
  • Make Your Own Temporary Tattoo by Roy Zuckerman and Jean – Chris Miller
  • Body Art by Top Hat Publications

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