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5 alternative tattoos to try before you get your tattoo

Drawn On Feather (via Pinterest)

There is one thing that people always tell me about getting tattoos: That they want one, but they are too afraid to get one. There are many reasons: the pain, getting the look right, but for most people, it’s the permanency. But there are lots of ways to try out tattoos before you have to commit to it for life. Here are 5 ways you can try out a tattoo without actually getting a tattoo. 

  1. Draw it on – It sounds silly, I know, but it’s true, drawing it on every day may be a good way to not only perfect the look you want, but it will let you get used to it and allow you to figure out if you will like it after a few weeks, a few months, or however long you want to keep going until you feel ready to take that leap of permanency. One of my friend’s parents said that they had to draw it on for six months before the parents would help him pay for what was going to be a costly tattoo. Low and behold, four months in, he started to get second thoughts and settled on a design he was happier with. 

    2. Temporary Tattoos  – This also tackles two fears: the permanence and the pain. A temporary tattoo is a tattoo with temporary ink that will fade over time. These are great to see if you can handle the pain of the whole tattoo, especially with intricate tattoos, and it also gives you time to decide if you like the design or want to change. If something goes wrong, you can show the artist what you want changed before you make it permanent. The only drawback: you have to go through the same pain again to get the permanent one.

    Henna Tattoo (via Youtube)

    3. Henna Tattoos –  Henna is sacred to many cultures and a few religions, but it is also a nice way to try a tattoo out, or just to try something different. Henna just has to sit on your skin for a few hours to set, you avoid washing the area for a few weeks, and it dyes your skin either brown or white (depending on the type) in the pattern of your choosing. Like a temporary tattoo, but shorter lived, less colorful, and painless. Just make sure you get real henna, not the synthetic kind, and that you are not allergic, as both can result in scarring. 

    4. Temporary Tattoo Pages  – This one is what happens when you take my first suggestion, and cross it with a child’s temporary tattoo from a valentine. You order a print of your desired tattoos, apply it every time it washes away, and keep going until you decide it’s for you or not. You can get the pages from etsy.

    Foil Tattoos (via Pinterest)

    5. Foil Tattoos – These are all over the place right now, and luckily, most of the trendy tattoos that are popular right now have foil counterparts somewhere on the internet. Like an adult tattoo, you apply them and let them be until they wash off. Although more temporary than other options, it is popular, and it does look cool. 

Are you thinking about getting a tattoo? Will you try any of these tips? Let us know what you think in the comments!!


Collegian Blogger Sarah Ross can be reached online at or on Twitter at @HowSarahTweets. Read more of her content on AltLife or at under Music. Leave a comment!

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