Painless, non-permanent tattoo options in Singapore
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Be it to commemorate a significant event, honour a person, or simply just decorate one's body, there are lots of reasons why people get tattoos. But one thing's a constant: getting inked will not only set you back a couple hundred, it's also a lifetime commitment. And it hurts.
That’s where painless temporary tattoos come in handy, because you’ll get a taste of what having ink on your body is like before you make a permanent decision. Here are tattoo alternatives available in Singapore that don’t involve needles:
1. Henna tattoos
Plant-based henna dye is traditionally used for special occasions among the Indian community, such as weddings and festive occasions. The roadside shops in Little India have henna tattoo services, just a 5-minute walk from the MRT.
Appearing orange at first, the henna stain will darken to a deep reddish brown over a few days. The longer the paste is left on the skin, the darker and longer lasting the stain will be - so don’t wash it off so quickly!
Depending on the design’s intricacy, simple ones can be as affordable as $5, and more complex ones, up to $25. If you’d like to try your hand at designing, the provision stores and small supermarkets along the rows of shophouses sell DIY henna cones for just $2.
2. Jagua tattoos
A mixture of jagua fruit juice and henna, Jagua henna stains blue-black, giving the illusion of a real tattoo.
Singaporean jagua artist See Min, known by her ig handle has been gaining a lot of popularity with her free-hand designs. She does both Henna (from $10) and Jagua (from $15) body art, and her linework is pretty amazing. While mythical and floral designs are her forte, she’s also skilled in doing portraits of people and animals. She gets fully booked fast, so be sure to make an way in advance.
3. Inkbox tattoos
Inkbox tattoos are applied using a transfer sheet like the ones in the annual NDP funpack, except they don’t peel away or rub off in the shower. With a lifespan of up to nearly 3 weeks, these have a similar appearance to Jagua tattoos with a blue-black colour.
has 2-week temporary tattoos that you can apply with a hot towel and , as well as kits that let you draw ($28) with a squeeze bottle. Do note that the tattoos appear almost invisible when first applied, but will darken with time. Here’s a video guide on how it works:
If you’re feeling adventurous in designing your own tattoo, but are afraid your hands aren’t stable enough to draw freehand, you can send in your designs to Inkbox, with 4 sizes to choose from. They’ll send a transfer kit version over to you so it’s really hassle free!
4. Adhesive tattoos
We all remember the classic adhesive tattoos which we used to apply on ourselves as kids using water. Well, these don’t have to be limited to kiddy designs!
For customised temporary tattoos with no minimum quantity per order, check out . Collate your designs into a PDF file and they’ll help you produce them within a day from $12!
is another site with a wide range of adhesive tattoos with 10 different themes, starting from $2.50 for single tattoos. Opt for something minimalistic and geometric, or go all out with something quirky like cartoon monsters and animals.
They also have metallic flash tattoos at $10 per sheet, which are perfect for beach days under the sun!
5. White henna
These gorgeous white henna tattoos aren’t the usual orange-brown variety, and stand out most prominently on tanned skin tones. More commonly used on brides, these tattoos will make you look like you have a thin lace veil applied to your skin. Popular designs include swirls with mandalas and flowers.
Like regular henna, white henna services can be found along Little India. But if you want to give it a go yourself, these cones are also available on for just $1.99.
6. Airbrush tattoos
Never a short queue for them at carnivals or music festivals, airbrush tattoos just look effortlessly cool with their seamless application. Sprayed on in many colours with the help of stencils, these can be done in mere minutes, and allow for beautiful gradients.
You can make an appointment with or for fast drying waterproof airbrush tattoos.
Lasting from 2 to 7 days, these tattoos start from around $10, with prices depending on size and complexity of design. While they’re less permanent than jagua, these temporary tattoos don’t have the crinkly texture that the adhesive ones do.
Express yourself with temporary body art
If you're the indecisive sort who can't deal with the lifelong commitment of permanent ink, or would prefer a pain-free experience of turning yourself into a human canvas, turn to these painless, temporary alternatives instead. Go ahead and test the waters with the countless designs you can pick, and experiment with different styles and patterns!