Lilian Min
October 27, 2015 6:00 am

Even for those of us who’ve committed to a tattoo (or several) before, the process of deciding on a design is oftentimes a prolonged ordeal — Should I put it here? Or maybe here? Do I want it in black and white or will I take the plunge and go for colors? How will those colors look on my skin tone? Should I go bigger or smaller? Wait, is this design *actually* a good idea? SO. MANY. DECISIONS.

There’s something to be said about getting a spontaneous tattoo, but as the practice become more and more accessible, affordable, and accepted, there’s clearly a desire for people to both partake in temporary body ink (just look at the rise of flash tattoos), as well as to “test drive” designs prior to putting things down permanently (as tattoo removal is oftentimes more costly and painful than getting them in the first place).

Enter: Momentary Ink. Founded by Jordan and Lindsay, a couple who wanted to commemorate their time living in Austin, Texas but wanted to test their ink designs before committing to them, Momentary Ink custom prints users’ desired tattoos. Beyond the design application, which mirrors that of regular, super-glossy temporary tattoos, Momentary Ink provides special formulas that matte-ify and set the designs so they look more or less like the real deal.

HelloGiggles asked Jordan, one of the founders of Momentary Ink, how the company brought this “Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before” idea to life: “I knew from the start that these needed to look real or we’d be ‘laughed off the stage’ by customers and tattoo artists so that was our primary concern,” he explained, “I’ve loved chatting with tattoo shops throughout this journey! These people DO NOT get the credit they deserve as being true artists, probably because their work doesn’t hang on a wall and the cultural image tattoos have always had has been divergent (finally moving from sub culture to pop culture today).”

As for how they developed the formula that makes Momentary Ink’s designs look as real as possible: “The research and testing stage was through trial and error of ~50 different combinations of paper, adhesive, sealers, etc. (including several samples from popular temporary tattoo companies) as well as learning everything there is to know about the industry. I began initial testing on myself and once I found a good temporary tattoo product, I worked closely with my amazing beta group until we got it right.”

Pictured: Dedication.

But while it’s easy enough to marvel at the company’s Instagram page of happy Momentary Ink users, we at HelloGiggles wanted to see if the process was really as simple-sounding and effective as it seemed. So, we tried a couple of Momentary Ink tattoos ourselves.

On different skin tones, on different areas of the body, and with designs of varying shapes and sizes, the Momentary Ink tattoos were super simple to apply and, once set, definitely a far cry from the temporary tattoos of our memory. Though the finer designs (like the second image below) were more prone to cracking on the skin, the larger designs looked pretty natural — considering that the designs have an on-paper application process.

And, as those large pieces are the ones that people most fret about getting, Momentary Ink is an amazing resource that’ll 1) allay the worry of “Should I get this?” and 2) encourage people to go out and actually get inked — while allowing tattoo artists to test and experiment with designs on skin. (Versus just going off computer simulations.)

Behold, our results:

Momentary Ink launches today, so head on over to their website to get started on your own trial tat (it’ll last between three and seven days, depending on where you place it). As for what’s the next frontier of tattooing? Jordan muses, “I think ‘try before you buy’ is the next logical step. Nothing else you’ll ever buy makes you commit to so much with so little testing upfront. Beyond that I think we’re headed for pain-free tattoos and tattoo-removal in the next 5-10 years which is really exciting!” We can’t wait for the future.

Tattoos so simple and gorgeous we’re now super ready to get inked

Why I got the same Harry Potter tattoo as hundreds of strangers

Images courtesy of the author and Momentary Ink.

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