I tried the new temporary tattoos that look super realistic -- and they fooled all my friends

A new startup called Momentary Ink wants you to be able to “try on” a tattoo before you commit to a lifetime of having it on your body.

Founder Jordan Denny has been working for the past 9 months to make a temporary tattoo realistic enough to pass for the real thing, and finally started selling the customisable tattoos a few days ago.

Denny says his tattoos last 3-10 days, and use a special matting solution that stops them from looking shiny, or wet like dollar-store temporaries.

But “realistic” has different definitions, especially to startup founders, so I decided to test it out myself. The process was easy.

All I had to do was upload a design and send it to Momentary Ink. Since Halloween was coming up, I decided on the “Dark Mark” tattoo that evil wizards (“Death Eaters”) have in Harry Potter.

When I got my Momentary Ink tattoo and tried it out, the results surprised me. I hadn’t expected it to look quite so real, and many people I ran into over the next few days assumed it was the genuine article. More than that, Momentary Ink had actually fulfilled its promise. For almost a week, I’ve walked around and “felt” what it would be like to have this tattoo. Long story short, I’m definitely not getting a dark mark tattoo anytime soon.

At $US15 for a “small” (0-4 inches) and $US19 for a larger one (4-8 inches), Momentary Ink isn’t cheap. And if you are just getting it to have a temporary tattoo for a few days, I don’t think I could justify the cost. But if you are using it as designed, to make sure you actually want to get inked up forever, it seems perfectly reasonable.

Here’s what getting a Momentary Ink tattoo is like:

Each Momentary Ink package comes with a set of directions. You should definitely follow them, unlike my colleague Steven Tweedie, who ended up mangling his a bit.

Momentary Ink

First you take out the tattoo, which already comes pre-cut.

Momentary Ink

You remove a layer of plastic...

Momentary Ink

...and try not to drop it.

Momentary Ink

You place it on your arm.

Momentary Ink

Then you take a wet towel, use it to apply pressure to the tattoo, and hold it.

Momentary Ink

When you're ready...

Momentary Ink

...you'll peel it off.

Momentary Ink

It will look shiny at first, like a regular temporary tattoo.

Momentary Ink

Then it's time to get the solutions out...

Momentary Ink

...which come in vials.

Momentary Ink

You spray on the sealing solution...

Momentary Ink

...and then move on to Momentary Ink's secret weapon: the matting solution.

Momentary Ink

You dip in the brush...

Momentary Ink

...and apply it evenly to the tattoo.

Momentary Ink

Then you're done.

Momentary Ink

After one day, it was hard to tell it wasn't real...

Momentary Ink

...and five days later, it had just begun to disintegrate.

Momentary Ink

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