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Henna Tattoo

Temporary Tattoos

The most popular temporary tattoos are Henna tattoos, also known as Mehndi (which refers to the henna plant and usually denotes either the use of henna for body art on skin or with henna dye applied to hair). This temporary tattoo art, popularly used in Middle Eastern, North-African and Asian countries, is usually drawn, often with intricate patterns and designs, on the hands and feet since the stratum corneum is thickest there (especially for males) and the stain will last for a long period of time.

Although the body art is predominantly applied onto the hands and feet of brides, there exist traditions in Bangladesh, Kashmir and Sudan where bridegrooms are also expected to be tattooed before wedding ceremonies.

In some cases the temporary marks could be also made by the stains of silver nitrate on the skin when exposed to ultraviolet light. Both methods, silver nitrate and henna, can take up to two weeks to fade from the skin.

Once the henna plant is converted to powder, it is mixed with a dark liquid like coffee or tea, lemon juice (to release the dye) and sugar (for consistency) into a paste which is then applied. Depending on how long the paste rests on the skin, the tattoo lasts from a few days to two weeks beginning with a red-brown color and ending with a fading orange presence.

Other popular form of temporary tattoos are not really tattoos. Rather, they are a type of body sticker, like a decal. They are generally applied to the skin using water to temporarily transfer the design to the surface of the skin. This form of temporary tattoos are easily removed with soap and water or oil-based creams, and are intended to last only a few days. Like nail polish, these can be changed to match one's clothes or mood.

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