How to Make a Fake Tattoo Look Real

The main idea behind getting a fake tattoo is to have a fun fashion statement on your body without a lifelong commitment. However, some temporary tattoos might not look as realistic as you’d like. Don’t worry, though! There are some neat tricks you can use to make a fake tattoo look real. And you might be surprised by how well they work.

The truth is, for a temporary tattoo to appear genuine, it all begins with a good transfer. Applying the tattoo properly is crucial to make it look and feel real.

However, there are some simple steps you can follow both before and after application to make your skin art stand out and resemble the real thing.

How to Make a Fake Tattoo Look Real

How to Make a Fake Tattoo Look Real

Let’s explore these methods to enhance your temporary tattoo’s authenticity. Follow these simple steps.

1. Prep Your Skin

Begin by shaving before applying the fake tattoo. Just like a skilled artist, it’s best to begin with a clean slate. Shaving the area where you plan to apply the tattoo serves a couple of purposes.

  • This will provide you with a nice and smooth surface, free from any hair, which is perfect for applying the tattoo.
  • It helps the tattoo adhere better. The adhesive on the tattoo will have plenty of smooth surface area to stick to, ensuring maximum adhesion.

After shaving the area, make sure to wipe your skin’s surface with rubbing alcohol. This simple step will eliminate any oil and dust, and it will also prolong the life of the tattoo.

2. Use Baby Powder

Believe it or not, baby powder isn’t just for baby bottoms; you can use it to seal your fake tattoo too. It’s excellent for absorbing excess moisture, ensuring everything dries properly and stays firmly attached to your skin.

Here’s how to do it to make a fake tattoo look real:

  • Take enough baby powder to cover your tattoo.
  • Gently coat the entire image on your skin. When you rub it in, there shouldn’t be any bleeding or smudging of the design.
  • Finally, wipe away any excess powder that hasn’t adhered to your skin.

3. Enhance Your Tattoo using Translucent Powder

A translucent powder works like baby powder. However, it can make your temporary tattoo look more realistic. It’s colorless and used in makeup to brighten colors, reduce shine, and absorb oil.

4. Apply Finishing Spray or Hair Spray

Look for finishing spray at party supply stores. It’s perfect for temporary tattoos as it forms a protective cocoon around your image, keeping it safe and secure.

Hair spray works similarly. When you add this protective layer, your fake tattoo will appear more genuine and last longer, even after a shower or swimming session.

5. Enhance with Tea Gel or Essential Oils

You want your fake tattoos to appear incredibly real, right? Use a tea gel after the application process. Tea gels and essential oils are often advised for permanent tattoos, but they work wonders for fake ones too. They can help prevent bacteria and skin rashes, making your temporary tattoo look authentic and fabulous.

You can make your fake tattoo look real by avoiding any negative reactions on your skin. Using tea gel can be really helpful in achieving this. If you accidentally use too much water during the application and notice bubbles forming, don’t worry! Tea tree oil or a tea tree oil salve might come to the rescue and help fix the issue.

Our ideas do not end here, nope, not. If you have stuck long up till now, then here is something special you want to know about making your fake tattoo look real!

Materials Needed

Do fake tattoos look real
Fake TattooThe design you want to apply
RMCA PowderTo take away the glossiness
Ben Nye Final Seal or Spray-on BandageTo make it last longer
Dry Paper TowelTo blot off excess moisture
Setting PowderTo set the tattoo
Hair SprayTo make it last longer

Steps to Make a Fake Tattoo Look Real

  1. Apply the Fake Tattoo: Start by applying the fake tattoo as per the instructions provided with it. Make sure the skin is clean and dry before application.
  2. Blot Off Excess Moisture: Right after you apply the fake tattoo, take a dry paper towel and blot it off so it isn’t wet anymore. This helps the tattoo adhere better to the skin.
  3. Apply RMCA Powder: Apply RMCA powder over the tattoo to take away the glossiness that makes it look fake. You can choose between the no-color one or the translucent one, depending on your skin tone and the color of the tattoo.
  4. Set with Setting Powder. Any setting powder will work. Use a baking method on it, then dust off the powder. This will help the tattoo stay in place and not smudge.
  5. Apply Final Seal or Spray-on Bandage. To make the tattoo last longer, you can use a setting spray or final seal. Alternatively, you can lightly spray it with hair spray.
  6. Avoid Oil-Based Products and Scrubbing. To maintain the look of the tattoo, avoid using anything oil-based or any type of lotion on it. Also, avoid scrubbing it in the shower.

Tips for a Realistic Look

How can I make my fake tattoo look real at home
  1. Fading Makes it Real. Keep in mind that the longer you have the tattoo on and it starts to fade a bit and have small imperfections, it will look more realistic.
  2. Avoid Glossiness. The glossiness of a fake tattoo gives it away. Using a powder that mattifies the tattoo can help it look more real.
  3. Longevity. Using a final seal or a spray-on bandage can help the tattoo last longer.


When you use a fake tattoo, consider that tea gel application once it dries to improve the look and even make your fake tattoo last longer. So, go ahead and pick from a wide range of fake tattoo designs or even create your own custom tattoo – or have the artist work their magic and apply them.

If you need any advice on how to make your tattoo stand out even more, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us anytime. We’re here to help with tested and proven tips.

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