Taylor Swift and the Art of Fake Tattoos


Image from Distractify

We don’t usually think of Taylor Swift when we think of tattoos. However, she changed all of this when she released her single  “You Need to Calm Down.”

On the cover, the artist is sporting an absolutely massive back tattoo. And the Taylor Swift back tattoo has had fans all over the world asking if it’s real and how she can get ink like that.

We’ve got good news and bad news. The bad news is that her back tat is definitely fake. The good news is that we’ve got the scoop on how to get your own super-convincing fake tattoos!

The Problem With Fake Tattoos


Image From Transfer Paper Upsilon DIY

In the case of Taylor Swift, her own fake tattoo is just a case of Photoshop magic. However, fans trying to rock fake tattoos in real life typically run into a few problems.

The first is longevity. A traditional fake tattoo doesn’t last that long—in some cases, it’s gone the next day!

The second problem is the application. If you’re applying a fake tat yourself, some of it may not fully apply, and the final result looks pretty bad.

So, our guide focuses on how you can get fake tats that last longer while looking great.

More Than Skin Deep

inkbox tattoo.jpg

Image from Inkbox Tattoos

You probably played with transfer tattoos as a child. These temporarily work by sticking to the skin, and it may take nothing more than a good scrubbing to wash them off.

One way to make the tattoo last, then, is by going a bit deeper. For example, Ink Box and other companies provide ink formulas that actually go into the upper layer of your skin. It’s still not permanent, but such tattoos will last far longer than the fake ones you got as a child.

Going Natural With Henna

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Image from 123RF

Want to embrace your inner hippie while getting temporary tattoos? In that case, Henna may be your best option.

Henna works by essentially staining your skin. It works best for creating striking contrasts of, say, dark stains on lighter skin.

Generally speaking, Henna tattoos last only two or three weeks. This is why they are so popular among teenagers on Spring Break: they last long enough for you to have fun and take great pics, but they wash away before your family can start freaking out.

Ups and Downs of Airbrushing


Image from Fantasy World Entertainment

In some circles, airbrush tattoos are very popular. As the name implies, the artist quickly airbrushes a design onto your body as if it were a t-shirt about to be sold at the beach.

These tattoos are fast and fun, and they make a great addition to parties. However, these tattoos are less precise than the others, and they don’t last much longer than the old-school transfer tattoos.

The Taylor Swift Back Tattoo: The Bottom Line

So, what’s the best way to achieve the look of T-Swift’s tats? We’d recommend Henna for both a precise and longer-lasting look for your own Taylor Swift back tattoo homage.

Of course, nothing lasts longer than a real tattoo. We recommend using fake tats as a “test run” for the kinds of colors and designs you want on some real ink.

And if you want a constant source of tattoo inspiration, be sure to bookmark Tattooing 101!





Nathan Molenaar

Nathan is a licensed professional tattoo artist with over 8 years’ experience working at studios across the globe, including Celebrity Ink, the world's largest tattoo studio chain.

When he's not tattooing, he spends his free time sharing his experience and knowledge with aspiring artists who dream of pursuing a career in the tattooing industry.

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