How Are the Tattoos in Movies Done?

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Mehndi MadnessTM Blog

How Are the Tattoos in Movies Done?
By: Krysteen ~ 9/1/2020

When working festivals or henna parties one of the questions Mehndi Madness gets the most is, if henna or jagua is used in movies. The answer is for a lot of the big budget movies, they usually use a laser printer to create a tattoo transfer. By using a laser printer the artist is able to control how thick the lines should be, the shading, opacity, and the coloring all from the computer. This method also allows them to create tattoos that look aged, like someone has actually had it for 40 years.

The main reasons this is used more than other non-permanent options like henna and jagua is that for all the time the actor spends in the makeup chair the studio has to pay them. By using this method compared to having a professional henna artist apply the henna tattoo saves the studio money.

Although this type of non-permanent tattoo is popular for studios to use in their films, for the everyday person the process isn’t as easy as getting a henna tattoo done at the fair. The resin ink used in laser printed tattoos are impervious to solvents and waters making the ink hard to get off, resulting in an average wear up to three to four days before it starts to fade leaving a stickiness to the skin for a while.

While Mehndi Madness won't be doing any henna on actors anytime soon, henna is still a perfect option for non-permanent tattoos or for those thinking of getting a tattoo and wanting to try the design out first. If you’re interested in how Jason Mamoa got the full body tattoo for Aquaman or Rooney Mara’s “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, check out this article on the studio that creates them. What would your super hero tattoo look like?

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