How To Create Believable Fake Tattoos, According To Make-Up Genius Isamaya Ffrench

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Isamaya Ffrench shares her step-by-step guide to creating fake tattoos with Vogue.

Fake tattoos have come a long way since the days of peel-and-stick and the wrappers of Fruit Stripe Gum. Now, we see them added to our favourite movie stars for a film role like a pair of earrings, adorning Rihanna’s face for a Vogue cover, and in campaigns like Jean Paul Gaultier’s most recent Tattoo collection. “Historically, tattoos have had a meaning,” says make-up artist Isamaya Ffrench, who was responsible for both Rihanna and JPG’s faux ink.

She warns that “heavily moisturised skin will cause the pigments to come off”, so skip lotion or body oil. Right before application, put some alcohol on a cotton pad and gently wipe the area off for a fresh base. While Ffrench typically free-hands her designs using tattoo markers, she says anybody who isn’t quite as confident in their artistic abilities can purchase a tattoo transfer machine or try tattoo printer paper. Once you pick your medium, let the fake ink flow.

 

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