Temporary Nipple Tattoos – A Short-Lived but Realistic Solution

By Emily M.| Last updated on February 22, 2023
temporary nipple tattoos
⏱️ 4 min read

Unfortunately, the portion of people who live without their natural nipples increases every day. To regain their confidence, they turn to options such as permanent or temporary nipple tattoos.

The good news is that the solutions for nipple and areola reconstruction nowadays are much more advanced than they were in the past, and they give much more realistic results. They can be paired with the nipple mound reconstruction, or done on their own.

So, today we’re discussing the advantages and disadvantages of temporary nipple tattoos.

What Are Temporary Nipple Tattoos?

They are exactly what the name suggests – stick-on tattoos that transfer a nipple and areola design onto the skin of your breast, where they stay for a certain time, and eventually peel off.

You probably remember temporary tattoos from your childhood, or you may have tried one of the temporary tattoo beauty trends, like stick-on brow tattoos. Well, temporary nipple tattoos are just that, but they’re used to recreate a natural feature for people who have lost one or both nipples due to various causes – mastectomy, injury, congenital athelia, etc.

Custom 35mm & 50mm temporary nipple tattoosImage source: Instagram @aleisha_tattoooo

What’s the Purpose of a Temporary Nipple Tattoo?

Areola pigmentation artists thought of a way to let their clients test-drive the look of a nipple tattoo, so to say, and they created temporary nipple tattoos for potential clients. It’s perfect for those who maybe aren’t ready to get a tattoo, or just haven’t got round to it, or maybe their insurance doesn’t cover the procedure and they need some time to save up for micropigmentation or find an artist who would perform the treatment pro bono.

It’s also an opportunity to test different colors, shapes and sizes before committing to a tattoo, since getting a tattoo enables you to customize your nipples, so to say.

And temporary nipple tattoos work quite well in these contexts. In fact, some people aren’t that eager to get a nipple tattoo at all, and are quite okay with sticking to stick-on tattoos. It’s all down to personal choice, and temporary nipple tattoos don’t entail any commitment at all.

How Are Temporary Nipple Tattoos Applied?

Applying a temporary nipple tattoo is extremely easy and really quick. Here’s a short step-by-step:

  • Clean the skin. It needs to be clean of all potential product residues.
  • Dry it thoroughly.
  • If the design comes on a bigger card, cut it out.
  • Peel off the plastic foil from the design.
  • Place the sticky side onto the skin.
  • Take your time with placing it and try to get the placement symmetrical on both breasts.
  • Soak a cloth or a cotton pad with water and dampen the paper side of the design. Hold the cloth pressed against the paper for 30-60 seconds.
  • Peel off the paper from the skin slowly. The design should be stuck to the skin.
  • Let the tattoo dry for about a minute before getting dressed.

Temporary tattoos of this kind tend to have a shiny film. To kill the gloss and make it look more realistic, dab a bit of baby powder or loose face powder over it.

The Temporary Areola TattooImage source: Instagram @ruthswissamedspa

How Are They Removed?

Your temporary tattoo will start peeling eventually. You can wait out until it disappears completely, or use a cotton pad dampened with alcohol to remove it.

Make sure you remove all residues of the tattoo before applying a new one.

How Long Do They Last?

A temporary nipple tattoo could potentially last out 2 weeks, but in reality, they are affected by various external influences and start peeling sooner.

How long a temporary nipple tattoo can last out depends on how often the area is washed, what products you use when you shower, and whether you go swimming in a pool or the ocean, but perhaps the most damaging factor is fabric rubbing against it.

Do They Look Realistic?

They can. You can find more or less realistic designs. Different manufacturers design their temporary nipple tattoos in different ways, and some are of higher quality than others.

Generally, you can find designs that are illustrations, or ones that are photographs of actual nipples.


Talented graphic designers can create extremely realistic nipple and areola designs. These can be extremely detailed, with all the bumps and creases of a natural nipple, or somewhat simplified.

For people who want to experiment a bit, there are also designs with piercings, and even heart-shaped nipple tattoos available. FIY, you can also get an actual heart-shaped nipple tattoo!

temporary nipple tattoos look realisticImage source: Instagram @aleisha_tattoooo


Some manufacturers make their temporary nipple tattoos from photographs of actual nipples. These definitely look more realistic when applied, but they may be more difficult to find.

Temporary Nipple Tattoos as Gateways for the Permanent Kind

Let’s be honest, a temporary tattoo can never look as realistic as an actual tattoo. Nipple and areola micropigmentation can give hyperrealistic results which blend into the skin very nicely.

But, as we’ve already mentioned, not all people are willing to commit to a tattoo right away, and temporary tattoos can be used to give them a portion of their self-esteem back until they are. Plus, sometimes, scar tissue needs time to heal fully before it can be tattooed on, and the temporary option can work in the meantime.

You can read all about nipple tattoos in our comprehensive guide and see amazing before and after transformations in our gallery.

Final Thoughts

Temporary nipple tattoos are great as a quick fix. They can look extremely realistic, especially if they’re photos of natural nipples, but they can never really match up to the hyperrealistic look of an actual nipple and areola tattoo done by a skilled artist. Still, they are affordable, easy to use, and they can give you an idea of what a permanent nipple tattoo would look like.

Cover image source: Freepik



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