The secret is a plant dye called Jagua, which creates an inky blue/black color for a believable tattoo that will last about 2 weeks. We ordered a 5 ounce bottle, and found that it was only enough to do Aquaman tattoos my brother’s front side, so if you want to tattoo your back too, get the 9 ounce bottle.
Jagua gel (available on Amazon)
Alcohol and rags (in you Jagua the wrong area)
Black fabric marker
Jagua is similar to henna, except that it’s darker in color, and when it dries, it flattens onto the skin in a sheet. That also means that it sticks to any hair you have on your body, so you’ll probably want to shave your chest before applying the Jagua tattoos or it may be painful to remove the gel. My brother didn’t shave his chest, and regretted it when it came time to peel off the dried Jagua. Once you have all your dried Jagua peeled off, you can rinse your skin under water to get rid of any remaining clinging particles.
**Edit: We found out later that it’s not painful if you just rinse the Jagua off with water instead of peeling it. But try to avoid letting it sit on your skin for too long when you’re rinsing it, otherwise you may end up accidentally dyeing part of your skin that you don’t intend to.
When you first peel off the Jagua, you can barely see the lines, but within 24-48 hours, it darkens into a beautiful inky tattoo color, just perfect for cosplaying Aquaman. I free-handed the Aquaman tattoos onto my brother’s chest, off and on, so it took me somewhere around 7 to 8 hours to get them fully applied. However, if you’re not confident freehanding, you can also print a picture of the Aquaman tattoos off your computer and cut out the tattoo parts so you can use it as a template for your Jagua.
One warning is to make sure you’re using actual Jagua, and not black henna. There is actually no such thing as black henna. Henna is a red/brown dye. Any thing labeled black henna contains black hair dye, which will often burn your skin if you apply it. So be sure what you’re using says “Jagua” and not black henna.
If at any time you get Jagua in an area of your skin that you didn’t intend, rub with rubbing alcohol immediately. It will help to prevent it from dying the skin, though the Jagua is very potent, so you usually only have a few seconds leeway, and then you’re stuck with it for the next week. Also be sure to cover your floor or furniture with old towels, as any fabric you get the Jagua on will have a permanent stain.
Have you ever used Jagua for fake tattoos? If so, what tattoos did you draw? Let me know in the comments below.
Aquaman Tattoos and Pants video tutorial Copyright © Amber Reifsteck ~ The Woodland Elf
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