How Long Do Glitter Tattoos Last? A Look at Their Duration

Glitter tattoos are a dramatic body art trend that adds sparkle to events and holidays. But how long do glitter tattoos last on your skin before fading away? 

This article explores the durability factors that determine glitter tattoo longevity. We’ll look at adhesive types, ink quality, tattoo care, placement, and more. Read on to learn just how temporary or permanent that dazzling glitter design can be.


Overview of Glitter Tattoo Types

There are two main categories of glitter tattoos in terms of duration:

Temporary Glitter Tattoos

  • Last 3-10 Days
  • Adhere via Cosmetic Grade Glue
  • Applied Like Decals Onto Skin
  • Craft Glitter or Mica Powder


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Permanent Glitter Tattoos:

  • Last Years Fading Slowly Over Time
  • Implanted Under the Top Layer of Skin
  • Injected Like Permanent Makeup
  • Micro-Glitter Crystals or Gemstones

Temporary glitter tattoos wash away easily, while permanent glitter ink remains vibrant but will gradually fade.

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What Makes Temporary Glitter Tattoos Last

Several factors influence temporary glitter tattoo durability:

Adhesive Quality – Medical grade adhesives last longer than craft glues. Cyanoacrylate is the strongest and lasts the longest.

Stencil Material – Thicker liquid latex stencils resist peeling longer than paper or thinner stencils.

Glitter Type – Fine “soft shine” style glitter adheres better than chunky craft varieties.

Ink Layering – Repeated layers of adhesive and glitter build stronger bonds.

Placement – Areas of movement and friction like hands fade quicker than still areas.

Tattoo Size – Larger pieces resist fading better since they adhere to more skin surface area.

Care and Cleansing – Gently washing shortens duration versus scrubbing which strips glue faster.

With ideal adhesive and correct technique, temporary glitter tattoos can last up to 10 days or even 2 weeks before requiring reapplication.

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Tips for Extending Temporary Glitter Tattoo Duration

To help temporary glitter tattoos last as long as possible:

Exfoliate First – Buffing the skin gives the adhesive more grip for better adherence.

Use an Adhesive Primer – Primer helps the stencil and glitter glue bond tighter to the skin.

Apply Firm Pressure – Press the layered tattoo down with an applicator tool using body weight for 1-2 minutes to seal it.

Seal with Hairspray – Lightly spraying with hairspray helps lock everything into place.

Avoid Submerging in Water – Limit showers and swimming which loosen adhesive.

Pat Dry, Don’t Rub – Blot tattoos gently with a towel rather than rubbing when washing.


Reapply Adhesive as Needed – Touch up peeling corners with more adhesive to re-stick them.

Apply Petroleum Jelly – Slicking skin with a thin jelly layer makes glitter slide off less from friction.

With care, most properly applied temporary glitter tattoos last 5-7 days or longer.

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What Makes Permanent Glitter Tattoos Last

Unlike decals, permanent glitter tattoos use medical-grade inks implanted under the skin:

Micro-Glitter Particles – Extremely tiny glitter or crystal flecks are used to allow needle penetration for implantation.

Specialty Inks – Pigments are micronized to a size capable of being implanted into the dermal layers.

Implantation Depth – Ink is deposited deep enough to remain trapped under healed epidermal tissue layers.

Uniform Distribution – Even dispersal of glitter particles creates a consistent sparkle that fades gradually over time.

Innate Permanence of Implanted Pigments – Any pigment implanted under the skin remains to some degree visible for life.

Permanent glitter tattoos use the same basic technology as traditional body art tattooing. However, they still slowly fade with time.

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How Long Do Permanent Glitter Tattoos Last?

While considered permanent, even implanted glitter tattoos dim over time:

First 6 Months – Initially appears bright, dense, and crisp after complete healing.

6 Months to 1 Year – Still vivid but may lose up to 25% intensity of glitter effect.

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1 to 3 Years – Gradual fading becomes noticeable but tattoo remains clearly visible. About 50% original intensity.

3 to 5 Years – Only faint glitter effect remains. The tattoo appears blurred and dull rather than sparkly.

5+ Years – Only outline may be partially visible. Glitter completely disappears becoming indistinct.

Results vary based on the quality of inks, implantation depth, and aftercare. Expect permanent glitter tattoos to last vividly between 1-5 years before requiring a refresh. Avoid DIY touch-ups which can cause reactions.

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Is It Possible to Make Glitter Tattoos More Permanent?

Some techniques can help temporary glitter tattoos last longer. They include;

  • Use Permanent Adhesive – Special permanent makeup glues bond the design for 1-2 months.
  • Implant the Glitter – Use a tattoo needle to puncture and implant glitter under the skin in tiny pockets.
  • Ink Permanent Outline – Add an outlining tattoo first, then press the glitter into the fresh ink so it embeds permanently.

However, these methods still pale in long-term duration versus true permanent tattoos and carry safety risks due to abrasion and DIY injection. Sticking to temporary glitter tattoos touched up professionally as needed is best for sparkly body decoration.


The Takeaway: How Long Do Glitter Tattoos Last

Standard temporary glitter tattoos stick around vibrantly for 5-10 days with proper application and care. Their duration can be extended further by starting with quality materials and taking preventative measures.

Meanwhile, permanent implanted glitter ink lasts 1-5 years before fading significantly. Overall glitter tattoo longevity depends on many factors, with temporary designs measuring days and permanent versions years.

With a basic understanding of composition, even the most dazzling glitter tattoos can sparkle as long as desired.

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Glitter Tattoo Duration FAQs

Do glitter tattoos last longer on certain body parts?

Yes, areas that don’t bend and move fade slower. Flat spots like the shoulders and back keep glitter longer vs. hands and feet.

Can you make your own longer-lasting glitter tattoo glue?

Adding tiny amounts of powdered carboxymethyl cellulose to body-safe glues enhances adherence slightly, but commercial adhesives work best.

Do glitter tattoos fall off faster on dry vs oily skin?

Very oily skin can break down adhesives faster, while drier skin can flake taking glitter with it. Well-moisturized skin makes them stick longest.

Will glitter tattoos last through a pool party?

Avoid submerging them in water. But with sealing and re-application if needed, they can potentially last a day’s water activities.

Can you scratch off permanent glitter tattoos?

No, implanted permanent glitter particles remain trapped under the healed top layer of skin and can’t be scratched or scrubbed off.

What makes some glitter tattoos turn green over time?

Lower quality inks can oxidize and fade to a greenish hue. Higher purity pigments retain their sparkling colors better long-term.

Will a glitter tattoo still be visible in 10 years?

Even permanent glitter ink fades significantly after 5 years. Glitter effects will disappear after this time, leaving only a possible faint outline.

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