The airy pop-up space is located in an open-concept garage with a beer bar, transporting you to Brooklyn, NY. But you don’t hear the whirring buzz of needles at this shop. instead, this is a simulated (well, semi-permanent) experience that can either help you take the dive with a tattoo concept you’ve been struggling to visualize on your skin or try something fun for a few weeks that will wear off.
The magic is done by Inkbox, the company helping to host this event and joining forces with the Innis & Gunn pop-up. Using organic ink that stains the skin similar to Henna, these tats are meant to look at feel like the real thing. They last up to 18 days and are applied in just 15 minutes. Inbox is ideal for those curious about tattoos and looking to express themselves, who might not have the most experience in the world of ink, or is indecisive.
The idea came from the Inkboxs discovery of tribes in Panama who dye their skin with the pulp of a local fruit. This is ultimately where they found their active ingredient. They give back to their well of inspiration by supporting these tribes through the Darien Initiative – a charity that helps the indigenous tribes of the Darién Gap in Panama.
At the pop-up, a range of tattoos were done (and looked hyper-realistic). While my fiancee and I opted for simple engagement bands our fingers, another client went bigger and bolder with a 98 Degrees chest piece, in honour of the boy band.
But on their e-commerce site, they offer stencils by a range of designers in every theme from animals, travel, and quotes, to anatomy and gaming and minimalism. You can buy an ink kit with any or all of these stencils (or try free-hand) to either fool the die-hard tattoo friend in your life, or experiment with looks before you make a bigger move. Most stencils come in at under or around $20. There are also highly customizable designs that their in-house designers can tackle, such as a wedding ring look.
While the pop-up is over, you can also buy supplies at Toronto’s first semi-permanent tattoo parlour at 393 King St West, Floor 2, Toronto, ON M5V 3G8.