I love tattoos, much to my father’s dismay. I think they are really cool. Some people say it’s too daunting to decide if they like something enough to wear on their skin forever, and I get that. It makes sense. But that’s not my problem. My struggle is over for there to be so much I would like to try. Am I a fine girl? Or would the new school plays suit me better? Can I get a mermaid pinup? Or does that make me a bad feminist? I find myself wishing I could experiment with styles, designs, and placements without having to make a permanent decision. It’s less about being indecisive than being curious.
If only there was a way to use tattoos like we use jewelry or makeup, a way for tattoos to be just another accessory to play with.
Oh wait. There are. Temporary tattoos, friends! Why are they given to children but not to adults? Logic does very little sense. I propose that temporary tattoos are “the next big thing”.
Let’s start with the basics by discussing the different types of temporary tattoos. On the first level are the classic temporary tattoos you’ve probably known since childhood, the ones your best friend’s mom applied to your forearm with a damp paper towel. (Hello Kitty tramp stamp, anyone? No, just me? Cool.) The middle tier is where we start to get into semi-permanence. Think henna, but also Inkbox. If you haven’t heard of it, Inkwell is an online store where you can choose from thousands of temporary tattoos that last four to six weeks. (You can also upload your own design if you want something custom.) This is a great compromise if you’re looking for a relatively inexpensive way to try out a tattoo for size without committing to it. Not too long ago it was as close to a real tattoo as it gets, but not anymore.
Temporary tattoo is a real tattoo studio, with real tattoo artists, and real tattoo guns, giving real tattoos. Except these tattoos are “made to fade” after nine to 15 months. Yes, you read that right. It’s like getting a tattoo, except the biocompatible ink is designed to naturally break down and dissolve over time. Why didn’t anyone think of this brilliant idea earlier, you ask? Beat me.
(Right now, you can find pop-up studios in Brooklyn, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Atlanta, but they’re opening just about anywhere there’s demand. So if you want to bring it to your city, It’s as easy as putting down a deposit. Temporary designs start at $195 and include tip.)
“The thing about Ephemeral is that it allows anyone to have the tattoo experience, whereas in the past there were a lot of personal restrictions,” says Kate Messinger, head of the content at Ephemeral, citing that people often can’t decide. what they want or hesitate to get inked for life. “Or sometimes it’s your family or your religion that prevents you from getting tattooed,” she continues. But with Ephemeral, the old rules don’t apply, and that takes the pressure off.
“People really like this idea with no regrets,” Messinger says. “Our slogan is ‘No regrets.’ You have this freedom to really do whatever you want. I think people like that. You don’t have to make a big decision that’s going to affect you for the rest of your life, it’s just something you can have fun.
Whether you’re using it as a test drive before sitting down for that 6 hour back, or you’re someone who would never even consider a permanent tattoo, temporary tattoos (of any degree) offer a whole range of possibilities.
In an age of TikTok aesthetics, ✨vibes✨, and trends that change faster than anyone can keep up, it makes sense to tap into this pool of self-expression. If I want to channel Angelina Jolie in her Billy Bob Thornton era today, but I’m more into Hailey Bieber’s delicate hand tattoos tomorrow, who says I can’t have it all? Choose an ink according to my outfit of the day? Yes please.
“It’s a great way to play in a trend,” Messinger confirms, meaning all the Y2K favorites are cool again, including that Hello Kitty tramp stamp. “There are so many things that are already trendy in the air that people translate into tattoos, like angel numbers. Especially because our tattoos last for about a year or so, people use our tattoos as a way to have a mantra for the year…After it wears off, you might end up with something totally different.So if your goal for 2022 is self-love, you can remember it and change it when a new affirmation comes in. Or, if you want your boyfriend’s name on your ribs until you upgrade, you can do that too.
Whatever you do, taking tons of photos is mandatory. Ink will fade, but selfies are forever. Below, find some of my favorite temporary tattoos available in store right now. Watch yourself go, forward-thinking.
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