The Tattoo Trend That Started with Preschoolers

posted: 08/10/15
by: Courtney Reimer
picture of a little boy with a temporary tattoo

It's a moment so many parents dread: the day their teenager walks through the door with a tattoo that will be with them for the rest of their life. But now it seems more grownups (and even some less-rebellious teenagers) are turning to temporary tattoos as an alternative to the lifelong ink.

Celebrities like Beyonce, Cara Delevingne and Kendall Jenner have prominently sported ink that isn't permanent, and it turns out there may be a good business model hiding in that non-permanent skin art.

Thank you @stellamccartney @bangbangnyc for my Met ball look! ?

A photo posted by Cara Delevingne (@caradelevingne) on

None other than Beyonce has started her own "flash tattoo" line, which typically involves non-permanent, sparkling "ink" that resembles a sort of jewelry adhered to the skin, but there are straightforward, plain black versions as well.

Okay @beyonce. We will start wearing our @flashtattoos again if you say so. #beyoncexflashtattoos

A photo posted by Elle Magazine (@elleusa) on

And it's not just celebrities who are getting on board: companies like Tattly, a grown-up body-art vendor inspired by children's temporary tats, are banking on the trend. And it seems to be working: the company, which sells itself as a sort of distributor for artists' work, paid out $250,000 last year to the designers whose work appears in Tattly tattoos.

Tattly does a lot of its business via commissions from big brands like Lululemon, NPR, SoulCycle and Mashable, but it's also available and accessible for the average Josephina looking to try a tattoo that doesn't require a lengthy commitment. According to Today.com, their typical price point is two for $5.