A Temporary Fix

27 January 2014

Raise your hand if you have a tattoo you regret. Some of you might even be raising both hands; ouch.  Before you go and flash your flesh to the neighborhood tattoo artist, word on the street is that tattoos don’t always have to be permanent.

You can now put your hands down.

If one would have to track the trend, it might begin with model Freja Beha Erichsen, muse to Karl Lagerfeld.  Erichsen’s real tattoos are said to have inspired Lagerfeld’s decision to adorn the Chanel models in his 2010 Spring runway show with artificial ink.  The dainty tattoos were designed to mimic jewelry with strings of pearls, lockets and sparrows in flight. Fashionistas gobbled it up and when Chanel debuted sets of the temporary tattoos a year later, they sold out worldwide.

chanel faux tattoos

Now, before you start rolling your eyes, these aren’t the cheesy gumball machine tattoos you got at the roller rink as a kid. Although they appeal to both my inner-kid and fickle adult-self.  Sure, they are applied in the same manner, but with ethereal effects. Where were these when I was ass up in a Tampa tattoo parlor in 1999 with my girlfriends?  If only I had a temporary Pisces tattoo to wear for a few weeks then maybe I would know what a mistake it was and that my mother would fondly call it an “H” on my rear-end for the rest of my life.

So, if permanent skin decoration isn’t your thing, or you’re just wanting to test the waters before you take the real plunge, here are a few of my favorites: 

DB Illustrations: In this adorable Etsy shop you can find woodland flora and fauna, a fox, a wise owl and other tattoo’able critters. She’s also taking pre-orders for her Constellation Series. Is it written? Geometric stars, the waning moon, and a selection of star constellations.

what does the fox say?

What does the fox say?

far better than a zodiac sign

What temporary tattoo post would be complete without a mention of NYMag’s Fall Fashion cover featuring the magnificent Lake Bell wearing a body suit of grey temporary roses. All designed by her husband, Scott Campbell, tattoo artist to the stars. PS: If you missed the one about Lake Bell and/or you know someone who (still) up-talks, send them this post: “Thank You Lake Bell.

If you missed the post about Lake Bell or you know someone who up-talks, send them this post.

I can’t forget former Ocean Violet Girl Crush, Jeanne Ciasullo‘s beautiful body paint artwork from the “Muse Show” at Art Pool. Jeanne is a true artist, beyond just her brilliant bridal makeup.  Doesn’t this remind you of Garden State? Perhaps Scott Campbell was inspired by Jeanne?!

She is the flower and the garden.



Flowers: A sucker for anything floral, these vintage florals from Pepper Ink might be mine come springtime: Vintage poppies, little pink flowers, small sprays of purple lilacs, apple blossom branches and beautiful roses make for one beautiful bouquet. You could wear them one at a time, or all at once for a lovely sleeve effect:

Tattly: One of my all time favorite blogs, swissmiss designed temporary tattoos for design-minded kids and kids-at-heart. I can’t make up my mind which ones I love more, the robots, the balloons, the ice-cream? Too many of my favorite things!

got any fair weathered friends? Perfect.

got any fair weathered friends? Perfect.

nerds only need apply.  The Golden Ratio: Art nerds and mathletes unite! Josh Smith's Golden Ratio is the perfect Tattly to show some love for the most aesthetic and harmonious of proportions.
nerds only need apply. The Golden Ratio: The perfect Tattly to show some love for the most aesthetic and harmonious of proportions.

If glitz, glamour + gold are more your thing, check out Flash Tattoos  (or for those that want to stack their jewelry but actually hate wearing 987 pieces of “arm swag.” PS: stop saying arm swag.


the more delicate the better.


Be sure to give your grandmother a heart-attack when you send her your custom temporary tattoo Save the Date by Wiley Valentine. This one can certainly freak out your relatives, or just opt to liven up your dull Thanksgiving dinners or family reunions:


Trust me, for those that say getting a tattoo hurts – it does. Big time. But I’ll tell you what hurts even more, getting the tattoo removed.   So there you have it! Temporary tattoos are the perfect idea for anyone out there who can’t (or doesn’t want to) commit to a lifetime of permanent ink.

Totally painless.

Which one would you wear?


Categories: beauty, Fashion, Vintage

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Jessica Arb Danial Art Advisory