The-New-Era-of-Temporary-Tattoos-2Photo Credit: Flash Tattoos

For the past couple of years, fashion has been obsessed with temporary tattoos. Yes, those things you wore when you were five are back!

Instead of those cheap, wet-applied tattoos, today’s tats are shinier and longer lasting, and not to mention in much trendier shapes. They are made from foil-like material that shines in the sun. Fashionistas quickly caught onto the trend for jewelry-inspired looks without the heavy weight.

Either known as temporary tattoos or flash tattoos, the latter gained its name from a company under the same name.

The-New-Era-of-Temporary-Tattoos-1Photo Credit: Flash Tattoos

Flash Tattoos are an Austin-based company that has taken flash tats from a quick trend item to expanding their line into colorful and seasonal pieces that are worn by celebrities and normal people alike. Pricing from $22 to $25 for a set of four sheets, Flash Tattoos’ specialty has become intertwining cultural motifs like a Native American-inspired patterns with Henna-like scroll designs.

The-New-Era-of-Temporary-Tattoos-7Photo Credit:

The temporary tattoo trend has skyrocketed. They've appeared on runway models at multiple Givenchy shows to new companies like Picatto getting on the trend, making tats from Instagram pictures..

Even New Age style icon Rihanna has created a line of temp tattoos with jewelry designer Jacquie Aiche that are inspired by her own tattoos. Fans can even recreate her signature underboob tat with a $27 seven-sheet pack.

The-New-Era-of-Temporary-Tattoos-4A look from Rihanna's new flash tat line. (Picture Credit:

For a more realistic look, shoppers can scour indie websites like where tats are sold for $5 a piece. Webstores like the Etsy based Pepper Ink sells vintage florals alongside small typography tats that appear close to the real thing.

The-New-Era-Of-Temporary-Tatoos-5Photo Credit: Pepper Ink

Outside of fashion, temporary tattoos have also found a place in the medical world. Nano-engineers at University of California, San Diego have invented a glucose testing ink that is applied from a gel pen. A flashback for many, gel pens have been often used as a washable temporary tattoo technique. The ink isn’t toxic and measures through the wearer’s sweat. This invention is seen as a cheaper alternative to glucose strips and a fun way for young diabetics to check their levels.

The-New-Era-Of-Temporary-Tattoss3Photo Credit: San Diego Sun Times

While many have nostalgic memories of rub-off tattoos that would take days to wash off, the future of temporary tattoos has evolved, well, in a flash!

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