Julia Safir ’15 cut out golden tattoos from a sheet. She took off the clear plastic cover on top of the design and placed it face down on her arm. Safir put a wet cloth over the design and held it there for 30 seconds. After peeling off the sheet, a shiny constellation of tattoos appeared on her skin, and then she walked out the door to drive to the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
The metallic, jewelry-inspired tattoos are temporary tattoos that last between four to six days. Flash Tattoos, one brand that produces these accessories, replicate high-end jewelry brands Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpel.
The tattoos come in collections with three to four sheets and are given different names such as Lena and Dakota. The collections vary in price between $20 to $30. While their popularity began during the spring, it grew throughout the summer.
Tiana Gamble, co-owner of Bikini Bird, an online retailer of Flash Tattoos, said that they began selling the tattoos in January, however the masses began to know about them starting in June. Their highest sales rates were in July and August.
“I noticed them in the summer, because a lot of people were wearing them in their photos on Facebook,” Nina Dubovitsky ’15 said. “I loved the way they looked, and the fact that they were shiny.”
Planet Blue, LF stores and Boutique to You are stores that also sell Flash Tattoos. Kitson and Exhale yoga studios sell different brands of the metallic, jewelry-inspired tattoos.
“The tattoos are very cutting edge because nobody has ever worn metallic tattoos,” Safir said. “They are more fashionable than your typical dinosaur tattoos they sell at bowling alleys.”
Safir discovered the tattoos at Planet Blue while shopping for clothes to wear to Coachella. She saw them at the register and the shiny, fashionable, tattoos intrigued her.
While many believe the tattoos are fashionable, others think they are annoying, and have already gone out of style.
“It’s so absolutely ridiculous that people wear them because they are so obnoxious, especially because they are trying to copy designer jewelry,” Natalie Jones ’17 said. “All in all, flash tats are terrible.”
Some believe that Flash Tattoos were appropriate to wear in the summer because of their summery style, but now that it is fall, they believe it is time to put the tattoos away.
“I think they had a golden age, no pun intended, but since school is back in session, I think people need to let them go,” Safir said.
Safir believes that flash tattoos were just a trend, and she does not think they will retain their popularity like permanent tattoos.
“I would say I probably won’t remember them in 20 years, but I can look back at summer albums and see them featured for sure,” Safir said.
Jones thinks that Flash Tattoos are acceptable to wear only if someone is going to a music festival or a special event, but she believes that it is odd that people wore them all over their bodies in the summer.
“I feel like the tattoos are just cool because of the designs and the fact that they are shiny, but overall they are obnoxious and unnecessary to wear,” Jones said.