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Brief Published: 26 Oct 2015

The Future of Temporary Tattoos

Topshop's temporary tattoos in collaboration with CSM student Lucie Davis

New collaborations and launches are generating a buzz around temporary tattoos, offering teen and Generation Z consumers short-term beauty solutions prime for development.

Temporary tattoos have evolved from gum-wrapper novelties into teen-targeted fashion accessories inspired by jewellery designs. The rising number of brands such as Austin-based Flash Tattoos, which develops gold and silver tattoos, suggests room for growth in the market. 

Similar gold and silver hair decals, such as those offered by affordable international hair brand Scünci, are new to the market, but, having already been promoted by It girl and TV personality Kylie Jenner, we expect this trend to grow and be prime for the 2016 music festival season.

Celebrities such as Jenner who hold sway with consumers directly influence the beauty trends they pick up. R&B icon Beyoncé has launched a collaborative temporary tattoo collection with Flash Tattoos. The 57-piece set, featuring lyric, gun and beehive-inspired designs, and retailing at an accessible $28, will sell well. See The Economy of Cult Beauty, where we explore the catalytic influence of celebrities on consumer spend.

More high-profile collaborations will inspire more diverse applications. UK high-street fashion retailer Topshop collaborated with Central Saint Martins’ jewellery design student Lucie Davis on a range of unique temporary tattoos that mimic freckles and scars. The directional range was based on a brief “women and power” and questions traditional perceptions of beauty and the pressure for women to be perfect.

The range was controversial in its celebration of scars, which many consumers saw as a promotion of self-harm, and has now been removed. Nonetheless, its unique exploration of gilded body markings could inspire more interesting product development. 

For more on brands providing short-term offerings for non-committal consumers, see Retail’s Get Real: Beta Brandscapes report.