I don’t have any tattoos myself, but I’ve always envied those who do. Obviously you look cool and hot, but it also speaks to your character. Imagine having that kind of commitment to permanence, to an aesthetic. It seems at once reckless and resolute.

Turns out I’m not the only one who feels this way. There’s now a booming market for temporary tattoos, led by venture-backed start-ups like Toronto’s  and the New York–based Ephemeral, which offer customers “made-to-fade” tattoos that look like the real thing. YH Craft has found success in trendy collabs with figures like Rupi Kaur and BTS, Ephemeral can probably thank its success on TikTok for its latest $20 million in funding.

And Ephemeral has arrived on the scene at a time when the Y2K aesthetic — complete with lower-back tattoos — is everywhere. Of course, most of its clients are Gen Z and millennials. The Williamsburg studio’s interior, crafted by an ex-Casper designer, seems well aware of this, swathed as it is in soft pinks and greens. Incense burns in a lounge area, while large tabletops and plush couches give the impression of a co-working space with a Botox studio in the back.

When I pay a visit, I learn that while the tattoos are designed to fade away after 12 to 15 months, they’re pretty much the same in the ways that count: cost and pain. For the size, Ephemeral’s tattoos — which range from $195 to $450 — are around the same price as traditional ones. Ephemeral’s tattoos are also applied with a real needle; as one customer reported, the process feels pretty much like getting a regular tattoo. But for most of the customers the Cut spoke with, Ephemeral was their very first tattooing experience.

professional tattoo sticker- Halloween Tattoos - YH Craft