At brunch the other day, my friend stopped abruptly in the middle of our conversation to look at my wrist. "What’s that?" she asked, and then proceeded to scratch off my carefully pressed-on gold bracelet tattoo thinking it was just a random marking. Well, there goes my Instagram moment, I thought. "It was supposed to look like jewelry, but now you just rubbed it off," I told her.
As with all trends, metallic temporary tattoo jewelry isn’t a completely brand-new beauty/fashion phenomenon. Back in 2012, Dior teamed up with jewelry designer Camille Miceli and introduced a luxe, $120 limited-edition set that included cuffs, chokers, earrings and bracelets made of actual 24-carat gold microparticles. Whether because of the cost (for something that literally washes off after a few days, that’s a pretty steep price tag) or the eye-catching styles, they didn’t quite catch on—until now. In the past few months, brands like Flash Tattoos and Lulu DK have created more affordable options that’ve become a signature look for festival-goers thanks to the trend’s summery, playful vibe. Soon, fashion circles took notice as well, and pressed-on stacked bracelets and layered necklaces took over editors and street style bloggers’ Instagram feeds. Vogue’s Sarah Brown’s gold leaf open bracelet is so chic, she made every girl at Vogue want to get gold tattoo jewelry, too.
But these aren’t like the temporary tattoos you had as a kid, the kind you haphazardly slap on anywhere you want and call it a day (apparently that was my mistake when I first tested it out—hence my friend accidentally scratching it off). The trick is to go really subtle instead of trying a blown-out arm or ring party. Focus on one body part at a time by adding a couple of delicate midi rings, mixing a slender temp tattoo bracelet with actual bangles, or incorporating a single, sleek cuff. Statement necklaces and body chains are a bolder approach to the style, but the flashiness makes them a little harder to take seriously. The shiny material gives them the same pretty sparkle as real jewelry, so while bigger jewelry tats could potentially work for a bikini-clad day at the beach where you don’t want to be decked out in actual gold accessories, imagine the crazy tan lines you’ll get afterward!
The best part is that no matter what look you decide to experiment with, it’s the most noncommittal trend to try this season: the designs naturally wash off in about four to six days (or you can scrub them off in the shower whenever you want).
Whether you want to start integrating gold jewelry tattoos into your everyday look or you’re looking for something fun for a night out, click through the slideshow above for tips and ideas on making them work for you.