Temporary Tattoos: Now You See It, Now You Don't

By Stacey Soble | 08/04/2011 6:22:42 PM


New Jersey's Hello Gorgeous! Salons have tapped a new hot market with their temporary tattoo services. This client requested a freehand floral design embellished with glitter and rhinestones.
According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2006, 36 percent of Americans between the ages of 18-25 and 40 percent of Americans between the ages of 26 to 40 have at least one tattoo.

The ink-embellished definitely represent a significant part of the American public, and the professional beauty industry is starting to take notice. In the past years, temporary tattoo kits and special lotions designed to help maintain tattooed skin have popped up at industry trade shows.

Several months ago, Lisa Fiorentino, co-owner of the Hello Gorgeous! chain of salons and spas in New Jersey, began to wonder how her salon could tap into this interesting target market. “I had seen the work of a friend, Tonya, who does body painting professionally for casinos and theatres, and I started thinking about how we could incorporate this into a salon service,” says Fiorentino. “Tonya led us to Natalie.”

Natalie Foxhill recently joined the Hello Gorgeous! team as a body art manager, offering clientele a variety of tattoo-related services and teaching interested service providers the craft of body art. Here’s how Foxhill and the salon have expanded their service offerings:

Tattoo Embellishment: Over time, tattoos can fade, and Foxhill has discovered the most popular service is tattoo embellishment where she temporarily brightens the tattoo with paint and adds rhinestones and other bling as embellishment for a special occasion. “For example, we recently had a bride who wanted to show her tiger lily tattoo during her wedding, and asked us to brighten the colors and add rhinestones and glitter,” says Foxhill. “Like cosmetics on the face, this service lasts until the client takes a shower.”

Eye designs, like this swirl, have become immensely popular.
Temporary Tattoos: During prom season, glitter tattoos and tattooed jewelry were a popular way to accentuate the prom dress. “Some of the pre-made glitter designs are fairly inexpensive and can last 5-9 days, but we also have many girls request freehand, custom art,” says Foxhill. “Painted pieces of jewelry that compliments the color of the dress were popular as were designs around the eye. IN fact, I worked with a dance troupe for their annual recital and they all had designs.”

Tattoo Trials: Promoting the service through their Facebook page, the salon encouraged clients to “Think Before You Ink,” offering Natalie’s services to freehand a design before getting a permanent tattoo. “Then going into it, you get a feel for the right size, placement and color of the tattoo,” says Foxhill. “We even take courtesy so the client has artwork they can present to the tattoo artist.”

Prices range from $5 for a small transfer tattoo to more than a hundred for a custom design, depending on the size and the intricacy of the design. Hello Gorgeous! has had success marketing the services to their database of clients and through their Facebook camera, and Foxhill found fame with one of the local radio station where she creates tasteful body art on bikini-clad models while the station encourages listeners to check out the work through its webcam, also know as the “Hottie Cam."

Since introducing the new services, the salon discovered the temporary tattoos transcend age, and have even had clients as old as 60 request the service. “Younger women no longer have dainty tattoos, they can have entire sleeves, but women of all ages are feeling more powerful in society and see this as a ways to express their individuality,” says Foxhill. “For example, I just had one client who was going to attend a Jimmy Buffet concert and asked if I could recreate the Margaritaville parrot on her arm for the night.”

"Plus Natalie does the artwork in the reception area near the makeup section, and we've found that's create quite a bit of excitement among our clientele," says Fiorentino.


This permanent tattoo gets enhanced by Foxhill's paintbrush.






Stacey Soble Stacey Soble, Editor in Chief of Salon Today

Stacey has been involved in the conversation of salon business for 14 years—as a reporter, a consultant and as the Editor in Chief of SALON TODAY.

Read Stacey Soble's Blogs You can e-mail Stacey at ssobley@vancepublishing.com.


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Julie Gilland    
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Spokane, Wa.  |  September, 28, 2011 at 05:02 PM

Your article about temporary tattoos interested me a great deal. I am an artist and I would love to learn to do temporary tattoos, and add it to my list of services at my salon. Is there more info on how to do temporary tattoos, what type of body paint to use, if I need a special license to do them on my clients, and sanitation procedures for temporary tattooing? I would appreciate any info you can give me, thanks.