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Made-To-Fade Tattoos – Are They Really Worth The Pain?

They bring new meaning to a temporary tattoo

CREDIT: Shutterstock/Olena Yakobchuk

We all remember the days of temporary sticker tattoos as kids and the precision required to ensure the whole print sticks to your arm, but now there’s an adult version of this children’s craze.

Made-to-fade tattoos are a new trend that is seemingly making the rounds on social media, with people both praising and critiquing the method. The concept remains the same as a normal tattoo – a needle, some ink and a design of your choice, but they are only intended to last for up to two years.

All tattoos, both real and otherwise, fade over time due to the pigmentation of the colour, but with a permanent tattoo, they’re, well, permanent! Made-to-fades use a biodegradable ink solution that slowly disappears from your skin over time, meaning they only last a fraction of the time of a normal tattoo despite going through an almost identical process. However, do they really do as they’re advertised?


#stitch with @heybrandonwakeup I’m not so sure about this one babes i think you’re stuck with it #foryoupage #fyp #trending #irish #gay #tattoo #funny #houseoftiktok

♬ Nikes on My Feet – Mac Miller

Well, the answer is, not quite. There’s no guarantee that they will 100% fade and leave your body without a trace, so it’s quite a risk to take if you decide you’re not a fan. At first glance, this might seem like the perfect entry-level tat to get, but with the possibility of a faded line drawing being permanent on, it’s maybe not such a good option.

Plus, made-to-fade tattoos cost just as much as a regular tattoo because you’re paying for the entire process, not just based on the longevity of how long the design will last for. So ultimately, your best bet is to just try out a  temporary tattoo sticker if you’re not ready for anything permanent just yet. You can even make them yourself now or use this handy printer that prints designs that only last for a day!

One American tattoo studio, in particular, has gained status due to their made-to-fade tattoos, with the business going viral across social media. They actively promote their temporary tattooing service as well as showing off the more traditional, permanent pieces of artwork they have done. Despite all the criticism surrounding made-to-fades, they seem to be pretty booked up, and they remain as one of the few places that offers this service so you’ll need to be quick if you’re interested in reserving a slot with them.

So, are they actually worth the hassle? Well… it’s not likely. There’s limited knowledge on them still and to know if they will last a maximum of two years you’ll have to wait two years and see the results! But at that point, this craze will be over and you’ll be looking into the next semi-permanent fixture in your life. 

Would you really want to splash out on something that expensive and short-lived when you can get the real deal for the same price? I’ll just take a sticker tattoo to go please!

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