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Body art with the aesthetic of permanent tattoos and none of the commitment? That sounds like an impossible dream if you’ve never visited one of Ephemeral Tattoo’s four studios (for locations see ephemeral.tattoo), but that’s the science-based magic of their “made-to-fade” tattoo ink.

“Our ink goes into the same layer of skin as traditional ink, but it’s biodegradable and will be broken down by the body,” explains Q, a tattoo artist at the L.A. studio. The result is a real tattoo—applied with a real tattoo gun—that naturally and safely fades away in nine to 15 months.

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Ephemeral helps clients explore new modes of self-expression by eliminating some of the initial anxiety that accompanies sitting in a tattoo chair. “More often than not,” Q says, “first-time clients love their pieces so much that they ask how long they have to wait before getting it done over in permanent ink.” –RACHEL SANOFF

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Photos courtesy of Ephemeral 

This article originally appeared in BUST's Summer 2022 print edition. Subscribe today!

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