Everything you need to know.
Our Ink & The Fade
Ephemeral’s ink looks, acts, and is applied just like a conventional tattoo—the only difference is that it can be fully removed by your body’s immune system, making it the perfect balance between a temporary tattoo and a permanent tattoo.
Our ink is biodegradable and is naturally broken down over time by your body and removed from the skin by your body's immune system. Traditional ink particles are too large to be broken down by your body. Our ink is different–but only in ways invisible to the eye–and made-to-fade.
Yes, all Ephemeral tattoos will completely fade away.
Given the physical and chemical nature and known degradation rates of components in our ink, it is impossible for an Ephemeral tattoo to be permanent. As long as there is water present in a tattoo wearer's body, Ephemeral tattoos will break down and will be naturally removed.
That depends on a few things. There are five primary factors at play when talking about your tattoo’s longevity expectations. Some are within your control and some are not. The factors that are in your control are the tattoo’s design (thin vs. thick lines, shading, size), placement (where on your body), and aftercare. The remaining factors, like your skin physiology and the immune system are unique to each individual.
With all these variables at play, we know that 70% of Ephemerals will fade in under 2 years based on the most popular tattoo design and placement choices customers make today. Regardless of where your Ephemeral tattoo falls in this range, rest assured: Your tattoo will completely fade. We guarantee that our tattoos will last at least a year and no more than three or your money back.
Regardless of where your Ephemeral tattoo falls in this range, rest assured knowing that it will fade away.
Everyone’s fade may look a little different. Take a look at our How It Works page to learn more about why and how fade varies and examples of how fade journeys can differ. You can also take a look at the fade journey of this husband and wife who got their tattoos on the exact same day.
The first noticeable attribute of a fading Ephemeral tattoo is a change in ink saturation. This is typically most obvious when you see your Ephemeral going from a dark black to a light gray.
Ephemeral’s ink is composed of medical-grade polymers (the same used in dissolvable stitches), water and dyes.
Simply put, polymers are chains of smaller molecules. The polymers in Ephemeral ink come from FDA-regulated manufacturers of medical devices—that’s what makes the polymers “medical grade.” They’re also biodegradable and bioabsorbable, so after they enter the body, they will gradually break down into carbon dioxide and water and then be removed.
The dyes in Ephemeral ink are naturally available or FDA-approved for use in cosmetics, food and medical devices. Unlike most permanent tattoo inks, we don’t use metal-based pigments or PPD (paraphenylenediamine) in Ephemeral ink.
Our made-to-fade ink is also vegan, and many of our components are derived from natural plant sources.
Ephemeral ink naturally breaks down and is removed completely by the body. To achieve this, we dedicated the first three years of our research and testing to carefully selecting each material used in our ink. We deliberately:
- Selected materials that break down, in the body, into carbon dioxide and water.
- Selected materials already approved for use by the FDA in other products such medical devices, cosmetics or food.
- Avoided the use of metallic components.
- Avoided the use of known carcinogenic and teratogenic components.
Additionally, while the FDA does not regulate tattoo inks, we voluntarily conducted a rigorous clinical study approved by the Institutional Review Board (a governing body of the FDA) as well as a safety study in partnership with Henry Ford hospital.
Yes, our ink is vegan—we don’t use any animal-derived ingredients or byproducts.
All Ephemeral tattoos are currently available in BLACK ink only. Not only is it the most popular tattoo color, it’s preferred by most tattoo artists and allows fine-line work to stand out.
We are developing Ephemeral color ink (hint: 🔴). It’s a delicate process and takes time, but it’s on the horizon. Sign up for our newsletter in the footer to be the first to hear when new Ephemeral colors become available!
Tattoo Placement Guidelines
If you're lost, try to think about how visible you want your tattoo. Is the tattoo just for you (you want to easily look at it)? Or would you prefer to show it off and hide it when you want?
Note: You'll figure out the exact placement, right or left side of the body, in the studio with your artist. So don't get stuck here!
Face, hands, fingers, feet, and toes are unavailable currently till we are confident that these placements will give you the best quality tattoo and fade.
Right now we do not tattoo fingers. Finger placements are notoriously challenging when when it comes to quality of lines, even when it comes to traditional ink. To ensure that you love your tattoo from start through fade, we are waiting to do more testing and training before allowing for this placement.
Regret Nothing Guarantee
The Regret Nothing Guarantee is our promise that reflects our belief that you’ll love your Ephemeral. This means...
Tattoos that Last At Least a Year
We guarantee a complimentary replacement tattoo if your Ephemeral lasts less than a year.
Maximum Fade Duration
70% of customers can expect to fade in under two years. While fade times vary, your Ephemeral will 100% fade away. We promise your money back if your Ephemeral tattoo lasts longer than three years.
Best-in-Class Tattoo Quality
We believe you will love your Ephemeral the moment you leave our studios. We offer a complimentary touch-up within 60 days of your appointment.
Learn more about the Regret Nothing Guarantee.
We have different tattoo services based on the size and the complexity of the tattoo (more details or more shading). All tattoo services are a flat price and include tax and tip—clear for you, kind for our team.
- The Subtle Ephemeral ($195) are tiny to small tattoos with minimal to no shading.
- The Standout Ephemeral ($250) are medium tattoos with detail and light shading.
- The Statement Ephemeral ($450) large tattoos that often have more shading.
No worries if you’re on the fence about your size or product type. You’ll finalize this in the studio during your consultation before the tattooing begins.
We do not charge anything when booking, but we do ask for a credit card to secure your appointment and for modifications to your appointment time.
Cancellations and reschedules made within 72 hours of the original appointment incur a $20 fee. No shows incur a $50 fee.
In traditional shops it's best practice to tip your tattoo artist 20%. At Ephemeral we already include this tip in the total cost of the tattoo.
Our artists aren't paid on commision and are paid a salary—that's why our tip is included in all our prices. Clear for you, kind to our team.
We accept all major credit cards and are cashless. Note: we cannot currently split payments.
Booking Your Tattoo
Appointment times range depending on the size and level of detail for your design.
- The Subtle Ephemeral will take 1 hr.
- The Standout Ephemeral will take 2 hrs.
- The Statement Ephemeral will take 3+ hrs.
Appointments open 6 weeks in advance.
If you do not see a date that works for you, there is an option to contact your studio on the booking page. Our studio teams will be in touch within 48-72 hours.
Cancellations & Reschedules
Out of respect for our artists all cancellations within 72 hours will be charged a $20 fee. No shows will be charged a $50 fee.
To cancel, email your local studio.
Because we begin preparing for your tattoo in advance of your arrival, if you reschedule within 72 hours of your appointment, you'll be charged a $20 reschedule fee.
To reschedule, email your local studio.
You must be 18+ to get an Ephemeral tattoo, regardless of parental consent.
All Ephemeral tattoos are currently done in black ink since it’s the most popular color, is preferred by most tattoo artists, and looks great with fine line work.