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Cuticle tattoo trend is taking nail art off your nails

Up until now, nail art lovers have been adorning the nail itself, but let’s take the art below the nail. Enter nail art’s hottest new look: temporary cuticle tattoos. Your fingers have never looked better.

temporary cuticle tattoos

Photo credit: Rad Nails

Remember those temporary tattoos we all loved as kids? Well, cuticle tattoos are based on the same concept and come in decorative shapes and patterns that add flair to the skin just under your nail. Equal parts edgy and eye-catching, cuticle tattoos take the basic mani up a few notches in a matter of minutes and are a snap to apply. Just cut your tattoo out, press it to your skin and apply water to the back. The backing will come right off leaving a spiffy design to add interest to your nail look.

Chrissy Mahlmeister, founder and creator of Rad Nails, told us how she came up with the idea for her company’s cuticle tattoos. “We’re so used to seeing the designs stay within the tiny borders of our nails, but I wanted to take it a step further and expand the idea of what nail art can actually be,” she explains. “One day, I was playing with some nail polish, and I thought it would be cool if the drips actually extended beneath the nail to create the illusion of paint dripping onto my skin. I tried out some different ways to achieve this look and eventually ended up with temporary tattoos that can be applied to both the skin and nails.”

How to wear

Need some tips on how best to rock the cuticle tattoo trend? Here are some of our favorite Instagrams sporting the trendy transfers.

1. Rock the cuticle tattoo trend in a subtle way by only applying tattoos to a couple of fingers and pairing them with a demure shade for a less-is-more look.

2. Make sure the focus is on your fingers by picking a bold shade of polish and a variety of cuticle tattoos for a mani that commands attention.

3. Keep your look uniform with the same cuticle tattoo on each finger and match with a gorgeous shade of polish. Clean, classy and cool for summer.

4. Use cuticle tattoos to complement an already intricate nail design for a look that puts all eyes on your nails.

5. Bling out an accent nail in a sparkly shade and apply a cuticle tattoo to only that one nail for a subtle take on the faux tattoo trend.

Shop the trend

Ready to try out the trend for yourself? Grab one of these cuticle tattoo nail art sets:


Ciaté's Cuticle Tattoos

Give your regular old manicure a bold boost with Ciaté’s Cuticle Tattoos that come in a variety of fun designs like bows, stars and more. A fashion statement for your nails, these easy to apply and remove faux tattoos will soon become your number one nail accessory. And let’s not forget they’re formulated without parabens, sulfates and phthalates. (Sephora, $12)

Rad Nails

Rad Nails' Cuticle Tattoos

Available in three fun designs, Rad Nails’ Cuticle Tattoos will up your nails’ cool factor and can even be applied to your actual nails if you’re looking to switch it up. These affordable cuticle tattoos are non-toxic, made in the U.S. and 100 percent vegan. (, $6)

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