These days, fashion is everything. From catwalk models to celebrities to shopping addicts, wearing the latest gear is a must, every day. And, the accessories are just as important. From Dior sunglasses to Gucci bags and Cartier watches to diamond earrings, in fashion you go all the way or you don’t go at all.

Now, in a bid to out-do each other, temporary tattoos are creating a storm in the world of diva’s and metrosexuals. Dropping by Linda Mason’s makeup boutique in Soho last week, Laura Eastwood was looking to add a bit of sizzle to her eye-catching look. For a night on the town, she was wearing a strapless Gucci cocktail dress, but wanted to add to her glamour by having her shoulder inked, temporarily.

laura eastwood temporary tattoo

(Laura gets tattooed temporarily)

In her eyes, the fake tattoos are no worse than hair extensions of fake snakeskin boots. A temporary tattoo is an image, but for one night only. And with the ability to have anything etched onto her body and the choice of a vast array of colours, a temporary tattoo can compliment any item of clothing.

Temporary tattoos are back,” said Michael Benjamin, the president of Temptu, a New York supplier of mock tattoos and body paints. In more than a decade as Temptu’s chief executive, Mr. Benjamin has seen their status wax and wane. He said that in the last year or two, his business has doubled. And these days, he has an armful of competitors, companies like Funtoos, Tattoo Shock and Body Graphics.

The cost varies, from about $10 for a packet of do-it-yourself ink transfers, to several thousand dollars for a custom design applied by a pro.

temporary tattoo design

Danielle Fonseca, who applied ink-transfer tattoos to a gaggle of models at Mr. Jacobs’s party, views them as a faintly kinky adjunct to traditional makeup. “They offer a kind of branding,” she said, “a way people have of defining themselves.”

The temps include ink transfer designs pressed onto the skin, sold at national chains like Ricky’s and Claire’s. Other versions are painted on by hand or applied with a stencil and airbrush. Treated with care they stay put for an evening or several days. Most can be removed with a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol.