Originally created 09/15/99

Tattoo look doesn't have to be permanent



Sure, tattoos are a hot trend today, but fashion is fickle, so think about temporary beauty designs on the body. There are plenty of products for self-applications of mehndi designs, tattoos, body jewels and stenciled-on color. They're perfect for people of the here-today-gone-tomorrow mentality.

You can create henna designs that last about a week with the help of a new book, The Art of Mehndi (Penguin Studio, $19.95), by mehndi artist Sumita Batra, whose clients include Madonna, Liv Tyler, Gwen Stefani and Naomi Campbell. The proprietor of the ZIBA Beauty Center in Artesia, Calif., provides information about the history, symbolism and spiritual aspects of the art from India, as well as how-tos.

Prefer a tattoo that looks like the real thing but washes off in a few days? A favorite with celebs, Temptu Body Art sells temporary tattoo kits that include skin transfers, paintbrushes and color. Leonardo Di Caprio sported a few Temptu designs in Romeo and Juliet, and Julia Roberts gets the temporary tattoo treatment in the film Runaway Bride. Log on to http://www.temptu.com.

Cover Girl offers temporary tattoos with the stroke of a wand. You can decorate hands and wrists with shimmery designs using stencils included in each package of Galactic Glow body art. Washes off with soap and water.

You can create a necklace right on your skin with Maybelline's Cosmic Edge easy-to-peel-off adhesive body jewels. Body decals provide another look.

Don't feel like fussing with paint, tattoos or adhesives? There are stretchy wire necklaces, bracelets and anklets that have an effect similar to that of body art. Made of thin wire bent into intricate designs, this jewelry resembles henna designs or body jewels but only lasts as long as you feel like wearing it.