Tattoos are the ultimate form of self-expression, but there may be times in life when you have to cover them up (like for the office). Knowing how to cover tattoos with makeup will make it easy to hide your tats whenever you need.
Concealing a tattoo with makeup is both an art and a science. This step-by-step guide will help.
The Best Products for Covering Up Tattoos
Before we talk about how to cover tattoos with makeup, let’s talk about which products you’ll need. You may already have some of these products in your makeup stash:
One of the first steps in any guide on how to cover tattoos with makeup is to apply a color-correcting primer. Why? Because the right primer can make your tattoo virtually disappear.
Tattoos typically have black and blue tones, and these hues can be canceled out with the right color-correcting primer or crayon.
Peach and orange color correctors are ideal for making these tones disappear, especially if you have a large or shaded tattoo.
One advantage of using a color-correcting product is that it will reduce the amount of concealer you need to use.
There are tons of color-correcting primers out there, and if you already have this in your makeup collection, you may not need to buy a separate product.
But if you don’t have a color-correcting primer, here are some great options:
One of the most important products you’ll need to cover up your tattoo is foundation. A full-coverage foundation will do most of the work of covering up your tattoo. If you already have a product that matches your skin tone perfectly, then there’s no need to purchase something different.
There are no specific foundation products for covering up tattoos (that we know of), but Dermablend body foundation comes close. Many people use Dermablend for covering up tattoos. The product was created for dermatologists as a body foundation to cover up things like scars, bruises and acne.
Other great body foundation products include:
Along with color-correcting primer and foundation, you’ll also want to use concealer. A full-coverage concealer on its own may be enough to cover up your tattoo.
But if you have a darkly shaded tat or a large design, you’ll likely want to use color-correcting products and foundation as well.
You can use the concealer you already have in your makeup collection, or you can use one of these awesome products:
When you do a full face of makeup, what’s your last step? A setting powder, right? You want your face makeup to stay put and look great all day long.
Take the same approach when using makeup to cover up your tattoo.
Once your tattoo is fully covered, apply a good setting powder. Some great options for setting powder include:
Over time, you may find that there are other products you will want or need for covering up your tattoo. But for the most part, these items are all that you’ll need to hide your tattoos.
How to Cover Tattoos with Makeup – Step by Step Guide
Now that you know which products you need, let’s talk about how to cover tattoos with makeup step by step.
1. Make Sure Your Skin is Clean
First things first, make sure that your skin is clean and fresh. It’s best to follow this routine after you’ve showered.
2. Apply a Makeup Primer
Next, apply a makeup primer to your tattoo. A primer will create a smooth, neutral base and help your makeup products last longer.
If you don’t have a makeup primer, don’t sweat it. You can still cover up your tattoo using the steps below.
3. Apply a Color Corrector
The next step is to grab your color-correcting primer and start applying it to your tattoo. Use a damp makeup sponge to apply this product. Be sure to use a generous amount of color corrector to start concealing your tattoo.
If you can perfect this step, you’ll have a much easier time concealing your tattoo.
4. Apply Foundation with a Sponge
Now that you’ve applied your color corrector, you can move on to the next layer: foundation. Make sure that you’re applying the foundation on top of the color-corrected area of the skin.
We recommend using a makeup sponge for this step, too. A makeup sponge will allow you to blend your foundation seamlessly. Blend in an outward motion so that it blends in with the rest of your skin.
Here’s where it pays off to have a full-coverage foundation. Sometimes, blending a thin foundation will allow skin flaws to show through. If skin flaws are still visible, then you can be sure that your tattoo ink will still be visible.
Experiment with different foundations to find one that will give you optimal coverage. Color correcting will also help here because you’ve already neutralized the colors (hopefully).
5. Add Concealer
Next, you’ll want to follow up with a concealer. Make sure that you’re using a color that best matches your skin tone. It’s important to get a near-perfect match for your skin tone if you really want to hide your tattoo.
Some people apply concealer before foundation. Try experimenting with these two steps to see which one works best for you.
You can use a sponge to apply concealer, or you can use your favorite makeup brush.
As you’re applying your products, make sure that you’re checking the color and look to see if you need to add more in certain areas. Your tattoo may still be visible if you’re not applying enough product to your tattoo.
Try different blending techniques to see which one works best for you.
6. Apply a Setting Powder
Once you’re happy with the color and look, it’s time to apply a setting powder to ensure everything is set.
This final step will help lock all of your makeup layers in place and extend the wear of your products.
Want a visual guide on how to cover tattoos with makeup? Here’s a great tutorial:
The Benefits of Using Makeup to Cover Your Tattoo
There are many benefits to using makeup to cover up your tattoo, such as:
- Freedom and flexibility. If you can master the art of covering your tats with makeup, you can wear whatever you want without worrying about how you’re going to conceal your ink. For example, if you’re getting married, you can wear whatever dress you want – not the one that hides your tattoo.
- Makeup is temporary. You can wash it off at the end of the day, and your tattoo will still be there. Yes, clothing is also temporary, but it limits your freedom in what you wear. Tattoo removal is permanent, so makeup is a great compromise.
Tips for Covering Your Tats with Makeup
Now that you know the steps for covering up your tattoo with makeup, here are some tips to consider:
Do a Few Trial Runs First
Practice makes perfect. Make sure that you do a few trial runs before you cover up your tattoo for work or a big event.
Doing a few trial runs will give you the time to see whether your products are working for you. If you find that your concealer or your foundation isn’t working out, you’ll have the time to switch out these products.
Giving yourself time for practice will help you feel more confident in the process and allow you to address any issues without stress.
Choose the Right Color Correcting Primer
Choosing the right color correcting primer is the key to really hiding your tattoos. How do you know which colors to choose?
Colors that are opposite to each other on the color wheel will cancel each other out.
- Green cancels out red
- Orange cancels out blue or black
- Purple cancels out yellow
Here’s a color wheel to help you visualize which colors you should choose when covering up your tattoo:
You can find color correcting products in a variety of colors. And if you have a really colorful tattoo, you may need to use a few different color correcting products to fully conceal your tattoo.
Give Your Tattoo Time to Heal Before Covering It Up
If your tattoo is new, it’s important to give it time to heal before using makeup to cover it up. Tattoos can take anywhere from three weeks to a few months to heal completely.
Applying makeup while your tattoo is still healing can cause irritation, infection or other complications.
If you absolutely must cover up your new tattoo, consider using accessories or clothing to hide it until it’s healed.
If you have a tattoo that you need to cover up, makeup is a great option. It gives you the freedom to conceal your tattoo and wear whatever clothing you want. But you need the right product and process to succeed. The step-by-step guide above is a great place to start.