How to Cover a Tattoo with Makeup

Tattoos are great, however there are some occasions where people do not want their ink to be on display. Whether you have a wedding coming up, a job interview, or you just feeling like temporarily covering your tattoo, we’ll help you go undetected.
Andrew Velázquez, a Professional Makeup Artist in the Los Angeles area takes us through his step-by-step guide for how to cover a tattoo with makeup.

As a professional Makeup Artist, I often receive requests from clients to cover up their tattoos with makeup. On the salon side of my business, brides are the most common client to request tattoo coverage because although they love their ink, they may not want the tattoo shown in pictures of their special day. On the professional side, models will often require that no tattoos show for a photoshoot or casting. No matter who the client, or what the reason, for me it is imperative to always use top quality cosmetics and products when covering tattoos so that I am able to achieve a flawless finish and long-lasting coverage. Here are the steps I use to cover a tattoo:

1. Clean before becoming unseen:

Although tattoo coverage is not a traditional makeup application job, it is still vital that you prep and clean the skin appropriately. Using a cotton pad, cleanse the tattooed area with rubbing alcohol. This not only disinfects the area but also helps absorb any natural body oils from the area, giving you a clean slate to apply the makeup to. You should also ensure that the area is free from any lotion or other product.

2. Prep and prime:

Now, that the area you wish to cover is clean, you should apply a primer to ensure maximum makeup hold. Using your fingers, apply a pea size amount of Insta-Grip™ Jelly Primer. Massage the product into the skin until it completely absorbs.

3. Lay the coverage:

For dark colored tattoos, you may consider using a color corrector such as Quick Fix™ Color-Correcting Powder Pigments on top of the tattoo before applying makeup. Use orange over areas of blue or faded tattoos and red for deep black ink. This will ensure the actual coverage is faster and more effective. Then, use Dermablend’s Leg and Body makeup in the appropriate shade for your skin. Use the first application on the entire tattoo as a beginning layer of coverage. If the tattoo is still visible the next steps will help ensure full coverage.

4. Conceal the tattoo:

Next you will want to cancel out any dark areas that you are still seeing from the tattoo by using a body concealer that is one shade lighter than your natural complexion to help highlight and neutralize the tattoo under tones which are typically a blue green tint. I recommend using the Quick-Fix® Body Foundation stick.

5. Stipple the body concealer:

Once you have covered the entire tattoo use a flat top stippling brush to press in gently and even out the color and texture. Pro Tip: A little product goes a long way. You want to use the least amount of product as you can in order to maintain the quality and finish of the area.

6. Review your work:

At this point you might want to take a step back or use a mirror to review the overall perspective and see if more coverage is needed. On a set environment, I recommend reviewing the coverage on the monitor as the studio lighting might affect how the makeup looks on screen.

7. Apply more coverage (if needed):

If more coverage is needed, build another layer of concealer by applying the product in a stippling motion. You can build coverage as many times as needed until the tattoo is covered.

8. Lock it in:

At this point, we need to lock-in the coverage to ensure that the makeup is water resistant and will last. Using a powder puff, sponge, or brush and the Loose Setting Powder in the original shade, apply a generous amount on top of the makeup to completely absorb the moisture. Then wait at least 2 minutes before buffing the powder away. If you have used more than 1 layer of foundation, wait up to 5 minutes before buffing off setting powder. This will ensure all the moisture is removed from the product and it won’t budge.

9. Set for all day wear:

The final step is to spray a light mist of the Lock and Last Setting Spray all over the covered areas. This will help ease the new ‘skin’ to look more natural and help bring synchronicity to the surrounding tissue.