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How to Cover a Tattoo Using Makeup

woman with pink hair and tattoo on right arm and wrist
Yuricazac/Shutterstock

If you have a fancy event or job interview coming up, you might be looking for ways to cover your visible tattoos temporarily. That’s where makeup comes in.

While tattoos are becoming more and more common (four out of ten U.S. adults now have one), there are some places where they’re still taboo. As someone with tattoos, you might want to choose when and how to display them, as well.

How to Cover Your Tattoos with Makeup

Using simple makeup products, you can cover your tattoo, so it’s not visible. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Clean Your Skin: Your first step is to clean the skin you want to cover. Clean skin holds makeup better since you’ll remove the oils that could prevent the makeup from sticking.
  2. Use a Primer: A primer is a cream or lotion that you apply to your skin before you apply makeup. Primer helps your makeup last longer and cover more. Rub a thin layer of primer over your tattoo to prepare your skin.
  3. Apply a Color Corrector: A color corrector is a type of makeup that fixes discolorations like dark spots or redness. The shade of corrector you use will depend on the color of your tattoo. Red-hued correctors can be used to cover black or gray tattoos. If you have a colored tattoo, you’ll want to pick a corrector color that’s on the opposite side of the color wheel from the color of the ink.
  4. Add a Layer of Foundation: Let your color corrector dry for one to two minutes. After that, apply your first layer of foundation. You’ll want to cover your entire tattoo with an even layer of foundation. Use a brush or beauty blender to blend the color into your skin.
  5. Apply Concealer to Any Areas Still Showing: Depending on how dark your tattoo is, some areas might still be showing through your foundation. You can add a layer of concealer to the spots that are still visible.
  6. Repeat Steps 3-5 as Needed: Add more color corrector, foundation, and concealer as needed, until you can’t see your tattoo anymore. You’ll want to view your tattoo in bright light to ensure that it’s hidden. Checking your skin outside can also help you see if the makeup covers your tattoo well.
  7. Apply a Finishing Powder: After you’ve reached your desired level of coverage, apply finishing powder. This will help set your makeup, so it lasts for a long time. It’ll also help your makeup look more natural.

Covering your tattoos doesn’t have to be stressful. These steps let you use simple makeup products to cover your tattoos fully, so you can feel comfortable in any outfit you need to wear.

Hayley Milliman Hayley Milliman
Hayley is a former Teach for America teacher turned curriculum developer and writer. Over the past five years, she's written hundreds of articles on everything from education to personal finance to history. She's co-author of the book Museum Hack's Guide to History's Fiercest Females. Read Full Bio »

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