Makeup to Hide Tattoos That Won't Go Away

mirror reflection of a makeup artist and a girl

Tattoos can be beautiful works of art or something questionable your inexperienced friend did on a whim with a tattoo gun one night. Whether you love your ink, or you just want to forget your ink, you may find yourself wanting to cover it up either way. 

It could just be for a wedding or a job interview, or maybe it's something regularly you're looking to conceal. Removing a tattoo with a laser can be expensive and painful, but that is not your only option. There are several ways you can hide or cover up a tattoo.  We're going to go over how to cover it entirely with makeup. 

You can use makeup on more than just your face. It works well in various areas of your body if you use the proper technique.

 So let's get into how to cover any tattoo! 

How Soon Can You Cover A Tattoo?

You just got fresh ink, but then you remember your grandma's 100th birthday party is coming up, and you know she disapproves of tattoos. You can't miss the party, but it's also in a place you can't cover with clothing. You're left wondering, can you even put makeup on a fresh tattoo? 

If you have a tattoo, you know that it gets there by making thousands of tiny pricks in the skin. The tattoo process essentially creates thousands of little wounds. Your body's immune system goes into overdrive trying to attack the ink particles in your skin. The surface of your skin also begins to scab and peel as it heals. 

A tattoo will usually heal within two to three weeks. However, some people's tattoos can take up to two months to completely heal. 

You may not want to try to put makeup on a tattoo in the healing process.   Since it's an open wound essentially, covering it with makeup can lead to irritation, or worse, an infection that ruins the ink. 

Once your tattoo has totally peeled and healed, you can start using makeup on it. So Grandma may be in for a special birthday surprise. 

Matching Your Skin Tone

When you're purchasing makeup to cover a tattoo, the first thing you need to make sure of is that it matches your skin tone perfectly. This means you need a product that fits your skin's undertone and shade. 

Your undertone never changes, no matter what. Whether you're pasty white or freshly bronzed, your skin's undertone remains the same. It is the hue of your skin that can be warm, cool, or neutral. There are several ways you can determine your undertone if you don't know it already. 

Once you figure out what your undertone is, you can think about the shade of your skin where your tattoo is. If you have multiple tattoos in different areas of your body, you probably need more than one shade. For example, the makeup you use for the top of your arm probably won't work on your neck, which is typically a much lighter shade.

So, do a few swatch tests to make sure you have a good match so you don't end up with a noticeable patch on your body.

Prep And Priming Your Skin

Before you ever put makeup on your skin, you need to get it ready. 

Start by washing your tattoo and the surrounding area with warm water and soap. You can also use a face wipe if you can't wash it off. The point is to remove any dirt or oil from your skin that will prevent a smooth, long-lasting finish. 

After your skin is clean, you can go in with a primer. A primer can help your makeup stay in place for all-day wear. This is a crucial step if you have oily skin because you are more prone to it wearing off. You only need to apply a thin layer to get the job done. 

HIDE has an extensive shade range and a shade finder, so you can easily find your perfect match. 

Color-Correcting Tattoos

Before you apply a concealer or a foundation, you can use a color corrector to help your tattoo disappear. 

A color corrector goes under your other products to cancel out colors on the skin. 

If you've never seen color-correcting concealers, they come in many different colors like green and orange, which can feel scary to use on your skin. However, it can be a beneficial extra step for some if you don't have a high coverage concealer or foundation. 

Color correcting uses the opposite color on the color wheel to cancel out discoloration. You can color correct for any color. 

If your tattoo is darker colors, reach for a color corrector in the orange family. Apply a thin layer over the entire tattoo. It may look very orange, but don't worry, the result won't be! You have to trust the process when it comes to color correcting. 

If you are using HIDE products, color correcting may not be necessary since it can generally cover any discoloration completely. 

Using Concealer To Cover Tattoos

Whether you use a color-correcting concealer first or not, the next step is a skin-toned product. You can go right in with a concealer over the area. 

There are many different kinds of concealers. The three main types are cream, stick, and liquid concealers. Stick and cream concealers are very pigmented and work well at covering a multitude of things. However, they can be heavier products and don't allow the skin to breathe as well. An oil-free liquid foundation will allow your skin to breathe and not clog your pores. Liquid foundation is also easier to blend out seamlessly into your skin.

To apply the liquid concealer, carefully dab and stipple it on top of the area until your tattoo has totally vanished. You can apply more than one layer, but use thin layers one at a time for the best results.

HIDE Premium Concealer was formulated with covering tattoos in mind. It's high coverage and highly pigmented to cover even the brightest or darkest tattoos. 

Using Foundation To Cover Tattoos 

You can use a high coverage foundation if you don't have a concealer on hand, or you can use both as you do on your face. 

You want to try to get a foundation that is high coverage. A sheer foundation isn't buildable enough to cover a tattoo. A high coverage foundation, however, will create a solid base for you to build off of. 

If you do use both foundation and concealer, you won't need as much concealer. You apply a thin layer of foundation and then a thin layer of concealer to completely cover the tattoo. 

Similar to our concealer, HIDE Premium Foundation is waterproof and transfer-proof and won't rub off. It's also long-lasting and feels weightless on your skin so that you won't even notice you're wearing it. 

One of the best ways to apply your foundation to hide a tattoo is by using a damp makeup sponge to dab on the product in a concentrated area. You can use a foundation brush to apply it to the skin initially but go back over it with a little extra product on your sponge. Dab gently over the area for a more even, seamless finish. You don't want to rub the foundation or drag it because it will move the product around and not give you the maximum level of coverage. 

You can build up coverage as needed until your tattoo is properly hidden. Remember to start with thin layers and not just dive in with one thick layer if you want a more natural finish.

Set With Powder

When you are done covering your tattoo with your foundation and concealers, set the area with a translucent powder. 

Setting your tattoo will ensure everything is locked into place and won't come off until you want it to come off. 

Use a fluffy powder brush and a small amount of product and gently brush it over your tattoo. You don't want to press so hard it moves your makeup. 

You can also set your makeup with a setting spray that will do essentially the same thing as the powder. It helps make sure your makeup stays in place all day. 

In Summary

Covering your tattoos is possible with the right products and application techniques. 

You can use a color corrector to cancel out the colors in your tattoo before going in with other products. You want to use a high coverage foundation and concealer, or both, to fully cover your tattoo. Set your tattoo with powder or a setting spray for all-day wear. 

HIDE products are an excellent option if you are looking to cover tattoos. 



Tattoo Aftercare: How To Take Care of a New Tattoo | Web MD

What Happens to Skin When You Get a Tattoo | Business Insider

How to Use Color Correct Makeup - How to Color Correct | Elle

Skin Undertones Guide: Is Your Skin Warm, Cool, or Neutral? | Byrdie