Covering tattoos

How To Cover A Tattoo With Special FX Makeup

Well, chances are they probably have and it’s been one of Hollywooods best kept secret for a long time. It occurred to us that we should feature a post on how to cover up some gnarly looking tattoos when you want to get all dolled up for a night out, or maybe you just want to land that super stuffy corporate job after your tattoo career went south. Who knows! What we do know is that this step by step tutorial will have you covered in makeup and not tattoos in no time at all. Here is a step by step guide to covering (even dark) tattoos. Of course, it may not work entirely well for everyone depending on the type of  coverage you want.

Step 1.) First, thoroughly clean the tattoo with alcohol.

2.) Use the opposite end of the spectrum with color. For example, if you are trying to cover a blue tattoo you would use an orange palette to cover up how dark the tattoo your covering is. If you don’t have a bright orange makeup you can find it at most Halloween stores under their FX makeup sections. If not, it is available to order online through multiple retailers that work with film companies.

3.) Take a soft applicator brush to to the tattoo and begin to trace the outline and fill it in. You want to avoid the skin around the tattoo so make sure to trace carefully! This is a handy technique for weddings, auditions, etc. The reason to avoid non-tattooed area’s of skin is because it is much easier to blend by just covering the area that it is correcting (typically because tattoos are much darker than natural skin colors).

4.) Fill in most of the tattoo without going around the edges. You will need a softer, smaller brush for the outline of the tattoo. Once your tattoo is mostly covered, it should look something like this:

5.) You will now need a smaller thin angled brush, like this one:


6.) Go around the outline of the tattoo and get as close to the edge as possible. Take your time with this step as you don’t want it to smear and get messy. You can use long strokes or short smaller strokes depending on what is more comfortable for you. Remember that there are going to be a lot of layers of makeup! The color of your tattoo also determines the color of corrector you’re going to be using. Typically, you would use orange or peach because it covers darker tattoos the best. You want to use the opposite color of your tattoo on the color wheel in order to neutralize the tattoo.

7.) After you’re finished covering the tattoo completely, you’ll want to use a neutral setting powder. The makeup artist in this instructional tutorial recommends using Ben Nye Neutral Set Powder.

If you don’t have that on hand, MAC sells a great neutral setting powder as well.

8.) Load your powder brush and flick off the excess powder

9.) Apply a reasonable amount of powder to the desired area. The makeup is very thick so you will want to make sure to apply enough powder so the tattoo is almost white. Powder helps the concealer “set” so that you can easily apply the next layer of corrector.

10.) Dust away the excess powder being very careful to not smear the layer of makeup underneath the powder. When you’re finished dusting away the excess, your tattoo should look like this

11.) Choose a skin toned concealer to apply over the orange. Choose a color that is close to your own skin tone. Use a concealer brush (the same one that you used to apply the first layer of orange with).

12. Apply the skin toned concealer to the tattoo using “patting” motions in order to not disturb the layer of orange underneath.

13.) This color is alright if it gets on the skin since you will be blending the color into the skin anyway. The thicker the layer of concealer the better. You want to make sure to cover all of the orange and that you cannot see any of it bleeding through. The pigment in the tattoo depends on how much makeup you will need to get it all covered up.

14.) Once the tattoo is completely concealed with the concealer brush. Gently tap around the edges of the tattoo to blend them together. Make sure to not smear the two foundations together. Lightly tap around the outline to make the colors appear to be blending into the skin creating a gentle fade.

15.) Repeat the powdering process.=

16.) Powder the area and brush away the excess and when you’re finished tattoo should look something like this:

17.) You’re almost there, here are the last few steps in the process! Once the tattoo is evenly concealed, you’re going to want to use a blender sponge.

18.) Create a simple blended foundation that matches your skin tone or the skin tone that you’re trying to cover. You can test the colors on your hand or on the area surrounding your covered tattoo. Do not test on the covered tattoo! If it doesn’t match the skin color you’ve negated all the steps up until now. The makeup that you select should be thick and creamy.

19.) Apply the foundation to the sponge using a patting motion. Pat the tattoo with the foundation rather vigorously. In and around the outside.

20.) Yup, you guessed it. Repeat powdering process.


21.) Pat around the area one last time with your blending sponge.

That is how you completely cover a tattoo!


Thanks for viewing our post on best tips for covering up tattoos!

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Originally posted on March 16, 2018 @ 4:42 PM