If you play your cards right (that is, if you take the
appropriate measures), your tattoo will come out just the way you want it to. There are those instances, however, when your piece of body ink leaves you full of regret. Maybe your artist didn't capture your vision, maybe the years made you hate the butterfly tattoo you got fresh out of high school, or maybe the relationship you decided to permanently commemorate didn't last as long as you thought it would.
In those cases, you might prefer not to show your tattoo to the world on every occasion. If
laser removal isn't an option, the right foundations and concealers can help. We asked four makeup artists to share the products they fall back on when they need to cover up a tattoo without winding up with foundation marks all over their model or actor's clothing. Added bonus: If these items can hide a tattoo, they can cover up pretty much anything else, too.
Keep scrolling to find out exactly how to use these pro-approved finds.
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Foundations sticks, especially those with full-coverage, long-wearing formulas, are great for covering up smaller tattoos on the body. Makeup artist
Nina Soriano loves DermaBlend's water-resistant Quick Fix Foundation Mix Sticks, which were formulated to erase everything from tattoos to scars to bruises. "They're quick and easy to apply, plus they have a great, mixable color selection," she says. Dermablend Professional
Quick-Fix Body Foundation Stick, $29, available at
There's a reason every makeup artist worth his or her salt is obsessed with Laura Mercier's Secret Camouflage Concealer: The dry, waxy formula makes it easy to cover pimples, scars, and discoloration. But it's not just great at concealing minor blemishes — makeup artist
Katie Jane Hughes taps it over tattoos, too. Laura Mercier
Secret Camouflage, $35, available at
Laura Mercier More
Once the majority of the tattoo is covered, Hughes goes in with a generous misting of spray-on body makeup. Her go-to is St. Tropez's Wash Off Body Bronzing Mist, which gives the skin a veil of bronze coverage, but never transfers onto clothing.
One Night Only Wash Off Body Bronzing Mist, $20, available at
For Covering Large Areas
Soriano is also fan of Kryolan's DermaColor Body Camouflage, a smudge-proof and transfer-resistant foundation designed for the body, arms, and legs. The cream formula makes it easy to buff over large areas of skin.
Dermacolor Body Camouflage, $31.95, available at
There are few people who get
tattoo cover-up as much as makeup artists for TV and film. In this case, Evelyne Noraz, the makeup department head for Fifty Shades of Grey, really knows best. To hide Dakota Johnson's tattoos for her BDSM scenes as character Anastasia Steele, Noraz used this cult-favorite foundation (in several different shades) mixed with lotion for a natural wash of opaque color. MAC Cosmetics
M·A·C Studio Face and Body Foundation, $30, available at
MAC Cosmetics More
To Make It Last
Although both products are transfer- and fade-proof, Soriano goes the extra mile by setting her work with not one, but two products. She taps a layer of setting powder (she loves
this one) on top, then finishes off with DermaBlend's Makeup Setting Spray. "It really holds everything in place," she says. Ulta
Set + Refresh Makeup Setting Spray, $24, available at
Dermablend Professional More
Any tattoo artist will tell you that the most crucial step in
tattoo aftercare is keeping the skin as moisturized as possible. Even long after your ink is healed — and you occasionally cover it up, for whatever reason — it's best to stay away from drying products that might unnecessarily fade the ink, like alcohol. Luckily, this lightweight spray is free of the dehydrating ingredient, but still ensures a matte, long-lasting cover-up for hours. Cover FX
Mattifying Setting Spray, $31, available at
For The Advanced Among Us
For those who need coverage that'll last through a dip in the pool, makeup artist
Elisa Flowers turns to this palette to get the job done. "This is what I use when I need to cover a tattoo or multiple tattoos and have the coverage last all day," she says. The palette, which contains five flesh-toned shades and five colored shades like blue, coral, white, and olive can be mixed and matched to create custom hues.
"Sometimes when you cover up a tattoo with regular makeup, it can turn green or look like a bruise," says Flowers. "I use the colored shades, like coral, to cancel out black pigment and then conceal with the flesh-toned shades."
This palette isn't designed for makeup novices, though, as the shades are activated with alcohol rather than water. "Spray your brush with 99% alcohol and dip it into the product before painting over your tattoo," she says. "Once it dries, the coverage becomes waterproof and smudge-proof. You could go swimming or get married in this stuff and no one will ever see your ink."
Skin Illustrator Flesh Tone Palette, $80, available at
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