3 Ways to Cover a Tattoo, If You Want to Do That Sort of Thing

I experimented with a few different options to find what works best.
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Danielle
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I experimented with a few different options to find what works best.

As a fully realized embellishment addict, my beauty and accessory choices are fueled by my desire to live my own way. I get tattoos in mostly the same spirit, a sense of adornment, a memory or piece of my identity permanently etched into my skin like a bracelet or rings.

But, for funsies, why not have a go at covering up a tattoo? Mainly I just wanted to see what was available on the market to do such a thing, should one want to. I don’t see myself covering up my tattoos anytime soon, save for a story or something like that, but it has been really fun to see the press for makeup brands where it’s done, if nothing other than to show off. I find that to be rather bad ass. 

Here’s what the tattoo looks like normally:

D. Guercio tattoo cover (4 of 12).jpg

Here’s what I used to experiment: 

D. Guercio tattoo cover (7 of 12).jpg
  • Powder brush (I used a kabuki just because, no special reason)
  • Orange or Red cream blush
  • Concealer or body makeup

First, I tried a single layer of concealer with setting powder.

D. Guercio tattoo cover (10 of 12).jpg

This is what the Kat Von D Lock-It Tattoo Concealer looks like by itself, applied with an egg sponge. The coverage was pretty solid, and I think the opacity looked a bit stronger in person than in photos. You do need a lot of product to get it going, but it was pretty buildable. The finish is very natural looking--not too much shine or matte--and it feels very smooth. I liked the way this performed with a sponge, and it’s fabulous for blemishes.

Next, I tried orange pigment under concealer with setting powder.

D. Guercio tattoo cover (2 of 12).jpg

I was pretty surprised when this plan worked out well. The orange seemed to diffuse the black line work and also provide depth to the concealer. 

Dust setting powder onto tattoo to absorb any oil or moisturizers

Dust setting powder onto tattoo to absorb any oil or moisturizers

Stipple a decent layer of bright color onto the entire tattoo, lightly blend

Stipple a decent layer of bright color onto the entire tattoo, lightly blend

Using egg sponge, stipple a generous amount of concealer right on top of the orange, blending into the rest of the skin to soften covered edge.

Using egg sponge, stipple a generous amount of concealer right on top of the orange, blending into the rest of the skin to soften covered edge.

The only downside was the amount of product made it a bit worrisome for staying power. I think it set nicely, but would likely benefit from the use of a primer and setting spray or hairspray to form a seal.

Next, I tried Kryolan Dermacolor.

D. Guercio tattoo cover (3 of 12).jpg

Dermacolor had an opposite effect to the Lock-It: it looked better in photos than in real life! That's why it’s a video and professional go-to for creating a fantasy. 

This stuff sets like cement, and you don’t need much to cover a large area. The finish was slightly too matte in person, but looked better on camera. This is truly perfect for special effects and coverage, and there’s a huge variety of shades to choose from.

D. Guercio tattoo cover (11 of 12).jpg

And in case you were wondering, Chewbacca was a cat I rescued and had for a few years before his untimely passing. It left a hole in my heart, so I saw Andy Perez at Jersey City Tattoo Company (now he's moreso at Three Kings Tattoo) just to try and feel something after having to put Chewie down. It was a horrific experience, but I wouldn’t have given up the short time we had together for anything.

Tattoos can be just for fun, or they can be daily affirmations of your will to go on in the face of adversity. I’d never cover this one up for anything, save approximately five minutes of concealer analysis. The lettering and colors make it a good, bold example to really put the makeup to the test. I think they fared pretty well!

  • Did you ever have to cover up a tattoo?
  • Or are you like me and is that considered a dealbreaker?