Most people get tattoos because they want to display them. Tattoos are works of art and the body is the beautiful canvas. Not to get all sappy, but tattoos are outward manifestations of our inner selves and interests. Plus, they look cool. However, sometimes you need a clever way to hide a tattoo that is visible, because #life. Whether it's for a job interview, because of a professional restriction, or due to a formal event in which your attendance is required, there are times when your tattoos need to go undercover.
That doesn't necessarily mean that you have to slather on a thick, pore-clogging, or industrial-grade foundation or makeup to try and bury your tattoo. Depending on the actual physical location and placement of your ink, you can get really creative with accessories, your hair, and a variety of other things in order to temporarily conceal that tattoo.
Hiding your tattoo does not mean you are embarrassed or regretful. It merely means that the permanent artwork cannot be shown off all of the time. It's still there and you are still proud of it. In many ways, it's your beautiful little secret.
But here are 11 clever ways to hide a tattoo when you have no other choice.
1. Let Your Hair Down... Or Up
The easiest way to cover a tattoo in the popular location that is the back of the neck is to wear your hair down. Actually, wear it... up! Wait... what? You can wear your hair up in a loose pony and still conceal your back-of-the-neck tattoo by letting a few tendrils fall out of the fastener. You can rock messy bedhead and hide that ink. It'll take a little effort and maybe even some product. But try it.
If you have a tattoo on your wrist, well, you are in luck. It's one of the easiest places to hide, since you can pile on the bracelets. I recommend adding a thick bangle or perhaps stacking six or seven skinny bangles. That will ensure your ink remains out of full view while your wrist is super accessorized and stylin'. It might be a little noisy, though!
Take a page out of Rihanna's book. The singer has lots of tattoos on and around her neck, shoulders, and collarbone region. One of the best ways to keep those tattoos hidden from view is to wrap a scarf around your neck. If it's not cold out, you can still drape or loop a silky, lightweight scarf. It'll look like you are just being your super stylish, well-accessorized self. But the scarf will serve the dual purpose of keeping a tattoo out of sight.
4. Sleeves For Sleeves
Have a half-sleeve? I do. Even though a half-sleeve takes up a significant portion of your arm's skin real estate, I have a clever way to keep mine concealed. I usually wear super light, Old Navy or thrifted cardigans in three-quarter or elbow-lengths. I can still bunch the sleeves up on warmer days, all the while keeping my tattoo outta sight! On hot days, the cardi keeps me and my arms covered when central air conditioning rivals the temps in a meat locker! Cardis for the win.
Have a small black tattoo anywhere on your body, from your wrist to your finger to your arm to your collarbone? Like a word? A date? A music note? A smiley face? A negative space star? Grab a Sharpie and draw over it with a big heart. You can totally say you are test-driving a fake tattoo to see if you like the look and want to commit.
6. Put It Somewhere Naturally Hideable
This is a no-brainer. Getting a tattoo in a discreet location on your body means the placement can also act as a clever hiding spot. Putting a tattoo on the top of your foot or your inner ankle or on your ribs means it is concealed most of the time and usually by clothing. You could also do a tattoo on the side of your finger so it's constantly hidden by other fingers. That's a lazy girl's clever way of hiding a tattoo in plain sight.
7. ACE Bandage
If all else fails, use an ACE bandage to hide a wrist or an ankle tattoo. I know it might seem sorta ballsy to, you know, fake an injury. But if you are desperate to hide a tattoo, you can wrap it up with a bandage. Richard Gere did something similar in An Officer & A Gentleman so there's your inspo.
If you have ankle or leg tattoos and you're going to a dressy event, you could resort to opaque, black tights, a la Zooey Deschanel, to cover them up. While your pretty ink may be hidden, this is still a cute and fashiony look.
9. High Tops
On the flip, if it's warm out and you aren't getting dressed up, try a pair of Chuck Taylor high top Converse. They are a classic and you can use the socks and the height of the shoe to prevent your tattoo from peeking out.
Get temporary tattoo freedom by using Kat Von D's Tattoo Eraser. Since she is a tattoo artist, she has specific knowledge on how to use product to counteract the colors of the ink.
The pink pencil was formulated to counteract black and blue inks.
If you've got a fancy event on your dossier and have a lower back tattoo that needs to be hidden, perhaps you can rely on Spanx or other shapewear to make sure no one sees it. This is particularly important if your outfit is lacy or is at all see-through.
Good luck in testing these clever and insanely easy ways to hide tattoos.