Unfortunately, despite these increasingly progressive times we live in, there comes a time when covering up a tattoo with makeup is an urgent necessity. Perhaps an important job interview suddenly makes you wish you could temporarily ditch your hand tattoo until you've gotten the job and proved your worth. Maybe that wolf-eating-a-baby-skull ink suddenly doesn't seem ideal for meeting your beau's parents. Maybe you're sure a sleeve of tattoos could distract from your audition of a lifetime. Whatever the rare reason, sometimes it's better to cover up your precious tats.
So far, I have yet to regret any of my tats. Yes, even the matching tattoo on my hand that my sister and I got to pay tribute to the movie Breakin 2: Electric Boogaloo — an inside joke that literally pains me every time a stranger asks, "What's your hand say?" Well, I'm glad you asked. It says that together my sister and I make bad decisions, but I love that. It's hard to regret a tattoo that only provides laughter. Of course, one reason why it's so easy for me to randomly say "I'm bored; let's go get tattoos" is because I know how to cover them up IF ever an occasion calls for the temporary removal of a tattoo.
Of course, strategically dressing to cover up tats is the quickest way to go, but have you ever had an important event in 98 degree weather before? Let me tell you that showing up in a tiny sweater that covers your tattoos is going to make you look CRAZIER than showing off your ink. During a summer of unemployment where I begrudgingly went on interview after interview, sweating through my blazers to cover up my arm tattoos, I finally took a trip to Sephora to figure out a way to temporarily cover my arms without overheating.
PS: Don't even think about applying make-up directly on a tattoo before it has completely healed.
Step 1: Choose Your Tattoo Concealer
The best tattoo cover-up is going to be lightweight, waterproof, and most importantly, match your skin tone. Once you decide on what your cover-up of choice is, these simple steps will transform your artwork into a simple palette of flesh. Kat Von D's tattoo concealer is my personal fave. Not only is it light, it takes a lot of sweat for it to rub off on your clothes. Plus, it gets total bonus points for being paraben free!
Step 2: Clean the Area of Your Tattoo
First and foremost, you aren't going to get very far applying make-up on dirty skin. Cleaning your skin first will help eliminate irritation and clogged pores, plus you'll get a smoother finish of your cover-up when the area is completely clean and free from dirt.
Step 3: Apply Tattoo Cover Up
Use a small brush and cover the tattoo. Be sure to get the areas around the tattoo and blot carefully to blend in with your skin tone. Wait for your first coat to dry and blot a thin, second coat on top for full coverage.
Step 4: Blot Foundation or Powder on Top
One thing I've noticed about tattoo cover up is that it always looks shinier then the rest of my skin. The best solution I've found is to blot powder on top — this makes it less noticeable, plus locks in the color, making it less likely to rub off on your clothes. I use homemade powdered foundation to set into my concealer.
After I let the powder set into the area, I went ahead with my day. After cooking a meal and washing dishes, my tattoo coverup had faded slightly, but could still fool folks into thinking my hands are completely bare. I've used this tattoo concealer in the summer to cover up scars on my legs as well, and found that it held all day there, too.
Images: Kristin Collins Jackson