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How to Cover Up a Tattoo

Concealing Your Ink

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While you may not have wondered how to cover up a tattoo while you were sitting there getting inked, there may come a time in your life where circumstances have you running for the help anything in the makeup aisle to disguise your permanent body art.

Whether it be for costume, interview or just random play, if you learn how to cover up a tattoo correctly you'll spend less money by investing in the best products and techniques the first time around.

While temporary cover-ups are just that, temporary, they can remedy the sight of your tattoo when you'd rather keep it concealed just for you.

For permanent tattoo cover-ups there are only two options. The first is cover up the tattoo with new artwork (which will always be limited by the position and condition of the current tattoo). The last is the much costlier option of laser tattoo removal.

To meet somewhere in the middles, especially just for a day, you may consider covering up your tattoo with makeup. Here's how to do it flawlessly.

1. Cleanse and dry

Thoroughly wash your tattoo and surrounding skin with warm soapy water. Do not cover up a new tattoo that's still undergoing the healing process. All tattoos should be free of infection, scabs and other skin lesions if you plan to cover them up. After washing with soap, pat your skin dry with a towel.

2. Apply concealer

Depending on the concealer formulation you will either be working with a cream or liquid. A cream concealer will provide a thick layer of coverage resulting in an easier to blend product. Liquid is thinner and more transparent and will likely not provide the coverage you need unless you have a very light or faded tattoo. Brands like Dermablend have thick body cream concealers that work perfectly to lightly conceal skin discoloration and tattoos.

3. Blend

Use a sponge or a makeup brush and blend the foundation into your skin in a firm circular motion.

4. Spray with water

Once you've applied the first layer of concealer coverage, mist the application lightly with water.

5. Reapply and set

Right after misting your skin, lightly pat it dry with a towel and reapply the concealer in the same circular motion. Set concealer application with a light dusting of loose skintone powder blended with a fluffy makeup brush.

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