How to cover up tattoos like a makeup pro

During the course of your working life, you will inevitably be invited to events where visible tattoos are not acceptable. And yet, tattoos are one of the hardest things to conceal. To make things easier for you, we’ve compiled a guide on how makeup pros conceal tattoos

Photo: Showbit

Some people love tattoos and some don’t. If you have a tattoo that you can’t cover up with clothing, you will understand the anxiety that comes with visiting conservative relatives or when looking for a job in a workplace that disapproves of tattoos.

When faced with this kind of trouble, it’s important to know how to cover up your tattoos well. As always, your trusty makeup kit can come to the rescue!



Start by applying a primer over your tattoo as a base. This will provide the essential canvas for even makeup application, and will prevent it from melting in our Singapore heat. It’s absolutely crucial to prime the skin as we won’t want a situation where your makeup flakes off through the course of the day to reveal your secret, would we?

Need shopping suggestions? Here are just some of our favourite primers.


Colour correct

Photo: Sephora/ Studio 10

This step varies for different people as there are many tattoos of different colours. For the more common plain blue-black variety, apply an orange-toned concealer. For the coloured ones, follow the law of opposites. Colours on the opposite end of the colour wheel will cancel each other out, so purple tones will neutralise yellows, and greens will neutralise reds. For a more in-depth guide to colour correcting, read this story.



Use a full coverage concealer that’s a shade or two lighter than your skin tone. When using cream or liquid concealers, blend by dabbing it with a beauty blender or brush so that you achieve an even layer of product.

Photo: Sephora/Kat Von D

I recommend using the liquid concealer Kat Von D’s Lock-It Concealer or the creme version of the product – these are so good that it’s as if they were made specifically to cover up tattoos. This shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise, actually – as a tattoo guru as well as a makeup manufacturer, Kat definitely knows her stuff when it comes to anything tattoo related!

For a concealer specifically created for covering up tattoos, try Dermablend. This concealer promises to last for up to 16 hours without smudging or transferring, and comes in a variety of shades that will suit just about any skin tone imaginable.



Take a cream or liquid foundation that matches your skin tone (and if you’re unsure about picking out your skin tone find out here) and apply it again using a blotting motion with your stippling brush or sponge. A spray foundation is even better, as the aerosol application will give you a nice even coverage.


Setting powder

Kat Von D Power Foundation, Photo: Sephora/Kat Von D

For budge-proof wear, set your foundation with a powder that matches your skin tone. If not, set it with translucent setting powder. Every step is crucial, but setting your makeup is a step that you cannot miss.


Spray it, baby

Spray a generous amount of setting spray to lock in the makeup. Finish with a blast of hairspray for good measure. This will make the makeup hard to wash off, but that’s a worthy trade-off compared to having it slip off mid-day!


If you liked this story, check out Helpful tips for covering up love bite marks like a pro or 3 best sheer to full coverage concealers for flawless skin!


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