While you love your art (and we totally love it, too), there are times you may want to conceal it for an event, an interview, or perhaps a person who doesn’t need to know about your tattoo. But which foundation and concealer formulas are the best for camouflaging even the most vibrant designs? We hit up makeup artists Ashleigh Ciucci and Maddie North for their best tips on covering up your ink until you wash it all off.
Prep your canvas
To start, Ciucci says to make sure the area is properly moisturized. “This will aid in blending and preserving the natural texture of your skin,” she says. For moisturizing face or body, Weleda Skin Food ($10; target.com) does the job amazingly and on the cheap.
It takes (at least) two to make a thing go right
The most important tip when it comes to covering up tattoos is to know that you’re never going to be able to use just one concealer shade, Ciucci says. “It takes color correction and layering of gradient shades of ‘your’ concealer shade to full cover your ink,” she explains. For a range of hues, try the rich, creamy MAC Studio Conceal and Correct Palette ($35; maccosmetics.com). These palettes also offer six shades of concealers for each skin tone category so it’s a one-stop shop for all the shades you need (Light, Medium, Medium Deep, Dark, Deep and Extra Deep), Ciucci says.
Stipple it just a little bit
Ciucci recommends using a damp Beauty Blender to stipple a highly pigmented orange or red concealer onto your tattoo you’d like to cover. Orange works well for fair to medium skin; red for dark to deep. Cover FX Correct Click Color Corrector ($18; sephora.com), is a great one that comes in both shades. “These shades build a base of coverage by evening out the tone of the tat,” Ciucci says. Follow with a concealer shade that’s two shades darker than your skin tone, followed by a layer one shade darker and finish with your usual shade, Ciucci notes. We like the pigmented formula and blendability of Laura Geller Spackle Concealer ($26; macys.com) which features a spongy doe-foot applicator.
Buff it out
Ciucci says to ensure that you buff the edges of each concealer layer so as to yield a seamless blend. Think of it as concealer without borders. Even though you’re covering a finite area, you still want to extend the coverage a bit and blend so that there are no harsh lines of demarcation. One to try for warmer weather or when you’re swimming: Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer ($34; sephora.com). It’s a super lightweight liquid concealer that comes in a ton of shades—and it’s waterproof, says Ciucci.
Set it and forget it
Now that you’ve covered it up, you want to make sure it stays and doesn’t bleed onto your clothing. North says to make sure to set any cream or liquid concealer or foundation with a translucent powder so it really stays. Her favorite is the long-wearing Laura Mercier Invisible Loose Setting Powder ($38, sephora.com). Ciucci’s go-to? Dermablend Makeup Setting Powder ($27; ulta.com). “This sheer powder comes in loose or compact form and wears for 16 hours,” she says.