The Best Tattoo Cover-Up Makeup for Those Times You Don’t Want Granny to See Your Tramp Stamp

Whether it's a tiny wrist tattoo of a bird you want to hide before a job interview or a partial sleeve that your mom still doesn’t know about, there are temporary ways to cover up your ink quickly at home. All it takes is some products and a little know-how. 

tattoo cover up makeup smashbox photo finish primer

1. Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer

Just as you’d use primer on your face for when you want your makeup to last longer, you want to do the same for any tattoo coverage on your body. We swear by this one because it creates a smooth canvas for a more even application of makeup (which is key when you're layering it on for added coverage). To use, squeeze a pea-sized amount of primer onto your fingertips and massage it over the area until it’s fully absorbed into your skin.

tattoo cover up makeup jordane cosmetics total tattoo coverage cream original
Jordane Cosmetics

2. Jordane Cosmetics Total Tattoo Coverage In Cream Original

To get the most foolproof coverage, you’ll want to lay down some color correcting makeup next to cancel out any darker ink before going in with a flesh-toned foundation or concealer on top. This will ensure that you don’t end up with a greenish or bluish tinge underneath your makeup (which ends up looking like you have a bruise). As a general rule of thumb, peach tones will help neutralize darker tones on fair skin, while orange or red tones will cancel them out on medium to darker skin. This pro palette by Jordane Cosmetics holds multiple color correcting shades that are highly pigmented and waterproof.

tattoo cover up makeup dermablend quick fix color correcting powder

3. Dermablend Quick Fix Color Correcting Powder

Or if you'd rather go with a single color-correcting shade, we love DermaBlend's, which have a powder-to-cream formula that blends seamlessly into skin.

Buy it ($33)

tattoo cover up makeup toofaced born this way multi use sculpting concealer

4. Toofaced Born This Way Super Coverage Multi-use Sculpting Concealer

Now that you’ve prepped, primed and color corrected your skin, it’s time to apply your foundation. This one by TooFaced feels lightweight on your skin, but delivers a full-coverage finish that doesn't cake or crease. Using a damp makeup sponge, tap the foundation over the tattoo in thin layers until you’ve reached full coverage. (Tip: Allow for each layer to dry for a minute or two before moving onto the next so you don't risk rubbing off anything underneath.) 

tattoo cover up makeup mac studiofix face and body

5. Mac Studio Face And Body Foundation

Fun fact: This foundation is commonly used on movie sets because it features a wide range of shades and is easily layered on to build to your desired level of coverage.

tattoo cover up makeup make up for ever ultra hd stick foundation

6. Make Up For Ever Ultra Hd Invisible Cover Stick Foundation

And if you have a tattoo on an area that’s harder to reach (i.e., your lower back), we’d recommend using a stick foundation. This one by Make Up For Ever offers full-coverage in a few swipes, is easy-to-blend and small enough to pop into your purse should you need any touch-ups later in the day.

tattoo cover up makeup tarte smooth operator amazonian clay finishing powder

7. Tarte Cosmetics Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Loose Finishing Powder

Using a large fluffy makeup brush, dust a generous amount of loose setting powder (enough so that you can visibly see a coat of powder) over the area. We love this one by Tarte because it's completely translucent, which is important when covering up a tattoo because any tint or color can cause the camouflaged area to oxidize and appear orange as it dries. Let the powder absorb for a few minutes before brushing off the excess. 

tattoo cover up makeup dermablend set refresh makeup setting spray

8. Dermablend Set + Refresh Makeup Setting Spray

And if you really want to make your makeup go the extra mile, finish things off with a light misting of setting spray. We swear by this one from Dermablend because it's fragrance-free and keeps everything in place—even during the muggiest summer days. Now you can do the Electric Slide all night at cousin Stacey’s wedding without having to worry about your makeup melting off on the dance floor and revealing the tattoo.

Jenny Jin Headshot Vertical 2023

Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...