How to cover and conceal tattoos with makeup: Singaporean makeup artists on pro tips, tricks, tools to use

How to cover and conceal tattoos with makeup: Singaporean makeup artists on pro tips, tricks, tools to use

Now you see it...

Text: Emily Heng

While tattoos are a valid form of self-expression as any, it's not one understood or accepted by all. From conservative workplaces to traditional relatives, there are many instances where you'd be required (read: forced to) to hide your ink. And while layering up in sweaters and scarves might prove a viable solution in cold countries, them stylish techniques don’t quite work on our hot and humid shores. Here’s a more practical solution: makeup. The best high-coverage, budge-proof, and colour correcting offerings can keep your tattoos from peeking through, as shared with us by top local MUAs — alongside the tips and tricks they use to ensure ink stays truly disguised. Your masterclass in camouflage starts in three, two...

First step: Prime

The key to ensuring the longevity of your “tattoo camouflage” is to have base makeup on. "Any primer that works for your face should do the trick," Monica Saranya Selva De Roy says. "You don't have to get fancy with pore minimising primers or brightening ones. Personally, I like Catrice Prime & Fine."

Second step: Colour correct

"The first thing I do when I look at a tattoo is to evaluate if any colour correction is needed," Cheryl Ow explains. "If there's a lot of blue or black in there, for instance, I would reach for an orange colour corrector to neutralise it. Pro tip: if you don't have an orange or red colour corrector on hand, you can always use lipstick." When it comes to picking out the right colour corrector, follow the law of opposites on the colour wheel; purple tones counteract yellow, greens counteract red, and so on.

Third step: Conceal

A full-coverage concealer is, naturally, the best option to cover and conceal ink. Monica swears by the Kryolan Professional Makeup TV Paint Stick as it allows for easy application in hard-to-reach spots. Cheryl, on the other hand, loves waterproof options such as the Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer and the Dermacol Makeup Cover.

"Application-wise, I'd recommend a Beautyblender," Sha Shamisi advises. "Use small, dabbing motions and let the formula sit for a while before going at it with foundation. This gives you more coverage, compared to if you blend it out immediately. If you're covering up with a foundation only, use a flat dense brush to really see results. With liquid foundations, patience is key. Pump it on layer upon layer until you're happy with what you see. Or, well, don't see."

Fourth step: Set it with powder

For the first time, more is more with powder application. "Use a powder puff," Cheryl suggests. "This really helps work the loose powder in. Then dust off the excess with a powder brush to keep everything in place."

Fifth step: Seal it with a setting spray

Sha's go-to is Urban Decay's All Nighter Setting Spray, whereas Monica prefers hairspray. "I do TV work, and I find that hairspray really keeps all of the makeup intact for long periods of time," she points out. Failing that, any normal setting spray should do the trick.