The best concealers for covering tattoos

Plus, the steps you should take for perfect coverage.

Best Concealers: Woman doing makeup with tattoos on arm

by Jade Moscrop |
Updated on

There are a million reasons why you might cover a tattoo; that awkward reminder of an ex, for a special occasion, because you fell out of love with your ink or just because you feel like it.

Whatever the reason is, not everyone can afford to have a tattoo removed permanently (and many don't want to), so make-up is the next best thing.

How to cover up a tattoo with make-up

To cover up a tattoo and make it last, you'll need a few things. First of all, grab yourself an orange/red corrector concealer to balance out the dark tones of your tattoo. This one from Barry M is ideal.

Set this layer with a translucent powder to keep it in place and then apply your choice of high coverage concealer or foundation (more on that, below).

Finally, set the concealer with a powder (you can use a colour similar to your skin here, or translucent) and finish with a setting spray to keep it in place. Et voila!

Best concealers

Luckily for us, Beauty Writer & Editor Rebecca Fearn tested out a selection of concealers to help you decide which one to splash your cash on.

So, without further ado, here are some of the best concealers for covering up tattoos...


The best tattoo cover up makeup

Makeup Forever Full Cover Concealer, £21.501 of 7

Makeup Forever Full Cover Concealer, £21.50

While this is one of my favourite concealers it's not great for tattoos. While it covers spots easily – even the worst hormonal corker – it doesn't have the same durability on ink. You could say it blends too well as it just merges into the skin.

NARS Soft Matte Concealer, £242 of 7

NARS Soft Matte Concealer, £24

NARS concealers are the best, I use them on a daily basis but they're too light for tattoo covering. As with others, I tested, its soft creamy formulation means it can only be built up to a certain point, which works for acne and redness but not for tats. However, if you haven't already tried this on your face it's definitely worth a go.

Testing Concealers To Cover Tattoo3 of 7

Cover FX Cream Concealer, £23

I really love this concealer, but it's too sheer to cover tattoos. It has a smooth, silky texture, which is ideal for under-eye circles and is buildable on spots but not on black ink. As you can see from the picture this gave the smoothest finish due to its blendable formula, so if you're not too fussed about totally covering your ink then this still a recommended purchase.

Rodial Airbrush Make-up, £84 of 7

Rodial Airbrush Make-up, £8

Airbrush Make-up is basically an ultra-thick paste that can be mixed with a face oil (they recommend their Snake Booster Oil) or used alone as a heavy-duty concealer. I was, therefore, expecting big things from this. In truth, this does offer amazing coverage on tattoos but it's just not the easiest to blend out. It took quite a lot of work to even out the skin around my tattoo, so I'm not sure it would be ideal for anything bigger than my tiny tat. That said, this has the ability to cover the darkest of ink, and it's really versatile in its number of uses.

Vichy Dermablend SOS Corrector Concealer Stick, £11.955 of 7

Vichy Dermablend SOS Corrector Concealer Stick, £11.95

I've tested it on spots and under-eye bags in the past and loved it because of its creamy consistency and ultra-practical stick packaging. But for tattoos, it was these reasons that let it down. It's just not thick enough and because of its texture, it doesn't build well. Great for the face, not so much for body art.

Testing Concealers To Cover Tattoo6 of 7

Trinny London Just A Touch Foundation/Concealer, £28

Since its launch at the end of 2017, I've become rather taken by Trinny London's line of stackable, cream-based products. As well as the highlighter and the eyeshadows, the Just A Touch concealer-foundation hybrid particularly impressed me. I'm not convinced about using it as an all-over foundation (it's a bit too thick to blend everywhere), but as a concealer, it's very impressive. As you can see, it does a pretty good job at covering tattoos but isn't quite there in terms of coverage.

Winner: Kevyn Aucoin, The Sensual Skin Enhancer, £387 of 7

Winner: Kevyn Aucoin, The Sensual Skin Enhancer, £38

Even though this concealer was endorsed by a friend, I was wary; Kevyn Aucoin makeup is notoriously pricey and I think it's unfair to recommend a concealer that costs considerably more than a return flight to Amsterdam. Full disclosure: I borrowed this from a friend so I could see if it worked before I dropped nearly 40 quid, which explains why it is a little dark/orangey for me. That said, pictures don't lie; this one was definitely superior at covering tattoo ink. As you can see, it doesn't look like untouched skin (let's be realistic here), but this is as good as you're going to get. It's buildable, so requires a few layers to get to this level of coverage, but it's long-lasting without feeling heavy on the skin. It also has a good range of shades and is waterproof (to an extent, I'd probably label it water-resistant) so the crappy English weather can BRING IT. It's always annoying when the most expensive product on the list provides the best results, but for this purpose, I can't deny

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