Tattoos have officially become mainstream: A recent poll by Ipsos showed that roughly one-third of Americans are rocking ink.
We're all about body art, of course. But we also recognize there are moments when you may prefer your tattoos just disappeared for a hot minute.
There's good news: If you want to hide that stick-and-poke of your ex's initials, or that owl tattoo that really spoke to you after too many vodka tonics, you have options besides removal. Tattoo cover-up makeup is surprisingly effective, and there are plenty of amazing concealers and foundations that can render tattoos practically invisible for the day.
Read on for the tattoo cover-up makeup that experts always keep in their kits.
Kryolan TV Paint Stick
Henney calls Kryolan's full-coverage, matte product one of her "go-to" products for covering tattoos. This foundation stick is formulated with oils and waxes, helping it stay put for the long haul.
We're frankly blown away by the shade range, with over 100 flesh tones. It's a fantastic option for those on the very dark or very light ends of the skin-tone spectrum who struggle to find concealer shades that match them.
MAC Studio Fix Conceal and Correct Palette
"I love this as it has various shades and color correctors to use on clients," Henney says of MAC's concealer palette, which offers a natural finish and medium-to-full coverage. "It can be layered until you get the coverage you want."
Palette shades range from Extra Deep to Medium, so porcelain-toned folks may need to look elsewhere for their tattoo coverage needs.
Estée Lauder Double Wear Maximum Cover Camouflage Makeup for Face and Body
Designed to help cover surgical scars, tattoos, and acne scars, Estée Lauder's concealer is the real deal. With SPF 15 sunscreen, it offers sun protection plus 12-hour wear, so it won't rub off easily. A little goes a long way; just apply with a makeup sponge or brush and blend thoroughly until dry.
Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer
Good tattoo cover-up makeup needs to be smudge-proof and fade-resistant. This water-resistant, highly pigmented concealer makes tattoos practically disappear—and sticks around if you're hanging at the beach or pool.
Henney calls it "a great liquid concealer that can be tapped on to any tattooed areas and layered for great coverage."
Sian Richards London 4K Longwear Creme
Although this professional-grade concealer palette is pricey, Henney swears by it, saying it's "incredible at covering very large and bold tattoos." Featuring a "combo of correctors and concealers with very good coverage," these silicone-based concealers help hide tattoos for up to 24 hours.
Color us impressed by the shade range; the Melanin palette, shown here, is excellent for those with very deep skin tones who find that other concealers (literally) pale in comparison.
MAC Pro Longwear Concealer
This lightweight, water-resistant concealer, available in 16 shades, covers tattoos with a transfer-resistant formula that won't rub off on clothes.
Kelli J. Bartlett, makeup artist and artistic director of Glamsquad, raves about this product, saying, "It really dries down and provides medium to full coverage for tattoos. I generally start with a warm color to color-correct, and then add a flesh tone on top after to fully conceal." Bartlett recommends setting the concealer with this Ben Nye finishing powder.
Ben Nye Tattoo Cover-All Wheel
Designed for use in film and TV, Ben Nye products offer high performance at a low price point. The wheel of four shades allows you to custom-mix your perfect match.
Pro tip: When you've mixed your way to the ideal shade, stash the remaining mixture in an empty contact lens case and use it for touch-ups.
Kevin Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer
Kevyn Aucoin's full-coverage, natural-finish face and body foundation comes in 15 richly pigmented shades. It's also waterproof and transfer-resistant, i.e., perfect tattoo cover-up makeup. Start by blending a small amount and adding as you go for more natural, gradual coverage.
Covering a teeny-tiny tattoo? For precision coverage, use a small makeup brush instead of your fingers.
KVD Beauty Lock-It Concealer Crème
Touting 24-hour wear, KVD Beauty Lock-It Concealer Crème conceals skin discolorations and tattoos with full coverage and a matte finish. With an easy-to-use, doe-foot applicator, this matte liquid concealer covers unwanted ink with precision. Bonus: Like all KVD products, it boasts a cruelty-free, vegan formula.
Reel Creations Reel Fleshtone Palette
Celebrity makeup artist Matthew VanLeeuwen discovered this long-wearing, cruelty-free concealer palette while on a video shoot with Scarlett Johansson, and is in awe of its tattoo-covering powers.
"This makeup activates with alcohol and then dries smudge- and streak-proof," says VanLeeuwen. "It's incredible because it doesn't transfer and lasts until you remove it with alcohol."
Dermablend Quick Fix Body Foundation Stick
Dermablend is one of the leading brands for full-coverage face and body makeup, beloved by experts, including celebrity makeup artist Tim Quinn, who praises the brand's body foundation stick.
"Dermblend are great concealer sticks which easily cover bold tattoos," Henney says. "They can be layered very easily."
Too Faced Born This Way Multi-Use Sculpting Concealer
This full-coverage, cruelty-free concealer from Too Faced comes in a whopping 35 shades, perfect for hiding tattoos on a wide array of skin tones. Formulated with hyaluronic acid and coconut water, it dries to a natural, flexible finish that doesn't crack or look cake-y.
Dermacol Makeup Cover
Dermacol's matte-finish concealer has been used for decades on film and TV sets, and this classic still holds up for covering tattoos today. The product's claim to fame: The formula contains 50 percent pigments, meaning it boasts super-concentrated coverage. Gently tap the makeup, available in 19 shades, onto your skin with fingers or a damp sponge.