Your love is forever ‒ and so is your ink. If you’re a tattooed bride-to-be, you’ve probably started to think about whether you plan to use makeup for covering tattoos for your wedding. While it’s totally your call (and some brides even select wedding gowns that will flaunt their body art), some prefer to use makeup to cover their tattoos for the day, so that their tattoos ‒ no matter how meaningful they might be ‒ don’t take away from their wedding gown or their big moment. If you’ve decided covering is the way to go, you’ll need a makeup artist who knows her or his way around long-lasting, high coverage product.
We’ve asked three pros to share their process for covering tattoos for a wedding‒ no peeking!
For Jenna Marie Streitenfeld of Kiss This Makeup, LLC in Chicago and South Florida, covering tattoos for a wedding is all about starting with a good foundation (pardon the pun!). “In order to get the right coverage, I start by cleansing the skin with an astringent or salicylic acid, which removes the skin’s natural oils,” says Streitenfeld. Then, she turns to a product designed for the job. “I begin to camouflage the tattoo using Mehron Makeup’s Tattoo CoveRing. It’s waterproof and rub-resistant, which is a super important quality to have.” Streitenfeld uses a stippling technique with a round, porous sponge to create a thin, even layer. “I make sure not to over-expand the application to areas that aren’t tattooed,” she continues. Then she uses Ben Nye Natural Set Colorless Face Powder to set the makeup and prevent against smudging and perspiration. “I use a puff to apply a generous amount of powder and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before dusting it off,” Streitenfeld explains. Finally, she gets a perfect skin tone match with Temptu S/B Airbrush foundation. “A light pass of airbrush foundation will blend everything in, and the silicone base is another layer of water resistance ‒ lasting 15 to 18 hours!” One more dusting of powder and a spritz of barrier spray, and it’s like the tattoo was never there.
Violett Volk of Face to Face Makeup Artistry & Hair in Woodbury, Minnesota offers a tattoo-specific service that will have you looking ink-free in minutes. “Our Ultimate Tattoo Cover-Up provides instantaneous coverage that is hyper-pigmented and highly realistic,” says Volk. “The film-quality formula provides rich coverage and the most durability you can get from airbrush makeup. Swim, sweat, shower, you name it… it’s water- and transfer-proof and will last up to two weeks!” With no need to layer or color-correct, it’s also incredibly quick ‒ not to mention vegan and gluten-, paraben-, mica- and silicone-free. Volk uses a specialized airbrush to get the perfect look. “I use a larger nozzle (5-7mm) and increased PSI to get the perfect amount of coverage, making sure the product is applied quickly and doesn’t drip or clog,” she says.
Sami West of Signature Brides & Design in Roy, Utah, takes a more traditional approach. “If you want to cover your tattoo for your wedding, make sure you hire a professional. Many include tattoo covering as part of their selection of wedding day services,” she says. When it’s time to cover, West begins with a primer or pore filler (she loves Smashbox Photo Finish Primer) to make sure the area is even. “Next, use a color corrector. The NYX palette is a great way to eliminate colors you don’t want to see,” she says. A concealer, like those from MAC or Makeup Forever, goes on next, to help match your skin tone. “I then apply foundation over the top of the concealer, and use either traditional or airbrush foundation ‒ both work great here,” West continues. “Cover the entire area with a matching foundation of your choice.” The most important step is a beauty buzzword: Baking. “This means applying excess setting powder (we love Ben Nye!) on the makeup and letting it sit for about 5 minutes before dusting away the extra powder. This will help set the makeup into place and keep it from moving or smearing.” The technique is key, but so is choosing the right color. “Since most tattoos are not on the face, you’ll need a different foundation color to match the skin around your tattoo,” says West. “This will ensure that the coverage looks natural ‒ a must-have for your wedding day!”