The Best Tattoo Cover-Up Makeup That's Waterproof

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When you're getting a tattoo, it's hard to imagine there will ever be a day when you'll want to cover it up. But if an occasion does wind up calling for it, there are ways to temporarily disguise your tattoos on your own. To borrow a few tricks from the pros, Elite Daily spoke with Rebecca Wachtel, a makeup artist who specializes in covering up (and sometimes even creating) actors' tattoos for film and television. According to Wachtel, the best tattoo cover-up makeup that's waterproof will be pigmented enough to camouflage black ink and durable enough so that it doesn't rub off or wear away throughout the day. "Most tattoos are black, and that black ink has a blue undertone, so you need to block that out first with an orange-tone concealer," Wachtel says of the importance of color-correcting. "The orange should be within the tone of your skin so that you can blend it out with a product that matches your skin tone," she adds.

The Expert

Rebecca Wachtel is a makeup artist for film and television who has more than 20 years of professional experience. Her work includes special effects and prosthetics for films and television series like Letters From Iwo Jima and Truth Be Told, as well as plenty of tattoo cover-up for Pretty Little Liars and the upcoming series, Daisy Jones & The Six.

Ensuring That Your Tattoo Cover-Up Lasts

Even with waterproof makeup, Wachtel says that what she uses on set tends to differ from what's available for at-home use, so it may require a bit of trial and error until you find something that works for you. "For people that are wanting to cover their tattoos for daily life, it's tricky because if you have a tattoo on your wrist, for example, regular cream concealers and foundations will rub off really fast on clothing," says Wachtel, who often reaches for products from Skin Illustrator, EBA, or Temptu's Dura Pro Palettes when on set.

And while you may be thinking that your usual setting powder or spray will give you the staying power you're looking for, Wachtel explains that these products won't necessarily make much of a difference. "It's not the same as your face, so you need something more heavy-duty," she says. "When something is on your body, it's moving around and touching things, and so it's going to come off a lot easier." Two sprays that are often used on set that Wachtel says might be helpful are from EBA and Green Marble, which you can use as the final step to seal your cover-up makeup.

Shop The Best Tattoo Cover-Up Makeup That's Waterproof

In a hurry? Here is the best tattoo cover up makeup that's waterproof:

  1. Best Tattoo Cover-Up Makeup For Beginners: Revlon ColorStay Longwear Makeup
  2. Best Professional Tattoo Cover-Up Palette: EBA Encore Cover Up Palette
  3. Best Tattoo Cover-Up Palette Under $20: Mehron Makeup Tattoo Cover
  4. Best Full-Coverage Foundation With SPF: Dermacol Make Up Cover
  5. Best Color-Correcting Palette: Kiko Milano Colour Correct Concealer Palette

1. The Pro's Pick: Best Tattoo Cover-Up Makeup For Beginners

If you're not covering up your tattoos on a regular basis, or you just have a tiny tattoo that you're looking to temporarily hide, Wachtel says this Revlon ColorStay Longwear Makeup is your best bet. "It's just a thick liquid foundation that's pretty durable," Wachtel says. "Sometimes we'll do a tattoo cover and then put the ColorStay over it to blend out the skin," she shares, adding that you'll still want to follow her color-correcting advice and use an orange-toned concealer to block out the dark ink first. The oil-free and fragrance-free foundation is transfer-resistant and waterproof for up to 24 hours, and it's infused with skin-smoothing and calming ingredients like vitamin E and bisabolol.

  • Available shades: 42

2. The Pro's Pick: Best Professional Tattoo Cover-Up Palette

Palettes from EBA are one of Wachtel's on-set tools for mixing up custom tattoo cover that perfectly matches the actor's skin tone. "The palettes are dry, so you have to activate them with 99% alcohol," Wachtel says of how the EBA Encore Cover Up Palette works. "That loosens the product up and it turns it into a watercolor, and then you can paint it on." You can play with the opacity of the pigment by mixing in different ratios of the alcohol, but no matter what, the product will apply smoothly and set quickly into a waterproof, sweat-proof, and transfer-resistant finish. As always, you'll need to block out the tattoo ink before you try to blend the color in with your skin, but this palette includes several warmer tones and even a red shade to mix up your perfect color.

3. Best Tattoo Cover-Up Palette Under $20

For a more affordable palette that lets you experiment with blending your own color, Mehron Makeup developed this five-shade Tattoo Cover wheel specifically for masking tattoos. The thicker cream formula is more of a body paint than a concealer, which allows it to give you full, waterproof coverage. The brand says it's best applied with a makeup sponge using patting motions and advise setting it with their Colorset Powder, but you can also use a heavy-duty setting spray instead of (or in addition to) the powder.

4. Best Full-Coverage Foundation With SPF That Can Be Used To Cover Up Tattoos

This liquid foundation is an Amazon favorite with nearly 15,000 five-star ratings, and many reviewers report that just a few coats will cover up tattoos of every color, including black. Dermacol Make Up Cover was designed to be used on both the face and body, and is able to color-correct and camouflage everything from acne and bruises to tattoos. The waterproof foundation includes SPF 30, which is especially helpful for keeping your tattoos protected from the sun, and the formula is hypoallergenic for more sensitive skin types.

  • Available shades: 17

5. You May Also Like: This Color-Correcting Palette

Blocking out the tone of the tattoo ink will always be the first step in covering up your tattoo, which is why you might find it helpful to invest in a color-correcting palette, too. Since palettes like the Kiko Milano Colour Correct Concealer Palette are created to neutralize things like dark under-eye circles, they typically contain an orange tone or two. Kiko Milano's five-color palette includes a peachy shade for fair skin tones and a terracotta shade for olive and darker skin tones, both of which are waterproof and able to cancel out black and blue ink. Plus, you'll get bonus shades like lilac to brighten unwanted yellow tones, green to neutralize redness, and a highlighter, all of which can be used as part of your regular makeup routine.


Rebecca Wachtel, film and television makeup artist with expertise in special effects and prosthetic makeup.