The 5 Best Tattoo Concealers [That Actually Work]

April 16, 2022
by Jack Lyons
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For some reason, there are still places where tattoos just aren't seen as appropriate. Despite the fact that tattoos are now so common as to be mainstream, sometimes they have to be covered. And as anyone with a dark tattoo can attest, covering a tattoo is easier said than done.

Tattoo concealers have to have enough pigmentation not just to mask a tattoo but completely cover it. And with the tattoo-covered, the concealer should blend in naturally with skin tone. So, it shouldn't be obvious that anything was covered up in the first place.

We've put together this guide to help you find the right concealer for covering your tattoos. These options combine pigmentation with long wear and easy application for a no-fuss way of looking body art free. Continue reading for the five best tattoo concealers.

Dermablend Quick-Fix Body Makeup Full Coverage Foundation Stick

Dermablend Quick-Fix Body Makeup Full Coverage Foundation Stick, 30N Sand, 0.42 Oz.

Dermablend isn't the biggest name among beauty aficionados, but this is the brand you need if you want to cover a tattoo. Highly pigmented and easy to apply, Dermablend can be used to cover both small designs and larger artworks.

We've picked the Dermablend Foundation Stick as our top choice because it is just so easy to apply. Thanks to the stick design, you can simply swipe the concealer over your tattoo and lightly blend the edges.

It layers really well to build up the coverage on darker lines. Stick foundations are particularly useful at covering scripts or other styles of wrapping tattoos.

There are several shades available from Dermablend to match accurately to your skin. Expect long wear, but thanks to the easy application, this is a concealer that you can carry around in a pocket for top-ups.

If you have larger tattoos to cover, Dermablend still has you sorted. The Dermablend Leg and Body Makeup Foundation is a liquid foundation that applies for a smooth and even finish across even big tattoos. It's particularly good on the legs, which won't transfer even during exercise. 

Pros

  • Stick design - Apply easily, and carry around throughout the day for any top-ups.
  • Sensitive skin tested - Won't cause rashes or irritation on the skin.
  • Price - Dermablend isn't cheap, but for the quality, this is a bargain.

Cons

  • Minimal dark shades - The shade range isn't extensive, and there are very few darker tones.
Sale
Dermablend Quick-Fix Body Makeup Full Coverage Foundation Stick, 30N Sand, 0.42 Oz.
  • body foundation makeup
  • makeup foundation stick for body
  • contour stick body foundation
  • Phthalates , Parabens , Triclosan , Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) free

Also available for purchase at Dermablend.com and Ulta.com.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Maximum Cover Camouflage Makeup Foundation

Estee Lauder Double Wear Maximum Cover Camouflage Makeup SPF 5 Foundation, No. 1n3 Creamy Vanilla, 1 Oz

Estee Lauder created this foundation with maximum coverage in mind. This is designed to cover everything from surgical scars to acne and can hide your tattoos with some careful application. And as an SPF 15 foundation, it offers some protection on sunny days.

You do need to have a little bit of skill to apply the Estee Lauder Double Wear. Don't panic - it won't require much practice - but you should probably invest in a makeup sponge if you want a natural application.

As a liquid foundation, it does need to be blended. Otherwise, it will sit really obviously on the skin.

But once you've mastered application, this foundation is excellent. It doesn't feel heavy and blends beautifully into the skin. It also provides incredible coverage, so you don't need to use a lot to get a full look.

A 12-hour wear should last you an entire day, and transfer is minimal.

Estee Lauder Double Wear has a satin finish, which looks more natural than matte, especially on the face and neck. Once you've nailed the application, this is a fantastic concealer for covering prominent tattoos.

Pros

  • Lightweight feel - This isn't makeup that sits obviously on the skin, but one that blends in for a natural finish.
  • 12-hour wear - Can last for an entire day, with minimal transfer.
  • 15 SPF - Extra protection against the sun.

Cons

  • Tough to apply - You will need a sponge or a brush to perfect the finish.
Estee Lauder Double Wear Maximum Cover Camouflage Makeup SPF 5 Foundation, No. 1n3 Creamy Vanilla, 1 Oz
  • provides physical barrier against the sun and pollution
  • Satin finish
  • more luminous & healthy looking
  • Item Package Weight: 1.0 oz

Also available for purchase at EsteeLauder.com and Ulta.com.

Kevyn Aucoin Beauty The Sensual Skin Enhancer

Kevyn Aucoin Beauty The Sensual Skin Enhancer-SX 11 - 0.63 0z

You have to look past the name and the price when it comes to the Sensual Skin Enhancer. Yes, it's expensive. And yes, it sounds more like a body glitter than a tattoo cover-up.

But once you get past that, this is a highly pigmented concealer that can render your tattoo almost invisible.

Kevyn Aucoin is something of a big deal in the beauty community. This is a brand known for quality, which comes at a price. 

However, it's also one of the best around, and in terms of tattoo coverage, you won't find much better.

The Kevyn Aucoin skin enhancer is a pigmented and buildable concealer. Start light and gradually build up to create an almost total coverage.

Thanks to the creamy consistency, this is easy to apply even for those with no makeup experience, and the pot is easy to carry on the go.

The final result is some of the best coverage around and a natural finish that shouldn't stand out. It's waterproof, so if you're covering a wrist tattoo, you don't have to worry about the concealer washing off.

And as a transfer-resistant concealer, you won't end the day with makeup smeared across your clothes.

Expensive? Yes. Worth it? Honestly, yes.

Pros

  • Matte finish - Looks natural on the skin.
  • Highly pigmented - Lots of color to block out bold designs.
  • 15 shade range - Accurately match your skin tone thanks to the larger range.

Cons

  • Price - This is not a budget brand, and even a small pot can set you back over $40.

Also available for purchase at KevynAucionBeauty.com and Dermstore.com.

Dermacol Full Coverage Foundation

Dermacol Full Coverage Foundation | Long Lasting Waterproof Makeup Cover Cream SPF30 | Hypoallergenic & Light Weight Liquid | Tattoo, Acne, Spots, Under-eye Skin Cover-up | Natural Matte Finish 30g | 210

Dermacol has been a secret of the TV and film industry for a while now, and it's beginning to make waves for the rest of us. This is a long-wearing foundation that covers blemishes, redness, and other marks and can last an entire day. 

What really makes the Dermacol stand out is the amount of pigmentation in each bottle. The coverage is concentrated, giving you an immediate build-up with only a small amount of liquid.

You'll only need to apply a small amount to hide any tattoos, and even full sleeves can be completely covered.

For smaller tattoos, you can use fingertips for a good application. But for anything larger, you should probably invest in a sponge. The formula is fairly lightweight, but it can still look a little heavy, so you might want to work on your blending skills before heading out. 

This is also a hypoallergenic range, so there are minimal chances of rashes or irritation. If you plan on using the foundation over large patches of skin, this guarantee provides real peace of mind.

And there's one final thing to love about Dermacol — it's cheap! This is inexpensive but quality makeup, and if you don't trust us, you can trust the decades of television crews who have relied on it.

Pros

  • Price - The cheapest option on our list, but there's no lack of quality. 
  • Heavy pigmentation - Only a small amount is needed to cover a tattoo.
  • Waterproof - Hand and wrist tattoos will remain covered throughout the day.

Cons

  • Limited darker shades - Despite having a large shade range of 19, Dermacol doesn't have matches for darker skin.
Sale
Dermacol Full Coverage Foundation | Long Lasting Waterproof Makeup Cover Cream SPF30 | Hypoallergenic & Light Weight Liquid | Tattoo, Acne, Spots, Under-eye Skin Cover-up | Natural Matte Finish 30g | 210
  • ✅ EXTREME COVERAGE - Get the flawless skin you’ve always dreamed of. Use it as a concealer for dark under-eyes, skin discolorations, pimples, acne scars, surgical bruising and even tattoos!
  • ✅ LASTS ALL DAY - When you're set to go, you need make-up that can keep up. With our long-lasting formula, you can say goodbye to retouching and say hello to being irresistible all day.
  • ✅ GET YOUR REAL SHADE MATCH - Achieve that fresh natural beauty no matter what shade you have. Be it very light pale to warm brown tones, you have 19 unique variations to choose from.
  • ✅ A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY - With setting a very small amount of our product, you can already cover a whole lot of area on your skin. You’ll surely be amazed by how long one tube can last you.
  • ✅ HYPOALLERGENIC, PARABEN AND PRESERVATIVE FREE - Our commitment to your skin goes beyond coverage. To promote healthy skin, absolutely no harmful chemicals were used in creating this product.

Also available for purchase at Dermacol.com and Walmart.com.

MAC Studio Finish Concealer

MAC Studio Finish Concealer, 7 grams, NW25, 0.24 oz

MAC has quite an impressive range of high coverage concealers and foundations, so you should take a look at the range to see what works for you. Our top pick has to be the Studio Finish concealer. It has incredible coverage, is super easy to apply, and can stay on all day. 

The Studio Finish concealer is fantastic for those with oily skin. It's a water-resistant formula that's rich with silica that absorbs the natural oils from the skin. Your concealer shouldn't budge, even on warm days.

For those who are wary of applying concealer, MAC Studio Finish is excellent. It goes on smoothly and blends out for a natural look. You can also build the coverage, adding pigment without too much weight.

It also doesn't settle in creases, which is good if your tattoos are around joints.

MAC has a decent range of shades, including darker options. They also create concealers with peachy undertones, which are good at covering the dark lines on tattoos.

At a mid-range price, we like this pick for those who only occasionally need to conceal.

Pros

  • Smooth application - Blends in easily, and can be layered.
  • Multiple shades - MAC offers light, mid, and dark shades, with differing undertones.
  • Water-resistant - The silica in the formula absorbs natural oils for a concealer that won't move.

Cons

  • Weight - Can feel a little heavy on the skin.
MAC Studio Finish Concealer, 7 grams, NW25, 0.24 oz
  • Spf 35
  • Strong coverage
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin C
  • Antioxidants

Also available for purchase at MACCosmetics.com and Ulta.com.

Buyer's Guide

Concealing tattoos can be frustrating, and it's something that most of us want to avoid doing. However, there are some times when you just can't get around it. To make things easier, you want to ensure you have a decent concealer that will do the job without much effort.

If you rarely use concealer, then you probably aren't really sure what you're looking for. And even if you do use concealer for other reasons, hiding tattoos isn't quite the same as covering dark circles. Take a look at this buyer's guide to find exactly what to look for when buying a concealer for tattoos.

Formula

Concealer for tattoos is typically either a liquid or cream consistency. 

Liquid is lighter and tends to be more buildable. Liquid concealers can give quite a natural finish, especially as they're easy to blend out at the edges.

It's also a little easier to use liquid concealer over larger areas if you have a bigger tattoo. However, liquid doesn't offer as heavy a coverage.

Creams tend to be thicker and offer better coverage. Creams are great for those with smaller tattoos, but they don't work quite so well for larger ones. A cream concealer can also leave a slightly greasy residue after application. 

Pigmentation

Pigmentation refers to the build-up of color in the concealer. A concealer with high pigmentation will offer better coverage than those with low pigmentation. They'll also require less layering, so you don't have to use so much of the product. 

For tattoos, you should look for concealers with a heavy pigmentation. They tend to be a heavier weight, but that means you won't have to mess around with layers and layers to achieve a good finish.

Shade

It should come as no surprise that you want a concealer that matches closely with your skin tone. Pick the wrong color, and it will really stand out and probably look worse than leaving the tattoo uncovered.

The brands we've listed here generally have a larger shade range than budget brands, making it easier to find a match.

With that said, matching concealer for tattoo coverage isn't quite the same as choosing an under-eye concealer. The best way to cover the dark lines of a tattoo is to offset them.

Using warm shades such as orange and red can mask the darker colors.

Either purchase a color correcting concealer such as this one from e.l.f, or buy a concealer with peachy undertones.

Finish

Finish isn't a huge deal when it comes to tattoo concealing, not as it would be for the under eyes, but it's still worth considering. You should aim for a natural finish that sits lightly on the skin and won't smudge.

Concealers can have a matte, dewy, or satin finish. Matte tends to be the highest coverage but doesn't always look so natural. Satin is somewhere between matte and dewy, while dewy offers a very smooth and soft appearance.

Application

Covering tattoos is a pain, so the chances are you want something that goes on easily without much effort. 

For the easiest application, look for a stick concealer. These are creamy and have a high coverage, and are particularly good at covering tattoos that wrap. A stick is slightly less convenient if you have to cover a large tattoo.

Cream concealer can generally be applied with the fingers, although like sticks, they aren't so easy to use over big designs. 

The trickiest to apply are liquid concealers. You'll probably need to invest in a sponge to ensure you have an even coverage. Sponges can be picked up for cheap at almost any drug store.

One thing to avoid are wand concealers unless you only have a small tattoo. Wand concealers are fantastic for covering under-eye circles and acne spots and a pain to use for hiding tattoos. 

Wear

The wear refers to how long the concealer will last on the skin. It's best to look for long wear, as this will typically have a higher coverage and will last longer. Even if you only need coverage for a short event, a good wear can ensure your concealer won't rub off onto your clothes.

Wear is generally given as a number of hours. Anywhere from 8 hours and above is pretty remarkable.

Water-Proofing

Water-proofing can prevent the concealer from rubbing off either from sweat, rain, or handwashing.

Not all concealers are waterproof, but it is a feature that's worth keeping an eye out for.

Price

If you haven't bought concealers before, then you might be surprised by just how much of a price range there is. You can get concealers from $6 to $60, and the bad news is that price does tend to indicate quality.

Avoid anything for less than $10, or it won't have the pigmentation or wear needed. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Tattoo Concealer Really Work?

Yes! There are many brands available, and some offer great results. A tattoo concealer should cover the dark lines of the tattoo and blend in with uncovered skin, giving the appearance that there's nothing there in the first place.

However, most standard concealers will lack the pigmentation needed for full coverage. Instead, you need to look for high coverage concealers specially formulated to cover even the darkest of marks. Take a look at our guide for some solid options.

How Do You Cover A Tattoo With Concealer?

When you begin to cover your tattoo, the first thing to decide is whether to use a color corrector. A color corrector uses orange shades to neutralize the darker lines.

If you have an older tattoo or a peach undertone concealer, a color corrector probably isn't necessary. With a color corrector, apply directly to the darker lines, and give it a chance to dry.

Apply your concealer with either a sponge or your fingers. Use a tapping motion to deposit the pigment evenly. Blend outwards for a natural finish. If necessary, layer for more coverage.

For the longest-lasting finish, use a setting powder on top.

What To Look For In A Tattoo Concealer?

Pigmentation and wear are the most important factors of a tattoo concealer. It must be something that lasts for a long time and can effectively cover the darkest lines. Look for either a liquid or cream concealer that's easy to apply and matches your skin color.

Final Thoughts

Finding a concealer that effectively covers tattoos is difficult, but we've chosen the best of the best. They combine pigmentation with wear, so your tattoo can stay hidden throughout the day. 

Related: The 5 Best Soaps For Tattoos For Keeping Your Ink Clean

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