There are a wide range of reasons why brides and grooms decide to cover their tattoos for the big day. Some may feel like their tattoo isn’t suitable for a formal occasion or are looking to achieve a certain aesthetic, and others may even feel embarrassed about a tattoo. Whatever the reason, here are four ideas on how to cover up tattoos for your wedding.
And if you wanted to see just how great tattoos can look on your wedding day, check out these brides who rocked their tattoos.
Above: Image by Hrecheniuk Oleksii on Shutterstock
How to Cover Up Tattoos For Your Wedding: 4 Ways
There are lots of different ways to use cosmetics to temporarily cover your tattoos, from specially designed tattoo-covering “camouflage” products to experimenting with regular makeup (e.g. concealer, foundation, and setting powder fixed with hairspray). Some methods can be expensive, but you may feel it’s worth it to have your wedding the way you want it. When choosing the kits or cosmetics you’d like to use or try however, just keep in mind that what works for one person’s skin type and covers their tattoo may not have the exact same result for you.
- A popular option on how to cover up tattoos for your wedding is to use makeup to match the skin tone, perhaps heavily pigmented for fuller coverage.
- There are also a wide variety of creams and concealers, some boasting a durable, smear-proof, long lasting finish and a heavy duty coverage, others waterproof properties or SPF sun protection (perfect for anyone looking to have a destination or beach wedding abroad!). There are also products available for sensitive skin and oily skin, and products such as those by Cover FX that “steer clear of the Inflammatory 5: parabens, fragrance, gluten, mineral oil, and talc”.
- Products are available in different forms (creams, powders, sticks, etc) for easier application too, and in different consistencies so that you can get the best natural finish.
- Many people turn to airbrushing makeup for an even finish (this is when makeup is sprayed onto the skin rather than being applied with a brush, sponge, etc).
Things to Think About
- When covering a tattoo with makeup, consider the colours. Darker tattoos will take more makeup to cover, or you’ll have to be a bit more ingenious. For example, use pale colours such as pink and yellow to cancel out the dark blue and black colours.
- Consider that if you layer on too much makeup you may end up with quite a prominent, strangely textured section of skin, and this will be even more pronounced the larger the area you wish to cover. It may also show up strangely on wedding photos.
- If the makeup you use doesn’t set right, or if it’s not waterproof or sweat proof or if it’s greasy, you risk staining your wedding dress just like you would if you self tan for your wedding. Make sure you research and test the products you intend to use.
- It can take a lot of time to cover even a small area, and you may need to reapply the coverage throughout the day.
- Your tattoos may be in a difficult place for you to reach on your own or see well enough to cover them. You may need help from someone close to you or from your wedding makeup artist. Even if you can reach it and cover it yourself, you’ll probably want a second opinion on if your tattoo is adequately covered.
- If you’re not experienced with makeup, ask someone who is to help you. This can be a close friend or a professional makeup artist.
- When looking at how to cover up tattoos for your wedding, whatever makeup method you plan to use it’s recommended that you trial it well before the big day to see if it works, how long it lasts, and what conditions it will endure through (e.g. is it waterproof? Is the tattoo still visible in different lighting or does it show up on wedding photos?)
Professional Advice from Lauren Poole
When we spoke to professional makeup artist Lauren Poole about how to cover up tattoos for your wedding, she told us that:
“Although tattoos can look amazing showcased with the right dress, lots of brides prefer for their body art to be covered on their big day. There are lots of coverage products available on the market, but for my brides who are looking for camouflage I always use Airbase makeup applied with an airbrush.
“Airbase makeup covers tattoos of all colours with ease and you only need a few thin layers to make the tattoo disappear, so no heavy patches of foundation on the skin. The top layer is always a foundation that matches the skin colour perfectly, so there is no visable hint of the tattoo hiding beneath. This form of coverage is also heat- and water-resistant and lasts at least 18 hours, so there is no possibility that the tattoo will reappear during the course of the wedding day.
“The durability and flawless finish that airbrush makeup creates means that it is my go-to not only for tattoo coverage but also when creating a natural, perfect bridal look.”
Above: Image by Iuliia Stepashova on Shutterstock
2) Tattoo Covers
Tattoo covers are exactly what they say on the tin—stick-on patches that match your skin tone, and one of the quickest, easiest ways of covering a tattoo. However, unless applied properly you risk them peeling off, and they’re probably not the best solution if you want to cover a larger area.
3) Clothes and Accessories
When asking how to cover up tattoos for your wedding, many people forget one of the easiest solutions—you may not need to use makeup or patches to cover your tattoos, as your dress, suit, or accessories can do it for you. It all comes down to the style you choose. For example, long sleeved wedding dresses or a shawl or jacket can cover the arms and high necked wedding dresses can cover the collar.
Featured above: Style 8396 by Justin Alexander
Some wedding photographers give the option to edit things out of your wedding photos, and this can include any tattoos. Alternatively, wedding photographers often give you a digital copy of the photos to keep so, if you’re adept at Photoshop, you could do it yourself.
So there are a few ways co cover your tattoos for your wedding, and some people, if the tattoo they want to hide is one they really, really don’t want anymore, even go the most extreme route by getting rid of it permanently (e.g. by laser removal). Be wary though, as some of these methods can result in scarring. Many others decide to cover a tattoo they don’t want anymore with a tattoo that they do want.
On the other hand, if you have a tattoo that you want to display on your big day and you love to break the mould, these alternative wedding dresses are a great way to show them off.