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Lady Smarts Your 3-step guide to covering a tattoo with makeup

For those times when you want your body art to be more subtle.

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(Photograph by Getty Images)

If you have tattoos, chances are you love your body art and would never dream of hiding it. But if you're ever in a position where you'd rather have your tats covered up—like if you'll be attending your stuffy cousin's wedding and know she'll freak out about the pictures—experts assure us it can easily be done.

"For covering tattoos, you'll need three products," NYC makeup artist Suzy Gerstein says. First, you'll need a specific color-correcting concealer. For fair skin, she recommends a salmon-colored concealer. For a medium to tan complexion, she recommends peach, and orange for darker skin. The second two products you'll need are a concealer that matches your skin tone exactly, and a translucent or colorless setting powder.

You'll start by going over your tattoo with the tinted peach, salmon, or orange concealer. "This cancels out the blue/green aspect," Gerstein says. "Beige clarifying pencils, intended for the waterline of the eyes, also work well for this." Next, apply the skin-tone matching concealer on top of where you applied the colored concealer. "This step neutralizes the tone and blends it with your skin tone," says Gerstein. "Last, dip a powder puff in the translucent powder to set the concealer for long wear," she says.

There are a few different products Gerstein likes for covering tattoos. The Dermacolor line from Kryolan, available at select stores like Alcone Cosmetics in NYC, includes camouflage cremes and concealers in an amazing variety of skin tones. For flesh-toned pencils, she recommends the NYX Wonder Pencil ($5, ulta.com) and Anastasia Pro Pencil ($18, sephora.com). Other options include the Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage concealer ($35, sephora.com) or the Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer ($48, bloomingdales.com). For a setting powder, she likes the Shiseido Translucent Loose Powder ($35, sephora.com). (We also love this undereye concealer from the Women's Health Boutique, which you can use in other places in a pinch!)

If you're a little hazy on the process, there are a variety of great tutorials on Instagram or YouTube that can help you cover up without looking cakey. Until then, keep rocking your awesome tattoos.

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