February 23rd, 2017
In the new Graftobian catalogue, make-up artist Suzanne Patterson, an EMMY award winner, tells us how to cover a tattoo step by step. Covering tattoos is a very common thing, and professional make-up artists have to deal with it very often. Learn how to do it with the right products and following the advice of a professional make-up artist.
Graftobian Corrector Wheels are designed to include the most often used shades for neutralising, highlighting, and concealing used by professionals. You can find them in the online shop here.
- Clean the tattooed skin area with alcohol or an astringent to remove any surface skin oils.
- First, determine the value of the skin tone, meaning, how light or dark the skin is surrounding the tattoo. In this case our client was a medium skin tone with a warm undertone. The tattoo contained a mixture of green, red, yellow, and outlined in a greyish black. So the tattoo skin blanket neutraliser could either be soft peach toned or soft coral toned. For this demonstration I am using both, painting one half of the tattoo over in peach, and the other half in coral just to compare results.
- For women’s tattoos, I like to use the neutraliser colours mixed into skin compatible tones to soften down their intensity, rather than just using them as raw colours directly on the skin. This is what I call the Tattoo Skin Blanket and by doing this, it makes the cancelling out of the tattoo much more natural looking when the final skin tones are stippled on top of it. I mixed up a peach undertoned skin blanket by adding a bit of Orange Neutral from the Light Wheel into a larger amount of Red Neutraliser from the Dark Wheel. I mixed up a coral skin blanket by adding a bit of Suntan Red from the Dark Wheel into a larger amount of Pink Highlight from the Light Wheel. Using the Graftobian Wooden Handled Spatula, 3” Bent #88457, I removed each of the colours from the wheel and frictioned them down to a very soft mixable texture before blending them into the colours I needed. I did this with all the colours before mixing and using them.
- With the Graftobian Face and Body Painting Brush, 3/8 inch Angle #78078, I painted the upper half of the tattoo in the peach blanket. Using just the very tip of the angled brush, I feathered out the edges past the tattoo, blending it into the skin area. Then I set it with Graftobian Translucent Powder, dusting it well with a #6 Fan Brush, #78076.
- I painted the bottom half of the tattoo in the coral blanket in the same way as the peach blanket, slightly feathering the edge over where it meets the peach edge, and setting with powder the same way.
- I powdered again over both applications, and then sprayed Graftobian Setting Spray over it all. Take care not to oversaturate the make-up, but enough to lock the powdered layer down.
- In adding back realistic skin tones, you need to use at least three colours that are present in the natural surrounding skin: a base skin tone, and two others that you can stipple randomly in to make the finish look more realistic. I mixed up a skin tone base from both the wheels, using Extra Highlight, Soft Orange Neutral, and dropping in a bit of Yellow Highlight. With a Graftobian Foam Wedge sponge with the top of it picked out like a skin stamp, I stippled this skin tone layer over the entire tattoo skin blanket, and blending it out onto the skin area around the tattoo. I powdered this layer generously, and then sprayed it with Setting Spray.
- I mixed up a 2nd skin tone, using Red Neutraliser, Soft Orange Neutral, and added a tiny bit of Yellow Highlight to it. I stippled this colour with a picked sponge, randomly over the skin tone base layer, so that it took on a more dimensional finish the way real skin looks. I powdered this layer generously, and then sprayed it with Setting Spray.
- Finally, I added back in the skin artefacts that were seen in her surrounding skin around the tattoo so that it would further blend the coverage naturally. I used Deep Red Neutraliser with a tiny bit of Yellow highlight. A trick to doing this is to spatula de colour mixture down on a palette, then take your 3/8 inch angle brush, dip it in alcohol and mix it with the colour, so you have a kind of wash. Then, using only the tip of the brush, you can add in skin freckling in just a few areas to give it a realistic skin effect, and adding a tiny few onto the surrounding skin area where appropriate.
- Powder and spray again, and she is all finished!