Clumsy, bruised, or scarred ladies read on! And also those of you with regrettable tattoos you can’t afford to have removed, too. Today we learn how to hide the marks on our bodies we’d rather others didn’t see. Perhaps the bruise you got from tripping up the stairs takes away from the grown-up sophistication of a pencil skirt and killer heels. Or maybe you’ve got a wedding to go to and the anchor tattoo on your bicep looks less than ladylike with your spaghetti strap dress. Whatever the reason, M•A•C Cosmetics Senior Artists Melissa Gibson has the solution. Gibson shares her pro-tips for getting flawless skin from head to toe.
Gibson’s most important tip? Practice. While her makeup lessons below can be achieved on your own, the results will only get better with practice. “Don’t try this for the first time, say, hiding that neck tattoo on your wedding day from your parents!” she says.
You don’t need to use makeup specifically formulated for your body, but Gibson says that “a heavier based foundation or concealer will provide more coverage and be longer lasting.” She adds that you’ll want a few different colours to help disguise any skin discolourations or tattoos, and of course you should look for a makeup that promises long wear.
Oranges, for darker skin and corals for lighter skin, are great for dulling the colours in a tattoo, while more yellow-based concealers are good for purple bumps. Gibson recommends the M•A•C Pro Studio Conceal and Correct Palette because it comes with six shades — four concealers and two skin correctors — suitable for your complexion. The palette comes in light, medium, deep and dark.
You will also need a translucent powder to use between layers of product for a long-lasting finish. Gibson uses M•A•C Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder.
“Depending on how big the area is that you need to cover, you will want some small brushes to get into all the small detail areas [for tattoos] as well as sponges to stipple the product on with. This allows for a more realistic finish,” says Gibson.
- Start by moisturizing your skin and let the lotion absorb. Don’t use anything too oily or the product will slide right off. You could also try one of M•A•C’s Prep + Prime lotions which moisturize and prep skin for makeup.
- Next, start to stipple the heavy foundation or concealer in the shade needed to tackle that particular discolouration or mark (yellow for purple, orange or coral for blue or black and for dulling tattoos) on to the area with a sponge. Dust with translucent powder. If necessary, use small brushes to cover tiny details in a tattoo or even colour variations in bumps. Just as you’d use a yellow-based concealer to neutralize purple circles under the eyes, you’ll want to use green-toned makeup to downplay red, orange to downplay blue and cooler-toned concealers to neutralize yellow. The makeup doesn’t literally have to be yellow or green, (although these products are available), just play with the concealers in your palette to see which covers each discolouration best.
- Follow with another dusting of translucent powder.
- Finally, add a layer of concealer or foundation that matches your natural skin tone
If done right, says Gibson, you shouldn’t have to use makeup all over the area to make it blend. And don’t forget the details! “If, for instance, you are working on a leg that has a lot of freckles, remember to add the freckles back into the area that you covered,” says Gibson.