Tattoo Cover-Up Ideas to Fix Your Ink

APRIL, 29, 2024

Tips for covering up your tattoo

When searching for creative tattoo cover-up ideas online, there’s no shortage of inspiration on how others have adapted their tattoos in quirky ways. From total blackout coverage to creative reworking, we look at ideas for how to cover an unloved tattoo, as well some of the things you might want to consider before opting for LightSense™ laser tattoo removal to prepare the ground for new ink. No one should live with a tattoo they no longer want. And with the new LightSense™ technology it has become safer, faster, and less painful to fade for a cover-up you’ll truly love. We look at the best tattoo cover-up ideas:

  • Blackout coverage

  • Blast-over

  • Creative reworking

  • Makeup

  • Remove the tattoo entirely

Go for blackout coverage, à la Kat Von D

A common choice for cover-up is the blackout tattoo, essentially shrouding it within large sections of dark ink. While faded or light tattoos are the easiest to cover, they can only be masked using the same pigment, or one that is darker. When tattoo artist Kat Von D decided that it was time to cover tattoos she no longer identified with, she chose to work with Philadelphia-based blackout artist Hoode Philly. 

“Feels so good to finally cover up so many of the tattoos I got back when I used to drink. Those tattoos meant nothing to me but landmarks in dark times.”

A blast-over creates a hybrid effect

Unlike full blackout coverage, a blast-over is where you place a new design, often in black ink, directly on top of a previous tattoo. The bottom layer is not fully covered and so will show through in parts, creating an interesting hybrid of the two. Think overlapping layers of graffiti on a wall.

Creative reworking, from Pokemon to initials

A deep dive on Pinterest reveals hundreds of creative ideas for working an unwanted tattoo up into an entirely new design. From Pokemon to initials and crosses, it’s safe to say that there is a wealth of inspiration out there in the hive mind. You’ll need to do your research for this one though, to find a skilled tattoo artist capable of creating magic.

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Makeup can work wonders

By no means a permanent solution but for a temporary cover-up, a heavy concealer can work well. There are even products designed specifically for this purpose. Using a thick and long-lasting concealer will allow you to cover your unwanted ink, but be sure to take time to properly blend it in with the rest of your skin.

Remove or fade the tattoo

“We usually recommend starting with a five-session package to fade it down,” says Leslie, who deals with NAAMA’s new clients. “The tattoo artist they choose will need to be happy with the level of fading achieved.” With the LightSense™ laser, we are able to offer excellent efficacy when tackling embedded ink alongside more frequent treatments, thanks to the gentler, low-energy technology. Never before has fully removing an old tattoo been such a viable option. So if you’d like to prepare the skin for a cover-up, or leave it clear while you ponder on new designs, laser tattoo removal could be a great route to do down.

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How do tattoo cover-ups work?

When you cover an old tattoo with new ink, the pigments mix together beneath the skin. The darker-coloured inks become dominant, which is why the best tattoo cover-ups typically use plenty of black ink to cover tattoos, or lighter inks that combine to make new colours.

For an effective cover-up, the artist will consider how to blend and shade those colours to achieve the best result. The interaction between colours limits this approach though, so partial removal of the underlying pigment through laser tattoo removal may help you achieve better results.

Blending these underlying colours is an art in itself.

Are cover-up tattoos painful?

That depends on whether you are tattooing over scarred or damaged skin. The LightSense™ laser works on low energy and so causes minimal skin damage. As we’ve discussed in other blog posts, feelings of pain are entirely subjective and vary from person to person. A tattoo cover-up needn’t be painful with the expert advice of one of NAAMA’s specially-trained consultants.

How much does tattoo cover-up cost?

Whichever way you look at it, covering an old tattoo is an investment. But to be clear, it is an investment in you, your body, and how you are going to feel day in and day out. We can’t give a one-size-fits-all answer to this question as people come to NAAMA with a variety of tattoos, in different sizes, locations, and styles. Your best bet is to speak with one of our consultants about what you hope to achieve with your cover-up and how laser tattoo removal can help assist you on that journey. For a typical five-session package to fade a tattoo before a cover-up, take a look at our pricing.

Talk to one of our experts to start your removal journey