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Genius Ways to Cover a Tattoo at Work (With & Without Makeup!)

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Published: 10.10.2022
Updated: 02.06.2024

Tattoos are no longer souvenirs sailors would come home with, nor do they represent a negative connotation in society, and statistics back this up. The United States is the front runner with the highest percentage of the population being tattooed, a staggering 42% have at least one while Canada isn’t far behind with 38% of the population being tattooed. Australia is sitting back a bit further at just 25% of the country being tattooed, but this statistic is up sharply from just 20% in 2018.

How to Cover a Tattoo At Work

There continues to be a positive cultural shift towards acceptance and reduction in the stigma for those who love having tattoos. However, knowing how to cover a tattoo at work can help you at jobs where there are still more conservative guidelines in place. Additionally, a good deal of people collect tattoos to enjoy for personal reasons, or mark a special occasion or remember a unique event and wish to keep them out of the line of sight of their co-workers. Regardless of the reason, we’ve compiled a list of ideas and concepts on how to cover a tattoo at work if the need arises.

Let’s start with how to cover tattoos for work without makeup.


How to Use Clothing to Cover Tattoos at Work

The most obvious answer to covering tattoos in the workplace is to simply wear clothing that will conceal them, however there are less obvious ways, too.

Starting from the ground up, if you’re looking to keep a tattoo on your foot or ankle hidden, rule out sandals, stockings, no-show and ankle socks. Simply wearing non-transparent socks, opaque tights or leggings along with shoes will hide the tattoos from coworkers. High top sneakers if work appropriate or boots are always great ways to hide those ankle tattoos, too.

You can cover your tattoos on the legs relatively easily, as your tattoos can be hidden with longer skirts, dresses and pants. Be mindful when you sit to see how far up the item your wearing rises on your shins, adjust the length of your socks accordingly. Be especially mindful when crossing legs and this will often shorten clothing even more, exposing ankles and lower legs.

While tattoos on the torso might be an obviously easy one to cover, it can present some challenges around the collarbone, shoulder blades and even chest in lower cut and V-neck shirts. Always ensure to double-check the front and back of an outfit in mirrors. If you’re not tucking a shirt in and have the lower abdomen, flanks or back tattooed, raise both your hands in the mirror to see if your top will cover your tattoos that way.

Embracing high-waisted pants and denim will also help with covering tattoos on the lower back without the requirement of tucking a shirt in or wearing a longer shirt.


How to Cover Arm Tattoos for Work

Regarding how to cover tattoos for work, learning how to cover arm tattoos for work is best broken down into three sections: Upper arm, lower arm and wrist. Sleeved tops are again obvious but ensuring nothing is too transparent will play a role in hiding your tattoos at work. Blouses with tulle should be ruled out unless wearing a shirt under them, and white button-down shirts commonly worn with a suite will occasionally show dark, bolder tattoos through the fabric. For the latter, an easy remedy is a white undershirt and, or a suit jacket when appropriate.

Forearm tattoos can be covered with long-sleeve shirts, again being conscious of how transparent the fabric is.

Tattoos on the wrists can also be covered by long-sleeve shirts but be conscious of the length. Like untucked shirts, raise your hands above your head or reach across the table to see if the shirt sleeves expose the wrist tattoos.

Neck tattoos are a bit tricker to cover with clothing, however creative use of a scarf or bandana can work, when it’s an appropriate time of year to wear them.

Let Your Hair Down

The location behind the ears on the upper portion of the neck and at the base of the scalp on the back of the head are very common spots for tattoos. In some professional working environments, showing them off isn’t ideal. If you have longer hair, wearing your hair down is a simple, easy and quick way to cover your tattoos and keep the tattoos concealed during the day. Going to style it differently? Check the mirror from a few different angles to see if the tattoo is still hidden.

Using your hair, especially when paired with a scarf or bandana, can be both easy and flattering!


A single tattoo on a finger can look very beautiful, but perhaps not appropriate for the workplace. A ring with a larger face will cover most of the tattoo, most of the time. Likewise, the inside of the wrist or anterior portion of the lower wrist where it meets the hand is another extremely common spot for small, cute tattoos. Stylizing a few bangle bracelets or wearing a watch with a wider band and larger face can easily make the tattoo disappear and no one will be the wiser. These smaller tattoos are also easily covered with a band-aid.

Have a slightly larger tattoo on your forearm that is too big for a watch or bracelets and a long sleeve shirt won’t work? There are near endless options in a variety of fabrics, lace, even leather designed to cover wrist and forearm tattoos.

Tattoos that are between the collarbones at the base of the neck can be covered with a necklace paired with a pendant, but any movement will likely reveal the tattoo. Using necklaces might work occasionally, especially if worn stacked at varying lengths or larger pendants are your thing, but it’s not ideal most of the time.

“Fake” an Injury

By no means a long-term solution, but sore muscles, sprained ankles and wrists do happen. A tattoo can be hidden with an Ace bandage, or if you’d like a bit more color, pre-wrap can be used. Think of it as a removable sleeve for the workplace.

How to Cover Up Tattoos with Makeup

Covering face, neck and hand tattoos can often be tricky, because accessories like jewelry, band-aids or other methods just aren’t possible. This is where makeup comes in.

The Best Makeup to Cover Tattoos

The key for success is to find palettes like those available from Jordane Cosmetics that allow custom color blending, more crucial if you live in a sunny part of the world and your skin tone changes frequently.

If your skin tone is consistent throughout the year, Dermablend is another makeup option. Concealing a tattoo for work or just in general with makeup does require a bit of trial and error to get everything just right. This video shows how to cover tattoos the pro way, utilizing the previously mentioned Jordane Cosmetics line and the Skin Illustrator Palette. Stick around to the end of the video for some bonus tips on properly cleaning off the makeup.

Finishing off the makeup and concealer with a setting spray like this one from Dermablend will lock everything in place and help prevent smudging or transfer to clothing or furniture.

Covering Up Tattoos for Your Job: Two Important Things to Know

Before starting to explore any of the methods to cover tattoos for a job, there’s some prerequisites that must be considered.

If Your Tattoo Is New

Fresh tattoos need to heal before being in contact with clothing or makeup, covering them for work might not be possible for a few days to a few weeks. Always follow all aftercare provided by your tattoo artist before attempting any coverup methods we’ve covered.

If Your Tattoo Is Healed

A fully healed tattoo still needs some preparation prior to heading into work with a cover-up. If using makeup, it’s important to thoroughly cleanse the skin to ensure there’s no oils, dirt or dead skin. A minute of preparation will help the makeup last longer and look more natural.

Looking To Permanently Cover Up Your Tattoos?

Laser tattoo removal might be an option if you no longer love the tattoo, or the placement. When this is the case, the team at Removery is here to help. Get started with a free consultation!

Have any questions about the tattoo removal process? Check out our article – How does tattoo removal work?

Don’t want to remove the tattoo altogether but just want a change? Visit our page for tattoo coverup today!

Dr Eric Korsh Dr. Eric Korsh Spine & Orthopedic Surgeon

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