One of my best friend's Kelsey moved away over 2 years ago. Anytime she comes to town I try to take every opportunity to hang out with her. On this particular trip she was doing makeup for a photoshoot with our good friend Danny Alexander and model Amanda Terry, among others. Knowing everyone onset I was able to tag along and hang out. I am lucky to work with Danny all the time and I have worked with Amanda a good handful of times. it was a great group of people and were able to talk about past projects and things we wanted to do in the future. With the down time that you usually experience on photo-shoots it was good to have like minded people to chat with. Amanda who is heavily tattooed said she wanted to do a photoshoot where all of her tattoos were covered up. I jokingly told Amanda to invest in a good turtle neck.
I have done tattoo cover up makeups for weddings but nothing as extensive as Amanda's tattoos. The first tattoo cover-up I did was for a client named Sierra Thompson. Sierra is a beautiful woman and there was really nothing wrong with her tattoo but she was unhappy with it showing in her brides maid dress. With her dress being dark I knew alcohol based makeup would be the way to go. Once alcohol makeup is dry you don't have to worry about transfer. I first covered her black tattoo in a light brown alcohol airbrush paint from EBA Performance makeup (http://www.europeanbodyart.com/professional-makeup/) to neutralize the dark ink. I then used their alcohol based SKT Light to Dark Encore Palette. I used a chip brush switching between dark and light colors as I flicked the makeup on her back building up a natural blend and breaking up the skin tone. I felt painting it all one color would look fake and it would be too obvious something was being hidden. Her arms and chest weren't getting makeup so to make the skin over her tattoo all one tone and flat would have looked off.
After talking a bit more with Amanda it became clear this was something she really wanted to do. I thought that this could be a good way to market tattoo cover ups for weddings. If I could cover up Amanda's tattoos I could cover up any bride's spring break tattoo mistakes. Amanda then roped Danny into shooting it so then the planning began. We knew we wanted to do a good before and after photo in pretty much the same lighting. The plan was to do a simple but edgy before makeup to show off Amanda's tattoos. Then I would do a very soft and warm beauty makeup suitable for a bride. The makeups were one thing but the tattoo cover up was going to be a challenge, more so than I had realized.
I learned a lesson on this makeup, a lesson I already knew but had reinforced. I learned that if there is something you need that is imperative to the makeup you need to make sure you have it with you. The SKT palette I use for tattoo cover ups that I mentioned early was nowhere to be found. I forgot that I had let someone use it months prior and never gotten it back. With all of the encore palettes I have I picked one that had the closest colors I needed to achieve the cover up. While the Joel Harlow Signature FX Contour Palette had several of the colors I use I was missing a lot of the darker tones and had nothing really with red or yellow undertones. I ended up airbrushing on some red with some yellows and bone white which has yellow underdone to give me a closer base to work with. It took a lot for layering but I was able to get to where we needed to be to cover the tattoos. I then threw on some gold highlighter to give her a nice glow.
Working with the wrong materials I am super happy with how it all came out. Danny did an amazing job capturing her image. Take away the fact that it was an extreme tattoo cover up it was a very simple looking clean beauty makeup. Danny was able to make something so simple look almost extra ordinary. It was very strange seeing Amanda with no tattoos. It was rewarding seeing Amanda's astonished face when she kept looking in the mirror and I am glad I took on the challenge.