Can You Put Temporary Tattoos Over Make-up?

In short – yes, you can apply temporary tattoos over make-up, but it is generally not advised. The makeup can interfere with proper tattoo adhesion, reduce clarity of the tattoo design, and may pull off the temporary ink when removed. This article explores in detail why applying temporary tattoos over makeup causes issues, along with tips if you must put temporary tattoos on made-up skin. It also suggests alternatives like tattooing makeup-free areas or using smudge-proof cosmetics under the tattoos.

The key reasons why applying temporary tattoos over makeup is problematic are explored first. Makeup can form a barrier between the tattoo adhesive and skin, hampering adhesion. Pigments may also bleed and distort the tattoo design printed on the transfer paper when applied over makeup. Additionally, taking off makeup prematurely removes temporary tattoos layered over it.

After covering why it’s not ideal to put temporary tattoos on made-up skin, tips are provided for making the tattoos last longer if you have no choice but to apply them over makeup. These include starting with clean skin, minimizing other cosmetics, letting makeup dry thoroughly, gently pressing tattoo transfers, and not adding more makeup on top of existing tattoos.

Finally, some alternatives are suggested for those who want to wear both makeup and temporary tattoos safely. These include tattooing bare body parts without makeup, removing makeup only where tattoos will be placed, or using waterproof, smudge-proof makeup under the temporary tattoos.

Why It Is Not Advisable To Apply Temporary Tattoos Over Makeup

Applying temporary tattoos over makeup is generally not advised for several reasons pertaining to adhesion, clarity, and longevity.

Adhesion Issues

Temporary tattoo transfers contain a water-activated adhesive that binds to the outer layer of skin. Makeup, especially in multiple layers, can form a barrier that prevents full contact between the tattoo adhesive and skin. This leads to reduced adhesion, causing the tattoo to peel or fall off prematurely.

Clarity Problems

Cosmetics can also interfere with the integrity of the tattoo design printed on the transfer paper. Pigments may bleed or smudge when applied over makeup, distorting lines and details. The result is a fuzzy, indistinct tattoo lacking sharp definition.

Early Removal Problems

Additionally, removing makeup with cleansers or toner can inadvertently strip away an overlaid tattoo ahead of schedule. Vigorous rubbing to eliminate eye makeup, for example, often causes temporary tattoos to pill or flake off.

Tips For Applying Temporary Tattoos Over Makeup

While not ideal, wearing temporary tattoos over makeup is sometimes unavoidable. Here are useful tips to make the tattoos last longer if you must apply them to made-up skin:

Start With A Clean Canvas

Wash, tone, and moisturize the skin first to remove dirt, oil, and cosmetics. This allows for better contact between the transfer adhesive and bare skin.

Use Minimal Makeup

If wearing makeup is essential, choose lightly pigmented, powder-based products and apply sparingly. Heavy, layered cream makeup prevents tattoo adhesion.

Let Makeup Dry Thoroughly

Allow enough time for makeup to dry completely before attaching tattoos. Wet makeup smears and ruins tattoo clarity. Waiting 10-15 minutes ensures makeup sets.

Gently Press Tattoo Transfer

Dampen a cotton pad or paper towel to activate the adhesive, then gently press and smooth the tattoo paper onto skin. Don’t rub vigorously to avoid removing makeup underneath.

Avoid Adding More Makeup Over Tattoos

Once tattoos are applied, resist adding more cosmetics like powder or glitter on top of them. This risks further dissolving the adhesive and muddying the design.

Alternatives To Applying Temporary Tattoos Over Makeup

If wearing both makeup and temporary tattoos is a must, consider these alternative options:

Apply Tattoos To Makeup-Free Areas

Ink tattoo transfers onto bare arms, shoulders, ankles, or feet instead of heavily made-up facial areas. These regions often better show off designs.

Remove Makeup Before Tattoo Application

Use makeup remover wipes or cleansers to eliminate cosmetics from the precise skin section where tattoos will be placed. This allows for optimal adhesion.

Use Smudge-Proof Waterproof Makeup

Non-transferring waterproof eye pencils, lip colors, face paints, and glitters won’t ruin tattoo clarity or easily rub off onto the design. Test their staying power first before applying tattoos.

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