Cover Scars and Tattoos Using Pancake Makeup

Edited by Witz Taluban, Eng, Lynn, Shelley and 1 other

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Most liquid or even cream foundations don't have enough coverage to fully conceal tattoos or scars, and you'll need something significantly more pigmented for a flawless finish. This is where pancake makeup comes in. Max Factor created the first pancake foundation in the late 1930s, and it became a hit with actors and actresses because it provided a smooth, matte finish and excellent coverage. Although it's been discontinued, it remains one of the most well-known and sought after pancake makeups to this day. The thick, rich and emollient texture of pancake makeup allows you to fully conceal pigmentation as well as textural issues, so it's perfect for covering tattoos, scars, uneven skin tone and blemishes. It's often coined as "stage makeup" or "greasepaint". Pancake makeup can appear quite heavy and cakey on the skin if it's not applied properly, so make sure you choose a shade that matches your skin tone and take your time when applying it. The instructions below explain how to cover scars and tattoos to leave a flawless, natural finish that lasts all day.

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How to Apply Pancake Makeup to Scars and Tattoos

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What You'll Need

  • Cleanser
  • Moisturizer
  • Pancake makeup (if you can't find a good match, choose one shade darker and one shade lighter than your skin tone)
  • Makeup sponge (any type of sponge will work, but egg-shaped blenders provide the most coverage with the least amount of product)
  • Translucent powder
  • Powder brush
  • Makeup setting spray
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  1. 1
    Cleanse and exfoliate your skin
    This softens the outer layer of your skin and removes any dry, dead skin cells for a smooth and efficient makeup application.
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  2. 2
    Apply your favorite moisturizer to start with a plump, smooth canvas. There's no need for primer, but feel free to use it if you prefer.
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  3. 3
    Dampen your makeup sponge with water and squeeze out the excess
    If your pancake makeup is water-activated, spritz the surface of the makeup with water.
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  4. 4
    Dab the sponge into the makeup
    Dab the makeup directly onto the scar or tattoo, using a small, sweeping upward motion to blend out and diffuse the edges. If the makeup feels to dry, you add more water to the sponge or spritz the compact. If you have to use two colors, start with the darker one first, then add the lighter one and blend them together for the perfect color. Apply one thin layer at a time to build to coverage.
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  5. 5
    Set the makeup with powder
    Once you have the coverage you desire, set the makeup with a light dusting of translucent powder on a powder brush. You can also mist the skin with a makeup setting spray to help it last even longer.
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Tips & Warnings

  • When selecting pancake makeup, opt for water-resistant brands that can endure extreme conditions such as heat and humidity. Look for brands that can offer natural looking skin after application. Consider how much coverage you'll need regarding the scars and tattoos. Pancake makeup with heavy pigmentation works best for tattoos. Pancake sticks have slightly less pigmentation and a more natural finish that works well for light scars. Opt for newbie-friendly pancake makeups since they're easy to use and apply.
  • Choose the right sponge. Latex sponges work well with pancake makeup, but cellulose or polyurethane sponges are acceptable alternatives for individuals who are allergic to latex sponges.
  • Apply the makeup in natural light for the best appearance.
  • Do not overdo pancake makeup on the face, especially if you're going out during the day. Natural light as well as office lighting can cause the makeup to appear dry, cakey and unnatural.
  • If you have a red scar or tattoo, try a very thin layer of green color corrector beneath the pancake makeup to help balance out the color. Yellow color corrector balances purple, and peach corrector works well for blue.
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Questions and Answers

Where can I get water activated pan cake make up?

Water-activated pancake makeup is available through a variety of online retailers, and some recommended brands include Ben Nye and Graftobian. If you can't locate a water-activated pancake makeup in stores and you need to use something quickly, apply a light layer of oil-free foundation and let it set, then cover what shows through with a thick cream concealer or foundation. A stick concealer or foundation works, too.

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Article Info

Categories : Beauty & Aesthetics

Recent edits by: Shelley, Lynn, Eng

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