How to Shade a Fake Tattoo

Learn how to shade a fake tattoo from makeup artist Ciara Rose Griffin in this Howcast special effects makeup tutorial.


Okay, so the tattoo has been applied and, as you can see, I've added a little bit of shading. And I'm going to show you how I did that and how you can do it on your own. First of all, when we're talking about shadows, it's always the shadow is deepest and then it becomes a little bit lighter farther away toward the light source. So as you can see right here, this is a lot deeper and then as it comes out toward the light, the shadow gets a little bit lighter. And that's how you create depth in a tattoo.

So for shading it, you can see here that I've pulled a little bit of the color down. You're going to take a Q-tip, or a brush is fine, and you're going to add some alcohol to your Q-tip. And then you're going to just kind of slightly gently go over the color and pull it up or down. And it creates a really subtle shadow. Here we go. You can see how the ink is slowly starting to move up. And you can kind of paint with it like that, like it's almost a water color.

Also, if you've made a mistake using the alcohol color that you want to remove, that's what's so great about using alcohol, is that you can add alcohol and remove whatever you have drawn on that you don't actually want there. I'm using Q-tips, but if you have something like an angle brush for eyeliner, you can use that as well, to create clean edges. I'm just taking some of the alcohol that I've sprayed on and removing it by blotting it out on my hand. And I'm just going to go over that section and clean that line right up.

So when this application is totally done, I'm going to go over and hit it with powder. You can also, if you don't have a big round powder brush, you can also use a powder puff that you can buy at regular drug stores. I'm loading my brush with powder and then I'm just knocking some of the powder off so it's not excessive. And I'm just going to tap that. And now I'm removing the extra powder. And there you have the completed tattoo.

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