Home Beauty Female Dark Cover Up Tattoos: 20 Ideas to Consider

Female Dark Cover Up Tattoos: 20 Ideas to Consider

by Rita Quisenberry
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Getting a tattoo can be a risky endeavor. If you don’t choose your ink design carefully, you can end up with a terrible tattoo permanently etched on your skin. However, instead of living with the mistake for the rest of your life, you can get it covered up.

Cover-ups are an amazing way to hide poorly designed or crooked tattoos under a layer of fresh ink. And if done correctly, curious eyes won’t even be able to tell there is an old tattoo under the new one! So if you’re a woman embarrassed about having a terrible tattoo, here is the 411 on cover-ups — how they work, as well as the best female dark cover-up tattoos to revitalize your ink!

What Is a Tattoo Cover-Up?

Cover-Up

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Despite public misconceptions, not many people regret getting a tattoo. In a recent survey, over 88% of people in the US reported being happy with their ink. Nevertheless, 12% of interviewees said they wished they didn’t get at least one of their tattoos.

Whether it’s because they got something random on an impulse or because the ink is just plain bad, many people want to get rid of their tattoos. If you’re in this category, you have two options — you can either get a tattoo removal using laser treatments or opt for a tattoo cover-up.

Laser removal treatments involve breaking down the tattoo pigments using high-intensity light beams. The process can be time-consuming, and depending on the tattoo’s size, placement, and color, it can require several treatments to completely erase it. While it’s generally not more painful than the tattooing process itself, it can cause swelling and infections, especially if you don’t properly treat the wound afterward.

Nevertheless, it’s still the only method currently available that can completely remove tattoos from someone’s body. Therefore, it’s not surprising that over 32% of people in the US choose this procedure to take care of unwanted ink.

However, if you’re uncomfortable with the idea of lasering your skin, then you can go with option number two — get the tattoo covered up. As its name suggests, a cover-up involves tattooing a new piece of ink over an old, unwanted tattoo to hide it. While most people choose to cover up bad or embarrassing tattoos, you can also cover up ink that’s faded or gotten lighter over time.

Cover-ups are the perfect option if you want to keep some ink on your body but want to get rid of an old tattoo. Plus, they’re also a good alternative if you’re on a tight budget. Laser treatments can cost between $200 and $700. While this is comparable to the cost of most medium-sized tattoos, keep in mind that laser removal requires multiple sessions.

Therefore, if a tattoo is particularly complex, the total cost of laser treatments can be over $2,000. When you compare that to the cost of a beautiful $700 tattoo, a cover-up is a much more appealing option.

How Does It Work?

Work

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Though getting a cover-up is very common, there are still a lot of misconceptions about how it works. For starters, tattooing involves injecting ink particles at least one millimeter into the dermis, the second layer of skin. Because the process damages the skin, the body fires up the immune system and sends white blood cells to clear out the foreign substance.

However, ink particles are too big for the blood cells to absorb successfully. Therefore, the particles end up stuck in the dermis, thus creating a permanent tattoo. Getting a cover-up works in much the same way.

A tattoo artist once again deposits pigment into the same dermis where the previous tattoo ink sits. However, the cover-up pigment doesn’t just go on top of the old one. Instead, the two colors fuse together to create a completely new pigment. So, for example, if you add a blue cover up to an existing red tattoo, you’re going to get a deep purple color.

However, because of the nature of the layering process, dark colors are going to be more dominant. This is why tattoo artists will frequently recommend black and white tattoos for a cover-up. Black is the most effective at concealing any old ink, and because it’s so dominant, there is no risk of color mixing.

However, if you aren’t a fan of black and white tattoos, you can still get one in color. You’ll just have to match it up with the colors of your existing tattoo to make sure the cover-up turns out how you envisioned it.

20 Female Dark Cover-up Tattoos

The best part of getting a cover-up is picking an amazing design! Just keep in mind that not every piece of ink will successfully cover your old tattoo, no matter how much you like it. However, these female dark cover-up tattoo ideas can still inspire you to come up with a design that will best suit your needs!

1. Black Cat Head

Cat

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Getting a cat tattoo is a classic. Not only does it look beautiful, but it also serves as the ultimate cover-up. The black ink is ideal for hiding even the most prominent bad tattoos. Plus, depending on the design, you can use the tat to cover up vertical or horizontal tattoos of any size and complexity!

2. Tree

Tree

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In case you don’t want a large cover-up, a simple tree tattoo is exactly what you need. Black and white tree tattoos conceal vertical texts or symbols flawlessly, especially if you go with a perennial tree for your design.

3. Forest Outline

Forest

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A Single tree tattoo is ideal for covering up smaller, vertical tattoos, like quotes or names. However, if your tat is horizontal, then a single tree won’t cut it. Instead, consider covering it up with a simple outline of a forest. If the old tattoo is too dark, then you won’t be able to add much detail to the forest. However, you can compensate for that by adding a beautiful night sky above it!

4. Feather

Feather

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Feathers are an excellent female dark cover-up tattoo, because they can suitably hide lines of text. But since they have a pretty flexible shape, they can also hide old tattoos that sit on your skin at an odd angle.

5. Flowers

Flowers

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While flower tattoos are somewhat of a cliche, you can’t deny that they look beautiful. Plus, depending on the flower you choose, they can make excellent cover-ups for small and large tats.

6. Flower Bouquets

Bouquets

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If a single flower won’t be enough to cover up your old ink, consider getting a bouquet! Multiple flowers or flower bouquets are incredible for covering large, circular tattoos, especially on the back area. However, they can also work for smaller, horizontal tattoos like tribal symbols or letters.

7. Abstract Pattern Tattoo

Pattern

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Abstract tattoos are generally not something you’d want to do for a cover-up. They’re complex, expensive, and require a lot of work to finish. However, if you have an equally complicated old tat you want to hide, then a piece of abstract ink is the best female dark cover-up tattoo.

8. Clock

Clock

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Clock tattoos are some of the most underrated tattoo designs ever. They’re complex enough to successfully conceal dark ink while also being versatile enough to fit onto any body part. However, because they’re so detailed, they work better if you have a larger piece of ink to cover.

9. Skull

Skull

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Many think that skull tattoos are specifically for men. However, girls can rock this tattoo design just as well! Skulls are great for concealing larger circular tattoos on the back or leg area. When picking your design, you can either go for a classic skull or a day of the dead design for an extra pop!

10. Snake

Snake

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Like feathers, snake tattoos work well to hide oddly shaped ink. They’re especially suitable for concealing tattoos on forearms, legs, or even fingers!

11. Dream Catcher

Dream

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Dream catchers are such a popular tattoo for women. They’re almost a cliche. But, because they’re detailed, they’re especially suited for covering up circular tattoos. What’s more, you can easily jazz them up by adding extra flowers, feathers, or even a splash of color!

12. Bird

Bird

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A bird is yet another classic dark cover-up tattoo for females. It’s the go-to option for when you want to cover a small piece of ink on your wrist or collarbone. However, it can also work as a way to conceal larger artwork, especially if you go with a dark-colored bird for your tat, like a raven or a bald eagle.

13. Wings

Wings

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If you aren’t feeling a bird design for your cover-up, then consider going with a pair of wings. Wing tattoos are extremely versatile because they can conform to almost any body part. Plus, since they inherently involve a lot of detail, they can cover artwork of almost any size and complexity.

14. Space

Space

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Like tribal tattoos, space designs are notoriously tricky to do. However, they make for some of the best female dark cover-up tattoos simply because they involve a lot of dark colors. What’s more, they can conceal large back pieces or more discreet ink on your neck or wrist.

15. Eye

Eye

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Eyes are more than just the windows to the soul. They’re also excellent cover-up tattoos. Whether you go for a classic human eye or an animal’s eyes, this cover-up design will conceal any larger piece of ink on your back or forearm area. You can even play around with the design and combine the eye with another shape, like a triangle or flower!

16. Koi Fish

Fish

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Koi fish are among some of the most beautiful species in the world. Therefore, it’s not surprising that so many people choose to tattoo them. When it comes to cover-up tattoos, koi work well when you want to conceal large back pieces or a complex sleeve.

17. Fox

Fox

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Like cats, fox tattoos are also especially popular among women. These animals not only look stunning on the skin, but they can also convey some pretty intense messages of wisdom, intelligence, or cunning. What’s more, they’re perfect if you want your new ink to be in color.

18. Butterfly

Butterfly

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This is yet another stereotypical tattoo for women. However, this particular piece of ink can have intense personal meanings for many women. Since a butterfly is an international symbol for eating disorder recovery, it’s the perfect way to commemorate your status as a survivor. Moreover, because of the level of detail, butterfly tattoos can cover up almost any medium-sized piece of ink, regardless of its location.

19. Moon

Moon

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Moon and sun tattoos are very common for first-timers because they’re small enough to be discreet. However, they can degrade very quickly, especially if you pick an amateur artist to do them. In that case, you can upgrade your old moon tattoo with some more colors or by adding extra details to the design.

20. Killer Whale

Whale

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If you were to choose an animal for your cover-up tattoo, a killer whale would likely not be among your top picks. But think about it. This majestic marine predator is synonymous with elegance, intelligence, and power. It’s also completely black, so it can hide even the most pigmented designs.

How to Choose a Cover-Up Tattoo: 4 Tips

Choose

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Though there is no shortage of dark cover-up tattoos for females, choosing the right design will depend on your individual needs. Therefore, if you’re struggling to find the right cover-up for you, here are 4 tips to help you make your pick.

1. The Age of Your Tattoo

The older the tattoo, the better the cover-up will look. The pigment in older tattoos has already faded significantly, so you won’t have to go as dark with your cover-up to conceal it. Plus, the area has already had plenty of time to heal, meaning that there is a chance your cover-up won’t be as painful.

2. The Size

When it comes to tattoos, size matters. Smaller pieces are much easier to cover up because they don’t require a complex design to hide them. Plus, if the small tattoo doesn’t have dark ink, you can get away with making your cover-up brighter.

However, if your existing tattoo is larger, don’t sweat it. You can still successfully cover it up. Just be sure to choose a suitably complex design so that the old tattoo isn’t visible.

3. Position

Anyone with a tattoo is well aware that some body parts, like the knees, spine, ribs, and fingers, are harder to tattoo. These areas are primarily made up of bones and cartilage. Therefore, they not only hurt more to tattoo, but any ink you put on them will change shape, especially during movement.

So, when choosing your cover-up, make sure the design conforms to the area it will go on. This will guarantee that the new tattoo successfully covers the old one and looks good no matter the angle.

4. The Right Artist

It goes without saying when getting any kind of tattoo, not just a cover-up, it’s essential to pick a good artist. One of the biggest reasons people end up with bad ink is because they don’t research the artists enough.

Not every tattooist can do every style of tattoo, no matter how professional they are or how famous their work is. Therefore when scouting for artists, be sure to pay attention to two things — their reputation and art style. If you do your research, you’re guaranteed to get a professional that will nail the kind of tattoo you want.

How to Take Care of a Cover-up Tattoo

Care

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Getting a cover-up is just the first step of the process. The most important part is taking care of the tattoo afterward since proper tattoo care is a vital part of the healing process. It will not only help you avoid infections and potential scarring but also keep your ink intact.

So, if you want to guarantee your cover-up stays looking beautiful, here are a few tattoo care tips to follow.

1. Avoid Scratching Your Tattoo

Itchiness is the most common side effect people experience during the tattoo healing process. Your skin layers contain thousands upon thousands of sensitive nerves that respond to external stimuli.

When you get injured, your body activates the immune response, sending blood cells to the affected area to repair the damage. The activity, combined with the formation of new skin cells, stimulates skin nerves to send signals to the spinal cord. Your brain perceives these messages as itchiness and forces you to scratch the area to remove the stimuli.

However, as annoying as the itchiness is, it’s important to resist the impulse. Applying any kind of harsh external pressure to fresh tattoos can tear the treated skin. Plus, it puts you at risk of an infection since your fingernails are a hotbed of bacterial growth.

If you’re experiencing extreme discomfort, the best course of action is to gently pat your skin with paper tissue or a soft cloth. It may not be the best relief, but it is the safest method to prevent skin damage.

2. Clean Your Tattoo with Soaps for Sensitive Skin

One of the first tattoo-care tips many people receive is to use antibacterial soap to keep the wound clean. This is a myth. According to experts, antibacterial soap is no more effective at killing microbes than regular hand soap. So there is no need to fork over extra cash for that antibacterial label.

However, you should make sure the soap you’re using is suitable for sensitive skin. Regular soap contains a high pH content that strips the skin of its natural oils. While this isn’t a problem for healthy skin, freshly tattooed skin won’t be able to handle the irritation. Therefore, it’s best to use only mild soaps to clean your tattoo.

3. Keep Your Tattoo Moisturized

As your tattoo heals, it will start to dry out and scab. This can result in some discomfort and potential tearing, especially if you rub the skin. Therefore, it’s vital to keep the tattoo moisturized to maintain skin elasticity.

But don’t go overboard. Piling on moisturizer can clog up your pores and stop your skin from getting much-needed oxygen.

4. Stay Out of the Sun

Getting enough sunlight is a vital part of overall health. However, too much sun can also be detrimental. Excessive exposure to sunlight allows UV rays to penetrate the outer layer of skin and reach the dermis. This results in painful sunburns, which luckily aren’t serious in most cases.

However, in the case of freshly tattooed skin, even mild sunburns can result in serious complications. UV rays can significantly irritate the sensitive skin and cause the tattoo pigment to fade. Severe burns can even cause scarring, which can affect the overall appearance of the tattoo.

Therefore, if you have plans to go to the beach, it’s best to save them for after you tat has fully healed.

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