Hickey Cover-Up Tutorial

A picture of me with my hickey covered with make-up.

Like any warm-blooded American woman, I appreciate a good hickey. The only problem is, not being 17, there’s no way I can go outside my house with one stamped on my neck like a damn blue-ribbon on a state fair pig. So, I cover them up with make-up.

I thought I’d make a little tutorial for all you inquiring readers. As you can see in the picture above, this isn’t perfect. Any fool can tell that there’s something on my neck. Thankfully, other people are never paying as much attention to us as we think they are. So unless you’re trying this trick on a lover, a dance partner, or someone who knows what they’re looking for, it should work out just fine.

Step 1: Get a Hickey.
If you’re reading this, I’m going to go on and assume that you have already completed this task.
Hickey with no make-up on it

Step 2: Assemble your supplies.
I use Maybelline because it was on sale the day I bought these, although I have been told it’s a good product, and it’s worked well for me thus far. It doesn’t clump or cake and it settles well on the skin.

You’re going to need a green corrector-concealer stick, a cream concealer, a matte power and a kabuki brush. Only use a shimmer power if you already use a shimmer power on your face and neck or your hickey area will be highlighted in glitter.
Maybelline green concealer stick, concealer, matte power and kabuki brush

Step 3: Color correct.
Draw over the darkest purples of the hickey with the corrector stick. No need to be arty, just cover the purple. Dab your finger over the area to soften the edges.
Hickey with purple bits covered in green corrector-concealer marks
Now we’re ready for the cream concealer.
we're ready to apply cream concealer

Step 4: Conceal
Dab your finger in the cream concealer pot to get some color on it, then dab gingerly onto your neck over the green corrector. Fade the concealer out past the edges of the hickey in order to blend it in with your natural skin.
Finger dabbing cream concealer over green corrector

Steps 5-? Repeate repeate repeate repeate.
Rather than draw on the following layers of corrector stick, dab gently onto the areas where purple still shows through.
dabbing the corrector stick gently onto the purple areas
Then soften the edges with your finger
finger dabbing the edges
Re-apply concealer. Remember to blend it in with your natural skin.
finger in concealer pot
Repeat multiple times until your skin takes on as uniform a tone as you can get. This is a very tedious process. Only dab on the make-up or it will start to cake and clump, which will draw attention to your neck, and that is the opposite effect we’re going for.
putting make-up on in the mirror

Step the Last: Finishing
Eventually, you get it as good as you can, or you get tired of sitting in front of the mirror futzing around while your neck gets stiff. Your skin should appear as close to the same color as humanly possible
close-up of a hickey almost entirely concealed by make-up
Take your kabuki brush and circle it gently around in your matte powder
kabuki brush in matte powder
Using the same motion on your neck, lightly apply the powder over the concealer. Apply power past the concealer, blending it in with the surrounding skin.
lightly brushing the power over the concealer, using a circular motion

In low light or fluorescent light, it should look like just another shadow.
Picture of me in low light with the hickey concealed

You will want to re-apply powder throughout the day to maintain the effectiveness of the concealer.

Now that you know how to cover a hickey, let me include a small word about production. In order for the hickey to show up on the camera, it had to be pretty dark, so the purple bits in the picture are actually almost black in real life. We tried a million tricks to make Ben’s camera pick up the color more accurately, but it didn’t. Because this is such a bad one, the make-up can only do so much. With normal hickeys, or small love bites, the concealer works almost totally.

In my office, which is where I feel like the make-up is most important, everybody is so busy putting out their own fires that they hardly look up from their phones. The only times I get comments is when we go out to lunch (direct sunlight is a cover-ups worst enemy) or from my co-workers who are also my friends and know I employ this trick fairly often. (What can I say, my life is amazing!)

If you have an exceptionally perceptive boss, or you work in close quarters with someone, you may want to add a scarf or a high collar to finish the look. Keep in mind that you will be getting make-up on it, so wear something machine-washable if you don’t want to incur the dry-cleaning bill.


3 Replies to “Hickey Cover-Up Tutorial

  1. You can also use this trick for covering tattoos! I have quite a large neck tattoo as you know, and I am able to cover it pretty damn well.

Comments are closed.