How to Cover Up Varicose Veins

Many people who suffer from varicose veins cover them up by making pants and long skirts permanent fixtures in their wardrobes. While there's no arguing that ropey, blue leg veins are no fun to deal with, there are other ways to cover them up without wearing head-to-toe clothing. If you long to show a little skin again, don't despair. By using a few carefully applied makeup techniques, you can reduce or even eliminate the appearance of the veins.

A close-up of a woman's leg with varicose veins. Credit: zlikovec/iStock/Getty Images

Step 1

Spread sunless tanning lotion over both of your legs using your hands to rub it in evenly. Allow the product to dry before getting dressed or touching anything, and wash your hands thoroughly after application. Choose a light to medium tan color that won't look obviously fake. Reapply the product once or twice per week to maintain the color and hide the veins.

Step 2

Open a bottle of body makeup that closely matches the color of your skin after you have applied the sunless tanner. Use your fingers or a makeup sponge to apply a light layer of the makeup over the entire portion of your leg that contains the varicose veins. For example, if the veins are in your lower leg, blend the makeup over the entire lower portion of the leg up to the knee cap. Blend the edges of the makeup well using a dabbing motion so they are indistinguishable with the remainder of your skin.

Step 3

Insert a thin, eyeliner makeup brush into a bottle of waterproof concealer that is a shade slightly lighter than the body makeup. Apply the concealer to the varicose veins in a thin line.

Step 4

Blend the concealer in by dabbing it lightly with your finger or a makeup sponge until you can no longer see the concealer or the veins.

Things You'll Need

  • Sunless tanning lotion

  • Body makeup

  • Waterproof concealer

  • Eyeliner makeup brush

  • Makeup sponge (optional)

  • Airbrush leg spray (optional)


If you have a small number of varicose veins, or if they are not very prominent, consider applying an aerosol leg-spray product to cover them. To apply this type of product, often sold as “airbrush legs,” spray it into your hand first. Then, rub it in small circles over the veins using your fingers, and allow it to dry before touching anything or getting dressed.

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