Between hyperpigmentation, redness, dullness, and more, sometimes our trusty concealer needs a little extra help. The world of color correcting has been gaining popularity, but the idea of applying different colored products all over our faces might seem intimidating. Fear not! Celebrity makeup artist Tasha Brown simplifies color correcting, explaining how the science behind it is actually quite straightforward. In this comprehensive color corrector guide, we’ll equip you with expert tips, product recommendations, and pro techniques to achieve that coveted flawless complexion.
Understanding Color Correcting
To understand color correcting, you’ll need to first visualize a color wheel. Brown explains that colors on opposite sides of the color wheel neutralize each other when mixed or layered together. For example, green corrects redness in the skin, and orange counteracts the blue tones in dark under-eye circles. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be ready to master the art of color correction and make it an essential part of your makeup routine.
Correct Application Is Crucial
To ensure the best results, Brown recommends applying color correctors before your makeup application, except for those targeting under-eye bags and blemishes, which should be applied after foundation for precise coverage. This precise application can make all the difference in achieving a flawless finish.
Unsure of which color correctors to use for your specific skin concern or which works best for different skin tones? Scroll down to discover our color corrector guide and get ready to unlock the secrets to perfecting your complexion with color correction.
To reverse fatigue, use pink shades
Got dull, lackluster skin? “Pink hues work wonders for brightening up dull skin,” explains Brown, adding that most eye primers that promise a brightening effect for tired skin sport pink tones. Formulated for use on the under-eyes, Bobbi Brown Skin Corrector Stick ($32) is available in 12 shades ranging from fair to deep tones. Each shade offers a peachy-pink tone to quickly and instantly reverse darkness and discoloration in the area. Pro tip: run your (freshly washed) finger along the top of the concealer and tap into the skin. The warmth of your hands creates a creamy formula that will sink into the skin for a more natural, never-cakey finish.
To conceal hyperpigmentation and spots, use yellow colors
Yellow color correctors are your go-tos for canceling out hyperpigmentation and spots, purple tones and all-over mild redness in your skin. To neutralize a spotty complexion, exa High Fidelity Balancing Color Corrector in Yellow ($27) blends into the skin seamlessly for a never-patchy canvas under makeup. Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Match Stix Corrector Skinstick ($32) in shade Banana is a creamy formula housed in an easy-to-apply stick format. Plus, it leaves behind a matte finish so the light won’t catch on anything you’re trying to camouflage.
To reverse dark circles in all skin tones, use peach and orange concealers
For stubborn dark circles, chances are concealer alone won’t cut it. Brown suggests using peach or orange shades, depending on your skin tone, explaining that these hues counteract the grey-blue tones in dark under-eye circles. Kim Kardashian broke the internet (naturally) when she shared how she covers her dark circles with an orange color corrector. The exact product has since been discontinued.
“The deeper the skin tone, the darker the peach should be,” Brown explains. Light skin tones should look to peach colors and darker skin tones work best with orange, or even red-looking, shades. Charlotte Tilbury Magic Vanish ($32) offers four light-to-deep hues that work for every shade. HUDA BEAUTY#FAUXFILTER Under Eye Color Corrector ($30) offers a doe-foot applicator for a mess-free application.
To reverse dull skin, use a purple shade
If your complexion is looking ruddy or dull, purple tones are best for imparting a fresh, illuminated glow to otherwise lackluster skin. For an all-over burst of radiance, Make Up For Ever Color Correcting Step 1 Primer in Yellowness Neutralizer ($39) and Sisley Paris Instant Correct N°2 Just Lavender ($105) make it foolproof. It can be worn as an all-over face primer or as a spot treatment to help liven up dull areas.
Aside from specific problem areas, try applying lavender shades to the center of your forehead (in an upside down triangle shape), on your chin and all the way down your nose to create a more radiant glow under makeup.
To reverse redness, use green concealers
As we learned from the color wheel, Brown says that green color correctors and concealers are the best ones to cancel out redness in the skin. To even out large areas of redness and rosacea, Brown suggests adding a few drops of a liquid color corrector into your moisturizer or using a primer. We like Smashbox Photo Finish Correct Anti-Redness Primer ($42) for quick, all-over coverage in a smoothing primer formula.
To treat concentrated areas of redness, like around the nose and lips, or in between eyebrows, use a color corrector with a precise applicator like Chanel Le Correcteur de Chanel in Vert ($45). Similar to a traditional concealer, its small applicator allows precise application and easy blending. Once blended, follow with your concealer.
To treat multiple issues, use a multi-tasker
Some of us (myself included) have redness in some areas of the face, darkness in others and spots around our complexion. If you’re looking to save time (and money), there are multi-tasking color correctors available that sport all of the above colors to help neutralize your complexion’s tone in one easy step. For a primer option, we love Stila One Step Correct Brightening & Correcting Primer ($36). For even more tone-correction, top your makeup look with Givenchy Prisme Libre Loose Setting and Finishing Powder ($59) which imparts a matte, color-corrected finish without disrupting your hard work.
Color correctors that do more
A new wave of color-correcting products has hit the market. Instead of simply covering and camouflaging problem areas, these skin-care-meets-makeup hybrids are infused with active ingredients to actually help treat the issue at the source.
Because there’s nothing more frustrating than trying to cover a red, angry pimple and only have the makeup stress it out more, Caudalie Vinopure Color Correcting Spot Solution ($25) is a color-correcting formula infused with zit-zapping salicylic acid to deliver coverage and clarity. To treat dark circles now and aid in prevention later, OLEHENRIKSEN Banana Bright+ Vitamin CC Eye Sticks ($34) deliver brightening vitamin C and a neutralizing shade to dark areas of the face in one simple swipe.