The Ultimate Guide to Using Color-Correcting Makeup

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While color correcting (applying different hues on the skin to cancel out problem areas) has grown in popularity, the concept of applying colors like green, orange and purple all over our faces may seem daunting to some. However, according to celebrity makeup artist Tasha Brown, while it may seem complicated, the science behind color correcting is pretty straightforward, explaining that the two colors on opposite sides of the color wheel neutralize each other when they are mixed, layered or blended together (like how green reduces redness in the skin). But, while the concept is easy to understand, the application of these colors is crucial to nail down.  

With the exception of color correctors that address under-eye bags and blemishes, Brown explains that color correctors should be applied before you begin your makeup application. “Once you’ve canceled out your issue, you may not need as much coverage as you think.” She adds that correctors for blemishes and under-eyes should be applied after foundation so that you can apply them precisely without product smudging away during foundation application. 

Not sure what color you need to correct your issue? Scroll down to find your skin’s quick-fix. 

1 / 5

To Reverse: Fatigue

Reach For: Pink shades

“Pinks work wonders for brightening up dull skin,” explains Brown, adding that most eye primers that promise a brightening effect for tired skin sport pink hues.

Newly launched and formulated for use on the under-eyes, Bobbi Brown Skin Corrector Stick ($32) in Light Bisque, Bisque and Deep Bisque offer a peachy-pink tone for every skin shade to quickly and instantly reverse darkness and discoloration in the area.

2 / 5

To Reverse: Hyperpigmentation and mild redness

Reach For: Yellow shades

Yellow hues are your go-tos for canceling out hyperpigmentation, 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.

For an all-in one solution, look for a multi-functioning palette like Stila Correct & Perfect All-in-One Color Correcting Palette ($45) that features a yellow cream to neutralize and cancel out dark spots and a yellow powder to set any corrections made and even out skin tone.

3 / 5

To Reverse: Dark circles

Reach For: Peach and orange shades

For dark circles, Brown suggests using peach shades, 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, adding that light skin tones should look to peach colors and darker skin tones work best with orange shades. Charlotte Tilbury Magic Vanish ($32) offers four light-to-deep hues that work for every shade.

4 / 5

To Reverse: Dull skin

Reach For: Lavender shades

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 ($37) makes it foolproof.

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.

5 / 5

To Reverse: Redness

Reach For: Green shades

Brown says that green color correctors 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, like Smashbox Photo Finish Correct Anti-Redness Primer ($39), for quick, all-over coverage.

To treat concentrated areas of redness, like around the nose and lips, or in between eyebrows, use a color corrector like Chanel Le Correcteur de Chanel in Vert ($43) that allows a precise application and easy blending. 

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