It may seem odd to put colored creams on your skin before applying makeup — colors like bright orange, green, and lavender. We know it sounds scary, but hear us out. If you have dark circles, hyper pigmentation, or blemishes you are missing out big time when it comes to color correcting. Although using colored makeup may seem intimidating, we’re walking you through which colors target which problems, how to choose colors based on your skin tone, and most importantly how to achieve natural looking makeup.
Understanding how to color correct is easy when you look at a color wheel. Basically, if you want to neutralize a color, just choose the color opposite to it and it will cancel it out. That’s it! Simple, right? So let’s take a look:
Here’s a quick overview of the colors and how they neutralize each other.
- Orange: Cancels out blue and hides deep discoloration.
- Peach/Salmon: Cancels blue and purple.
- Yellow: Cancels out purple.
- Green: Cancels out redness.
- Lavender: Brightens.
If you find you’re going to be color correcting frequently and need all the colors in a convenient palette, an affordable option is the NYX Color Correcting Concealer Palette.
If you want to neutralize a red zit, you will use green concealer to cancel out the color. Try NYX HD Concealer in Green or the Smashbox Color Correcting Stick in Get Less Red. The nice thing about these products is the precise applicators. You can apply it right over your blemish and you don’t have to worry about it getting all over or applying too much. You can use your finger or a damp Beauty Blender to diffuse the color around the edges.
Redness: Eczema or Rosacea
Redness on the face, such as rosacea or eczema, can be neutralized with green just like you use with acne. Since it’s a larger area, you can try using something like the Lancome Miracle CC Cushion in green. Apply it with a damp Beauty Blender for a soft finish.
Everyone suffers from dark circles at some point or another. (Try everyday since we’ve had kids, ha!) Basically, dark circles are just blood vessels that are engorged. The skin underneath the eyes is so thin it’s almost transparent, so blood shows through. Whether they’re from exhaustion, aging, or allergies, thankfully they can be concealed.
For fair skin tones
A pinky, salmon toned shade will add a brightening effect as well as counteract blue and purple, making it great for the under eye area. Try the Urban Decay Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid for a pigmented cream to brighten up the under eye area.
For medium skin tones
Try using a peach colored tone to cover dark circles and counteract blue and purple. This will also add a brightening effect to the under eye area, making you look more awake. Try the Urban Decay Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid or the Smashbox Look Less Tired.
For dark skin tones
Orange or red will successfully hide dark circles on darker skin tones. Try the Smashbox Look Less Tired in “Dark” for a creamy, blendable pigment to make you look more awake with brighter under eyes.
Hyper-pigmentation or Dark Spots:
Hyper-pigmentation is a common skin condition where spots on the skin become darker in color than the surrounding skin on the face. This occurs when an excess of melanin forms deposits on the skin. This could be due to overexposure of the sun, pregnancy, or acne. A peachy orange/salmon color will neutralize dark tones and brighten the area. The Urban Decay Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid in Peach will hide any hyper-pigmentation and create an all over even skin tone after foundation is applied. You can apply this product with a damp Beauty Blender for a natural look.
Dullness to the skin is when you have a grayish undertone instead of a nice, bright complexion. The skin can be brightened using a peachy pink or a lavender, depending on your skin tone. Before applying color corrector, be sure to exfoliate your skin — this remove old, dull, dead skin to rejuvenate and brighten the skin. You can also treat this by incorporating a Vitamin C serum or lotion into your routine to help encourage cell regeneration for younger looking skin.
For fair to medium skin tones:
Try using a peachy pink color corrector, like the Lancome Miracle CC Cushion. Apply to high points of the face like the cheek bones, the bridge of your nose, your Cupid’s Bow, and your chin.
For medium to dark skin tones:
Try a lavender tone like the Cover FX Correct Click Color Corrector. Apply this also to high points of the face like the cheek bones, the bridge of your nose, your Cupid’s Bow, and your chin.
If you want an all over brightening effect, try using a lavender powder like Mac Prep + Prime CC Color Correcting Loose Powder to set your under eyes, or your entire face depending on your preference. This will make the face look bright, awake, and luminous.
Bruising is the discoloration of the skin due to damaged blood cells beneath the skin. For new bruises that are purplish blue, you can cancel them out using yellow or orange. Yellow works on all skin tones while orange is better for darker skin tones. These shades will diffuse the color of the bruising and hide it under your makeup. For older bruises that are more green in color, you can use lavender to brighten the area.
Some overall tips
It’s always a good idea to prep your skin before you apply makeup. This means moisturizing and priming. Try the Tarte Drink of H20 face moisturizer to hydrate and plump your skin before applying primer. If you aren’t a fan of primer, you can target areas with larger pores or fine lines instead of applying it all over your face.
After prepping and priming your skin, you are ready to apply your color correcting products. Use a Beauty Blender to bounce the products into your skin so you aren’t moving them around your face.
MYTH: You need to use a massive amount of foundation to cover up your color corrector. This just isn’t true; you can use a light hand and still achieve a natural looking face without caking it on.
Now that you know what color correcting can do for you, how will you incorporate it into your makeup routine?
Photo credits: Kristen Love