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Everything You Need to Know About Color Correcting

Want to know how to get picture-perfect, flawless skin in just a few minutes?

All you need is a couple of color correcting makeup products…

What Exactly is Color Correcting?

Color correcting is a technique that makes use of colored makeup products to balance out different parts of the skin. Whether this may be minimizing dark spots and blemishes or simply brightening up the skin tone, color correcting is an easy way to treat yourself to a fresh and even complexion.

There are many different color correcting makeup products out there. While the most popular tend to be concealers, you will also find color correcting foundations, primers, powders and more available.

These will have the same consistency as their standard counterparts, with the only difference being their color. Unlike standard products, which would feature a shade similar to your skin tone, color correcting products are available in a variety of shades, such as:

  • Green
  • Lavender
  • Yellow
  • Peach

How Does Color Correcting Actually Work?

Applying a green or lavender concealer over your face may seem a little crazy at first, but this really does work!


It all comes down to color theory…

Take a look at this color wheel:

Color wheel

A color wheel can teach you so much about how different colors relate to each other.

When it comes to color correcting, the key is to look for complementary colors.

Wondering what complementary colors are?

They’re colors that are directly opposite each other on the color wheel. For example, green is opposite red. When these colors are placed side by side, they complement each other. However, when they are placed on top of each other, they cancel each other out. This means that applying a green color corrector over any red parts of your face will help to minimize the redness and make that so much less visible.

Want to give color correcting a try?

Your next step is deciding which color correcting shades your skin would most benefit from…

When to Use a Green Color Corrector

As mentioned above, green is a complementary color to red, meaning that a green color corrector is the best way to cancel out any redness on your face.

This could be redness caused by:

  • Acne marks
  • Sun exposure
  • Spots
  • Rosacea
  • Birthmarks

While green color correcting concealers tend to be the most popular option, green color correcting primers are also a good way to go. These are great if you have a significant amount of redness all over your face. Alternatively, you could also mix a small amount of a green color correcting product into your foundation, or even your moisturizer, for a fully flawless look.

When to Use a Yellow Color Corrector

Look back to the color wheel pictured above…

You will notice that yellow is on the opposite side of the wheel to purple, meaning that these two are complementary colors.

This makes yellow the perfect shade for neutralizing any purple tones on your face. While these mostly show up in the form of dark circles underneath the eyes, you can also use a yellow color corrector for:

  • Minimizing purple veins
  • Concealing bruises
  • Brightening up the skin tone

If you have a tan or olive skin tone, you will find that yellow color correctors work especially well on your complexion. However, if you have very dark skin, you may find that yellow doesn’t make much of a difference. Consider using an orange instead, or even mixing the two.

When to Use an Orange Color Corrector

You’re probably starting to get the hang of this now – orange is on the opposite end of the color wheel to blue, meaning that orange is a great way to cover over bluish shadows.

Happy enthusiastic young woman holding makeup palettes

If your blemishes are bordering between blue and purple, orange can help with this too, thanks to the yellow tint within the shade.

One thing to keep in mind…

Orange color correctors are best used on dark, rather than lighter, skin tones. This is only when it comes to color correcting – those with lighter skin tones can still use orange to brighten up and even out their complexion.

When to Use a Blue or Purple Color Corrector

Both blue and purple are opposite yellow shades on the color wheel, making these great colors for tackling any yellow tints to the skin.

Blue and purple usually work best on medium and olive skin tones, as they both help to reduce any sallowness.

When to Use a Pink Color Corrector

Pink is the color to use when you want to conceal any blue or green shadows on your skin.

It works especially well around the eyes, as it not only hides away any dark circles and shadows, but also brightens up the general eye area, giving your skin a more lifted appearance.

If you have a light skin tone, all you need is a very pale pink. On the other hand, darker skin tones will need a deeper pink.

Keep Your Skin Tone in Mind

Different skin tones have been touched upon above, but this is something that you really need to understand the importance of.

If you take another look at the color wheel, you will see that each color has varying shades, with these lightening as they reach the center of the wheel.

Well, the darker your skin tone, the deeper and bolder you want your color corrector to be. For example, those with a dark skin tone will find an orange color corrector great for blue and purple blemishes, whereas those with a light skin tone would be best off with a lighter shade, such as a peach rather than a bold orange.

The same applies to all colors. With green, go for a pale green if you have light skin, but a darker mintier green if you have darker skin.

Don’t Forget to Prep Your Skin First

Ready to get started with your new color correctors?

Before you apply any makeup to your face, it is so important to prep your skin first.


Because this will enable your color correctors to have a much better effect, while also ensuring that your makeup lasts for so much longer.

So, what does the prep stage actually consist of?

Begin by cleansing your skin. The type of cleanser you use is completely up to you, and should be chosen based on your skin type. For example, those with dry skin would be best off with a nourishing creamy cleanser like the White Pearl Facial Cleanser, whereas those with oily skin would be better suited to a gel or foaming cleanser.

Once you have cleansed, apply any eye creams, serums or moisturizers that you normally use. Keeping your skin healthy and hydrated will mean that you won’t need to use quite as much makeup. It will also keep your makeup looking more natural, preventing it from caking or drying on your face.

Next, it’s time for a primer…

This is a vital step when using any makeup product, but becomes even more important when you are going to be color correcting. A primer will even out your skin, giving you a smooth and blank canvas to work with.

Don’t forget, color correcting primers are also available if your overall complexion could do with a lift.

Which color correcting primer should you go for?

This depends…

If your skin is quite dull and ruddy, go for a green. On the other hand, if your skin is quite sallow, a purple or a blue would be better.

How to Apply a Color Corrector

Now that your skin is prepped, you’re ready to move on to applying your color corrector.

How should you do this?

Assuming you are using a color correcting concealer, you can use a concealer brush, a makeup sponge, or just about any other type of makeup brush for this. Many color correcting concealers also come in liquid form, meaning that these can be applied directly to the skin without the use of a brush.

You will also find color correctors in powder form, but many find that these are not as effective as the creamy or liquid formulas out there. Color correcting powders can sometimes leave the skin looking a little chalky, unless you really are quite the expert when it comes to your application technique. On the other hand, a cream or a liquid will also help to hydrate your skin, giving it a dewier and more natural finish.

Once you have loaded your brush with your color correcting concealer, dust off any excess and then dab this on to the parts of your skin that need it.

It is so important to begin with a light touch. After all, you don’t want to over-correct any part of your face, otherwise this will only draw attention to your blemishes, rather than covering them up. You only need a small amount of product to start with – it might not make much of a difference at first, but the effects will definitely become noticeable once you have properly blended the product in.

Don’t forget that you can also mix colors at this stage…

Wondering how you would go about mixing colors?

This all depends on the blemishes you are trying to correct, as well as your skin tone. Here are a few examples:

  • Light skin tones – begin with a pale peach or pink underneath your eyes and around your lips. Then, apply a pale green to the nose and chin, finishing off with a dab of lilac if you have any dark spots that need minimizing
  • Medium skin tones – start with an orange or peach around your eyes, and then follow this up with a green if you have redness on your cheeks, chin or nose. You can then use a violet to brighten up your forehead area
  • Dark skin tones – go for a peach or orange around your eyes, and a green down the bridge of your nose, as well as above your eyebrows. Apply a lavender to the sides of your nose, as well as the apples of your cheeks if your skin here has a yellow tint to it
Infographic on color-correcting makeup

Once you have dabbed on your color correctors, it is time to blend.

Use small, circular motions to do this. If you have applied your color corrector to a very small blemish, make sure that you don’t blend the product out too much. On the other hand, if you have applied it widely over your face, blend this completely, in the same way that you would if you had applied a foundation.

Completing Your Look

While this isn’t essential, most people top off their color correcting concealers with a concealer that matches their skin tone, along with some foundation.

Why would you need to do this?

Because the role of the color corrector is to minimize the appearance of your blemishes. In order to completely hide the mark, you will need a concealer over the top of this. However, make sure that you go for quite a sheer formula, as you don’t want your makeup to turn cakey.

Once you have blended your concealer in, you can then move on to a foundation. Keep this light, using a sponge to blend this in well.

Think your skin could do with a bit more cover up?

If so, you can turn to your flesh-toned concealer once again. Simply dab this lightly over the areas that need concealing, and then finish your look with a translucent setting powder.

This is also the stage at which you would contour your face, if that is the look you are going for.

If you have never used a color corrector before, the many different shades and formulas out there can definitely seem a little intimidating. However, once you understand the basics of color theory, and are also able to keep your skin tone in mind, it won’t be long before color correcting becomes second nature to you!


By Lionesse

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