e.l.f. Discovery

Master the Art of Color Correcting Makeup: A Comprehensive Guide

By Jeanette Crutchfield

Color correcting makeup has been around since the dawn of time and is the hidden secret to every Hollywood Red Carpet flawless face. It’s gaining popularity as people look to further disguise discoloration on their faces that concealer can’t handle alone. But unless you are a professional makeup artist, you probably don’t know very much about color correction makeup and how it can have an impact on your overall look.

Color correction or color fixing has its roots in art class, specifically the color wheel. The color wheel shows us that if we have a certain color (say red), and we use the color opposite it on the color wheel (green), then the two shades will cancel each other out and become neutral. This color theory doesn’t just work in art class though. It can help us correct colors on our faces as well. Most people use a color corrector for dark circles in your eye area, neutralize redness, as well as hyper-pigmentation. But the use of a color corrector can do so much more than that on all skin types. It can help to conceal skin imperfections and some fine lines and wrinkles.

First, though, you need to choose the right color correcting formula. You can have the perfect color corrector shade, but if the formula is wrong, you’re not going to get the finished look that you want. Since these makeup products are used on the face before applying foundation and concealer, it’s important that the formula be lightweight with a satin finish, be crease resistant, and layer well. You need to be able to put your foundation and concealer on over it but still maintain that gorgeous smooth look and natural finish. If you can see your color corrector, it’s probably the wrong formula. Also, look for color correctors that have skin-loving ingredients in them. Since these are put on before any other face makeup, help give your skin some love while you are color-correcting. Ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and rose flower water are super hydrating for the skin, but still help to maintain a lightweight finish.

Once you’ve chosen your formula, it’s time to select what colors you need. Color correcting makeup can come in a multitude of shades including yellow, green, peach, orange, and even blue! What color you use depends on what you want to correct and if you have a lighter skin tone or darker skin tone. Here’s a quick guide to what each shade can do.

When to Use Yellow Color Corrector

This shade helps to correct pink and very subtle redness in the skin. It is also excellent for battling dullness as it can help to brighten fair-to-medium skin tones. It can help disguise light purple tones on the skin and anyone with aging dull skin or anyone who’s been under the weather can benefit from a little yellow color corrector makeup to brighten their complexion.

When to Use Green Color Corrector

This shade is a savior for anyone battling redness on their complexion. Green color corrector neutralizes red spots, reddish birthmarks, rashes, acne, Rosacea, redness around the nose, and even a sunburn can all benefit from a green color corrector. It’s one of the hardest working colors in color correcting. And the best part about green is that it can be used on all skin tones. If you battle redness, then a green color corrector is a must for you.

When to Use Peach to Orange Color Corrector

Colors in the orange family help correct darkness and dark spots on the skin, especially for bluish under-eye circles. Choose a shade in the orange family to correspond with your skin tone- more peach for lighter skin up to a darker orange for deeper skin tones. These colors can also be used to correct sunspots and age spots. Anything with a bluish tone can be corrected with a peach color corrector to orange color corrector.

When to Use Blue Color Corrector

Most people think that a blue color correction on your face is the most intimidating of all the shades because of how bright they are. However, a blue color corrector can really save the day, especially if your spray tan went wrong. Blues help to balance out orange on the skin. So, an overly orange complexion as well as any orange-hued dark spots of hyperpigmentation can be corrected with a blue color corrector. Like the green concealer, blue can be used on any skin tone. Other uses of blue correctors are to brighten sallow skin and you can also mix a little into a foundation that might be a little too orange for you.

How to Apply Color Correcting Concealer:

  1. Start with your favorite makeup primer to ensure a nice grip and an all-day stay for the makeup you will be applying.

  2. Then, using a flat concealer brush, start to dab the color corrector on your face where you want the correction. Pay special attention to ensure you are getting the corrector on the spot and not around the spot. You don’t want a beautifully corrected red spot only to have a green halo around it. The key is to use a small amount at a time and blend well as a little can go a long way. You should never see the color of the corrector on your face. What you should see is the opposite color slowly being blended away creating a more neutral shade. You will not completely cover up the spot, you will just be correcting the color of it. The coverage will come in the next steps.

  3. Once you’ve corrected the colors, it’s time to put on your foundation. Put it on as you normally would, but make sure you are gentle with your blending over the corrected spots. You don’t want to rub off the color correctors that you just put on.

  4. After your foundation is your concealer. Here is where you will truly cover the spot. Again, as with foundation, blend gently over the color correctors to help get a flawless makeup look.

  5. Last step is to set your complexion with a setting powder to ensure it stays all day.

Now that you have the perfect canvas, have fun with putting on the rest of your makeup knowing that you nailed your color corrections!

How to Use Color Corrector