How to Use Color-Correcting Cosmetics

By Caryn Anderson

Neutralize unwanted discoloration and even out your skin tone with color-correcting cosmetics. These multi-colored products are readily available at most cosmetic counters and drugstores. For the best results, choose the right color to correct the problem and the appropriate pigment intensity for your skin tone. Those with fair skin should stick with lighter pastel correctors; if you have darker skin, choose a more intensely colored corrector.

Close up of woman putting on make up
credit: Cathy Yeulet/Hemera/Getty Images
Close-up of woman applying concealer.

Understanding Color-Correction

Colors that are opposite from each other on the color wheel work to neutralize each other. This is why slathering green-hued primer over reddish skin inflammations and blemishes can actually makes them disappear without the additional use of heavy foundation or concealer. Similarly, a yellow or orange concealer can camouflage under eye circles since they tend to be purple in hue. Skin brighteners, also most often used for dark circles, are usually cast in a very pale pink so that they reflect light.

Choosing Color Correctors

Choose green correctors to neutralize the extreme redness associated with pimples or broken blood vessels. If you're looking to counteract purple tones in your skin, such as dark circles or scars, choose a yellow corrector. Lavender products add brightness to sallow or dull complexions. Apricot color-correctors add warmth to cool complexions, while formulas with an orange base cover scars or sun spots on olive skin tones or darker complexions.

Buying Color Correctors

Correcting cosmetics can be found everywhere from the beauty aisle in your local drugstore to the cosmetics counter in upscale department stores. Products are made in various forms, including powders, sticks and creams. Select the formula that you're most comfortable working with. If you're new to the practice of using color-correcting makeup, look for a color-correction palette, which will give you multiple colors to choose from and make it easier to blend shades or colors.

Applying Correcting Cosmetics

Apply color-correcting cosmetics to clean skin, lightly covering problem areas by patting it onto to your skin with your ring finger or using a concealer brush. You can use more than one color-corrector if needed or combine two or more shades together to create a perfectly customized blend. Blending is particularly easy if you're using a powder. Use the color corrector first, followed by your normal foundation and blush. A top layer of pressed powder helps set everything in place.