PSST: You’re missing a crucial step in your makeup routine. Ahead, wee answer all your burning FAQs on colour correction below.
Struggling with dark spots and blemishes? Excessive redness or rosacea? A pesky hickey on your neck that won’t die down? Yikes! Not to worry, though—while these skin concerns can be annoying, there’s actually a really easy way to deal with them. Colour correction is the answer, and it’s your key to faking a more flawless complexion.
You’ve likely seen tutorials on social media for this coveted technique, but we’re here to break down the basics of colour correction. Ahead, find out what it is, what options are available, and the biggest dos and don’ts of the technique:
What is colour correction?
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Colour correction is essentially a makeup technique that involves using complementary colours to neutralise specific skin concerns. The concept is derived from the colour wheel theory, where opposite colours cancel each other out. For the novices, here’s a quick run-down of the colour wheel.
Essentially, blue cancels out orange, purple cancels out yellow, and red cancels out green. How does this apply to the face? Well, every surface on your complexion has an undertone. Blemishes and dark circles tend to be purple or blueish; dullness tends to manifest as a yellowy, sallow undertone; and redness tends to be, well, red.
By understanding what undertones you’re trying to cancel out, you can use colour theory to effectively camouflage your skin concerns to help you achieve a more even and radiant complexion. How? Let’s delve into your options below:
Option #1: CC Cream
Fun fact: The “CC” in “CC Cream” actually stands for “colour correcting”. These complexion products have been a firm favourite among makeup enthusiasts—and for good reason. Streamlining your full colour-correcting and complexion routine into one powerful product, they’re a great option for everyday coverage. They’re often lightweight but buildable, offering sheer to medium coverage while addressing various skin issues with their skincare-infused formulations.
This colour-changing green CC cream has been a staple among K-beauty enthusiasts, beloved for its neutralising effects on redness and its protective, barrier-fortifying formulation.
This skincare-makeup hybrid contains hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and green tea extract to give your skin a boost of radiance and strength while correcting any discolouration in the skin.
Option #2: Colour Corrector Concealer
For more targeted colour correction, these tinted concealers are a good go-to option. They often come in a range of shades, with each one designed to address specific concerns. Green concealer neutralises redness, which is perfect for spot-concealing inflammatory acne or rosacea. Peach or orange concealers work wonders on dark circles, particularly on fair to medium skin tones. Yellow concealers work to brighten up dull spots, and purple concealers counter sallow undertones.
This colour-correcting stick comes in two shades that tackle two separate issues—green to combat redness in the skin and blue to tackle any sallow tones in the skin.
If you’re struggling with dark undereyes, try this concealer on for size. Tinted with a hint of peach, this concealer—made for three skin tones—combats the blue and purple tones in dark circles to brighten up your peepers.
Option #3: Colour-correcting primers
If using just foundation isn’t doing the trick, you may want to try a colour-correcting primer instead. Made in various shades (or, occasionally, multi-shaded), these special primers correct imperfections while creating a smooth, even canvas for your base makeup. Simply apply them as you would any normal primer and follow up with your go-to foundation for a smoother, more perfected base. Alternatively, if you’re looking for the perfect companion for your no-makeup makeup days, use these colour-correcting primers alone.
This colour-correcting serum is a multitasking powerhouse. Triple-swirled with three colour-correcting brighteners—green to tackle redness, lavender for sallow undertones and peach to brighten the skin and counter darkness—this primer corrects any uneven tones in your skin in addition to hydrating, balancing and nourishing your skin to create a solid base for your foundation.
Make Up For Ever’s Step 1 primers come in six colour-correcting shades so you can choose and tailor your skin prep routine to your needs. Each offers up to 24 hours of coverage so you can stay secure in your skin all day long!
Option #4: Colour-correcting setting powder
If you’re in need of some light colour correction, or you want to lock in your hard work, a colour-correcting setting powder is another excellent option. These powders are finely milled and come in various colours to suit different needs. They can be dusted all over the face or applied strategically to targeted areas, setting your base and boosting the desired colour correction effects throughout the day.
Guerlain has taken its iconic Météorites pearls and repackaged them into a more travel-friendly pressed powder. The colour-corrective palette has a blend of matte and light-catching shades to give the skin a youthful luminance while setting makeup in place.
The dos and don’ts of colour correction
Do: Target specific areas
While it can be tempting to smear green all over your face when you’ve got a breakout going on, it’s not the best course of action. Instead, when colour correcting, identify your biggest areas of concern first, and work your way from there.
Don’t: Overdo it
While it may look satisfying on TikTok, covering your entire face in colour correction concealer will do nothing but waste our product and cake up your complexion. When it comes to colour correction, less is more, especially with concealer formulations and primers. Remember, you can always add more on if you don’t have enough, but you will struggle to blend out a bad correction and layer concealer over top.
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Do: Choose the right shade
This seems like the most obvious step here, but colour correction only works if you’re actually following colour theory. So, before you start slapping on every shade of the rainbow over your dark circles and acne scars, make sure you’re actually equipped with the right complementary colour.
Don’t: Ignore your skin tone
Not all colour correctors are universal—peach may work great on fairer skin tones, but may do little to nothing on deeper complexions. When choosing your colour corrector, make sure you’re keeping your skin tone in mind to ensure you’re getting the maximum payoff for your efforts.
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