Beauty Tips and Tricks, Face, How-To's:

How To: Neutralize Redness with Green Concealer

 Check out my updated and advanced guide to color correcting with all colors HERE 


Have you ever wondered what’s up with the green concealer you see on makeup shelves? While it may look unconventional at first, green concealer is actually a highly effective way to counteract stubborn redness that cannot be covered by concealer alone. Keep reading for why green corrects red and discover how to use it for yourself.

what does green concealer do

Why Green Concealer Corrects Redness:

The concept behind color correcting, goes way back to art class and color theory. Whichever color you wish to conceal, choose the color directly across from it on the color wheel in order to get the job done.

In our case, we want to conceal red (rosacea, pimples, rosy cheeks etc). Directly across from red on the color wheel is green, so as a rule, green concealer will effectively neutralize redness.

Color Theory: Why Green Concealer Corrects Redness.

When To Use Green Primer vs. Concealer

My favorite way to use green in order to counteract redness is by using a primer.  If you have minor ruddiness or wish to cover up slight inflammation, primer will probably be your best bet. Also since primer is much more sheer than a concealer, it’s a little more foolproof.  Primer will not completely erase all redness but it will definitely aid in neutralizing it so that when you apply your foundation, the redness will be easy to cover up. The only time I use primer in my kit is to color correct (which honestly doesn’t happen much). My favorite color correcting primers are by Koh Gen Do

How to Use Green Concealer

If you find yourself needing more coverage than a primer, or if you wish to spot-cover redness on a pimple, choose a green concealer instead. Using an appropriate sized brush, apply the concealer to the area you wish to neutralize. Blend the edges so that they feather out seamlessly into your skin. Make sure to work with thin layers of the product, as it will be just as difficult covering massive amounts of green as it is to cover the redness. Once you apply the product, powder it and then go over the corrector with your regular foundation or concealer. Finally, set the area again with powder. 

Check out my full guide to color correcting any skin discoloration HERE

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  • Reply Christina September 20, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    thanks a lot. 🙂 this helped so much. i always breakout around that time of the month and always noticed that concealer doesn’t do enough to cover those problem blemishes. i’ve always heard that green cancels out the red so i went to the drugstore and grabbed Maybellines cover stick in green and needed to find out how to use it. again thanks 🙂 you helped a bunch!

    • Lindsey
      Reply Lindsey September 20, 2010 at 7:04 pm

      Glad it helped you out a bit! Let me know if you have any questions once you try it out 🙂

  • Reply tanks July 25, 2012 at 12:14 pm


  • Reply mashii August 10, 2012 at 5:23 am

    heya thanks for the beautiful tips. is bare minerals green concealer ok for me, because i have acne.
    mashii´s last blog post ..Bups Saggu Ft. Jati Cheed – Milky

    • Lindsey
      Reply Lindsey August 25, 2012 at 10:14 pm

      That should definitely work. It just depends on if you like it or not 🙂

  • Reply kassim fergurson August 12, 2012 at 4:00 am

    am 30 years old , please i have this red lips which irritate me so much that i do shy, sometimes if am going out please advised what i should do to get away the redness on my lips to a normal dark colour …am black in completion

    • Lindsey
      Reply Lindsey August 25, 2012 at 10:13 pm

      Hi Kassim!
      Cosmetically, after applying your foundation you can tap some on your lips to tone down the natural pigmentation. Applying a lipstick/gloss over the foundation will give you a true color.
      Hydroquinone cream, Kojic Acid and topical retinoids might provide a longer term solution.
      Good luck!

  • Reply Prerna December 19, 2014 at 12:38 am

    I always red about the green concealer yo cover redness bug never tried. You have explained it so beautifully and this made super easy

  • Reply Sandra February 5, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    I have red cheeks due to mu heritage. I purchased Maybeline green concealer. It works fine, but I find the consistency of the product has the color of a foundation when applied to the skin. I really don’t need a foundation over the concealer. I am wondering if this is the way concealer should be when applied to the skin. Any comments would be greatly appreciated. Thank you..

  • Reply Scottishlass February 5, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    I have red cheeks because of my heritage. I recently purchased Maybelline green concealer for my cheeks. While applying the concealer I notice that it takes on the color of foundation. After application, I don’t need to apply foundation. Is this the way concealer is suppose to look when applied to the skin? Any comments will be welcome. Thank you…

    • Lindsey
      Reply Lindsey February 5, 2015 at 6:39 pm

      When using correctors, it should appear as a very sheer wash of color on the skin. It sounds like this is what you’re doing, since the green is neutralizing the redness and it’s turning into a more skin-like shade. If you like how it looks, and there’s no green tint to your skin, then you don’t necessarily have to apply foundation on top. A problem that a lot of people make with correctors is applying it to heavily and then needing to apply a thicker coat of foundation in order to hide the green. It sounds like you’re applying the product perfectly. Let me know if you have any other questions! Hope this helps, Lindsey

  • Reply maddie October 10, 2015 at 10:25 am

    will this help to cover freckles pls let me know asap xx

    • Lindsey
      Reply Lindsey October 10, 2015 at 11:29 am

      Hi Maddie,
      Green will not color correct freckles. Depending on the color of your freckles you should correct with more of a peach/orange or even a pink corrector.

  • Reply rosemary December 28, 2015 at 11:57 am

    Hi please what color can I use to cover dark spots and blemish for a fair skin tone

    • Lindsey
      Reply Lindsey January 8, 2016 at 4:07 pm

      What color are the dark spots?
      For a blemish that is pink/red you would use green.

  • Reply Angela Taney April 4, 2016 at 3:13 am

    Is green concealer good for covering up a blue nose

    • Lindsey
      Reply Lindsey April 9, 2016 at 9:55 am

      No, you would need peach or orange depending on the shade of blue.

  • Reply Gisele May 5, 2016 at 11:43 am

    Hi My 14 year old daughter has a lot of acne and blemishes around her cheeks can you tell me which of the green concealers are safe on that type of skin?

    • Lindsey
      Reply Lindsey May 7, 2016 at 12:50 pm

      Hi Gisele,
      Clinique has a concealer with a green tint called Acne Solutions. I’ve never used it but it’s medicated specifically for acne. I’m not an esthetician but most cosmetics are non-comedogenic so they will not clog her pores. I like Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage Concealer to conceal acne because it’s not super creamy so it stays. I use a very small pointed brush to tap the product on the blemish and then I press it in with my finger. This way you can conceal but not totally mask the skin with heavy layers of product. Especially since she’s so young.

      As a side note, I’m not sure if you’ve tried Apple Cider Vinegar to treat the acne but it did wonders for my skin when I was younger. This website is where I got the idea:

  • Reply Crystal May 24, 2016 at 10:22 am

    My mom has scar tissue on her face from a childhood burn accident. The scars are a yellow/tan-ish color compared to her fair skintone. I assume the green wouldn’t be the best option for her? What would be a good/better choice?

    • Lindsey
      Reply Lindsey June 20, 2016 at 1:22 pm

      Hi Crystal,
      For yellow discolorations, she could try a lavender/purple corrector to neutralize the scar tissue. If the color of the scar tissue is not extremely pigmented, i’d probably recommend skipping the color correcting stage all together and try a thicker concealer/foundation instead. Dermablend is a line that specializes in covering skin concerns such as scars, birthmarks, vitilgo etc. I also like Kryolan Dermacolor or Cover FX for a fuller coverage line that won’t look cakey. Hope this helps!

      If you’re still interested in color correcting, I wrote a separate post which goes a little more in depth regarding different discolorations and the appropriate corrector for them.

  • Reply Traci June 9, 2016 at 9:47 am

    I have vitiligo and dark spots. I am having a difficult time finding the right makeup/concealer to help balance out my skin. When I apply makeup it doesn’t fully cover my vitiligo. When I apply makeup it either looks too cakey or orangey. I apply moisturizer and primer to my skin but it doesn’t seem to help. Any suggestions???

    • Lindsey
      Reply Lindsey June 20, 2016 at 1:23 pm

      I received your email about this and wrote you back 🙂

      • Reply Lois December 26, 2016 at 9:27 am

        I had cataract surgery and ever since the under eyes are always red. I use regular concealer but the skin always has a pink look to it, what can I use?

        • Lindsey
          Reply Lindsey January 1, 2017 at 12:20 pm

          Hi Lois, if your regular concealer isn’t doing a good job at covering the redness, I would use a green concealer underneath. Hope this helps!

  • Reply Lives Green June 19, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    Interesting! Thanks for sharing this. Maybe I can try this one to address the redness on my face sometimes.

  • Reply Annie C July 16, 2016 at 10:55 am

    Hi Lindsey, Thanks for the information and for following up on comments! My teen daughter has a natural pale/pink skin tone (even when she gets a tan her face is always rosy) and she needs to figure out a way for her skin to appear more olive-toned for a theater production. I’m thinking a green-based primer to neutralise the pink and a slightly tan/olive foundation but it’s obviously a challenge and I can’t find any advice on changing skin tone appearance that is relevant to a theatrical setting. Do you have any advice for things to try? We have time to experiment. Thanks again.

    • Lindsey
      Reply Lindsey July 16, 2016 at 1:20 pm

      Hi Annie,
      You’re definitely on the right track! With theater makeup, you always want to go a bit more dramatic because the lights will take away a lot of color and detail. I would get a foundation color a little darker than you’d think, so that the theater lights won’t blow out the skin tone. When applying foundation to warm up the skin be careful of the undertone as it can easily look orange. Ben Nye is a great brand for theater makeup and I also like to recommend Kryolan Dermacolor for foundation because it’s highly pigmented and stays really well. They also have a great range of undertones.

      Another easy option could be a sunless tanner? Xen Tan and St Tropez have good ones because they contain a lot of green which makes you look more olive and not orange. If you’re not interested in tanners, Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs is fantastic for darkening up the skin tone a little (on the body, not the face). It’s water resistant, won’t get on clothes and washes off in the shower. You can get it at any drugstore and I prefer the airbrush can better over the lotion.

      Hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

      • Reply Annie C July 16, 2016 at 7:27 pm

        Thank You! So many helpful ideas in one reply, I really appreciate it!!!

  • Reply NADIA July 17, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    What should i di about dark circles under my eyes?

    • Lindsey
      Reply Lindsey July 20, 2016 at 11:11 am

      Hi Nadia, it depends on the color/shade of your dark circles. Usually peach or orange works. Check out my other (more in-depth) post on color correcting for which color would probably work best on your skin tone. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  • Reply Victoria August 10, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    Thanks for the post (and for responding to comments!). I’m pretty happy with my skin, except I have ruddiness on and below my cheeks. I don’t want to use a heavy foundation, but can you just use a green primer by itself on specific parts of your face?

    • Lindsey
      Reply Lindsey August 31, 2016 at 9:09 pm

      Hi Victoria! Sorry for the delayed response, I was traveling. Usually primer alone will not provide enough pigment to neutralize the ruddiness. It could help a little though. I would suggest a lightweight, natural looking concealer such as Urban Decay’s Naked concealer. Tap it only onto the areas you wish to neutralize, and then blend out. This way you won’t have to cover your whole face in makeup, but you can localize the coverage.

  • Reply Sharon August 14, 2016 at 9:42 am

    My mom has poikiloderma on her neck and chest with a porcelain patch under her chin which she hates and is affecting her socially. How can she conceal or blend the red/white without making it look cakey and possibly tone everything down so she can start enjoying life again. Thx

    • Lindsey
      Reply Lindsey August 31, 2016 at 9:19 pm

      Hi Sharon, I’d recommend that your mom look into brands that specialize in skin camouflage for discolorations. Cover FX and Dermablend would be my recommendations. They have products that are full coverage but lightweight and natural looking. Another brand I’d recommend would be RCMA which is a professional brand for television/film makeup artists. Their foundation contains 100% pigment but is extremely natural looking. I would color correct the redness first with a green concealer and then apply the RCMA. Hopefully this gives you some options to look into. Good Luck!

  • Reply Joi November 2, 2016 at 9:30 am

    I have bruising from fillers. Would green concealer help me?

    • Lindsey
      Reply Lindsey November 4, 2016 at 11:19 am

      Hi Joi, If your bruising is red than it will help. Most bruises tend to appear purple, in which case you would use a yellow concealer. Older bruises fade to an almost yellow/green, in which case, you’d actually use violet. Check out my guide to more advanced color correcting (which includes pictures to help you) here: Thanks!

  • Reply vishali November 4, 2016 at 8:50 pm


    So I have a lot of acne but I also have the scars from the acne. So do I use green concealer for both? What else concealer color would you recommend for someone who is warm tan? thank you.

    • Lindsey
      Reply Lindsey November 8, 2016 at 9:22 pm

      Hi Vishali, scars are usually purpleish in color so you’d probably want to use a yellow or mustard depending on how deep your skintone is. However, you could probably get away with just a fuller coverage concealer to hide the scars. I like Laura Mercier Secret Camoflauge and Kryolan Dermacolor.

  • Reply Grace December 19, 2016 at 12:04 am

    This was such a helpful article, and I had a question.
    I have a bit of redness in my skin, and sometimes acne spots that I want to cover. Do you think I should get green primer or green concealer for this?

    Thank you so much!

    • Lindsey
      Reply Lindsey December 19, 2016 at 3:11 pm

      I would recommend concealer. If the redness isn’t too intense, you can probably get away with using a regular medium-full coverage concealer and skip color correcting.

  • Reply Mary Landes December 20, 2016 at 3:30 am

    I had deep laser resurfacing 3 weeks ago and still have a lot of redness around my mouth. I have used concealer and tried primer under it but still find that the redness comes back through pretty quickly. Would a green concealer be the way to go for this? I am now reading that the redness may last months! Thanks!

    • Lindsey
      Reply Lindsey January 1, 2017 at 12:23 pm

      Hi Mary! Sorry for the delayed reply. Yes, I think your best bet to cover the redness would be to apply a green concealer underneath your regular concealer. Good luck!

  • Reply Chinyere December 20, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    Please do I need to apply face Prima before applying green corrector.

    • Lindsey
      Reply Lindsey January 1, 2017 at 12:25 pm

      Hi Chinyere! Using primer is up to you. I for one do not use primer on myself or on my clients but many swear by it. If you choose to use primer, yes, you would apply it before the green concealer.

  • Reply fenny February 23, 2017 at 7:24 am

    I use green concealer.
    m having red cheeks.
    but when I use green concealer and foundation after it, it becomes visible, my face is dry and sensitive , my cheeks are red, how should I do my makeup so that it is not visible and also my redness of cheeks is neutralized.

    • Lindsey
      Reply Lindsey February 24, 2017 at 5:22 pm

      Hi Fenny, What are you using as skincare?

  • Reply ali May 16, 2017 at 11:52 am

    i do my foundation first but when i do the green concealer my butts show again and bad still like i didn’t even use it! please help im taking senior pictures this weekend and don’t want it showing. please email me back

    • Lindsey
      Reply Lindsey May 18, 2017 at 2:44 am

      Hi Ali! Do you have redness that you trying to cover or is it pimples? If you have pimples, I would try a drier concealer such as the Laura Mercier Secret Camoflauge concealer. The drier consistency will keep it from moving or rubbing off. This is what I just on the red carpet. Use a small pointed brush, and spot conceal just the pimple. Softly blending out around the edges.Then set it with powder.

      If you’re covering redness, use a fuller coverage foundation. I find Cover FX is really great and doesn’t look heavy. Also, MAC Studio Fix fluid has been good for me personally. I have redness in my cheeks. However, if you breakout easily, some people break out more when using MAC foundations.

      I hope this helps!

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