Beauty Tips and Tricks

Color Correcting the Right Way: A Makeup Artist’s Guide

There’s a new makeup trend that’s rapidly gaining popularity and to be honest, I’m scared. When done correctly, color correcting can make a difference if you have certain discolorations however, if last year’s contour craziness is any indication of what’s to come..  I foresee disaster.

What is Color Correcting and How Does it Work?

In order to understand color correcting, we need to think back to art class and take a look at the color wheel. If you want to neutralize a color, you must utilize color theory.

color wheel

Whichever color you wish to conceal/neutralize (redness, dark circles etc) find it on the color wheel and then trace your finger directly across. The color you find on the other end of the wheel is the color you should use to correct with. It’s also important to note the shade of the color you wish to conceal in order to properly find it’s neutralizer.

How to Use Color Correctors

Color Correcting

Before we get into which colors to use in order neutralize certain discolorations, it’s important to know how to apply color correctors. I’ve already seen images on Instagram of people with 19 different colors slapped on their face and this is not only ridiculous looking, but it’s counterproductive.

The most important piece of advice I can give is to start with a light hand. If you’re using a color correcting concealer, apply the concealer onto the discoloration very lightly, powder it and then apply your foundation on top. If you’re using a color correcting primer, you don’t need to powder before applying your foundation.

The best way to know if you’re using the correct shade? The color that you’re correcting with should disappear, and the discoloration will be neutralized. Because that’s the point. If you’re using the wrong shade, your discoloration will turn grey and muddy.

What is Orange / Peach Concealer Used for? 

How to Use Orange Concealer

I’m a huge fan of using orange and peach correctors to neutralize dark circles, since most under eye circles have a blue cast to them (if your under eye circles are more purple, jump down to yellow concealer).

I was first turned onto peach concealer when I watched makeup artist Eve Pearl give a demo at one of the makeup shows in LA with her salmon correctors.  Since then, I’ve been using peach on hard-to-cover under eye circles and it works like a dream.

How to Use Peach Concealer

Orange Concealer vs. Peach Concealer

Differentiating when to use peach and when to use orange is easy, and it goes back to what I was saying about taking note of the shade of your discoloration. People with lighter skin will most likely reach for peach (unless your dark circles are extreme), while those with deeper complexions might want to use orange since their skin has more pigment and therefore the discoloration will also be of a deeper shade.

Often times women of color will find that their skin is not all one shade and that certain areas of their face (around the mouth, near the forehead) tend to be a deeper shade. Using orange on the darker areas will neutralize and lighten them in order bring the skin tone closer to the shade of the rest of the face.

I find peach and orange to be my most used corrector colors. Just last month I used orange to successfully covered a fresh black eye on an actor. His under eye was so dark and discolored that even my Kevyn Aucoin skin enhancers wouldn’t have been able to hide it without a corrector underneath.

Orange / Peach Color Correctors I recommend:

Peach and Orange Concealer

BOBBI BROWN Correctors come in just about every shade | KRYOLAN Supra Color in 508 isn’t technically a concealer but this is what I keep in my kit for correcting (blue) dark circles and discoloration on deeper skintones.

What is Purple Concealer Used for?

How to use Purple Concealer and Primer

Purple/lavender color correctors are useful for people with very yellow undertones. I’ve heard purple primers are popular in the Asian community as it neutralizes their undertones while brightening and whitening the complexion.

Purple correctors can also add radiance if someone has jaundice or an illness which makes the skin appear sallow.

Purple/Lilac Color Correctors I Recommend:

Purple color correctors

SMASHBOX Photo Finish Primer gives radiance to yellow undertones while priming the skin for foundation. | BECCA Backlight Targeted Color Corrector is a good choice for a more pigmented lavender corrector.

What is Yellow Concealer Used for?

How to Use Yellow Concealer

Just as purple correctors neutralize yellow, yellow correctors neutralize purple discolorations. If you find that your dark circles have more of a purple/reddish undertone compared to blue, yellow is the corrector color you want to grab.

I also tend to use concealer with yellow in them to cover redness on those with olive undertones. On olive skintones, the color of a pimple or inflammation appears deeper compared to someone with very pale skin. If you notice that your redness is more on the magenta/purple side than that of true red, yellow will most likely neutralize your discoloration better than green.

For women of color with purple undertones to their skin, I like to use mustard corrector in order to conceal dark circles as well as any discolorations.

Yellow Color Correctors I Recommend:

Yellow concealers copy

BENEFIT  You’re Bluffing | KRYOLAN Supra Color is what I keep in my kit for color correcting (purple) dark circles and discoloration on deeper skin tones.


What is Pink Concealer Used for?

Just as purple/lilac correctors effectively brighten yellow undertones, pink can be used to neutralize and add radiance to very olive undertones. I see some brands promoting pink for under eye circles but I think you’d be better suited using a peach corrector for that (see above).

How to Use Pink Concealer and Primer

Pink Color Correctors I Recommend:
Pink Color Corrector Primer

MAKEUP FOREVER Radiant Primer  | KOH GEN DO Makeup Color Base

I will say that I’ve never had the need to use a pink color corrector, but I have used each of these products in different shades and the formulas are great.

What is Green Concealer Used for?

Please check out my in-depth post HERE about green color correctors.

How to Use Green Concealer and Primer


Pro Color Correcting Palettes I Recommend:

Professional Color Correcting Palettes

1. TEMPTU: Color Correcting Neutralizer Wheel | 2. LE MAQUILLAGE PRO: Fard Creme Palette AB03| 3. MAC: Studio Conceal and Correct Palette in Dark | 4. YABY: Liquid Foundation Correctors | 5, MAKEUP FOREVER: Camouflage Creme Palette

urban decay naked color corrector swatches

Urban Decay just came out with their Naked Color Correctors and I really like them for fair to medium skintones. Unfortunately, those with deeper skintones might find these to be too light to correct properly. They’re super creamy and just melt into your skin.


Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored. All products I recommend in this post are products I’ve used and have purchased myself. This post may contain affiliate links.

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