Do you ever apply your foundation and concealer absolutely flawlessly, using shades that match your skin color perfectly, only to find that something just doesn't look quite right? Unfortunately, this happens all too often if you're experiencing any sort of discoloration on your skin (and many of us are). To remedy this, it might be time to turn to a color corrector.
What exactly is a color corrector?
Color correctors may seem scary (applying green or red pigments to your face can be daunting), but they're actually pretty intuitive. "A color corrector is a product used to correct the undertone of an imperfection or unwanted discoloration on the skin that cannot be completely covered by a foundation or concealer alone," says Eddie Duyos, head of pro education and artistry for North America at Make Up For Ever. "Color correction is completely based on color theory and the complementary colors within this theory."
How do you choose the right color corrector for you?
Unlike other complexion products, color correctors aren't chosen based on your skin tone at all. Instead, color correctors are chosen based on the tones you're trying to cancel out. "Color correctors are designed off the color wheel and complementary colors. Complementary colors cancel each other out," says Kelsey Deenihan, celebrity makeup artist and BareMinerals ambassador.
Duyos has a quick rundown for color correcting. "For blue or gray tones like dark under-eye circles or gray to brown patches on the skin, try using a peach for light to medium skin tones or an orange color corrector for tan to deep skin tones," he says. "For acne-prone skin, rosacea with texture, dermatitis, or excessive redness, try using a green or olive color corrector. For slight or surface redness in light to medium skin tones or to reduce dullness in tan skin tones, try using a yellow color corrector."
How do you apply color corrector?
"I tend to apply a corrector with my fingers and lightly dab over the area I’m correcting," says Deenihan. "Using my finger gives a precise application and allows me to press it into the skin as opposed to thinning it out by wiping a brush back and forth." Once you've applied your color corrector, Deenihan recommends following up with a foundation and a brightening concealer, like the BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Brightening Concealer.
The best color correctors to try:
This all-encompassing palette will tackle just about any color correcting task you have.
"Because of the translucent color and long-wearing formula, you can achieve a realistic result in color correction and you don’t necessarily have to go right to a full coverage foundation or concealer on top," says Duyos. "These primers help achieve a natural skin finish while providing a long-wear result."
This creamy, concealer-like color corrector is incredibly easy to use and blends into skin easily.
At just $12, this professional-quality color correcting palette is a steal. It has buildable, blendable coverage that makes it easy to use.
Made specifically with deep skin tones in mind, these correctors work magic for both color correcting and providing dreamy washes of color wherever you want it.
"A staple in my kit is the Ben Nye Color Correcting Wheel, which gives you six cream correctors in a small palette wheel to tackle any concern with multiple color options," says Deenihan.
This formula is long-wearing and easy to use under any of your complexion products.
Leave it to Charlotte Tilbury to create a full-coverage color corrector that adds luminosity to under eyes.
This brightening color corrector adds radiance and helps neutralize unwanted pigment.
This kit helps you mix and match to cancel any unwanted colors that crop up.
Katie Berohn is the associate beauty editor at Who What Wear. Previously, she worked as the beauty assistant for Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, and Prevention magazines, all part of the Hearst Lifestyle Group. She graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder, with a major in journalism and minor in technology, arts, and media, and earned her master's degree at NYU's graduate program for magazine journalism. In addition, Katie has held editorial internships at Denver Life magazine, Yoga Journal, and Cosmopolitan; a digital editorial internship at New York magazine's The Cut; a social good fellowship at Mashable; and a freelance role at HelloGiggles. When she's not obsessing over the latest skincare launch or continuing her journey to smell every perfume on the planet, Katie can be found taking a hot yoga class, trying everything on the menu at New York's newest restaurant, or hanging out at a trendy wine bar with her friends.