Color Correct Your Worries Away With These Expert-Backed Tips
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Whether it be dark spots, dullness, or redness, it seems like many people have that one issue they wish they could do away with. And sure, a great foundation and concealer can help a ton, but sometimes your complexion needs a little more to get it to that bright, even-toned place. Enter: color correctors.
You've probably seen them on YouTube tutorials and Instagram. They're these beautifully colored makeup products in tones such as lavender, light yellow, green, and bright red, and they work to neutralize your skin to give you the complexion of your dreams. While you may be thinking that the last thing you want to put on your face is a leafy-green tint, trust us—with the right product and application, it could achieve what your concealer could never.
What is a color corrector?
"Color correctors are concealing makeup products used to neutralize the look of skin discoloration, and are typically worn under traditional foundation or concealer," explains Paul Garcia, YSL Beauty's Director of Education & Artistry. "Color correctors are the ideal products to adjust any tonal imperfections on the skin," adds Make Up For Ever Pro Artist & Educator Eddie Duyos. "The whole development of color correctors is based on color theory."
What's the benefit of using a color corrector?
Everybody can benefit from using a color corrector from time to time, but some may be inclined to use them more often. "Color correctors are great for those who might have deep discoloration under eyes or on hyperpigmentation on skin that can't quite be covered by foundation or concealer alone," says Garcia. Additionally, Duyos says they're great for minimizing skin tone imperfections in a very translucent manner without having to use a full-coverage foundation.
What's the most important thing to consider when color correcting?
"The first thing you want to consider is targeting the color you want to neutralize," says celebrity makeup artist Andrew Sotomayor. "Trying to cover discoloration with the wrong corrector may allow the corrector to show through your foundation and will have the opposite effect of what you're going for." In other words, consider your skin tone and concern before putting a green cream all over your face, as it could make matters worse.
What does each color correcting shade do?
Green: Green is the ultimate redness reducer. "It's ideal for light to medium skin tones to reduce redness tonal issues caused by conditions such as rosacea or acne," says Duyos.
Light blue: "This is ideal for fair skin tones in order to brighten up the skin tone and cool down any unwanted golden tones in the skin," says Duyos.
Lavender: This light purple hue is the ultimate yellowness neutralizer. Garcia says it will brighten sallowness, and Duyos adds that it will reduce excessive golden tones in light to medium skin tones and helps to brighten up the skin tone. However, Sotomayor suggests that people with dark skin should stay away from it as it can create an ashy hue on melanin-rich skin.
Peach: This fruity color is the go-to brightening shade for light to medium skin tones. "It will reduce dullness and slightly brighten while warming up the skin ever so slightly for a healthy, glowing appearance to the complexion," says Duyos.
Yellow: This bright shade is the dullness eraser. Garcia touts it as a miracle worker for covering up bruises and purple veins, and Duyos says it's ideal for people with medium to tan skin tones looking to soften light brown spots.
Orange/Red: These bright hues are perfect for reducing grayness. "They're great for deep skin tones to reduce ash tones or dark areas that may be unflattering to the skin for a more even application of foundation," says Duyos.
What's the best way to use a color corrector?
"Gently tap the corrector onto clean, primed skin only in the areas where you need it," says Garcia. "Apply sparingly, but don't worry if you still clearly see the corrector on your skin in this step. Next, use a sponge to tap concealer or foundation over your corrector. This will ensure you aren't brushing away the color corrector or moving it around. Lastly, dust lightly with powder to set your complexion, keeping everything in place."
Now that you have all the information you need, here are the eight best color correctors:
1. Best drugstore color corrector palette: NYX
This six-shade palette is perfect for those looking to dip their toes into color correcting for the first time. It has the basic shades for users to play around with and test, and since it's at such a budget-friendly price, it won't hurt the bank.
2. Best luxe color corrector palette: MAKE UP FOR EVER
Sotomayor recommends this palette as it has a peach color corrector and a concealer in an easy-to-use compact, and the concealer comes in two shades in case you get lighter or darker throughout the year. Buy it in one of six colors.
3. Best color correcting cream for redness: Dr. Jart+
If you've spent time on TikTok, then you've definitely seen this viral cream. One HG writer reviewed it and said that it instantly corrected her red complexion. "Instead of spending an hour in the morning covering my face in concealer and foundation, this color correcting cream has given me the confidence to rock the 'less is more' all-natural look," she said. Plus, we love that it has SPF protection, too.
4. Best color corrector for dark under-eye circles: LIVE TINTED
Deepica Mutyala discovered the magic of using red on her under eyes when a makeup artist used a lipstick to make her dark circles disappear. When she went on to develop her own beauty brand, this was the product she launched with, and it's perfect for people with melanin-rich skin.
5. Best color correcting for brightening under-eye circles: Yves Saint Laurent
"To brighten under eyes, YSL Touche Éclat is a must-have pen—there's nothing like it to neutralize under-eye darkness while looking very natural," says Garcia. "It comes in 12 skin-brightening shades ranging from fair pink to deep orange. In addition to the makeup benefit, it's packed with care ingredients to hydrate and fight signs of fatigue."
6. Best color corrector for spot treatments: Urban Decay
"To neutralize discoloration on the face, Urban Decay Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid is great," says Garcia. "It comes in shades like yellow, green, and lavender that we tend to use on larger areas of the face. The formula also contains a blurring complex that makes the skin look smoother before applying foundation." Consider us sold.
7. Best color correcting primer: MAKE UP FOR EVER
Available in yellow, orange, pink, lavender, green, and light blue, these makeup primers are the perfect first step in a makeup routine as they'll create the perfect canvas for the rest of your products.
8. Best color correcting setting powder: Givenchy
Can't be bothered to try color-correcting your face with liquid and creams? Dust on a color correcting setting powder instead. This Givenchy pick comes in seven colorways that work on all skin shades and help to brighten, blur, and mattify skin in the most beautiful way.