Colour Correcting Makeup
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Once a tool hidden only in a makeup artists set bag, colour correcting is now mainstream and oh so popular and thank heavens because this rise in accessibility, both in availability of products and types of products, brings a better quality and variety of makeup and an enhanced range to play with. Back in the day it was a case of only finding these holy grail colour correcting items in professional makeup stores and mixing products to create just the perfect tone, whereas now there are colour correcting makeup items a plenty, perhaps even a little too many to make sense of. So today, we’re going to take it back to basics and talk about what colour correcting is, what it is good for and which colour and products we should use for which concern, fear not, if you’ve a question, I’ve got the answers! So let’s get cracking shall we?!
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What Is Colour Correcting?
Do you remember the colour wheel from school? Well, colour correcting uses colour theory, the “body of practical guidance to color mixing and the visual effects of a specific color combination”, to ‘correct’ certain unwanted discolouration in our skin.
-Sidebar! Now, I’m going to take a brief moment to point out that everyone is beautiful and there is no need to correct, hide, cover, anything full stop. That being said, there are times where enhancing our natural beauty makes us feel more empowered and that’s what I’m all about. So I will make a point in saying I’m not a fan of the word ‘correct’ but alas, it’s the ,ah hem, correct term and therefore the one we shall use. Moving on!
The Colour Wheel
Here we have a standard colour wheel. For today’s post we are going to focus on the colours orange, green and purple.
The way colour correcting works is quite simple. By using complementary colours we are able to cancel discolouration. Complementary colours are colours that are opposite each other on the colour wheel.
Do I need Colour Correcting?
First we think about what it is we wish to ‘correct’ then we look to the colour opposite that on the colour wheel and use a colour correcting makeup in that shade to cancel out the discolouration.
- Green = Neutralises red
- Orange = Lifts blue tones
- Purple = Yellow, Lifts sallow skin
- Yellow = Neutralises Purple viens
I made the following infographic (below) to show that when the correct colours come together they cancel out a concern.
Let’s take some examples to make it easy!
If you have a blemish, it’s sore, a little swollen. There tends to be redness. This is where a green corrector would come in handy. The green, the complimentary (opposite) colour to red on the colour wheel, helps to neutralise and cancel out that redness, making it easier to conceal and cover. Green correctors can work well with those who have redness prone skin due to Rosacea also.
Dark Under Eyes
Darkness under the eyes is often a bluesh tone (sometimes purple). If you find that concealer alone is not providing enough coverage or your concealer is looking a little grey and ashy, then it may be because blue tones under your eyes need neutralising with a corrector first. If we use a corrector in an orange tone this can help to knock back and lift the darkness immediately.
A sallow complexion can be caused by having yellow tones in your skin. Quite simply using a corrector with purple tones we are able to lift sallow skin or dullness instantly.
It is important to consider skin tone when choosing colouring correcting makeup. When a correcting product is right for your skin tone it shouldn’t stand out too much, it should neutralise unwanted tones.
- Fair skin tones: look for peach, lemon, lilac tones.
- Olive Skin tones: look for peach/orange, yellow, purple tones.
- Darker Skin tone: look for orange/redish, rich yellow, deeper purple.
Fair skin tones look for lighter pigmented colours, medium skin more medium based hues and darker skin tones look for richer pigmented shades.
What Is Colour Correcting Makeup?
Colour Correcting Makeup is simply makeup that helps to even out unwanted discolouration. There is, however, a ton of it on the market so it can difficult to choose what is best.
There are primers that claim to do everything, under eye brightening creams, spot corrector, brightening BB creams, you name it!
How Do I Colour Correct?
Colouring correcting is not concealing, that’s an important distinction to make; it is the step you make prior to concealing.
Let’s take under eye makeup as an example.
I suffer a great pair of dark under eye circles so for me taking the extra step to colour correct is important.
At present I am a big fan of the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Vanish Corrector and I am enjoying pairing that with the Uoma Beauty Stay Woke Concealer.
Step 1: Pat the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Vanish Corrector over the areas that appear dark using my ring finger. Being sure to only apply the corrector to the blue toned areas (the colour will appear strange on areas that do not need correcting. I am careful to apply on a thin layer of product and press gently but firmly to blend it in.
Step 2: Apply Uoma Beauty Stay Woke Concealer on top. Blending gently so as to not disturb the corrector too much underneath. Again, apply a thin layer. Too thick a layer of product can result in creasing.
Step 3: Press a thin layer of powder over the area to set in place.
How Do I Use Colour Correcting Products?
How you use colour correcting makeup really does depend on the product. If it is a brightening primer then apply to the whole face. Where as a spot application product you may wish to apply to the relevant area only.
Which Colour Correcting Product Is Right For Me?
First identity which area you wish to ‘correct’. Then look for products in that category. For example, if it is redness, is it redness prone skin from say Rosacea? Therefore you may be looking for a makeup that will cover a wider area such as a primer. Or is the redness due to blemishes? In that case do you wish to spot conceal? Perhaps you then are looking for a product that can used more precisely, such as a cream corrector.
Don’t worry there’s a full list of product recommendations at the end of this post! I also have application tips for each category in this IGTV, I know that green correctors can sometimes be a little troublesome!
Which Colour Correcting Products are best for what?
Brightening Skincare Products
Skincare items that contains colour correcting hues, such a lavender tones, are a great first step if you are looking to add a little lift to the skin. There are also many moisturises that boast brightening pigments that instantly give radiance to your face.
Colour Correcting Primers
Primers cover a larger area of the face therefore they are great for addressing larger skin concerns. This may be to help neutralise an overall redness eg. Rosacea, Dermatitis. It can be to add radiance to the skin or to counteract sallow skin.
This form of corrector is great for being more precise with your application than say a primer. A cream/stick corrector in a green shade is great for correcting the redness in blemishes or veins. One in more of a peachy/orange (depending on your skin tone) hue is perfect for brightening darkness under the eyes. For hyperpigmentation also reach for these peachy/orangey/sometimes even orangey brown tones to neutralise and lift.
Colour Correcting Powders
Colour Correcting powders, especially those pressed with a mix of tones, are great for giving an all over calming and radiant finish.
My Colour Correcting Makeup Recommendations
Now, I know it can be very overwhelming out there and hey, not everybody needs to use a colour correcting makeup product, not everyone wants to but I hope that this has been a helpful post to cover the basics. I’ll follow with some of my recommendations of products in all price points that I think are great and please, if you’ve any questions, email me, leave a comment or send me a DM on insta. I’m here to help!
Please check out my IGTV video where I talk through all of this and show application tips!
Under Eye Darkness
NYX Dark Circle Corrector
Charlotte tilbury Magic Vanish
(Available in a variety of shades)
MAC Studio Fix Conceal and Correct Palette
(availability in a variety of shades for different skin tones)
BECCA Under Eye Brightening Corrector
(Available in two shades)
BECCA First Light Priming Filter
YSL Touché Eclat Blur Primer
Daniel Sandler Anti-Redness Foundation Primer
Makeup Forever Primer 5 Redness Correcting
Clarins SOS Primer
Available in a variety of shades for different colour correcting needs.
Stila One Step Correct Primer
Amazing Cosmetics Correctors
Makeup Forever Colour Correcting Palette
NYX Colour Correcting Palette
Revolution Beauty Correct And Conceal
By Terry Cellularose CC Serum
The Body Shop Instaglow CC Cream
Powders For Brightness and Radiance
Guerlain Météorites Compact
Kiko Colour Correction Face Fixing Powder
Products used in IGTV
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