Color Correcting 101


Color correcting, the latest viral trend that has taken the beauty world by storm, can infinitely up your makeup game. It involves strategically placing varying colors of concealer to target different skin concerns. Use a mix of colors to brighten your skin, cover up dark circles, combat redness and more. It probably sounds like a daunting task better left to the pros, but color correcting has been picking up steam as of late because it’s surprisingly easy to do at home…you just have to learn the basics first. Keep reading to discover what each color does, watch some tutorials and find out which color correctors are must-haves.

Color correcting follows the ‘color wheel’ theory. The color opposite your skin concern’s ‘color’ on the color wheel will fix your complexion issues. Use this photo as a guide:

color wheel

What Colors Are Right for You?

GREEN:  Green is opposite red on the color wheel, if you have a lot of redness that you wish to cover up, reach for a green concealer. Green will conceal acne, rosacea, eczema, sunburn or any other form of redness on your face.

PURPLE: Purple seems to be the color people are most confused by. A purple or lavender concealer cancels out dullness or yellowish skin. If your skin has been looking a little sallow and could use a jolt of brightness, grab a purple concealer. It also works wonders on age spots.

PALE PINK/SALMON: Salmon works great for covering up dark circles. It will brighten up your under eye area tremendously. If you have dark spots, you can use it on those as well. Salmon is best suited for fair to medium skin tones.

YELLOW: Yellow is a master multi-tasker. It works on virtually every skin tone, and can be used to deal with redness, neutralizing dark circles (especially for medium/tan skin tones) and age spots, and brightening your complexion. If you can only invest in one color corrector, yellow is your best bet.

BRIGHT ORANGE/RED: Using red as a concealer might sound crazy, but it can work! (There’s a video embedded below that proves it.) Both bright orange and red concealers are phenomenal at concealing severe dark circles, bruises and veins. Bright orange is ideal for light-medium to medium and olive skin tones, while red works for deep skin tones.

***Keep in mind, color correcting is adding another layer of makeup to your overall look. Pick high-quality products that blend easily to avoid the dreaded ‘cake-y’ look. Make sure your skin is moisturized, and apply your favorite primer before using correctors. You can apply color correctors either on top of or underneath your foundation – it’s a personal preference. I like to apply correctors after foundation – that way, if some areas are concealed well enough with just foundation, I don’t need to apply more product than necessary. After blending in the color corrector with a makeup sponge or brush, apply your regular concealer as you normally would.

Our Top Picks

Urban Decay

Urban Decay Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid: If you’ve ever tried UD’s Naked Skin Concealers, these are the exact same formula and consistency. One of the standouts is Peach, which cancels out dark circles exceptionally well and looks super natural. The pink one brightens fair skin, and it’s sheer so it’s very easy to work with, even if you are a beginner. The lavender will brighten every skin tone, except for extremely fair. The yellow, which will work on every skin tone, is good for highlighting, canceling out redness and brightening – a true multi-tasker. If you’re dealing with a lot of redness, like rosacea or eczema, go with Green. ($28)

Amazing Cosmetics

Amazing Cosmetics AMAZINGCONCEALER Corrector: These double-sided concealers have a color corrector on one end, and a regular concealer on the other end. The Medium/Deep is incredible for covering up even the deepest and darkest of under-eye circles. Use the red orange shade over your circles, then go over it with the neutral color. No one will know you’re running on four hours of sleep 😉 ($29)


NYX Color Correcting Concealer: This little palette is a fantastic buy. It has six different concealers: yellow, green, purple, pink and two shades of beige. They all blend beautifully, and a little goes a long way. I like to apply the pink under my eyes to cancel out any darkness, then go over it with the lighter beige. It has everything you need. ($11.99)

sephora pantone palette

Sephora + Pantone Correct + Conceal Palette: This mega-palette truly has every shade you could ever need – it will last you a lifetime. This is a better buy for a makeup artist, rather than someone who will only be using it on themselves. It has fifteen different shades: the standard salmon, green, purple and yellow, plus plenty of different neutral concealer shades. It also comes in a set for deeper skin tones. ($49)

LA Girl

LA Girl HD PRO Conceal: LA Girl’s concealers have reached cult status for its incredible combination of being extremely affordable and high quality. They’ve recently added three color correctors to the line: orange, green and yellow. You can purchase all three on Amazon for a combined total of $6.90! Less than seven dollars for three concealers. Definitely worth a try. ($6.90 for all three)


BECCA Backlight Targeted Colour Corrector: Has BECCA ever released a product that wasn’t incredible? The consistently amazing brand has just released four color correcting pots that blend like a dream. The one that caught my eye was Papaya, a red that is meant to correct dark circles. A red color corrector isn’t so easy to find – refer to the ‘lipstick as concealer’ video embedded later in this article. This one is a winner; it’s made for those with deeper skin tones. The shade Peach serves the same function, but for light to medium and olive skin tones. There are also green and purple options available. ($30)


Stila Correct & Perfect All-In-One Color Correcting Palette: It’s worth noting that the packaging of this compact Stila palette is gorgeous. The set has both pressed finishing powders (in yellow and lavender) and five creamy concealers. Use the creams to cover up any skin imperfections (it comes with pink, green, yellow, orange and peach shades), then use the finishing powders to set the look. Use the lavender shade on the high points of your face for a subtle glow. ($45)


Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Wipeout Color-Correcting Palette: Tarte has really upped their game with their latest collection – check out how beautiful this palette is! It has six creamy concealer pans that allow you to correct any imperfections, contour and brighten up your complexion. Use the orange, yellow, green and peach shades to correct, and the deeper brown for a nice and natural cream contour. ($45)


Does color correcting still sound like a foreign language to you? Check out these fantastic videos to see how truly easy it really is:

Carli Bybel shares her favorites and does a short demo in this video.

This video by TianaCosmetics went viral because she created a cool design with her correctors before blending it all in. You don’t need to put your art skills to the test when you try correcting on your own, but it definitely makes for a fun watch.

The video that started it all? This video of Deepica Mutyala applying red lipstick under her eyes to mask her dark circles was everywhere last year. A must-see if you haven’t already.


Do you color correct? If you’ve never tried it, will you start now? Let us know in the comments below!

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