How to use colour correctors to create a flawless complexion

Hint: It’s easier than you might think

Have you ever masterfully applied your foundation and concealer only to find your dark circles, redness or sallow skin still peeking through? If so, it might be time to start incorporating colour correctors into your makeup routine. Unlike concealer, which simply masks skin issues with its flesh-toned pigments, colour correctors work by neutralising the unwanted tones of your imperfections so they become undetectable underneath your foundation and/or concealer.

But how do you know which colour correctors to use and where should you apply them? As a general rule, the shade of the corrector you’re using should sit opposite the tone of the imperfection you wish to neutralise on the colour wheel. If your knowledge of the colour wheel isn’t as good as it was in primary school, follow these steps for achieving a flawless complexion in a matter of minutes.  

Toolkit

The number and types of colour correctors you use will depend on your individual skin and the imperfections you want to neutralise. To cover all bases, we’ve used every shade of colour corrector, and relied on Revlon’s PhotoReady™ Color Correcting Pen for Dullness, Givenchy’s Prisme Primer No.5 Vert, BECCA’s Under Eye Brightening Corrector and MAC Cosmetics’ Studio Conceal and Correct Palette for the job. 

While you can blend all of your chosen colour correctors with your fingers, using a makeup sponge like the original beautyblender will make the application less messy and more seamless.

1

Apply a purple-toned corrector all over

If your complexion has a tendency to look dull and sallow, purple and blue-toned correctors are for you. Not only will these hues neutralise any yellow tones, they’ll effectively brighten your complexion for a more youthful and glowing look. For the best brightening results, apply a lilac-toned corrector all over your skin, and blend it in with a damp makeup sponge.

Purple colour corrector
TOP TIP: Wetting your sponge prior to use will ensure it doesn’t absorb all your product.

2

Use a green corrector to counteract redness

Perhaps the most commonly used shade, green colour correctors can help cancel out redness across your cheeks, eyelids or around your nose. On areas where you’re experiencing redness, simply dot a green formula on the skin, then use your makeup sponge to blend it in.

GOOD TO KNOW: Green shades are great for neutralising the redness in pimples and acne scarring.

3

Cover dark circles

Applying a peach-toned corrector under the eyes will counteract any purple tones. This is particularly helpful for concealing stubborn dark circles to make your eyes appear brighter.

TOP TIP: Don’t forget to apply your colour corrector to the inner corners as well as underneath your eyes.

4

Dot a yellow corrector on the high points of your face

If you have olive or tanned skin and want an ultra-glowing look sans makeup, apply a yellow colour corrector to areas where you would normally apply highlighter i.e. the tops of your cheekbones, underneath the brow bones and down the nose to really lift your complexion.  

The final look

Once you’ve applied and blended all the correctors you need (note: not everyone will need to use all four), finish off your base makeup by applying foundation and concealer as you normally would. To avoid smudging the correctors you’ve just applied, blend your products gently with the same damp makeup sponge using a patting – not sweeping - motion.

To further perfect your base, check out how to apply foundation for a long-lasting finish.

Do you have a favourite colour corrector? Share it with us in the comments below. 

Main image credit: Sevak Babakhani

Inset image credit: Sevak Babakhani

Kate has worked for BEAUTYcrew since early 2016, first as a contributor, before being named Beauty Writer in 2017. She loves picking the brains of the industry's top experts to get to the bottom of beauty's toughest questions. Bronze eyeshadow palettes are her weakness and she's forever on the hunt for the perfect nude nail polish to suit her fair skin. Her words can also be found in Men's Health magazine.