Back To Art School: RBL's Guide To Color Correction
We all want picture-perfect skin when heading out on a date or for dinner with the girls – but sometimes your face just isn’t cooperating. It sucks so much to wake up on a big day only to find your skin has decided to look patchy, tired, or red. Wtf, face.
Don’t worry, though – we’re here to let you in on an awesome secret: no matter what your skin throws at you, you can fix it with a technique called color correction. This cool trick was once only known by makeup artists, but now everyone is getting involved and using it to put their best face forward.
So how do you do color correction makeup and what skin issues can it fix? Grab your notebooks and a pencil, because art school is in session! Read on for our complete guide to color correction.
What is color correction in makeup?
Let’s get straight to it. Color correction is a makeup technique where you use specially designed primers and concealers to get rid of common skin issues such as redness, dullness, under-eye circles, or patchiness. While traditional concealers work by simply covering up skin issues, color correction is different – it uses the color wheel to cancel out skin problems with a contrasting color.
Confused? Don’t worry, we’ll explain further below.
The secret to color correction: the color wheel
A color wheel is a tool that outlines the full spectrum of color, showing the relationship each color has to one another. Color correction works by using colored makeup products that are opposite on the wheel to the color of your skin issue. Think of it as a real-life filter for your skin, ensuring you’re selfie-ready, no matter what!
For example, how do you color correct hyperpigmentation? This issue involves reddish skin, and green is the opposite color to red, so green cosmetics can work well to cancel it out. Under-eye circles are another example. They’re often a bluish-green hue, and the opposite color to blue is peach or orange, so an orange corrector will cancel out your dark circles.
Here’s a cheat sheet to which colors work best for common skin issues:
- Purple: Purple corrector is awesome for fair-skinned babes dealing with yellow skin. If your skin is looking sallow or dull, purple cancels the yellow and makes your skin look brighter.
- Peach: A peach palette will cancel out blue or purple, so it’s ideal for dark circles, veins, or bruises. Talk about pretty in peach!
- Green: Green gets rid of red, so grab a green correcting product if you’re wanting to hide rosacea, redness, or skin irritation.
- Yellow: Mellow yellow is also effective on purple, so it’s good for fixing uneven skin tone.
- Blue: Blue can neutralize orange, so it’s good for fair-skinned girls with an uneven complexion.
- Orange: Orange corrector is awesome on dark skin, since it can get rid of skin spots or dark circles.
Color corrector products come in several forms, including liquids, powders, and creams.
How can I get started with color correction makeup?
We know what you’re thinking – it’s pretty damn awesome that you can use art theory to apply makeup! But how does it actually work?
Here’s a step-by-step guide to trying it out.
1. Work out what you want to correct
First, using the cheat sheet above, work out which skin issue you want to correct. This will help you determine which colors you’ll need. Have multiple skin issues? No problem – the corrector is only applied where it’s needed, not to your whole face, so you can use different colors as needed.
2. Invest in the right products
Next, you’ll need the right products. If you’re brand-new to all this, you might find it easiest to buy a color correction palette. These are all-in-one kits that offer the major colors mentioned above. You can also buy colors individually, depending on your needs.
Colored primers are another product that offer color correction. A makeup sponge or blender is key too, since you’ll use it to apply the product.
3. Apply a thin layer of corrector with a makeup sponge
Starting with freshly washed and dried skin, apply a thin layer of product to your sponge and gently apply to the area of skin you want to hide. Light application is key, so apply thin layers until you have enough coverage. Then blend, blend, blend! Keep in mind that you don’t want to apply correcting product thickly, because it will then show through your foundation.
Let’s look at an example: how do you cover dark circles with color corrector? Depending on your skin tone, reach for a peach or orange color, then swipe it under your eyes in a “V” shape – the tops of the V should be the inner and outer corner of each eye. Then, blend the corrector into your skin so there’s no defined edge of where it starts and ends.
A key tip: be patient! Mastering color correction definitely takes some time, and you’ll need to practice a few times before you figure out how to make it work for you.
4. Apply foundation after your corrector
Once you’ve applied your corrector and you’re happy, foundation comes next. Remember, the corrector always goes on before foundation!
Wait a few minutes until your corrector has set, then use a large foundation brush to sweep the foundation across your face. Use a light touch, as you don’t want to mess up your corrector underneath.
After that’s done, you can apply the rest of your makeup (and your sunscreen) as you normally would. Now, time to do your hair toss, check your nails – because you’re lookin’ good as hell!
We hope you have a better idea now of how to use color correction in your beauty routine. But here’s something to remember: skin imperfections are part of what makes us kick-ass and unique, so you totally don’t need to do this unless you want to. If it makes you more confident to give the middle finger to under-eye circles, discoloration, and blemishes, then color correction might be just what you’ve been looking for.