As I’ve gotten older, more and more skin issues have popped up. From under-eye circles to redness from rosacea and hyperpigmentation from my melasma, there are a lot of problems that I would love to just disappear. Piling on concealer can cover up some of the issues, but the results aren’t flawless … and too much concealer just puts more emphasis on pores and any other skin imperfections.
The answer to all of these woes is color correction! By choosing the correct color corrector, you can minimize dark under-eye circles, erase a blood vessel, or make a dark spot disappear. But there’s an art to picking your color corrector and they aren’t universal.
Color Correction 101
A good color corrector can hide a multitude of sins! From an irritated blemish to a dark under-eye circle, a little color corrector can save you a lot of time with a concealer!
What Are You Correcting?
What color are those circles? Are they purple? Orange? It really depends on your skin tone. Mine are frequently red, though on occasion they will appear a bit purple (which is what color the circles are for most white women). As well, how vibrant is the color? Is it just a hint of color or is the discoloration vibrant?
The Color Wheel
To start color correcting, you need to look at a color wheel. To cancel out a color, you’ll need the color directly opposite on the color wheel. A red discoloration needs green, blue discoloration needs peach/orange and sallow skin (think green/yellow) needs purple.
Note that there are color correctors on the market that are not directly opposite on the color wheel. They still work to some extent, and the color may be a bit easier to work with (as is the case with Clinique’s ‘Superprimer’ Face Primer ($27), the red corrector is yellow). I would deviate from the opposite color only in cases of a light discoloration. For an intense red, you’ll still need a green corrector.
For a darker skin tone or more intense color needing correction, you will require a more vividly colored corrector. Correctors shouldn’t scare you — the majority of those available are actually skin toned but with a little tinting in one direction. And that little bit of tinting really does make a big difference!
Whether the area you want to correct is under your eyes, on your cheek, or all over your face, there’s an appropriate product available. You can find color correctors in face primers, eye primers, creamy versions and even thicker sticks. I’ve had the best luck with the potted versions, but I go for an all over face primer on days that my rosacea is acting up.
How I Correct
I mostly use color correction in my undereye area. I start applying the corrector first, and I use green because my circles are red. If you have blue or purple tinted circles, you’ll want peach instead. I use FaceStockholm Corrective Concealer, $26, in Neutralizer Red. I gently pat a very thin layer on using the pad of a finger. The thinner the better … you can always add more. You should apply this only in the area of discoloration — if you go outside of this area then you’ll be tinting the other areas.
I then apply light layers of concealer in the area of the light tan, patting with my ring finger and making sure not to smear or tug as this will just remove product. Notice that I bring the concealer up into my inner eye area, up to my lower lash line and even down onto the side of my nose. This is that triangle shape that everyone talks about so often. The concealer is mostly concentrated in the green area, but is also applied to those other areas and then blended out. Finally, set the whole area with powder for staying power!
When the areas of discoloration are more widespread, it’s better to opt for a different formulation. I’m currently in love with the Pixi primer for days that my rosacea is a bit more inflamed. The green blends in so well you can’t see it, but it will still correct the red.
Other options include powders and even foundations! I would use the foundation with caution (have you ever seen Edward Scissorhands?), but a very light and targeted dusting of powder would work very well and be hard to detect.