Looking to disguise redness, dullness, dark spots or dark circles? We’ve got you covered
Whether you consider yourself a pro or are a total novice, there’s always something new to learn when it comes to colour correcting. A secret weapon for helping disguise everything from dark circles to dullness, a rainbow of surprising tones can instantly help when it comes to blending your way to a more rested and radiant complexion. But do you know your green from your orange?
Luckily, we’ve spoken to Emma Kirk, make-up artist for NYX Professional Makeup and asked her all our burning beauty questions. Read on for her insider knowledge for mastering the technique.
What is colour correcting?
"Colour correcting is a method of using complimentary colours to combat any discolouration such as redness, bruising, dullness, dark spots and dark circles," explains Emma. "If you were to envision a colour wheel – you’ve probably seen one in school – the colour opposite the one you’re looking at on your skin would help to colour correct."
What colour correctors are best for each skin type?
There’s something for everyone. "For dry skin, I’d recommend a cream palette as this melts in and doesn’t dry down until it’s been set with powder," says Emma. "For those with more combination and/or oily skin, try a liquid concealer corrector as these tend to have a more matte feel to them and will wear well."
Looking for wider instead of targeted coverage? "I’d recommend colour-correcting primers to someone with more areas they'd like to correct," says Emma. "They’re more lightweight and won't make you feel caked with make-up."
Which colours correct what?
Whether you’re wondering how to colour correct dark circles or how to use a colour-correcting palette, here’s your go-to key for finding the right corrective shade.
Green is calming for both senses and skin – a great pick if you’re reaction-prone. "As green is opposite red on the colour wheel, it helps to cancel out redness," says Emma. "I use green concealer mostly on spots and acne scarring – it can also be used in the form of a primer if you have rosacea."
Think orange, think brightening. "Orange is great for dark spots, dark under-eyes as well as hyperpigmentation," says Emma.
Purple is the ultimate neutraliser for evening out warmer-toned spots. "It’s great for helping with sallow skin," says Emma. "It helps to brighten and lift the face. Apply to any areas of the skin that have a yellow tint to them."
"Across from purple on the colour wheel, yellow helps to camouflage dark circles and also helps combat dark spots," says Emma. "Apply to areas you may find purple tones such as in the corner of the eyes or on any spots or bruises."
If your dark circles are blue-tinged, go pink. "As it’s opposite green and blue on the colour wheel, pink’s very good at neutralising and brightening," says Emma.
"Blue helps to colour correct orange tones in the skin and can help combat hyperpigmentation in fairer skin tones and any orange-toned dark spots," says Emma.
What colour correcting shades are best for each skin tone?
Fair skin tones – pink, blue, yellow, purple and green
Medium skin tones – orange, yellow, purple, pink and green
Dark skin tones – orange, green, purple and yellow
At what point in our make-up routine do you apply a colour corrector?
Sandwich it between your prep and base. "Apply your liquid and cream colour correctors after your primers and skincare but before your foundation and concealer," Emma recommends. "This helps to target the area you’re looking to correct and avoids you putting it in the wrong area or putting too much on."
What’s the biggest colour-correcting mistake you can make?
"The biggest mistake you can make is applying too much of your colour corrector before your foundation and concealer," cautions Emma. "You risk the colour corrector mixing in with your foundation/concealer and changing the tone of your other products."
What’s the ultimate way to master colour correcting?
The secret’s in what you do afterwards. "When applying your other base products on top of your colour corrector, I’d always recommend patting the products over with your brush or sponge rather than swiping them on as this can disturb and move the colour corrector underneath and counteract the effect you were trying to achieve," says Emma.
Our pick of six of the best colour correcting products at Boots
The best colour correcting palette
Try: NYX Professional Makeup Colour Correcting Palette, £12
• Size: 9g
Boasting a whopping six shades, this concealer palette is one of our beauty must-haves. The colour correctors are totally customisable, meaning you can mix and match to create your ideal shade. Whether you’re counteracting redness or eye circles, this full coverage wonder is sure to go above and beyond your desired results.
Best colour correcting treatment
Try: Dr.Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Colour Correcting Treatment, £37
• Size: 50ml
A TikTok fave, this innovative green-to-beige cream adapts to skin’s natural colour to neutralise redness – it’s pretty genius. It earns bonus points as it’s bursting with a skin-boosting blend of herbs and minerals to help soothe, calm, and moisturise. It’s our go-to for no make-up days.
The best colour correcting primer
Try: Revolution Colour Correct Primer, £6.99
• Size: 28ml
We’re prepping and perfecting thanks to the Revolution Colour Correct Primer, which is ideal if you suffer with redness, breakouts or broken blood vessels. The green liquid formula may look intimidating, but it’s anything but. Just a pea-sized amount is enough to balance and neutralise any red tones, creating the perfect base for make-up. We’re hooked.
The best colour correcting CC cream
Try: Erborian CC Red Correct Cream SPF25 Anti-Redness Colour Corrector, £39.50
• Size: 45ml
Korean skincare is known for its high-tech, multi-use formulas that beauty editors obsess over. Enter Erborian, a brand whose formulas do just that. This illuminating cream contains ultra-fine pigments to minimise redness and improve the appearance of texture and tone – simply apply a small amount and blend using the warmth of your fingertip, you’ll be left looking beautifully radiant.
The best brightening colour corrector
Try: Stila One Step Correct Colour Corrector, £26
• Size: 62g
This eye-catching beauty buy is the ultimate one-step shade. Its innovative, triple-swirled helix serum (quite the mouthful) instantly primes, colour-corrects, brightens and nourishes skin for a flawless face with minimal fuss. Consider us sold.
The best colour correcting concealer
Try: Sleek MakeUP Lifeproof Colour Corrector, £6.99
• Size: 7.4ml
In need of precision colour coverage that evens out skin tone in seconds? Look no further. This colour-correcting concealer is available in five specially developed colour-neutralising shades to offer something for every skin tone.