Monday, October 11, 2010

Color Correctors - this ain't your grandma's concealer.

Some women are blessed with big, bright, circle-free eyes.

At the other end of the spectrum is me. I could sleep for 15 hours straight and still wake up with bluish/purple half-moons under my eyes. I also have two small blue veins that you can see through the skin right under my left eye. They've honestly never bothered me, but they clearly bother other people. I can't tell you how many times I've had someone lick their thumb and try to rub them off my face. Gross, right? Needless to say, I invest in a good concealer.
Whether you've inherited under-eye circles from a dear relative, or you’ve just had a few late nights combined with too many early mornings, you probably understand the value of a good concealer as well. Know what else is standing in the “willing and able” line? The understated COLOR CORRECTOR. I don’t know why people don’t teach us more about color correctors. They really are a great secret.

 Let me explain.

When I started classes at Nashvegas Beauty U, I started dissecting the color wheel. There is SO much that you can learn from the wheel, so let’s stick to ONE concept for now.

Here’s a picture of a simple color wheel.
The basic color wheel.
The first thing you can learn from the color wheel is this - - when you mix two colors that sit across from each other on the color wheel, you’ll get a NEUTRALIZING effect. What does this mean for makeup? Well, if you have purplish dark shades on your face (under eye circles), the colors yellow/orange will help neutralize them (purple and yellow are opposite on the color wheel). If you have red shades on your face (blemishes, rosacea, redness due to hormonal changes), then green will help neutralize them (red and green are opposite on the color wheel). Get it?

Now, here’s where color correctors come in.
A color corrector with apricot, lavender, green, and orange.
The primary purpose of a color corrector is to neutralize unwanted colors on the face. Why is this better than just using a concealer alone? Well, when you use a concealer, you just have to pile on enough until things are covered… and sometimes it ends up not looking the way you intended (like cakey or a strange gray color). With correctors, you pick the counteracting color and put it on first - - then it actually diffuses and neutralizes the unwanted color. It’s kind of like those old air freshener commercials. You can spray a ton of the flowery smelling air freshener and end up with a floral/fishy stink, or you can use the spray that neutralizes the scent. Make sense?

The most commonly used color correctors are yellow (apricot), lavender, and green (although there are other colors as well). I know - - it sounds intimidating, but hang with me. Don’t freak out when you see them in the container.  You’ll blend them into the skin, and then apply a little concealer on top.  Here’s a summary of key colors:
  • Yellow (called apricot) neutralizes bluish/purplish tones
  • Green neutralizes red/pink tones (blemishes, rosacea)
  • Lavender neutralizes and brightens yellow tones (also good for sun damage spots)  
Finding the right color corrector for yourself can be a bit of a science project, but when you do…. WOW. The best way to find the corrector you need is to start with the science behind the color wheel. What color do you want to cover? Red tones? Bluish tones? Look at the color wheel and decide what color will counteract it. Now you just need a few minutes at the makeup counter. The right combo of corrector and concealer is different from person to person.

If you still feel a little unsure about using a corrector, start by figuring out the undertone in your concealer. Is it yellow? pink? You'd be so surprised at the difference the undertone can make. If it's a pink undertone, and you're trying to cover blue/purple circles, consider moving to a yellow undertoned concealer.

Here's to ending the "I need a siesta" look!
Good luck!

Gettin’ Beauty Schooled,



  1. I LOVE using green to cover red (use that trick all the time when applying stage make-up). Why didn't I think of applying the same principle to getting better coverage for my dark circles?! Thanks, Rita...although I'm pretty sure my grandma doesn't even know what concealer is!!

  2. recently discovered your blog... love it!

    i have really dark circles too and broken capillaries on my cheeks to boot :( been using MUFE's camouflage cream palette - it's okay but i'm wondering if there's something more blendable out there.

  3. Voodoo - the creams are always a little more challenging to blend. Have you tried a Bobbi Brown concealer? They are such little miracles in a jar. They blend beautifully.... def my favorite.

    I've also taken to Cinema Secrets lately...
    Thanks for reading!