The ultimate guide to colour correcting

Green. Purple. Orange. Yellow. These may not be your regular go-to makeup shades, but they should be. Thanks to their ability to neutralise problematic skin concerns, using these bright hues to disguise imperfections with the art of colour correcting is the innovative way to create a naturally even, radiant complexion.

The most effective way to colour correct is to use primers or concealers in multiple colours on different areas of the face to strategically target each discolouration issue at the same time. Follow our colour correctors guide to find out which colour counteracts which skin issue, and whether you need to call on a sheer corrector in the form of a primer, or if a thicker, more pigmented concealer should be your go-to.

Green colour correctors

Green is opposite red on the colour wheel, giving it the power to neutralise redness in the skin. The shade of green required for optimal results will depend on your skin tone - a lighter mint hue works best on fairer and cool-toned skin, while a darker green is ideal for darker, warm-toned complexions. Apply a green-based primer to the entire face to target all-over redness, or use a green colour correcting concealer to target specific areas prone to red undertones, like around the nose and lips, the top of the cheeks, and in between the brows. Don’t go overboard with the concealer though - a light, well-blended application will provide the best (and most natural) results.

Purple colour correctors

Varying shades of purple - lilac, lavender, violet - quickly counteract signs of skin fatigue by brightening dark, sallow skin and yellow undertones. From unsightly under-eye circles to areas of dull, uneven skin, purple colour correctors will instantly target lacklustre skin and re-energise it, imparting a healthy, radiant glow. Use a primer in this hue to soften discolourations and create an all-over glow, or a purple concealer to provide thicker, more pigmented coverage for more concentrated sallow tones. Like green colour correctors, lighter shades of purple are most effective on lighter skin tones, and dark purple hues give exceptional results on darker skin tones.

Orange colour correctors

It’s rare to find a complexion that isn’t troubled by some form of age spot, dark circles or patches of pigmentation, making orange the most commonly used shade of colour corrector. With tones ranging from light peach to dark orange, this citrus hue will instantly counteract dark spots, circles or scars to create a luminous, youthful-looking complexion. An orange primer won’t reverse sun damage on the skin, but it will camouflage it for an enviably even complexion, while an orange concealer brightens dark circles for a fresh, well-rested look. Again, the darker the skin tone, the darker the colour-correcting shade of orange you’ll need.

Yellow colour correctors

If your eyes are making you look as tired as you feel, a yellow colour corrector will fake the look of eight hours of much needed sleep. Yellow neutralises dark circles and bluey-purple blood vessels on the skin, instantly creating a radiant, healthy glow. It also adds warmth to the skin for a faux glow minus the cell-damaging sun tan. Fairer skin tones don’t necessarily need to opt for a light hue when it comes to yellow concealers - a mid-toned shade will hide blue tones on most skin colours. However, a yellow-based primer will help disguise veins on all areas of the face on fair skin best because of this skin colour’s more translucent appearance.