Using Color Theory for Corrective Makeup

 In How to, Products

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Lavender primer? GREEN concealer?!?

The array of weird colors on the market is understandably baffling to most consumers, but as a pro makeup artist, I use the principles of color theory every time I apply makeup, and you can too – especially if you have a stubborn blemish that just doesn’t look good with a thick pile of concealer on top. When it comes to covering the tough stuff, color correctors work wonders – and you can get away with using less foundation as a result.

color wheels are useful for makeup selection

Here’s how they work:

Discoloration on the face has an undertone to it – for example, undereye circles are often blue, grey or violet; pimples are pink; hyperpigmentation is brown. You can cancel out the unwanted pigmentation by using a concealer in a complementary color – i.e., the color opposite on the color wheel – and then blend your natural skin color (foundation) on top as needed with a little powder to set. You end up needing less coverage because the colors are doing the work for you!

This method is preferable to using only a “nude” concealer because most aren’t opaque enough to do the job themselves: a light shade over a dark shade will create an unattractive a greyish cast. Neutralizing the discoloration with a soft wash of a complementary color saves you from having to use a thick, heavy concealer that’s just going to appear ashy and grey.

Here are the corrective formulas:

1. For blue-toned undereye circles, try a peach concealer to warm up the skin and brighten the eyes.

2. Grey tones in the skin can be adjusted with pink.

3. For rosacea and acne blemishes, use a yellow or green (be sure to use green very sparingly and sheerly, as it can drain all the pink from your skin, making you look a bit grey).

4. For sun damage and hyperpigmentation, use orange to neutralize the brown – the darker the skin, the deeper your concealer should be. Orange is the most magical concealer color when serious coverage is needed – I can even use a wash of orange to soften a multicolored tattoo that needs to be concealed.

5. Enliven sallow skin with a sheer wash of lavender.

6. Add a drop of blue to cool down a foundation that is too warm for your skin, or to tone down an overly orange spray tan! Go sparingly: like green, blue tends to OVER adjust.

Liz’s product picks: Temptu S/B Neutralizer Wheel & S/B Adjuster Set, Graftobian HD Glamour Crème Corrector palette, Make Up For Ever Camouflage Cream & HD Microperfecting Primer



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