How To Use Color Correcting Concealer Like You Actually Know What You're Doing

June was LGBTQIA+ Pride Month and Acne Awareness Month, which meant you were probably trying to use rainbow face stickers to conveniently cover up your blemishes. Instead of using stickers and gems to make literal art on your face, you can now use the full range of the color spectrum in your makeup collection to conceal your acne, dark circles and student loans. Well, you can’t hide your student loans (or hide from them for that matter), but your color correcting concealers skills can help you momentarily forget they exist.

Don’t worry. If you’ve been aimlessly following those Insta beauty tutorials on using color correcting products and finding that it just isn’t working for your specific face—because not everyone looks like a flawless Insta model before they start their makeup routine—then we can help walk you through the world of color correcting.

Green color correcting concealer

The only explanation for why Shrek was somehow a pore-less, pimple-free prince in his titular film—despite living in a humid AF swamp that is basically synonymous with frizzy hair and blemished skin—is the fact that his green complexion concealed his acne.

Seeing as opposite colors basically counteract their complementary hues, you don’t have to be an ogre to hid your pimples. Because pimples are typically red from their simultaneous inflammation, green works to cover up that redness and makes your acne virtually undetectable.

And color correcting's not just for acne—if you have redness from rosacea or a birthmark and you want to cover it up, you can also use your amateur artistry skills to cover that redness with a green color correcting concealer.

Yellow color correcting concealer

Yellow and purple are opposite of each other on the color wheel, which means you can use yellow color correcting concealer on top of those old acne and hyperpigmentation marks that have been haunting your face since April.

Because your older pimples are less likely to be engorged with puss and sebum, they’re going to be less red, seeing as the skin around the pimple becomes less swollen and angry as it heals. Since your scarlet skin sores become less scarlet as they heal, a green color concealer might be too noticeable underneath your foundation and other face products.

Cosmopolitan notes that yellow color correcting concealers can also work to cover up any darker shadows, particularly dark under eye circles, on olive and medium skin tones.

Lavender color correcting concealer

It’s only natural that lavender would then work to counterbalance yellow tones. If you have yellow undertones, lavender color correcting products can help your skin look more vibrant, refreshed and naturally awake (even if you haven’t slept because you were preoccupied with a late-night, optional but totally necessary, Netflix bender).

If you have chronic or hereditary dark circles (thanks, Mom), they can make your eyes look older than they actually are, but lavender color correcting concealers can combat this sallowness.

Orange (and variant shades) color correcting concealers

If you have a medium skin tone, you might want a citrus-y namesake to pulp those dark circles. Although orange color correcting concealers are designed to hide dark circles, pink and light peach can have the same effect on lighter skin tones.

If you aren’t sure if you should use a pink vs. a light peach color corrector to conceal your perpetual sleeplessness, check your undertones. If you have light skin and cool undertones, a pink corrector might be best. If you have light skin and warm undertones, then a light peach color corrector would complement your skin.

Whereas, if you have light skin and neutral undertones, then you might gravitate toward the aforementioned yellow color correcting concealer, or you can mix a concoction of pink and light peach color correctors. After all, you can be an innovative, self-proclaimed makeup artist.

If you have a darker skin tone, a dark peach, dark orange or a red will suit your skin tone. Still, the rules of using the perf shade of orange-y color corrector still boils down to what your undertones are.

Though orange-toned color correctors are amazing for dark under-eye circles, you can also use these color correcting concealers to cover your five o’clock shadow. If you have some stray hairs on your lip line, a naturally growing beard or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), orange color correctors can help cover any stray hairs and residual five o’clock shadow.

While you might be tempted to slather the area under your eyes with orange color correcting concealers (or similar hues), you only need to use this dark-circle-exiling formula sparingly. If you apply too much of the orange (or any shade of color correcting concealer), it can be counterproductive and actually further emphasize whatever blemish, tattoo or vein you were trying to conceal. According to Ulta, it’s better to use less product when it comes to color correcting concealers.

Conversely, having an excessive amount of color correcting concealer on your face could make the fullest of full-coverage foundation null—because the color from these corrective products can show through your foundations or actually mix with your foundation to make your face look like a muddied rainbow. Granted, that could be the next look.

Although color correcting products are concealers, avoid applying any of these products in a triangle under your eyes, like you would with your preferred flesh-toned concealers. Nevertheless, different brands have a variety of different shades of each of these main color correcting concealers.

Ready to shop for color correcting concealers? While brands like NYX and LA Cosmetics sell traditional highly-pigmented color correcting concealers, Becca Cosmetics takes a different approach to color correcting concealer options and offers a redder concealer as well as a violet concealer.