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Cover-Up Makeup: Ultimate Guide to Skin Color Correction

Cover-Up Makeup: Ultimate Guide to Skin Color Correction

While it’s all too easy to merely think of makeup as something fun and experimental, we often forget about some of the more practical purposes of cosmetics. Even the most basic products can make the biggest differences in our complexions. 

Used for so much more than simply covering dark under-eye circles or the occasional angry, red acne flare-up, a good concealer with the right undertones and consistency can actually be used as a color-correcting tool. Read on to learn more about this often overlooked and highly underrated makeup technique, and uncover a few of our trusted tips and tricks.

What Exactly Is Color Correction?

Color correction is exactly what it sounds like — correcting the appearance of colors you may not want to appear on your face. If you’re wondering what colors should be used for what purpose, the best thing to do is to look at a color wheel, identify the shade of your problem, then use the pigment on the opposite side of the wheel. 

  • Red patches can benefit from a neutralizing layer of green pigment before being covered with regular foundation and/or concealer. 
  • Lavender or pink concealer helps bring life to a sallow complexion. 
  • Dark spots or under-eye circles need a dose of warmer concealer. Lighter skin tones should opt for a yellow shade, while deeper skin tones should reach for concealers with a more orange tint. 

Having a full collection of these exact shades isn’t a totally essential step in your makeup routine and may not need to be a part of your daily life. However, color correction is a great tool to keep in your arsenal for special occasions, days where you may be taking photographs, and other times where you just want to go the extra mile.

Generally speaking, after doing your skincare routine and applying primer, you will apply color-correcting concealer onto any problem areas, blend them out so that they are properly absorbed into the skin (don’t expect them to completely disappear), and then seal the deal with a layer of foundation, tinted moisturizer, and/or concealer. From there, you would proceed onward with the rest of your makeup routine as normal.

Why Would You Use the Color Correction Technique?

Sometimes, you have occasions in life where you just might need a little more coverage than normal. For example, a job interview is a time when you would definitely want to cover up any “love bites” on your neck from the night before. 

Accidents at the gym resulting in bruising, chronically red skin, and unusually dark under-eye bags will also require a little extra coverage than normal. These are times when a light layer of concealer simply won’t do and a little more technique will be needed.

These Exact Colors Are Not Always Needed

You can still achieve a similar color-correcting effect using an array of regularly colored concealers, opting for different tints or undertones. With 19 different shades available, we’ve got a Cream Concealer for every issue you may encounter, if you want to dabble in color correcting without purchase a super vibrant product.

  • Caramel-toned concealers will help to combat ashy appearances on medium or deeper skin tones
  • Cool-toned peachy pink concealers can also help fight sallow skin in lieu of lavender
  • Very warm concealer is another alternative for the orange shade used to counter blue under-eye circles
  • If your under-eye circles are more purple than they are blue, reach for a golden, yellow-toned shade.

If You Do Want the Full Coverage Effect but Are in a Pinch

Along with our 19 shades of cream concealer, a few of our other products can be used to emulate colored options. If you want a true pink, orange, or red shade for extreme situations when you might be in a pinch, try applying a light layer of Lip and Cheek to the problem area before sealing it with concealer and powder. 

If you have a clean mixing surface, you could also try mixing a little bit of your regular concealer with a few flakes of matte eyeshadow to create your own color corrector. 

While we are all for creativity, we’d like to really stress that you should only use cosmetics and products meant specifically for your face if you are going down the DIY trail. Lots of TikTok tutorials suggest mixing items like food coloring together — this is one time to definitely not follow the advice seen on the internet.

The Same Color vs. a Lighter Color

If you are planning on using our Cream Concealer as an all-over foundational base to even things out a bit, use our shade finder tool and stick with your true skin tone. If you plan on using this as a spot treatment for blemishes or dark under-eye circles, go a shade or two lighter, making sure you choose an option with your skin's correct undertone. 

What’s Your Undertone?

Speaking of undertones, what exactly does that mean? Your undertone refers to what sort of tint your skin has, in addition to it being light, deep, tan, or otherwise. Looking at the veins on your hands and wrists is an easy way to figure out what undertone you are. 

If they are clearly green, you should look for shades of concealer with an olive undertone. Green veins that may be on the verge of teal belong to the warm and golden undertone category. On the contrary, purple and indigo veins reflect a cool skin tone. If your veins are a very neutral blue, appearing neither green nor purple, look for shades with neutral tones. 

Even if you choose a foundation or concealer in the correct shade family, the wrong undertone can really throw off your whole look. Choosing the wrong undertone can make you look orange, pale, ashy, gray, and overdone.

Packing It On …

If you’re battling a really tough breakout or just haven’t been getting enough sleep lately, color correction can really be a lifesaver. Start by applying a light (and we mean light) layer of your color correcting product to your problem area.

If you’re dealing with dark circles, focus on the inside edge, where the color tends to be darkest. If you’re trying to cover stubborn zits, use green pigment and avoid blending it outside of the spot as much as possible.

Then, taking a clean ring finger, swirl it around the tray of our Cream Concealer to warm the pigment up, and then dab it onto the problem area. 

Blend it out and let it sit on your skin for a minute or two to really let it soak in. 

… And Sealing It In

Whether you want to pack on a little extra concealer on or are just going in for a regular application, remember how important it is to seal all cream or liquid products with a layer of powder. All it takes is a few minutes of unexpected humidity, a rain storm, or a few fleeting moments spent out in the hot sunlight for your concealer to disintegrate, fall apart, and drip off your face. 

A simple layer of pressed powder will protect your concealer from the elements and lengthen its staying power. After your concealer has settled for a bit, seal it in by patting on a layer of our Shine Control Pressed Powder to create a super tough top layer to really keep imperfections covered. Pressing powder on with a Mini Applicator as opposed to swirling it on will help even more.

This doesn’t mean you need to pile on super thick layers of heavy powder. Our Shine Control Pressed Powder is super fine, invisible on all skin tones, and even offers a layer of protection from harmful blue light rays, a type of ray emitted from the screens of our electronic devices. Best of all, every purchase comes with a complementary Stack Brush BFF, making on-the-go touch-ups a breeze.

Cover Up and Go

With a little know-how, the right techniques, and great products on your side, even the reddest of patches, darkest of under-eye circles, and the most sallow skin can appear rejuvenated and come back to life, not to mention that it can flawlessly blend in with the rest of your complexion. 

Armed with this new knowledge, in conjunction with our Cream Concealer, you can have the perfectly even skin of your dreams in mere minutes.



What Is Color-Correcting Makeup—and Does It Actually Work? | Women's Health

How to Get Rid of a Hickey | Cleveland Clinic

How To Determine Your Skin Tone | Empire Beauty School

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