5 Makeup Artists On How To Color Correct Like A Professional


Color correcting has officially gone the way of the contour. What was once a makeup technique reserved for professionals (typically on jobs that required some level of smoke and mirror) has found its way into the hands of consumers at large, thanks to beauty bloggers and the brands that covet their influence. But for all the mass appeal, color correcting still evades us at ITG—it just ends up looking like a confused matching game. Green conceals red, orange conceals purple, purple conceals dullness, yellow also conceals redness...? To explain color correcting, best to hand the topic back to the pros for a minute. While backstage at Fashion Week, our hard-hitting reporters asked the makeup artists: What do you make of color correcting? How do you do it? And, of course—which products do you love?

Cyndle Komarovski: "Yes, color correcting! It's become such a trend but makeup artists have been doing it for years. If you want to color correct, you have to make sure you're doing it in natural light. I apply a thin layer of foundation or tinted moisturizer first, then I apply the color corrector on top followed by the remainder of the foundation. It's a lot easier to blend and tends to look more natural. Typically I use salmon-y pink or peach respectively on light and dark skin for undereyes and dark marks—peachy tones especially are great for covering up tattoos or bruises. Then green is for redness around the nose and on cheeks. The key is to start with a little at a time and build up if needed."

Wendy Rowe: "I use color-correcting products a tiny bit—very subtly. I'd use things like [under]eye concealer that are a tiny bit peachy or orangey to correct blueness around the eyes, or on bruises, but so that it's undetectable. Burberry Sheer Concealer in Rosy Beige has a good peachy-orangey undertone. People might look at it and think it's too orange for their skin, but actually, if you have bags under your eyes, it's exactly what you need to use. For heavier correctors, like bruises, I'd probably use something like MAC's Correct and Conceal Palette—but I never color correct all over the face. If someone is red, for instance, I'd prefer to use a grayish-toned foundation. I always mix my color correctors with a base or concealer, so it stays looking natural."

Dick Page: "No, I don't use color correcting. It's a thing now but it's not for me...I think it's for people who have something extreme to correct—like rosacea, for example. It's not for civilians. There are simple, subtle ways of color correcting, with certain powders and lightweight products, that will brighten the skin. If you're looking dingy, a pink will brighten the skin, or if you're looking sallow, yellow will help. Orange is handy for blueness around the eyes. But it's more for photoshoots. Which is almsot redundant now, since everything is retouched. Color correcting works in the capacity of wearing a full face of makeup, but nowadays most people don't want to be wearing a full face. I would say, if you have redness, go with a foundation that's more olive in the tone of your foundation or concealer and do a little stipple."

Romy Soleimani: "Lately I've been using color corrector—not a ton, but I definitely dip into them when there's darkness or dullness. Otherwise it keeps getting muddy, so you want to brighten it up a little bit. Like, when I did Ryan Roche this season, we wanted perfect skin, so I covered where needed. If there's any darkness or sallowness, it's brightened up—that feels fresh. Maybe a little apricot under the eyes and some concealer over, to take away the sallowness, until the skin looks as perfect as possible."

Dotti: "[Color correcting] is a hard one for me, because there are so many shades in the face. If I color correct, I do it like a tint, so I'm not losing too much of the detail, but taking it down. People can make their clients look really pink or really yellow, but sometimes you have to keep it all there. There's a certain amount of color in your skin that you should have, I feel. Otherwise, Make Up For Ever's color correctors are great because you can break them down. I used to use an old Giorgio Armani one, around the time when Pat was doing Armani, because it was really sheer. I'll mix them with moisturizer. Warm bronzer under eyes, that's a good tip, too.

But makeup is not the only fix! People are told they have to color correct, but they don't. If you've got a lot of pink or red in your skin, you can use skincare products that have calendula or rose which calm the skin instead of [covering it]. If you're feeling sallow or under the weather, try a green juice to bring out the color in the skin, or cut down the red wine and the coffee. There are options. I also think there's something to be said for accepting the colors on your skin that show your character. I think that's chic."

Yves Saint Laurent's Touche Éclat Neutralizers photographed by Tom Newton.

Next up: makeup artists advise on how to best prep your skin for makeup.