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Pros use this makeup hack to eliminate dark circles, cover redness and more

Eight color correctors to try, from green primers to pink concealers.
Zinkevych / Getty Images / Ulta / MAC Cosmetics

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When you have a stubborn breakout or dark bags under your eyes from a night of tossing and turning, sometimes it seems like no amount of foundation or concealer can hide them. And even worse, as you pile on more product in an attempt to cover them up, it only seems to exacerbate the issue, drawing more attention to the area that you're hoping to conceal.

If that scenario sounds at all familiar, you might benefit from adding color correctors to your beauty routine. You may have seen a few of the brightly-hued products pop up on your social media pages. Staples like L'Oréal’s green BB Cream and a blue foundation tint, have recently gone viral on TikTok. And while it may seem counterintuitive to put a colorful cream on the area you want to cover up, we spoke to two makeup artists who said that they both regularly use color correctors to help with a range of issues.

Here, the experts shared with us all the details on how color correctors work and which ones you should be using.

What are color correctors?

“Color correctors are makeup or skin care [products] that you can use to correct discoloration, like sunspots or dark under-eye circles,” said celebrity makeup artist Andrew Sotomayor. “And the benefits of color correctors are that they have the opposite color of the discoloration. That means they reduce the amount of coverage that you need in terms of a concealer or a foundation.”

To understand how they work, just look at the color wheel. “Opposite colors cancel each other out,” said makeup artist Jonet Williamson. For example, because green sits on the opposite side of the wheel as red, the color can be used to tame the appearance of blemishes or red spots. Orange, on the other hand, is opposite to blue, so it can be helpful for hiding the dark blue-gray discoloration under your eyes.

What are the different types of colors correctors?

  • Green: You’ll typically find green used in color-correcting primers, Williamson said. “They're used to balance redness in the skin,” she added. “So [they're for] someone with fairer skin or a medium complexion that has a lot of redness or pinkness to the skin who wants to tone it down, so it matches the rest of their body." You can also sometimes find the color used in spot treatments, to cover redness from breakouts or other small inflamed areas.
  • Blue: A blue color corrector can be used to adjust makeup that's too warm, Williamson added. Say, you have a foundation that you bought right after your most recent beach vacation, but have since lost some of your tan, you can add a couple of drops of a blue color corrector to neutralize and tone down the orange hues in the formula so it better matches your skin.
  • Orange and red: While Sotomayor said that he uses color correctors often on clients, he added that he only uses shades of peaches, pinks and reds. "Pinks and peaches and reds are the three most useful," he said. The colors fall on the opposite side of the color wheel as blue, green and purple, so they can be helpful for covering up darker areas of discoloration. "Peach and orange are really good on the eyes," he said. "If you've got a medium to light skin tone, a peach or a pink is good under the eyes at the inner corner, where we tend to get a little bit of blue." For those with darker skin tones, deeper orange or red shades can help counteract the hyperpigmentation in the area.
  • Yellow: Unlike other color correctors, which are typically applied before foundation or concealer, Sotomayor said that yellow color correctors can come in handy after you apply your base makeup. "Yellow is really great if you've picked up a little bit too much tan or you have a bit of a sunburn, or just you have sort of uneven pigmentation," he added. "You can do your foundation, and can take a yellow color corrector afterward and apply it across your cheekbones down the bridge of the nose in the center of the face and use it like a highlighter. It'll bring out your bone structure and it'll neutralize hyperpigmentation."
  • Purple: Purple is on the opposite side of the color wheel as yellow. But because the color is made from a combination of blue and red, a purple or lavender color corrector may have similar effects, but may be easier for non-professionals to use, since it's a softer version of a red or blue, Williamson said.

With that in mind, we asked the two makeup artists to share some of their favorite color correctors. Plus, we added a couple of trending and top-rated options that you can try as well.

Best color correctors

Live Tinted Huestick Corrector

If you're looking for just one shade, Williamson likes Live Tinted's color correctors. "They have these color corrector sticks that are really easy to use, it's like a crayon that you dot on, blend it out really easily and you're set," she said. Along with its color-correcting abilities, the brand says that the Huestick can also be used to add color to your cheeks, lips and eyes.

Bobbi Brown Under Eye Corrector

The Bobbi Brown Under Eye Corrector is the same formula as the brand's concealer, but it has a pinker base, Sotomayor said, so it works to help cover dark circles. It comes in 16 peach and pink-based shades and is said to be waterproof and sweat-resistant to stand up to all-day wear.

Danessa Myricks Vision Cream Cover Wand TP02

"For deeper skin tones, I like to use the Danessa Myricks Vision Cream Wand, and a really useful color is TP02," Sotomayor said. It's a rich orange color, which he said works on even the darkest of dark circles. "You just put a tiny amount directly on the darkness — only where it's dark — blend that in with your finger or a brush, and then you can use just a neutral concealer on top of it and dark circles disappear. Even the toughest ones."

Smashbox Photo Finish Correct Anti-Redness Primer

When it comes to green color correctors, Williamson said she likes Smashbox's primer. The formula is said to neutralize redness while smoothing skin and protecting it against damage. It's made with soothing and nourishing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, algae, probiotic extract and vitamins.

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Underpainting Palette

Sotomayor said Make Up For Ever's HD Underpainting Palette in medium is one of his "favorites" because it includes peach and pink color correctors. According to the brand, the formulas combine pigments, powders and emollient oils to "provide a second skin, seamless look and feel."

MAC Studio Fix Conceal and Correct Palette

Williamson said that she uses Mac's Conceal and Correct Palette both on herself and on clients. "It's nice because they go by complexion, so it's light, medium, deep and dark," she said. Each palette has two color correctors and multiple concealer shades that can be used individually or combined to help hide any problem areas.

L.A. Girl Pro Matte Mixing Pigment

TikTok user Rose Siard went viral after she shared how she uses this blue pigment to neutralize the warm tones of an orange-heavy foundation and viewers were amazed by the hack. Reviewers agree, saying that it's great for those who struggle to find the perfect match. "I have light/fair skin, so it's hard to find exactly the right shade for me but with this, I can make my own perfect shade," one shopper wrote. "It's such a game changer, I will definitely be purchasing more in the future/recommending to others."

Nyx Professional Makeup Studio Perfect Primer

Nyx's affordable color-correcting primer has racked up more than 7,000 five-star reviews from shoppers who say that it helps reduce redness and create a smooth makeup look. "My makeup NEVER used to stay on all day," one reviewer wrote. "Now when I get home from work my face looks the same as when I left."

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