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Here's why 'clown contouring' makeup isn't as crazy as it sounds

by Deepica Mutyala / / Source: TODAY

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Color-correcting makeup (using red, green, yellow and purple shades to make skin appear flawless) is taking the Internet by storm — and for good reason! While it may seem like a method exclusively for professional makeup artists, anyone with access to a simple color wheel can try it at home. Here’s what you need to know.

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If you’re anything like me, your skin is far from perfect. I have dark circles and spots, some slight redness and even a bit of sallowness (or dullness) on a daily basis. As a makeup lover, I found myself concocting little beauty tricks to mask my imperfections. It inspired me to post a video on YouTube a little over a year ago explaining how to use red lipstick to mask dark under-eye circles. Why does it work? Because instead of simply caking on more and more concealer, red neutralizes the bluish-green of under-eye circles to create a blank canvas.

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It was my beauty hack version of color correcting and people loved it enough to make the video go viral. But recently, I’ve been seeing more and more beauty brands launch products that are intended to be used for the same purpose.

Talk about pressure! Here I am color correcting on the Fourth Hour in just four minutes.

Color correcting is far from a new technique for makeup artists. It's all about understanding which colors neutralize what to achieve an even look throughout your face. For example, a red lipstick works to neutralize the blue or green hues under your eyes while a purple works to neutralize yellowness that may make your skin appear dull and lifeless.

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Here's a handy guide to follow:

So where does the term "clown contouring" come in? Several beauty vloggers started taking a lighthearted approach to the trend by applying a ton of makeup to the point where they virtually look like Bozo the Clown. After some heavy blending action, the crazy-looking makeup transforms into a flawless look (proving that this technique is more of an art than a science ... and easier than it seems).

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So remember, don’t take it too seriously — it’s called clown contouring for a reason! Enjoy and have fun with the process.

Here are some of my favorite color-correcting products to try:

A rookie's best friend:

If you're a rookie looking for an all-in-one product, this palette from Stila is perfect.

Stila Correct & Perfect All-in-One Color-Correcting Palette, $45

My new, go-to:

My current favorite for dark circles is Becca's color corrector in Papaya. It's the exact right color for my skin tone and has sheer, buildable coverage.

Becca Targeted Color Corrector in Papaya, $30

The on-the-spot corrector:

For more targeted color-correcting concerns, I love Smashbox color-correcting sticks. The pencil-like shape makes it super easy to cover up specific areas of concern.

Smashbox Color Correcting Stick in Green and Lavender, $23 each

The all-over corrector:

These correcting primers are genius and a perfect way to even out your entire face for your specific skin concern (like rosacea or general dullness).

Make Up Forever Skin Equalizer, $37

The must-have:

There's a reason why beauty bloggers and makeup artists can't get enough of this versatile tool. To make sure your clown contour goes from silly to beautiful, blend, blend and blend some more.

Beautyblender Original, $20

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