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There’s no doubt that makeup is tricky. Getting your shades right can be an eternal struggle, especially if your skin is darker. And since our skin seems to be in a perpetual state of transition, you never know when you may need to add a new item to the mix like, say, a color corrector. To understand the basics of how color correction works, let’s take a quick trip back to elementary school art class: Two colors at opposite ends of the spectrum essentially neutralize each other. So, depending on the skin issue you are trying to address—dark circles, redness, post-inflammation pigmentation, etc.—you’ll need to know which color should be layered on top to cancel it out. For lighter skin tones, the fix is fairly simple. If you tend to get patches of redness—voila!—a green corrector will do the trick. But on darker skin, the need for a color corrector may not be as obvious or as easy to fix. That’s why we tapped celebrity makeup artist Yolonda Frederick to help us find the best color correctors for dark skin tones.
Blotchiness or Blemishes
Proper layering will ensure the brightest and clearest complexion once your makeup application is complete. “You want to choose a highly-pigmented warm reddish- or sienna-toned concealer first then balance it with an equally pigmented ochre [a pale brownish yellow] tone,” Frederick explains.
You can find both shades in this palette; sienna on the far right and ochre in the middle. The other three can be layered on if you need more coverage after camouflaging the discoloration.
Dark Spots and Dark Circles
For serious hyperpigmentation or under-eye shadows, a similar layering effect will help. “A warm red-toned concealer blots out dark brown and purple discoloration. Follow it up with an ochre colored concealer to tone the spot to a lighter hue that compliments your skin color,” Frederick adds. Once you’ve combed those two, use a sheer setting powder with warm peach undertones to set your concealer.” Basically baking.
The Becca Backlight Targeted Colour Corrector in Papaya is the red-tone needed to cancel out set-in imperfections. It will also work on under-eye circles, which often have a purplish tone as well.
Dullness and Deep Pores
Rich and warm brown skin tones can look dull, too. Lavender shades can help light it up. When you combine the lavender with apricot, you get an overall brightening effect, which also acts like a filter to make pores looks smaller and another layer of dark spot coverage all in one step.
Try: Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free Cushion Corrector + Primer Duo SPF 20 ($17; ulta.com)
The weightless coverage provided by this duo brightens and blurs. Plus, it's so easy to blend into all skin tones.
If you desire more coverage, you can apply your favorite foundation, slightly overlapping the concealer blend, then set with a warm, peach-toned setting powder. “For me, this technique has proved fail-proof when working with darker skin tones,” Frederick concludes.
If you prefer all of your steps in one palette, then try the Glam.Or.Ring. It comes with concealers that you can use solo or blend together depending on your skin tone. The bonus is that it’s also stashed inside of an iPhone case so that you can conceal and correct on the go.