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Color Theory: Correcting & Concealing

Concealers and correctors are used to camouflage or conceal an unwanted area. When it comes to successfully correcting and concealing, it’s crucial to have an understanding of basic color theory.

Color Correcting Concealer Corrector Makeup Blog


Primary Colors

There are three primary colors on the color wheel: blue, yellow and red.

Primary colors are the root of every other color—they are standalone colors that haven’t come from mixing other colors together.

Secondary Colors

Next on the color wheel are three secondary colors: orange, purple and green.

Think of secondary colors as the “children” of the primary colors—these colors come from mixing two of the primary colors together.

Artist Color Wheel Correcting Concealer Corrector Makeup Blog Primary Secondary Tertiary

Tertiary Colors

Next are the six tertiary colors: red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-purple and red-purple. These colors come from mixing a primary color with a secondary color.

You may be asking yourself,

"How does this information relate to concealer and corrector?"

Well, the primary purpose of a corrector/concealer is to correct negative color problems. Consequently, certain colors will neutralize or cancel out other colors. A few examples of this world be.....

Color Correcting Concealer Corrector Makeup Blog Primary Secondary Tertiary Purple Green Orange Yellow
  • Purple cancels yellow, thereby concealing/camouflaging yellow

  • Green cancels red, thereby concealing/camouflaging red

  • Orange cancels blue, thereby concealing/camouflaging blue

  • Yellow cancels purple, thereby concealing/camouflaging purple

Examples of Negative Color Problems on The Face

  • Blemishes are usually a shade of red. Therefore, a corrector with green in it will work to cancel out the red.

  • Dark circles under the eyes may be a shade of blue or purple, or perhaps a blue-purple. Therefore, a corrector with orange in it will help to cancel out the blue (or a combination of orange and yellow will cancel out blue-purple).


Model Applying Concealer Corrector Under Eyes Makeup Blog

When it comes to choosing a concealer, it’s essential to consider the shade of your skin. Your concealer should match the shade of your skin, not the shade of the discoloration.

If you’re correcting dark blue or purple colors under the eye, be sure to match the surrounding skin color, not the darkness of the discoloration. If you match the darkness of the discoloration, then there’ll be a dark circle of concealer under the eyes, instead of the dark blue or purple.

Similarly, when correcting acne discoloration or blemishes, be sure to match the shade of your skin, not the discoloration.

Two factors that are key to successfully correcting & concealing ares are the color(s) of the problem area and the shade of the skintone.

Concealers tend to have a higher concentration of pigment and/or waxes to increase coverage.

Although concealer is typically applied after foundation, depending on the degree or depth of the problem to be corrected, you may apply concealer before foundation. Foundation will often take care of a majority of the unevenness and/or discoloration of the skin, so only use concealer when necessary—be sure to use a small amount of product and build-up as necessary.



After you apply your foundation, analyze your face for any negative color problems.

Check under the eyes and the inside corners of the eyes, then look for any blemishes on the face or neck.

Referring to the color theory section above, choose a corrector that will counter-balance the negative color problem and choose a concealer that will match the skintone.

Using a small concealer brush or sponge, and a light tapping motion, apply the corrector/concealer, as needed. Using this light tapping motion will prevent you from lifting-up any foundation that you may have previously applied.

Foundation, Concealer & Sponge Makeup Stock Photo

Using the brush or sponge that you used to apply your foundation, gently tap or roll over the area where you applied the corrector and/or concealer—this will blend the corrector/concealer into the foundation.



  • Using a patting or tapping motion will build-up more product.

  • When it comes to corrector/concealer, less is more—especially by the under-eye area. In order to avoid possible creasing, only add more product when necessary.

  • If creasing occurs, gently pat the product in with your ring finger, or a brush/sponge, until the creases are eliminated. Set with powder immediately after.


Not sure which color corrector(s) to purchase?

Here are my top favorites!


Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Corrector






Giorgio Armani Master Corrector






MAKE UP FOR EVER Ultra HD Underpainting Color Correcting Palette






Viseart Corrector, Contour, Camouflage HD Palette





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