Makeup 101: How different colours neutralise blemishes and emphasise contours

The basis of colour correction is using different colours to cancel out blemishes, thus giving you an even-appearing base. The types and levels of colours give out varying tones, which works to neutralise blemishes and emphasise natural contours.

If you’re new to makeup this probably sounds like an overly confusing concept – but, in practice, it is surprisingly easy. This article will go through what different colours do for your skin, and how they achieve the desired results.

Which colour does what?

Essentially, the colour corrector you need depends on the tones you are looking to correct. In essence, it will be on the opposite side of the colour wheel. The most common colour correctors are:


If you naturally have very red skin, green colour correctors will be perfect for you as it cancels out redness. You could use a green primer for your entire face if you suffer with generalised redness, or you could apply it using a small brush to specific areas before you go in with foundation.


You might have noticed that dark circles tend to have a blue undertone. Orange is the best colour for cancelling out the blue and providing an even base for concealer and foundation.


For those of you who suffer with prominent veins, ultra-blue inner corners or perhaps if you have a greenish bruise, you’ll want to take some yellow to help create a more neutral base.


If you’re more prone to sallow, yellow skin then purple primers will work to brighten your skin and even out your overall complexion.

How to use colour correctors to emphasise contours

Being able to enhance your best features is easier than ever when using different colours to contour. The benefit of contouring is that you emphasise your natural features. For example, dark shades are used to create small shadows, which emphasise the natural bone structure that you have. Often, people use contouring to make their cheekbones or jawline appear more prominent, or to make their noses and foreheads seem smaller and smoother.

Dark circle tips

Use an orange shade and blend it under the eyes, all the way from the inner corner to the outer edge under the eyes. Next, take some concealer over the top of the colour corrector, paying particular attention to the dark shadow underneath. For best results, pick a concealer that is slightly lighter than your regular skin tone and blend well below the contour to give the illusion of vanished dark circles.

Facelift trick

Gently apply a darker shade of contour just beneath the hollows of the cheeks, making sure to blend well for a natural result.

Next, take some of the same shade and, starting near your ear, blend all the way along your jawline on both sides.

Finally, take the smallest angled brush you have and start right at the very top of your nose – the corner of your eyebrows is the best place to begin. Sculpt down your nose and then take a lighter shade along the bridge of your nose. Finish off by blending away the harsh lines and there you have it – an instant facelift.

Now you know what different colours do for your skin and how they can achieve your desired results, have a try for yourself!


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