The Science of Correctors

Last week I shared a blog around how to effectively use a corrector to cover dark circles. This week I wanted to explain why we use correctors, and how do you make sure you pick out a corrector that is suitable for you.

The idea of using correctors comes from the color theory, which basically explains the science of using color, how they can be used to darken, lighten, and create new shades. To understand how the color theory works, most scientists reference a visual aid known as the color wheel, such as the one shown below:


The theory maintains that colors that are placed opposite each other on the wheel, will cancel out each other. For example, green is directly opposite to red. This means if you have any bright red color and you want to darken it, and eventually neutralize it completely, you need to proportionately add green with the same intensity. This in fact is commonly used within makeup. For example, if you have intense cases of redness in your face, then you can use a green corrector to mask it out. You will notice, if the redness is not very intense, then you will be able to cover it just with your regular concealer or foundation. This is because your foundation or concealer has a tinge of yellow, which is also close to the green on the color wheel.

Generally, when it comes to skin correction, it is important to note, that the color that you see on your face is not a pure color. For example when you see redness in your face, this is not a pure red color, but your skin also has an undertone of either yellow or pink. Therefore, the process of choosing the right corrector for your skin becomes alot more complex, as you need to take into consideration the different undertones, and the fact that this is not a pure color that you are trying to cancel out.

To simplify things, and based on my experience with correction, as well as what I've seen other people use, I have tried to map out what color correctors work best for dark circles. I have taken into consideration why a specific color is appearing in your skin, with consideration of the under-tones of your skin. Most makeup artists, refer to either purplish or bluish under-tones when it comes to dark circles. However, I found that brownish under-tones are also very common. So, I decided to address that separately.

As reflected in the image, for:

  • Purplish dark circles, you need yellow based correctors.

  • Bluish darkc circles, require a salmon / peachy corrector

  • Brownish dark circles, require an orange / red corrector.

The intensity of the corrector you should use, increases with the the intensity of the dark circles.

Note: This is my own creation, and therefore would appreciate your feedback on this visual. If you have the opportunity to try it, please do let me know and leave your comments below on whether it worked or not.

Finally, here are a few tips to remember when it comes to using a corrector:

  1. If you can get away with just concealer, then don’t use a corrector. The more products you have on your face, the more complex it is to maintain (example, chances of creasing increases).

  2. Always try the corrector before you buy it, to make sure you have the correct shade. Try more than one shade, if you are not too sure until you are satisfied with the look.

  3. Try different brands because the texture and consistency of each one is very different, and so can look different on your skin, even if it is the same color.

  4. You have to have a concealer on top of your corrector. From my experience, I found that the texture of liquid concealers work best on top of correctors, to minimize creasing.

  5. Every person is unique in their face composition, skin texture and color. So, you have to try these techniques and different brands before you invest.

For more information on how to use the corrector, and my brand recommendations, please refer to my previous post on the Secret of Dark Circles.

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