As a former art student, I’d like to take you on a little bit of a color theory jaunt—think back to your elementary school days and art class color wheels. This wheel is the foundation of basic color theory, and holds the key to understanding the concepts behind color-correcting in makeup application. The basic principle—any color can be neutralized by its compliment on the color wheel (it’s direct opposite).
With that in mind, reconsider every bottle and tube of foundation you’ve spent your hard earned money on, only to realize too little too late that it’s not a great color match… enter the color correcting primer/concealer.
I’ll use my own case as an example. I have very pale, cool toned skin. I can’t tell you how many foundations I’ve bought that ended up looking too dark, too yellow and/or too orange once they’ve set and oxidized on my skin. I’ve been frustrated by this dilemma as long as I’ve used foundation. But, I’ve found that if I mix some lavender color correcting primer into my base makeup, I can customize an imperfect match to my needs. Since purple is the color compliment to yellow, this will neutralize the yellow undertone of the foundation, and the pastel pigment of the primer helps to brighten the shade to better match my skin tone.
Conversely, if your foundation is too cool for your skin tone, try adding a salmon or yellow colored primer/concealer into the mix. This will neutralize the blue/lavender undertone in the foundation and help you achieve a better match. My personal favorite color corrector is this mineral base from Innisfree—it comes in three shades (a lavender, a pink and a green) and I find it to be usefully opaque and pigment dense, plus it has the added benefit of an SPF.
If you are not looking to lighten the shade of the foundation, look for something with less of a pastel/opaque color. This will allow you to customize the color tone while keeping the color depth the same. (Lancôme and Algenist do some color correctors that are worth checking out.)
It also stands to reason that this same principle could be applied to powder foundations etc., if using a powder-based color corrector as well. I haven’t tried this yet, so if you give it a go, let us know!
Is color correcting your foundation something that you do as well? Share your experience in the comments!