Makeup Week: Jae's Guide to Corrective Coloring

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

We haven't had a theme week in so long and I miss it! Plus I just did a makeup buying binge and I spent like two hours playing with it all and now I feel like talking about face paint.

Specifically corrective color. No, that's not what you do when you accidentally dye your hair bright yellow in an effort to look like Gwen Stefani. Corrective color is a makeup technique which uses different colors of primer and concealor in order to camouflage super common skin problems. I first started using corrective coloring when I had my first baby and learned that I looked perpetually dead tired. Even when I wasn't, I looked like the Corpse Bride after months of that time warp that is having a new baby. Once I figured out how to use different colors to my advantage I learned to fake it like I was bright and perky and well rested.

And then we laughed and laughed...

Anyway, it's a super easy concept. A flawless face is evenly toned. In order to fake it like you have an even tone, you need to neutralize problem areas. How do you neutralize dark circles, a zit or rosacea? By covering it with the color that is opposite your problem area on the color wheel. Does that make any sense? For instance, say you have one of the awful zits that sits under the skin and never emerges and makes you feel like punching a baby seal every time you accidentally touch it. Since green is opposite red on the color wheel, a green concealor will neutralize the red before you put on your foundation to cover it completely. Brilliant!

You can use four different colors in order to correct the various flaws on your face. Green is best for red, like zits, sunburn or rosacea. I use yellow to neutralize purple and blue, which usually show up under my eyes when I've been up all night watching basketball with my husband and wishing I were dead. Pink can help neutralize gray, which is awesome if your skin looks sallow from tiredness. You can also use a blue makeup to help tone down yellow and orange tones should you apply a makeup that is too yellowy. (I've also used blue to cover one of those nasty fading yellow bruises on my leg when I was wearing a skirt. That totally makes me sound like a battered woman. I promise it was because I shut my leg into a car door. Who does that?)

When covering flaws that change the texture of the skin, I prefer a cream-based color. It helps to smooth over any bumpy areas while filling in any divots lefts by scarring or anything like that. If I want to just change the color and my texture is fine, I like a powder, like under my eyes. It's lighter.

If you want to try using corrective color, start with a bare face. Apply your color BEFORE your foundation, otherwise you will have a colorful rainbow face and that's weird. So I might apply a mixture of yellow and pink under my eyes to tame the purple and gray areas while using a bit of green around my nose where I tend to be redder. THEN I brush on my foundation (I use Bare Minerals) and I'm good to go. It totally fakes the appearance of smooth, flawless skin without caking a ton of concealer and foundation over the problems, which totally just makes them more obvious BY THE WAY.

As for products, I like something that gives me more for my money. I've liked both Physician's Formula and ELF because both offer kits with several colors that you can blend and brush to my little heart's delight.

Now that we know how to use corrective color, tomorrow we'll discuss using the technique to cover a superhonkinginormous zit. Which I really feel should not be an issue at age 27, but c'est la vie. It happens to the best of us.



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