Choosing the right concealer or primer to create an even skin tone and base for the rest of your makeup can be tricky. And you can't choose the right color unless you understand how color works. So we're going to take it on back to art class for a brief lesson in color theory: When two colors that are opposite one another on the color wheel are layered, they neutralize, or cancel one another out. Here's what you need to know about your skin and primers to "neutralize" any imperfections:
These carnation-hued concealers and primers are meant to add brightness and life to dull skin. This works particularly well when you've pulled an all-nighter or--let's be honest--had a little too much drink. Your skin looks dehydrated and ashen. These perk it right up with rosiness. Many eye brighteners are also a pale pink.
Yellow correctors are by far, the most versatile. Even though yellow is actually opposite purple on the color wheel, it does an excellent job at neutralizing redness. I've seen a yellow primer entirely cancel out redness on someone's skin before a drop of foundation is applied. Because my dark circles are truly purple, rather than blue, I use a yellow corrector to neutralize the darkness so I can use less product. Yellow corrector also makes an awesome under eye highlight when highlighting and contouring.
Green concealers and primers have long been used to cancel out redness. I find green helpful to cancel out redness in a blemish. Also, the primers are truly amazing on rosacea or severe redness. If you have mild-to-moderate redness, you're better off with a yellow primer.
These apricot concealers and primers combat blueness and overall darkness, whether it be post-blemish marks, dark under eye circles, veins, shadows or bruises. Most people can cancel out a great deal of under eye darkness with a salmon-toned concealer. African American skin tones will want to go for almost a pure orange.
Perhaps the least-used of all, lavender concealers and primers are used to counteract sallowness and yellow skin tones. However, I have a very yellow skin tone, and I've never wanted to cancel that out. If you are of Asian, Hispanic, or Mediterranean descent, you shouldn't feel tempted to de-yellow yourself. If your yellow tone bothers you, by all means make lilac your friend. I like lavender to cancel out the warmth in my eye area and on the lids so a shadow's true colors will come through.
These are some of my favorite concealers and primers.
Color Correcting Concealers
Color Correcting Primers
1. Benefit 'That Gal' Brightening Face Primer
2. Smashbox Photo Finish Color Correcting Primer in Blend
3. L'Oreal Studio Secrets Professional Color Correcting Primer
4. bareMinerals Prime Time Neutralizing Foundation Primer
5. Make Up For Ever HD Primer in 1
For more makeup and skin care advice from Ivy, go to Wake Up for Makeup.