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How to Color-Correct the Complexion

How Not to Look Washed Out and Other Color-Correcting Tips

Have you ever had a top on and thought, "Ew, this color is doing absolutely nothing for my complexion?" We've all been there. And the same principle rings true with makeup, particularly when it comes down to the old-school notion that warms must wear warms and cools must wear cools.

"I don't like to tell people they can't wear colors because I've always believed we should be able to wear whatever we please," explains celebrity makeup artist Emily Kate Warren. "That, paired with the fact that it's difficult for people to determine their undertones, may mean they are assessing themselves wrong and avoiding colors they could actually wear." But luckily there are a few ways you can still wear the colors you love, even if it takes a little bit of color correction to get there. See Warren's tips when you keep reading.

If you have a lot of red undertones:
"If you have redness or ruddiness around your nose, forehead, chin, etc., you don't necessarily have to avoid any colors," Warren advises. But she does recommend "using a green-toned primer to mute them before hitting some red tones specifically."


If you want to make that green-toned primer less obvious:
"A sheer green primer like the one from Smashbox or Make Up For Ever is great to mute redness," she explains. And then to set it, try a yellow powder, like Benefit's Bluff Dust, after you've applied your regular foundation.

If you have a lot of yellow undertones:
Try a purple-toned primer to take away some of the sallowness. "In this case, you might find that wearing bronze tones around the eyes could warm up some of the yellows a bit," adds Warren.

If you have a lot of blue undertones:
"Blue is usually someone who has very fair skin, and you can literally see some of those greenish/blue veins," she says. To counteract these tones, try an apricot primer, and avoid using purple tones on the eyes.

If you have a lot of pink in your skin:
"Pink falls in that green primer category we talked about," Warren explains. "I find that as a red-toned-skin person with an Irish/English background myself, I often can't wear pale pinks or apricots in clothing. Sometimes pale colors like that bring the red out more — or worse, wash you out."

Image Source: Thinkstock
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