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If you notice a few spots of discoloration after applying a full face of makeup, one of the best color correctors will do just the trick to offset the look of them. Maybe the bags under your eyes are betraying a full night’s rest or you’re experiencing a bout of hyperpigmentation, but whatever the reason, achieving your desired complexion goals is within reach. Addressing these variations in your complexion can’t always be solved with concealer or foundation, but that’s where a great color corrector — and knowing how to use it properly — comes into play.
Unlike a concealer that matches your skin tone, color correctors approach discoloration with color theory. “Color corrector is used to neutralize deep pigmentation, whereas concealer is great for covering dark circles and blemishes,” says Mali Thomas, a global artist in residence for Bobbi Brown who has worked with Kelly Rowland, Tiffany Haddish, and more of your favorite celebrities. Consider color correctors as an advanced treatment to meet your needs when the coverage you’re looking for isn’t attainable through your typical complexion products.
Sure, using color corrector can feel intimidating at first, but don’t fret — it’s all just art 101, after all. If you need some assistance in getting started, read on to learn all about color theory, how to effectively apply color correctors, and experts’ personal recommendations and Allure‘s ultimate favorites below.
Our Top Picks:
- Best Overall: Bobbi Brown Skin Corrector Stick, $33
- Best Color Corrector Palette: Stila Correct and Perfect All-In-One Color Correcting Palette, $45
- Best Luxury: Chanel Le Correcteur de Chanel Colour Concealer, $45
- Best Drugstore Palette: NYX Professional Makeup Color Correcting Palette, $12
- Best Color-Correcting Primer: Make Up For Ever Step 1 Primer Color Corrector, $39
- The TikTok Darling: Tarte Shape Tape Corrector, $30
- Best Color Corrector for Dark Circles: Nars Radiant Creamy Color Corrector, $30
- Best Color Corrector with SPF: Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment SPF 30, $54
Frequently Asked Questions
Best Overall: Bobbi Brown Skin Corrector Stick
Why It’s Worth It: As one of Thomas’s go-to products, this portable stick acts as a combined color corrector and concealer in one swipe. Its inclusive, 12-color shade range means that a vast selection of undertones is available to camouflage dark spots. Made with coffee seed extract, it will literally wake up your undereyes, while the addition of salicornia (a type of succulent) provides moisture.
Editor Tip: For extra coverage, you can easily layer your concealer of choice on top without causing any caking or heaviness.
Key Ingredients: coffee seed extract, salicornia
Who It’s For: People on the go who need a convenient way to perk up and spot-treat, asap | Finish: Natural | # of Shades: Twelve
Best Color Corrector Palette: Stila Correct and Perfect All-In-One Color Correcting Palette
Why It’s Worth It: The beauty of Stila’s Correct and Perfect All-In-One Color Correcting Palette is that it features just about every shade of color correcting concealer you’d possibly need, regardless of skin tone. This seven-pan palette features a variety of demi-matte shades, including a blendable, cream-based green color corrector for addressing redness and a translucent purple powder for neutralizing sallowness, to even out any and all of your tone and textural concerns.
Editor Tip: Wondering why there are two beige tones in this palette? The pink cream is meant to concealer under-eye circles for fair skin tones while the darker peach shade blends perfectly into darker skin tones.
Key Ingredients: Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E
Who It’s For: Anyone, regardless of skin tone | Finish: Demi-matte | # of Shades: seven (five creams, two powders)
Best Luxury: Chanel Le Correcteur de Chanel Colour Concealer
Why It’s Worth It: Life’s all about the little things, like how all you need is a tiny dot of Chanel’s Le Correcteur de Chanel Colour Concealer to instantly conceal redness, dark circles, you name it. This tube of cream color corrector is available in four shades to address discoloration concerns without giving skin a cakey or ashy finish. Its buildable gel-texture formula sits comfortably on skin for hours on end without creasing, and each tube is filled with soft-focus pigments that give your complexion a slightly blurred, filter-like finish.
Editor Tip: Finding the right shade for your makeup routine can get tricky, so let us break it down for you. The light green shade, Vert, neutralizes the look of redness, while light pink Rose illuminates and brightens dullness. The warmer tones, Abricot and Pêche, are both made for brightening the look of dark circles, but the former is for deeper skin tones while the latter is for lighter tones.
Key Ingredients: Soft-focus pigments, glycerin
Who It’s For: Anyone looking for lightweight, buildable coverage | Finish: Natural | # of Shades: Four
Best Drugstore Palette: NYX Professional Makeup Color Correcting Palette
Why It’s Worth It: Six shades for less than $15? We’ll gladly sign up for NYX Professional Makeup’s Color Correcting Palette, which includes a rainbow of pigments to tone down the look of discoloration concerns. Its six buildable shades be layered to effortlessly conceal the look of a variety of concerns at once, and their flexible pigments transparently blend onto a wide range of skin tones.
Editor Tip: Got a trip coming up? This travel-friendly palette is TSA-acceptable, so feel free to throw this pick in your carry-on.
Key Ingredients: Bees wax, dimethicone
Who It’s For: Anyone who wants high-quality color correcting creams on a budget. | Finish: Natural | # of Shades: Six
Best Color-Correcting Primer: Make Up For Ever Step 1 Primer Color Corrector
Why It’s Worth It: Make Up For Ever’s Step 1 Primer Color Corrector is basically the Swiss army knife of primers. As it locks your makeup in place for up to 24 hours, this formula instantly conceals the look of hyperpigmentation, dark circles, and acne scars to create a more even canvas for the rest of your makeup regimen.
Editor Tip: Sure, this is technically a primer, but this product’s color-neutralizing effects work just as well on bare skin. Feel free to apply a small amount of this formula on your no-makeup days for sheer, tone-evening coverage.
Key Ingredients: Silica, dimethicone, glycerin, panthenol
Who It’s For: Anyone who wears makeup for up to 24 hours. | Finish: Natural | # of Shades: Six
The TikTok Darling: Tarte Shape Tape Corrector
Why It’s Worth It: We all know and love Tarte’s Shape Tape family, especially the concealers, so it was only a matter of time before color correctors were introduced. This range of correctors boasts full coverage and a plethora of uses beyond your typical redness-canceling. For example, Yellow (pictured) offsets dullness and neutralizes mild redness, while white can be used on its own or mixed with your foundation to brighten the complexion.
Editor Tip: Use the blue corrector to neutralize orange tones in too-warm foundations.
Key Ingredients: Amazonian clay, hyaluronic acid, prickly pear, ginseng, squalane, licorice root extract
Who It’s For: People who love all things Shape Tape (and a classic doe-foot applicator) | Finish: Natural | # of Shades: Nine
Best Color Corrector for Dark Circles: Nars Radiant Creamy Color Corrector
Why It’s Worth It: Tioseco calls this her “absolute favorite for the undereyes.” Not only does this Nars option come in a range of red hues for all complexions, but it also includes micropowders that fill fine lines for a smoother look, which is why it’s so ideal for layering makeup.
Editor Tip: Because this corrector is “thin enough to where it blends seamlessly into the skin but dries down [quickly],” Tioseco says putting concealer on top is “a breeze.” We recommend pairing with Nars’ Readers’ Choice Award-winning Radiant Creamy Concealer.
Key Ingredients: White water lily, red spiderling flower extract, glycerin
Who It’s For: People who normally wear base makeup | Finish: Radiant | # of Shades: Four
Best Color Corrector with SPF: Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment SPF 30
Why It’s Worth It: This green-to-beige formula has made its rounds on TikTok time and time again, especially for those who want to skip base makeup altogether. In the long run, it treats inflammation, irritation, or discomfort that causes redness — thanks to the herbal plant extract Centella asiatica leaf water.
Editor Tip: For a more serum-like finish, Dr. Jart+’s Cicapair Tiger Grass Camo Drops Color Corrector SPF 35 is an excellent choice. Simply add two to three drops to clean, moisturized skin and watch the green-to-beige formula melt into your complexion for a dewy finish. FYI: Both Cicapair products contain mineral sunscreen filters (zinc and titanium oxide).
Key Ingredients: Centella asiatica leaf water, zinc oxide, titanium oxide, glycerin, niacinamide
Who It’s For: People who want a one-and-done product | Finish: Natural | # of Shades: One
Best Multitasking Formula: Live Tinted Huestick Corrector
Why It’s Worth It: We love a product with range, especially one that glides on as easily as this does. While you could use the Best of Beauty-winning Huestick for dark, blueish areas, it also acts as a four-in-one eye, lip, and cheek multistick. Chock-full of hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, squalane, and vitamin E, the Huestick Corrector has a soft, semi-matte finish that won’t look cakey. It also introduces a dose of vitamin C to help brighten dark spots over time.
Editor Tip: You can blend out the pigment with your (clean!) fingers or, as associate news editor Gabi Thorne prefers, use a concealer brush. “Everyone blended out so easily and I also loved that I could control how much product I added with the stick’s pointed tip,” she said in her review.
Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, squalane, vitamin E, vitamin C
Who It’s For: People who love a true makeup-skin-care hybrid product and/or want to streamline their routine | Finish: Semi-matte | # of Shades: Five
Best Color Corrector for Redness: Smashbox Photo Finish Correct Anti-Redness Primer
Why It’s Worth It: Smashbox’s primers are all worth the hype and are no strangers to accolades, as a few of them (Primerizer+ Super Hydrating and Control Mattifying) have picked up a Best of Beauty Award. However, Correct is stellar for canceling out redness, thanks to its greenish hue and a soothing blend of hyaluronic acid, algae, rose, and mushroom. Plus, algae and mushroom guard your complexion against blue light and pollution.
Editor Tip: If redness isn’t your main concern Smashbox offers three other formulas: Primerizer+ (a triple hyaluronic acid-infused formula for dry skin), Illuminate (a radiant-finish formula that offsets uneven texture with the help of superfine peachy-gold pearls), and Control (a mattifying formula injected with salicylic acid, witch hazel, and zinc for oily, shine-prone skin).
Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, algae, rose, mushroom, Lactobacillus ferment
Who It’s For: People with sensitive, irritation-prone skin | Finish: Satin | # of Shades: One
Best for Deeper Skin Tones: Danessa Myricks Colorfix in Carrot Top
Why It’s Worth It: Thomas recommends correctors in “deep warm tones (preferably deep orange) for women of color to mask hyperpigmentation.” And if you’ve ever spent time on Danessa Myricks’s Instagram watching her mesmerizing tutorials on how to apply her Best of Beauty-winning Colorfix tubes, you know it is a workhorse of a product that can be used across eyes, lips, and cheeks. The shade Carrot Top, in particular, is extremely popular as a color corrector for deeper complexions.
Editor Tip: Since this is a fast-drying formula, you’ll have to work (and blend) quickly. If you’d prefer applying with a brush or mixing the corrector with your concealer or foundation, we recommend investing in a blending palette (we like About-Face or Beautyblender‘s).
Key Ingredients: Carnauba wax, mica
Who It’s For: | Finish: Matte | # of Shades: 25 (in matte category, however not all can be used for color-correcting)
Best Budget Color Corrector: L.A. Girl Pro Conceal HD Concealer
Why It’s Worth It: You can’t go wrong with a single-digit price tag, especially when that product is approved TikTok’s own Mikayla Nogueira, who uses this exact product to address red spots. In her video, she suggests using a small, dense brush to tap the green concealer into the areas you want to neutralize, setting it with loose powder, and then going over with your regular, skin-tone concealer before applying foundation.
Editor Tip: The full range includes 33 additional shades so you can pick up a complementary concealer formula for the same price.
Key Ingredients: Beeswax, mica, vitamin E, sodium hyaluronate
Who It’s For: People on a budget who still want full coverage | Finish: Natural | # of Shades: Ten
Best Cream Formula: Charlotte Tilbury Magic Vanish! Color Corrector
Why It’s Worth It: For a buttery-smooth formula, look no further than this beginner-friendly compact. There are four orangish-red shades meant for light, light/medium, and deep skin tones, all of which are infused with mica for a silky-smooth finish and flavanoids to help reduce the look of undereye puffiness.
Editor Tip: This creamy formula comes in a small pan and is best applied with your own fingers, thanks in part to its buttery texture made with carnauba wax.
Key Ingredients: Flavanoids, carnauba wax, vitamin E
Who It’s For: People who want to address dark circles and puffiness in a pinch | Finish: Natural | # of Shades: Four
How to choose a color corrector
Jen Tioseco, a makeup artist behind the faces of Madelaine Petsch and Zoey Deutch, says to apply the basics of color theory when choosing a proper color corrector for your concerns. “Skip the lipstick trick you’ve seen on TikTok and grab a product specifically formulated for the task.” Looking at the color wheel, you can strategically use the opposite color of the unwanted tones you want to cancel out. “Using a peach corrector underneath the eye will neutralize any blue discoloration underneath the eyes that can sometimes peek through if you just use concealer,” says Tioseco. “Same thing [goes] for extra redness — green is the opposite [of] red on the color wheel and will neutralize redness caused by rosacea or blemishes.”
Because color correctors come in tones of greens, peaches, and reds, the application process is not for the faint-hearted and should be applied with discretion. Gently pat your corrector onto unwanted tones after skin care but before concealer or foundation. “A common mistake I’ve noticed is the use of too much product,” Thomas notes. “Only use color correctors in areas where there is discoloration to create a more natural canvas.” Tioseco echoes the same sentiments: “When using a color corrector less is more — remember the more corrector you use, the more concealer/foundation is needed to cover it!”
How we test and review products
Before reviewing any makeup, we ask questions about a number of factors: What ingredients are in it? Does the brand offer a wide shade range inclusive of consumers with all skin tones and undertones? Is it safe for readers who have sensitive skin or wear contact lenses? Is it on the affordable side or more of a splurge? Is its packaging consciously designed or needlessly wasteful?
For our review of the best color correctors, we enlisted the help of multiple editors, writers, contributors, and makeup artists to review the products. This ensures our testing base spans different skin tones, genders, and dermatological conditions. We considered each product’s performance across four primary categories: ingredients, wear and longevity, packaging, and inclusivity. For more on what’s involved in our reporting, check out our complete reviews process and methodology page.
Our staff and testers
A beauty product is a personal purchase. You might be searching for a face cream to address persistent dryness or a new nail product to add to your Sunday self-care routine; you may simply be browsing around for the latest launches to hit the hair market. No matter what you seek or your individual needs and concerns, Allure wants to ensure that you love anything we recommend in our stories. We believe that having a diverse team of writers and editors — in addition to the wide range of outside testers and industry experts we regularly call upon — is essential to reaching that goal.
After all, can we really say a skin-care product is the “best” for people over 50 if the only testers we’ve solicited opinions from folks who have yet to hit 30? Can we honestly deem a high-end diffuser worthy of your hard-earned cash if it’s never been tested on curls? We’re proud that our staff spans a wide range of ages, skin tones, hair textures, genders, and backgrounds, which means that we are able to fairly assess any beauty product that comes into the beauty closet.
Now, read about more makeup products we love:
- The 15 Best Skin Tints for Sheer, Glowy Coverage in Seconds
- The Best Pressed Powders to Sweep Away Shine & Lock in Makeup
- The 11 Best Bronzer Sticks for Instant Glow and Warmth
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