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Do you put foundation or concealer on after color corrector?

Color correctors can be a useful makeup product for covering up discoloration, redness, dark circles under the eyes, and other imperfections. But knowing what order to apply them along with concealer and foundation can be confusing. Here’s a guide to help you determine whether foundation or concealer should go on after color corrector.

What is a Color Corrector?

A color corrector is a makeup product designed to neutralize or correct specific skin tone issues. Color correctors come in a variety of shades targeting different color discolorations:

  • Green neutralizes redness
  • Purple or lavender cancels out yellow tones
  • Peach and orange color correctors counteract dark under eye circles and bluish tones
  • Red or pink brightens dull, sallow complexions

Common types of color correctors include liquid, cream or stick formats. They contain pigments to specifically counterbalance problem skin areas. Using a color corrector helps provide a more even, flawless canvas before applying foundation.

Should You Apply Foundation or Concealer First After Color Corrector?

When using a color corrector, the general rule of thumb is to apply it first before your concealer or foundation. Here is the typical order for seamlessly layering complexion products:

  1. Apply color corrector to any areas that need color neutralization or correction.
  2. Blend the edges so there are no harsh lines.
  3. Use concealer to cover any remaining imperfections.
  4. Set with foundation for an all over even tone.

The color corrector should go on prior to concealer and foundation because its job is to cancel out any discoloration. Putting foundation or concealer first would cover up the issue that the color corrector is meant to fix. The corrector needs to be applied directly on the skin issue.

How to Apply Color Corrector

Here are some tips on the best way to use color corrector:

  • Use a small brush or your ring finger to pat on the color corrector precisely to problem areas.
  • Only apply a thin layer – too much can make it obvious.
  • Blend the edges so there is no visible line between the corrector and your natural skin.
  • Let it set for a minute or two before applying concealer so it has time to neutralize.
  • Use a color correcting primer before foundation for an extra layer of correction.

How to Layer on Top of Color Corrector

Once you’ve applied color corrector, here are some tips for layering on concealer and foundation:

  • Use a concealer in a shade close to your natural skin tone to cover up any remaining discoloration.
  • Apply foundation, matching to your neck and décolletage. Use a damp beauty sponge for a smooth blend.
  • Only set areas that tend to get shiny. Avoid adding powder on top of the color corrector as it can make it appear chalky or flaky.
  • Finish with setting spray for a long lasting, crease-free look.

What Type of Concealer Should You Use?

The best type of concealer to use after color corrector is a creamy, hydrating formula rather than a matte, thick option. Avoid heavy, dry concealers as they can exaggerate the look of creases and fine lines. Here are good concealer textures to use:

  • Liquid
  • Serum
  • Cream
  • Stick

Go for a concealer that matches your exact skin tone. Using one a few shades lighter can look unnatural. Apply the concealer with a small brush or sponge directly on top of any areas previously covered with the color corrector.

What Kind of Foundation Is Best?

A hydrating, luminous or dewy finish foundation generally works best on top of color corrector and concealer. Avoid matte or powder foundations as they can cling to dryness and emphasize creases. Here are top foundation finishes to use:

  • Radiant
  • Natural
  • Satin
  • Dewy

Using a damp makeup sponge will provide the most seamless, flawless base when applying foundation over a color corrector. Mixing a little facial oil into your foundation can also help create a smooth, hydrated finish.

Common Mistakes When Using Color Correctors

It’s important to use color correctors strategically to get the best results. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:

  • Applying too much product – you only need a thin layer to neutralize discoloration.
  • Forgetting to blend edges – harsh lines can be visible.
  • Using the wrong shade for your skin issue – green counters redness, purple neutralizes yellow tones.
  • Putting foundation or concealer on first – the corrector needs to touch the skin.
  • Layering powder products on top – this can make correctors look cakey.

Tips for Seamless Color Correction

Here are some expert tips for flawless color correction:

  • Exfoliate and moisturize before applying corrector for a smooth base.
  • Use a color correcting primer in addition to spot concealing for extra coverage.
  • Apply corrector with a small brush just where needed rather than all over the face.
  • Press the product into the skin instead of rubbing to avoid lifting other makeup layers underneath.
  • Set with a hydrating setting spray to blend layers together.

How to Choose the Best Color Corrector for Your Skin

Picking the right shade is crucial for color correctors to properly neutralize issues. Here’s how to select the best one for your skin:

Skin Concern Corrector Color
Redness Green
Dark circles Peach/orange/salmon
Dullness Pink/rose
Discoloration Purple/lavender
Sallowness Yellow

Test out a few different color correcting shades to see which best reduces the appearance of your particular skin issues. Adjust the intensity by applying more or less product as needed.

Complementary Makeup Shades After Color Correction

The right makeup hues can enhance your color correction work. Here are complementary colors to use together:

Corrector Color Complementary Makeup Shades
Green Red lipstick, rose blush
Lavender Warm toned blush, bronze eyeshadow
Yellow Purple or berry lipstick, cool toned pink blush
Peach Brown/taupe eyeshadow, neutral lipstick

Balancing out the color wheel results in a vibrant, lively makeup look.


Applying color corrector before your concealer and foundation is key for properly neutralizing any discoloration or imperfections. Use a thin layer applied just to problem areas and blend the edges to avoid visible demarcation lines. Follow with a hydrating concealer and luminous foundation for flawless results. Avoid common mistakes like applying too much product or layering heavy powder finishes on top which can make correctors patchy. Choose complementary makeup shades like blush, lipstick and eyeshadow to brighten your look after color correction.