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Should I use red or orange color corrector?

Color correcting is an important step in any makeup routine. It helps neutralize discoloration and even out skin tone before foundation application. When it comes to color correction, two of the most common shade options are red and orange correctors. But which one is right for your skin needs? Here’s a detailed look at red and orange color correctors to help you decide.

What is color correcting and how does it work?

Color correcting involves using makeup shades that counteract colors on the skin you want to neutralize. This is based on color theory, which shows that opposite colors on the color wheel cancel each other out. For example:

  • Green neutralizes redness
  • Purple counters yellow tones
  • Pink brightens dullness
  • Orange cancels out blue/purple
  • Red targets sallowness

By applying color correctors to specific areas of discoloration, you can achieve a more even canvas before foundation. This allows your foundation to look its best and last longer without having to use extra product to mask underlying issues.

When should you use a red color corrector?

Red color correctors work best on skin that looks sallow or has visible capillaries. Here are the main benefits of using a red color corrector:

  • Neutralizes sallowness: Redness often comes from blood vessels close to the skin’s surface. A red corrector cancels out this sallow tone.
  • Minimizes capillaries: Tiny broken capillaries can leave a reddish cast. Red color corrector hides these effectively.
  • Brightens dullness: Red has brightening properties to make dull complexions look more vibrant.

If you have fair skin that tends to look washed out or see noticeable broken capillaries around your nose or cheeks, a red color corrector can help correct those issues. The red pigments counteract the redness from blood under the surface to even out skin.

When should you use an orange color corrector?

Orange color correctors work best on skin with blue or purple undertones. Here are the main benefits of using an orange color corrector:

  • Neutralizes blue tones: Orange is opposite blue on the color wheel, so it cancels out and covers blue discoloration.
  • Corrects purple tones: Orange also counters purple undertones in skin.
  • Conceals dark circles: Dark under eye circles often have blue/purple hues. Orange hides these successfully.

If you have cool undertones that can look a little dull or notice blue appearing around your mouth or eyes, an orange color corrector is your best option. The orange shade neutralizes those areas so they don’t show through makeup.

How to choose between red and orange color correctors

Choosing between red and orange color correctors depends on your specific skin tone and needs. Here are some tips for deciding which route to take:

Consider your skin’s undertones

Look at whether your skin leans more warm or cool-toned. Warm skin with yellow/golden undertones benefits more from red correctors. Cooler skin with pink/blue undertones sees better results from orange correctors.

Assess problem areas on your face

Look at where you need the most color correction. If discoloration shows up more around your mouth or eyes, go for an orange corrector. If your cheeks or nose are the issue, reach for a red corrector.

Try color correcting concealers first

Color correcting concealers are a good way to test out a shade. They let you pinpoint problem areas without needing a separate corrector. Try peach for blue tones or red-based concealers if you have a lot of capillaries.

Sheer application works best

With correctors, a light hand is crucial. Too much product can make it obvious you have something layered underneath. Sheer application lets the color work its magic without being detectable.

Follow up with foundation and concealer

Color correctors work best as a first step before complexion products. Apply your regular foundation and concealer afterward for a flawless finish.

How to apply a red color corrector

If your skin looks best with a red color corrector, here are some application tips:

  • Dot it onto areas of redness like cheeks, nose and chin.
  • Blend it out gently using a makeup sponge or brush.
  • Layer liquid or cream foundation on top.
  • Follow up with concealer as needed.
  • Set with translucent powder to lock it in place.

How to apply an orange color corrector

For orange color correction, follow these steps:

  • Dab it onto areas of blue tones like under eyes or corners of mouth.
  • stipple lightly with a makeup sponge to blend.
  • Apply your regular foundation to even out skin.
  • Conceal spots as needed.
  • Dust on powder to set.

Choosing the right color corrector product

You’ll find color correctors available in a few different makeup formulas. Here’s how to pick the right one:

Type Texture Coverage Best for…
Cream Thick, creamy Full, buildable Intense discoloration
Liquid Light, liquidy Medium to full Large areas of face
Stick Solid, balm-like Medium, blendable Precise application
Powder Soft, powdery Sheer to medium Use over/under liquid makeup

The formula you choose depends on your color correcting needs and makeup routine. Test out different kinds to find your perfect match.

Tips for making color correctors work best for you

Here are some pointers for getting ideal results from color correctors:

  • Start with a clean palette – Exfoliate and moisturize so your base is smooth.
  • Use a primer – Primers boost correction staying power.
  • Spot treat – Only use corrector where needed, not all over.
  • Let it set – Give corrector a minute to set before foundation.
  • Pat lightly – Avoid rubbing when applying.
  • Work in thin layers – Sheer application looks most natural.
  • Set with powder – This locks the corrector in place.
  • Use a color correcting palette – Having multiple shades makes customizing easier.

Common questions about color correctors

Should I use liquid or cream color corrector?

It depends on your preference! Liquid correctors blend out easily and work well for large areas. Cream correctors offer fuller coverage and are great for localized discoloration.

Do I apply color corrector before or after primer?

Always use color corrector after face primer. The primer creates a smooth base so the corrector glides on evenly.

Should I use a color corrector alone or with concealer?

For best results, use a color corrector under your regular concealer. The corrector neutralizes discoloration, then concealer provides opaque coverage.

How do I make my color corrector last all day?

Use fixing spray after powder to increase longevity. Choosing a corrector with a creamy formula also gives it better staying power on the skin.

Can I mix different color correctors together?

Yes, definitely! Mixing allows you to customize the exact hue to target your skin tone concerns. Just be sure to blend really well so there are no visible streaks.


With so many options, choosing the right color corrector for your needs may seem complicated. But simply looking at your skin’s specific discoloration issues makes it easier. Red correctors target sallowness and capillaries while orange correctors neutralize blue and purple tones. And don’t forget to experiment with different formulas and application techniques to find your perfect routine!