Everything you Need to Know About Color Correcting and Brown Skin Tones

Long before South Asian women (and men!) dominated YouTube, Instagram, and the entertainment industry, brown girls like myself were all on their own to navigate makeup aisles. You guys know the struggle of trying to find the perfect foundation to match your skin color—I remember having to mix two different foundations to get the right shade. Don’t even get me started on finding an appropriate lip color to match my bronze skin. Today, more and more cosmetic brands are expanding their lines to celebrate South Asian skin—brands like Fenty Beauty, Morphe and more are diversifying their color palettes and I am here for it. But, a perfect foundation match isn’t the secret to a flawless face…color correcting is.

What is color correcting? Color correcting is a makeup technique where you use specific colored concealers on particular problem areas. The most common characteristics on South Asian skin are darker pigmentation under our eyes, our mouths, and also a darker forehead area. With color correcting, say goodbye to all of these skin discolorations!

You’re now probably wondering what color goes where on your face, and for that, we have to go back to art class and take a look at the color wheel.


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Complementary colors cancel each other out and neutralize the skin. Take a look at your skin, and pick out the concerns you have—is it purple bags under your eye? Redness? Do you want to brighten something?

Once you’ve pinpointed what you’d like to cover up, here’s some tips on what color to use where.


When looking at the color wheel, green is right across from the color red. This means a green color corrector is great to counterbalance redness. Redness generally includes blemishes, pimple scars, rashes or any other skin sensitivity.

Where is it generally applied?: apples of the cheeks, tips of the nose and chin.

Recommended products: 

Urban Decay NAKED SKIN Color Correcting Fluid 


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Say goodbye to stubborn dark circles, bruises and tattoos. The red color corrector is a MUST for South Asians because it cancels out dark spots on dark skin tones. Deepica Mutyala’s Live Tinted recently released three multi sticks for eyes, lips, and cheeks that also balance out dark circles, dark spots, and hyperpigmentation, and it’s magical.

Where is it generally applied?: Under the eye region and any dark spots/discoloration areas.

Recommended products:

LIVE TINTED The Huestick


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MAYBELLINE Master Camo Color Correcting Pen


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Purple color correctors can help brighten dull skin, it’s great for people who want to revive their skin or conceal acne scars. The purple counteracts the yellow and creates a glowy effect.

Where is it generally applied?: Forehead, side of the face, jawline.

Recommended products:

LANCOME Teint Idole Ultra Wear Camouflage Color Corrector 


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L.A. Girl HD Pro.Conceal


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Other colors that people can correct with are yellows and pinks, but being the Indian bronze skin color that I am, those colors don’t work on my face and I tend to go for darker color correctors.

When it comes to application, that will depend on how big of an area you’ll need to cover. For smaller areas, I use my fingers or a small concealer brush, for larger areas, I use a beauty blender. Make sure to apply after the primer so you can create a seamless transition before applying foundation.

By Nehal Tenany

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