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3 Color-Correcting Makeup Primers That Will Nix Dull Skin, Redness, and Dark Circles


Spend time trying to hide an aging skin argh only to find that makeup just isn’t helping? Try the pro secret to neutralizing imperfections by prepping skin with a color-correcting primer before applying makeup. Read on for your anti-aging makeup color to flawless skin!

Sallow skin? Try purple.

If your once-radiant skin has turned a pale yellow tone, swiping on blush may not be enough to restore it.

Instead, simply rub a small amount of a purple primer on the face with your fingers, then apply makeup on top. “The violet color, opposite of yellow on the color wheel, counteracts any sallowness, restoring a youthful glow, fast,” says celebrity makeup artist Amy Zdunowski-Roeder.

Buy: Neutrogena Cosmetics Prep + Correct Primer in Brightening (Buy at CVS, $16.49). It contains seaweed extract, which increases blood flow for a healthier flush over time.

Red, splotchy skin? Opt for green.

Whether from breakouts, rosacea flare-ups, or broken capillaries, redness can peek through foundation and sap our confidence. What can help? “Green is opposite red on the color wheel, so applying a green primer will instantly cancel out ruddiness,” says Zdunowski-Roeder. But since applying the primer on non-inflamed areas can leave behind a green cast, she suggests using one in a stick form like Cover FX Correct Click Redness (Buy at, $18) so you only use it where needed. Plus, it contains anti-inflammatory chamomile extract to calm irritated skin, reducing redness.

To do: Dab onto red spots and blend out with a makeup sponge before applying foundation.

Dark circles? Choose orange.

Wonder why your under-eye concealer doesn’t actually conceal those dark, blue-toned shadows? You may be using the wrong shade. To make them vanish, Zdunowski-Roeder suggests covering them with a primer the shade of their color wheel opposite — orange (for medium to dark skin tones) or peach (for fair to light skin tones). Also smart: A primer infused with vitamin B-3, like LA Girl Pro Prep HD Color Correcting Face Primer (Buy at CVS, 6.99) helps “plump” thin, transparent skin so shadows are less obvious.

To do: Dot primer under the eyes in an upside-down triangle, then blend out with a makeup sponge (this further helps shadows recede). Next, top with a light layer of concealer; blend.

Related: Makeup Artists Pick the Best BB Creams for Women Over 50 — One Will Make *You* Glow

A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.

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