I’ve been seeing a lot about color correcting in the beauty world lately. The key to color correcting is, of course, the color wheel. As a hairstylist, I use it with almost every color client. And I always use it when toning.
The color wheel is a standard. Meaning, that the one I use is the same as the one another artist uses. Well, OK, the exact picture might be different but the color theory remains the same. The great thing about color theory is that it’s very versatile. Once you understand it for toning hair, you can use it in makeup application as well.
Color Correcting Basics
The most important concept of color correcting is complimentary colors. These are the colors that are across from each other on the wheel.
These pairs contain one primary and one tertiary (secondary) color. Are you following me so far?
Ok, so why am I talking about color pairs? Well, complementary colors are the key to color correcting!
Here’s an example. Have you ever heard of someone with really yellow blonde hair using a purple or violet shampoo? The violet in the shampoo neutralizes the yellow.
Complimentary colors NEUTRALIZE each other. This is why I say they are the most important concept. The whole point of color correcting or toning is to neutralize an undesired tone. In hair, the undesired tones can be red (too warm), yellow, orange (brassy), and green (ashy). Therefore, knowing the color opposite of each of those will help you to neutralize it. To clarify, when I say neutralize a color, I mean decreasing its intensity or canceling out that tone. So, in the above example, the violet shampoo will make the yellow less intense which will create a more cool blonde color.
I mentioned that the same concept applies to makeup. Let’s talk about that. I sometimes use a green concealer on red spots or acne blemishes. Green and red are opposite and will therefore neutralize each other. My under-eye area tends to have a blue tone to it so I use an orange concealer to help lessen the appearance of the blue under my face makeup and regular concealer.
Have you seen the cc creams that come in colors like violet, green, and peach/orange? These are used to adjust skin and create an overall matching tone. Someone with a lot of redness may choose a green-tinted cream to cancel out the red tone to their skin. Cool, huh?
While you might not need to use this process daily, it’s good to keep in your back pocket for future use. You never know when you need to neutralize a tone and you definitely do not want to draw more attention to the problem area with excess product.
Do you incorporate any color correcting techniques into your beauty routine?