The Best Concealers and Color Correctors for Dark Skin
Over the years we’ve seen many professional products and techniques make their way to our neighborhood beauty counters. When I was a teen (and even in my 20s), concepts like highlighting, contouring, and sculpting weren’t beauty techniques that I learned in the pages of Seventeen. Now these once pro-only techniques, and the products used to achieve them, are a common occurrence in daily life of beauty lovers.
The latest product to move on from the hands of experts to those of the everyday girl is color corrector. But what exactly does a color corrector do? Does it work for women of color?
Beauty expert Cynde Watson weighs in. “Color correcting is really important for women of color because of our multi-tones and the fact that we get hyperpigmentation far more than any other skin tone. Not only that, we scar. Color correcting helps neutralize the appearance of hyperpigmentation and scarring. So color correctors are a dream for women of color.”
Color correctors come in a rainbow of shade offerings. There’s green, lavender, peach, orange, yellow, red, and pink—oh my! Each shade is designed to cancel out a very specific skin imperfection. For darker skin tones, peach, orange, and red work best because these shades neutralize purple and dark brown discoloration that women of color experience. Cynde further explains, “For black women, correctors help to mask the imperfection and bring healthy color back to the skin. The corrector works to balance the tone of the surface skin. Top the corrector, in a patting motion, with a concealer or foundation and skin returns to a healthy, glowing state.”
Now that we understand the benefits of color correctors, read on as I break down the best color correctors and concealers for dark skin.
Becca Backlight Targeted Colour Corrector in Papaya ($30)
Papaya: It’s not just for dessert. For severe hyperpigmentation and blemishes with a deep blue, green, or purple tone, this Becca color corrector in Papaya cancels out imperfections with a single dab of product. The creamy formula comes in a small pot and can be applied with fingertips or a flat concealer brush. Kevin James Bennett, Emmy Award–winning cosmetic expert, relies on this color corrector daily, and explains why: “I appreciate the addition of pearl in the formula that makes this a luminous color corrector. A lot of color correctors tend to be flat and create a mask-like look. The cream is well pigmented and applies smoothly. The Becca Peach corrector is well calibrated for lighter-skinned women of color and the Papaya corrector is very good for rich, deep skin tones.”
Dior Fix It 2-in-1 Prime & Colour Correct ($36)
Smooth and correct the face, lips, and eye area with Dior's newest color correctors. Available in four fix-it-fast formulas, the dual-colored dark spot corrector contains a white primer center that helps keep makeup in place while the color-correcting exterior conceals. For women of color, shade 200 Apricot helps camouflage dark circles, uneven tone, spots ,and lip discoloration. Ricky Wilson for Dior shares why Fix It 2-in-1 Prime & Colour Correct is his go-to for darker skin tones: “I'm obsessed with the Fix It shades for women of color. The soft focus primer in the center plays such an important role when it comes to keeping problem areas hidden throughout the day. So that means the product doesn't settle into pores or fine lines underneath the eyes. The shades are the perfect blend of golden and warm tones. There’s no ashiness.”
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Dark Coffee ($29)
Newly expanded to cater to a wide array of skin tones, Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer now offers 16 skin-mimicking shades. Each is designed to provide all-day crease-free coverage. The formula does not settle into lines or mask skin in an unnatural way. With a swipe, amtap into place, and some blending, skin appears fresh and imperfections are diffused.
Splish-splash and make sure your coverage lasts with Lancôme's undereye concealer. Strictly for eyes, the no-budge dark circle fixer eliminates all signs of ruddy tone and crepe-y texture. Because it’s waterproof, the natural matte finish is guaranteed to stay put until you wash it off with makeup remover.
Estée Lauder Perfectionist Youth-Infusing Brightening Serum + Concealer in Medium ($34)
Treat, conceal, and refresh tired eyes with Estée Lauder Perfectionist Youth-Infusing Brightening Serum + Concealer. You’ve never seen an eye-awakening corrector quite like this. The 2-in-1 duo for eyes features a dewy, complexion-enhancing, corrective serum on one end, and a quick-fix cover stick on the other. When paired together, the coverage is soft, youthful, and undetectable. Darker skin tones will gravitate toward the shades Medium, Medium Deep, Deep, and Extra Deep.
Black Up Concealer Palette ($31)
Created specifically to suit the multi-tonal needs of women of color, this concealer palette allows for an entirely customizable experience, featuring corrective shades that work for the deepest skin tone and hues. Global makeup educator and developer Danessa Myricks says this palette “includes peach and orange correctors that create balance on the face. These corrector shades help maintain the rich brightness and liveliness of darker skin tones without overpowering them with too much coverage.”
Iman Cosmetics Second to None Color Cream in Earth Medium ($13)
We can’t talk concealers and correctors for women of color without including Iman Cosmetics Second to None Cover Cream. A pioneer in creating makeup for women of color, Iman created this product to hydrate the complexion and soften the appearance blemishes and dark circles. If your skin’s natural undertone tends to skew red, this is the product for you.
Hourglass Ambient Light Correcting Primer in Mood Light ($44)
Prime and correct at the same time with Hourglass Ambient Light Correcting Primer. More of an all-over-the-face corrector, this weightless, light-reflecting base imparts a sheer pink softness to the skin that blurs the surface, creating the ideal canvas for subsequent concealer or foundation application. Because the formula is oil-free, this corrective primer never looks heavy or greasy.
Ardency Inn Boom Base Lip Balm & Base ($24)
It’s not uncommon for women of color to have uneven skin tone on the lips, making it a challenge to get even lipstick distribution. When lips require serious color correction, the pros reach for Ardency Inn Boom Base Lip Balm & Base. Makeup artist and educator James Vincent explains: “Many women of color face the issue of different tones on each lip. If you want to give more balance or bring your lips closer to nude, use a touch of green color corrector on the more pink lip to cut the color and lead it closer to a browner tone. Ardency Inn Boom Base has enough green to give the lip a natural appearance on its own or under any lip product. It also conditions lips and helps your lipstick stay longer.”
Sonia Kashuk Hidden Agenda Concealer Palette ($11)
Mix it up (literally!) with this conceal palette from Sonia Kashuk. The four-pan compact allows you to customize your color-correcting situation. Extremely emollient, the texture works particularly well for mature and dry skin types. The palm-sized palette even contains a colorless setting powder to give skin a natural finish!
Guerlain Multi-Perfecting Concealer in Very Deep Cool ($40)
A newbie corrector for darker skin tones, Guerlain Multi-Perfecting Concealer offers three shades for women of color: Medium Cool, Deep Warm, and Very Deep Cool. The just-launched shade extension addresses the color correction needs of darker skin tones. The formula blends seamlessly and covers dark circles without the need for layering a separate color-corrector underneath. Guerlain Multi-Perfecting Concealer knocks out dark spots and tired eyes in one step.
What are your favorite concealers for dark skin tones? Let us know in the comments!