Color correcting is fast developing a following, with a slew of new products that address ruddiness, sallowness and dull-looking skin.

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New color-correcting makeup, in highly pigmented shades like canary yellow and pistachio green, seems better suited to an afternoon of decorating Easter eggs than a morning in front of the bathroom mirror.

But the trend is fast developing a following, with a slew of new products that promise to mask complexion problems like ruddiness, sallowness and dull-looking skin.

How it works

The principle of color-correcting makeup is essentially that of color theory: That is, opposite hues cancel each other out. So a primer in pale green can mute redness, lavender minimizes ashy tones and yellow brightens dull skin. Depending on your skin tone, pink, peach or orange can help conceal under-eye circles and hyperpigmentation.

The makeup can be a bit daunting if you’ve never tried it before.

“The trick is use a teeny, tiny amount of color corrector, no matter what shade you’re using,” says Eliza Davila, one of 15 Sephora makeup artists who contributed to a color correcting tutorial that was recently added to the store’s smartphone app. “It should blend into the skin and conceal properly.”

Brushes or sponges are effective, but, Davila says, your fingertip is the easiest tool with which to apply these correctors, using a delicate tapping motion.

Stila Correct & Perfect All-In-One Color Correcting Palette, $45
Stila Correct & Perfect All-In-One Color Correcting Palette, $45

For help with color choices and application techniques, there are plenty of instructional videos online, on YouTube as well as on sites like Sephora’s. For top products, read on. All can be purchased at Sephora.

The new Algenist Reveal Concentrated Color Correcting Drops ($38) are especially easy to apply: The tinted fluid can be mixed into moisturizer or foundation or used on its own. Each of the four colors includes a specific type of algae in its formula to help treat as well as cover the skin.

Urban Decay Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid ($28), also newly available, comes in slender tubes that look as if they may contain lip gloss. The product’s texture is on the thick side but quickly blends into the skin when applied.

Marc Jacobs Beauty’s Cover(t) Stick Color Corrector ($42), a recent addition to his line, is a swirl of two corresponding shades inside a squat tube. One option mixes sky blue and pinkish beige to brighten; the two others tackle redness and dark spots.

The compact silver-toned cases of the new Cover FX Correct Clicks ($18) look like truncated tubes of lipstick. They’re available in six shades, including three that target dark spots on different skin tones.

Lancôme’s Miracle CC Cushion Color Correcting Primer ($39.50) was added to its collection a few weeks ago. It’s a small compact with a spongy pad that’s saturated with cream in one of four colors. The consistency is pleasingly light and it blends easily.

To combat multiple issues, there’s the new Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Wipeout Color-Correcting Palette ($45), a large compact packed with six creamy discs ranging from muted yellow to milk chocolate. The combination provides soft coverage that’s easy to customize depending on your skin.

Another palette, the Stila Correct & Perfect All-In-One Color Correcting Palette ($45) includes five buildable color-correcting creams, along with two tinted finishing powders to set the makeup.

While many of these products aim for spot correction, YSL Beauté Forever Light Creator CC Primer ($45) delivers a thin wash of color over your entire face. Introduced this month in three colors, the liquidy tint includes a broad spectrum sunscreen. YSL offers more targeted coverage, too: In January, it added three tinted versions of its popular Touche Éclat highlighter ($38) to its line.