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The Black Girl's Guide To Color Correcting

Beauty & Fashion

Hyperpigmentation and acne scarring are two of the biggest battles black women face when it comes to skincare. If you've ever wondered why some areas of your skin are darker than others or why your pimples tend to leave dark spots, it's because of all of that beautiful melanin. Hyperpigmentation usually occurs when there's an excess of melanin and it causes the patches of skin to become darker than the surrounding skin.

Related: I Cleared Up My Hyperpigmentation With This 5-Step Method

While you can get on Google and research all the ways to treat hyperpigmentation, it can be a process. Sometimes we're looking for a quick fix and that's where color correcting comes in. Color correcting is the simple process of evening your skin tone before you apply your foundation. Color correcting/concealer helps you cancel out dark or red spots and helps improve the overall look of your foundation. The color correcting colors range from: green, orange, red, and peach and depends on your skin tone and the problems you're looking to solve. Read on to check out our Black girl's guide to color correcting.

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Orange Color Correctors

Krissy Lewis/xoNecole

Orange color correctors are good for people with dark skin tones looking to cover dark spots and dark circles. For a real-time example, check out how Cydnee Black applies her color corrector here.

Recommendations:LA Girl Pro Concealer & MAC Studio Finish Skin Corrector

Red Color Correctors

Krissy Lewis/xoNecole

Red color correctors help cancel out dark spots on deep skin tones. Sometimes finding the right red color corrector can be hard, but Khloe Dosh reminds us when it doubt, red lipstick is another option. Check out her tutorial here.

Recommendations:Maybelline New York Master Camo by FaceStudio Pens & Huda Beauty Demi Matte "Boy Collector" Lipstick

Green Color Correctors

Krissy Lewis/xoNecole

Green color correctors are great for eliminating redness on all skin types. Since green neutralizes the color red, it helps reduce the appearance of zits, pimples, and other red marks. It can help you cover dark spots on lighter skin tones too, if you mix it with a yellow or peach concealer. Check out how The Beauty Maine applies green concealer here.

Recommendations:NYX Professional Makeup HD Concealer Wand & Tarte's Limited-Edition Color-Correcting Palette (It's an all-in-one palette to correct discolorations, contour, and brighten skin with six shades.)

Peach Color Corrector

Krissy Lewis/xoNecole

Peach concealers are for light skin tones looking to cancel out dark circles and spots. A dark pink and salmon color work well for lighter skin tones as well. Check out how Vilma Martins color corrects her skin with peach concealer here.

Recommendations:MAC Prep + Prime Highlighter Pen - Peach Lustre & NAKED SKIN Color Correcting Fluid

NAKED SKIN Color Correcting Fluid

www.urbandecay.com

$29

Do’s and Don’ts of Color Correcting

  • Do choose the right hues for your skin. Your color corrector will be most effective if you find the right tone.
  • Do apply color corrector to your problem areas ONLY.
  • Don't use colors that you don't need. For example, if you don't have redness in your skin, then a green color corrector wouldn't be for you.
  • Don't use too much color corrector, more is not always merrier! Keep in mind that you still need to apply your foundation and concealer. Too much product will make you look caked up.
  • Do use a beauty tool to blend your color corrector. I prefer a Beauty Blender but if your fingers work, then knock yourself out. Be sure to tap the area to blend instead of sweeping motions.
  • Don't worry about coverage, that's what your foundation is for.
  • Don't use it if you don't have any acne scars, redness, or dark spots.

Want to talk more about beauty, wellness & self-care with like-minded women? Join the xoTribe members community today to start your glow-up journey.

Featured image by Krissy Lewis/xoNecole

When I was ten, my Sunday school teacher put on a brief performance in class that included some of the boys standing in front of the classroom while she stood in front of them holding a heart shaped box of chocolate. One by one, she tells each boy to come and bite a piece of candy and then place the remainder back into the box. After the last boy, she gave the box of now mangled chocolate over to the other Sunday school teacher — who happened to be her real husband — who made a comically puzzled face. She told us that the lesson to be gleaned from this was that if you give your heart away to too many people, once you find “the one,” that your heart would be too damaged. The lesson wasn’t explicitly about sex but the implication was clearly present.

That memory came back to me after a flier went viral last week, advertising an abstinence event titled The Close Your Legs Tour with the specific target demo of teen girls came across my Twitter timeline. The event was met with derision online. Writer, artist, and professor Ashon Crawley said: “We have to refuse shame. it is not yours to hold. legs open or not.” Writer and theologian Candice Marie Benbow said on her Twitter: “Any event where 12-17-year-old girls are being told to ‘keep their legs closed’ is a space where purity culture is being reinforced.”

“Purity culture,” as Benbow referenced, is a culture that teaches primarily girls and women that their value is to be found in their ability to stay chaste and “pure”–as in, non-sexual–for both God and their future husbands.

I grew up in an explicitly evangelical house and church, where I was taught virginity was the best gift a girl can hold on to until she got married. I fortunately never wore a purity ring or had a ceremony where I promised my father I wouldn’t have pre-marital sex. I certainly never even thought of having my hymen examined and the certificate handed over to my father on my wedding day as “proof” that I kept my promise. But the culture was always present. A few years after that chocolate-flavored indoctrination, I was introduced to the fabled car anecdote. “Boys don’t like girls who have been test-driven,” as it goes.

And I believed it for a long time. That to be loved and to be desired by men, it was only right for me to deny myself my own basic human desires, in the hopes of one day meeting a man that would fill all of my fantasies — romantically and sexually. Even if it meant denying my queerness, or even if it meant ignoring how being the only Black and fat girl in a predominantly white Christian space often had me watch all the white girls have their first boyfriends while I didn’t. Something they don’t tell you about purity culture – and that it took me years to learn and unlearn myself – is that there are bodies that are deemed inherently sinful and vulgar. That purity is about the desire to see girls and women shrink themselves, make themselves meek for men.

Purity culture isn’t unlike rape culture which tells young girls in so many ways that their worth can only be found through their bodies. Whether it be through promiscuity or chastity, young girls are instructed on what to do with their bodies before they’ve had time to figure themselves out, separate from a patriarchal lens. That their needs are secondary to that of the men and boys in their lives.

It took me a while —after leaving the church and unlearning the toxic ideals around purity culture rooted in anti-Blackness, fatphobia, heteropatriarchy, and queerphobia — to embrace my body, my sexuality, and my queerness as something that was not only not sinful or dirty, but actually in line with the vision God has over my life. Our bodies don't stop being our temples depending on who we do or who we don’t let in, and our worth isn’t dependent on the width of our legs at any given point.

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