As someone who took her fair share of fine-art classes, I know that complementary colors — i.e., those opposite one another on the color wheel — neutralize each other. (If you want to get nerdy about it, it has to do with the different electromagnetic wavelengths of visible light.) Anyway! These days, my paintbrush usage is mostly limited to makeup, and not even that much of it. Aside from mascara, my daily routine involves covering up purple under-eye circles and red spots. Normally I just use plain cover-up that's a tiny bit yellower than my skin tone. But when our beauty editor introduced me to E.l.f.'s four different tinted concealers, I was intrigued — doesn't it make sense to use different tones for different skin problems? The dark areas under my eyes are a very different color from a blemish, after all.
E.l.f.'s kit includes the following pale tints: purplish-blue ("balancing"), light green ("adjusting"), faint yellow ("brightening"), and plain concealer for a light skin tone ("fair"). The liquid-y texture is easy to blend and layer; it doesn't flake or ball up like some cover-ups do when you rub them in. And at $3 per wand, it gets the job done just as well as the much more expensive brands I've tried.
I started with the greenish "adjusting" concealer on the reddish areas of my face (around my nose, mostly). At first it looked ... green. When I blended it with my fingers, it looked better, but still not entirely normal — I definitely looked like I had makeup on, which is never my goal, particularly when it comes to cover-up. I wound up washing it off, but it seemed like it could be useful for a situation in which evenness takes priority over looking natural — if you're getting your picture taken, for example.
I then tried the faint yellow "brightening" color around my eyes. This was more successful. I looked awake and fresh-faced.
The lavender "balancing" color was a bit more perplexing. Purple's complementary color is yellow, and I don't have any yellowish areas on my face that need neutralizing. I dabbed tiny bits of it on my cheeks and forehead and rubbed it in, but it just gave me an unnatural pale tinge. I determined it was probably for a different skin tone than my pale, pinkish coloring — probably someone with more orange-y undertones.
But the most useful hue, in the end, was the plain old-fashioned "fair" wand, which looks just like the concealers I've been using all along. Too bad for color theory, but at least I haven't been missing out.
Most Viewed Stories
Khloe Kardashian Sued for Sharing Photo of Khloe Kardashian
Succumb to the Siren Song of Unflattering Pants
The Most Depressing Ways The Bachelor Couple Have Described Their Relationship
Joe Biden Went Off on Male College Students in Speech About Sexual Consent
Kim Kardashian Talks Caitlyn Jenner’s ‘Hurtful’ Memoir, Says Paris Robbery Was ‘Meant to Happen’
My Big Boobs Look Great in This Plus-Sized Bra
A Snazzy White Blouse With a Colorful Purse Is a Good Look
There’s Reportedly Some Therapy-Dog Drama Going Down at Vogue
Should You Be Boycotting SheaMoisture?
Hey, Did You Know That French Presidential Candidate Emmanuel Macron Is Married to His High-School Teacher?
The Cut’s Latest Beauty FeaturesThis Hot Firefighter Looks Familiar
Justin Trudeau met with firefighters.This Photographer Captures Generations of French Women
Alessandra Sanguinetti’s new exhibit opens just before the French presidential election.Salvatore Ferragamo Bottled the Scent of Man
Actor Ben Barnes hosted a party for the brand’s new cologne last night.A New Theory on Why People Who Exercise Lots Are So Damn Happy All the Time
Physical activity brings a “cascade of positive events” to your life, argues a recent study.Female Dragonflies Fake Their Own Deaths to Avoid Males
Ah, nature.Ivanka Trump Reportedly Bribed Her Angry Neighbors With Baked Goods
After neighbors complained, the First Daughter went door-to-door.11 Pairs of Unflattering Pants That Will Make You Look Ugly-Cool
In all their high-waisted glory.Fan Bingbing Will Do Anything in a Sheet Mask
The Chinese actresses performs movie-star obligations in public while sheet mask-ing.How Oprah Keeps Her Hair So Beautiful
Her hairstylist explains.More Women Politicians Could Mean Fewer Infant Deaths
New research shows an effect of gender equality in the legislature.
It makes them look round, perky, and huge.Succumb to the Siren Song of Unflattering Pants
You’ll look kind of weird in them. That’s the point.An Ohio Woman Was Found Captive in a Pit in Her Neighbor’s Shed
Police say she was being held in neighbor Dennis Dunn’s shed.Joe Biden Went Off on Male College Students in Speech About Sexual Consent
The former vice-president spoke at George Mason University last night for the “It’s on Us” campaign.What TV Is Getting Wrong (and Right) About Abortion
▶️ Across all cable-news programs, 64 percent of segments on abortion contained inaccurate information.Taylor Schilling on Why Authenticity, Alone Time, and Muffins Are Keys to Wellness
“When I spent a lot of energy trying to manipulate my outside, there wasn’t a lot of energy left over.”The Craziest Mom I Ever Met Was Obsessed With Being Popular
How many moms buy their daughter a boob job?Ivanka Trump’s Women Who Work Preface Rewritten by a Woman Who Works
A few notes on Ivanka Trump’s new book’s preface.Mindy Kaling Options Ex–Obama Staffer’s Memoir for New Series
She wants to turn Alyssa Mastromonaco’s memoir into a series.Dua Lipa Is the Anti–Pop Star
She’s starting a music revolution all her own.