If you've seen coloured bases or primers on makeup counters and wondered how in the world to use them, fret not. To the uninitiated, these pastel-toned creams can be as baffling as HTML. Although they can look a bit 'much' in the tube, rest assured you're not going to end up looking like the Grinch. These bases and primers go on translucent and have subtle, colour correcting properties that cancel out the uneven tones in the skin based on the properties of the colour wheel. Yes, they're actually based on science!

Those with an SPF rating offer bonus sun protection and they can also hydrate, prime and smooth skin. For best results, wear your usual foundation or powder over these skin wonders. Here's a quick guide on which colours work best for you.

Pink or Lavender 
Best for: Correcting sallowness or to add luminosity
These colours blend into the skin tone and help correct sallow complexions by neutralising the yellow cast on skin and adding a dose of rosy translucency. 
Try: Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Makeup Color Base SPF16 in Lavender Pink

Koh Gen Do Lavender Pink

Green
Best for: Redness
Suffering from rosacea, acne-prone skin or an overly-ruddy complexion? Adding a green colour base can help tone down the redness so you'll need to slap on less concealer and foundation after.
Try: 
Smashbox Photo Finish Color Correcting Foundation Primer in Adjust 

 

 

Smashbox Photo Finish in Adjust

Yellow
Best for: Evening out fairer complexions
Although it may seem counterintuitive, yellow actually warms up the skin. It also gives tired-looking faces a boost, though we would recommend it for lighter skin tones. It also hides bluish tones — such as visible veins and bruises which can look obvious on very pale complexions. 
Try: Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Radiant Primer in Yellow, $68

Make Up For Ever Primer in Yellow

Peach
Best for:
Hiding undereye circles and correcting the grey cast on skin
Where yellow works for fair skin, peach is great for olive or darker complexions. It's great for correcting undereye circles that have a greyish tinge — use a tiny bit and you'll find you need much less concealer. 
Try: For Beloved One Melasleep Brightening Daily Defence Cream in Peach SPF30, $53

For Beloved One DD Peach

Blue 
Best for: Counteracting orange in the skin
Though less commonly seen than other correctors, this is great for balancing out orangey skin tones and hiding dark circles in darker complexions.
Try: Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Radiant Primer in Blue, $68

Radiant Primer in Blue