Why Does Your Concealer Look Orange Or Yellow

Have you ever put on your concealer and found that it looks orange by mid-day? It’s frustrating, isn’t it? You look tired and your skin tone appears uneven.

There are many reasons why your concealer might turn orange. It could be oxidizing, or maybe you’re using a darker shade or the wrong undertone.

You could also be applying too much product or your concealer isn’t mixing well with your eye cream.Whatever the reason may be, we’ve got some tips to stop your concealer from getting darker.

Follow these simple steps to make sure that your under-eye area is flawless and bright all day long!

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Table Of Content

Why Does Your Concealer Turn Orange?

Your Concealer Is Oxidizing

As you apply makeup to your skin, it’s constantly exposed to many factors. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that occurs when concealer is mixed with the oils on your skin or even the oxygen in the air.

It’s the same reaction that happens when you cut an apple and it turns brown so fast.

The natural oils on our faces react with the ingredients in the concealer. As a result, it causes our under-eye area to darken and look orange.

Luckily, there are many steps you can follow to stop concealer from oxidizing.

Cleanse Your Skin

The first thing is to cleanse your skin with a gentle but effective cleanser. Applying concealer on an unwashed face might cause your makeup to look bad.

The concealer can mix with any leftover residue from the day before and create uneven coverage or worse – look orange!

We love this gentle cleanser for daily use. It leaves the skin feeling so fresh and it’s not drying.

Use A Light Eye Cream

The second step is to pick a lightweight eye cream that performs well under makeup. It’s also important to choose a lightweight formula that will allow your makeup to go on smoothly on top of it.

Keep thick and rich eye cream formulas to use during the night. That way, your skin can absorb all the ingredients overnight and they don’t interfere with your makeup.

Avoid applying an oil-based eye cream under concealer. Use a water-based cream instead.

Water-based eye creams have a lightweight formula that blends easily into the skin. They don’t leave any greasy residue and they sit well under makeup.

cetaphil gel eye cream
cerave eye repair cream

Choose The Right Concealer

You want a concealer that blends seamlessly into your skin, but not all of them do. Some formulas oxidize over time and leave you with an orange look. 

It’s important to choose a non-oxidizing formula and it’s a matter of trial and error to find the right one. 

Not all concealers oxidize. In general, mineral ingredients such as titanium oxide, zinc oxide, and iron oxide can cause makeup to oxidize. Look out for these ingredients in your concealer’s formula. If they are listed near the end of the list, then not much of these ingredients are present.

Some concealers of a specific brand can oxidize more than others. Be sure to read some reviews before buying a new concealer. 

You can also test the concealer for oxidation. One way to tell if a concealer might oxidize is by swatching the color on your arm and waiting for a few hours to see if it turns orange. 

If you have found your favorite concealer to be oxidizing, you can get it in a lighter shade. This tip can help to balance the color while keeping your under eyes looking brighter.

Are You Using a Dark Shade?

The second reason why your concealer might be looking orange is because of using a darker shade.

When it comes to choosing the best shade of concealer, you need to know your skin tone and undertone.

One thing many people don’t know is that skin tone and undertone are not the same things.

Skin tone is the color of the surface of your skin, whereas undertone is the tone underneath your skin. When it comes to choosing the best concealer shade, both of them are equally important.

Skintones can vary between fair, light, medium, or dark.

Undertones can be warm, cool, or neutral.

Warm undertones have gold, yellow, or peach in their skin.

Cold undertones have pink, or blue in their skin.

Neutral undertones have a mixture of both cool and warm undertones.

To match your concealer, you can go ONE shade lighter than your skin tone while still having the same undertone. This helps give your complexion a brighter look.

Concealer might cause your eyes to look smaller if it’s two or three shades lighter than your skin tone. This common mistake can make your concealer look ashy too.

Keep in mind that if you have cool undertones, using a concealer with a warm tone can cause your under eyes to look orange.

Pro Tip: You can mix a very light concealer with foundation to darken it.

Allow For The Eye Cream To Get Absorbed

We all know that using an eye cream is an essential step in any skincare routine, but the process of applying it can get tricky.

Eye creams are formulated to be soothing and moisturizing. Depending on the formula, they need some extra time to get absorbed by the skin.  

The key is to wait for them to get absorbed before applying any other product on top. Applying too much makeup on top of the eye cream can make your concealer look orange and dark.

According to Healthline, the best way to apply eye cream is by patting the product into your skin without any dragging or rubbing.

You can wait for at least 2 minutes after applying the eye cream so that it’s fully absorbed by your skin.

Use a Brush Or Sponge

Applying concealer with your fingers or hands can cause reactions with the product. The oils from your hands can interact with the concealer which might cause it to oxidize.

Using a makeup sponge or brush will result in a smoother application, plus it will prevent the oxidation of the product.

Makeup sponges are an easy solution for applying concealer. Not only do they provide a flawless finish, but they also prevent the concealer from looking cakey.

Our favorite tool to blend concealer is this soft mini sponge.

It works amazingly and it helps to blend concealer more precisely. It doesn’t absorb a lot of product and it makes it easier to reach the inner corners of the eyes.

I’ve been using the bigger makeup sponge for concealer but I didn’t like the way it looked. I’ve found that the mini sponge works way better for the under-eye area. It gives an even coverage and a flawless finish. 

To get a smooth finish, wet the sponge with water, squeeze out any excess liquid, and bounce the sponge lightly to blend the concealer.

Tip: let your concealer sit on the skin before blending for a seamless look.

real techniques mini sponge

Clean Your Tools

We all know that keeping our makeup tools clean is very important.

Makeup can buildup on brushes and sponges which can lead to bacteria. Using dirty tools to apply concealer might cause it to oxidize.

Use a gentle cleanser to wash your makeup brushes and sponges every week or two. This can help get rid of any leftover makeup and oils.

ecotools brush cleanser

Use Less Concealer

When you’re trying to hide dark circles, it’s easy to go overboard with your concealer.

Applying too much concealer can make your under-eye area look orange and dark.

To get a smooth look, try working in layers instead of applying too much concealer all at once.

Apply a small amount of product at first and then add more if needed until you get the desired coverage. Start with one or two concealer dots under the eyes. Blend seamlessly with a damp makeup sponge and add more if needed.

A little bit of concealer goes a long way especially if you are using a medium coverage concealer. Make sure you use just enough product for the under eye area so that it doesn’t look cakey.

Avoid Orange Setting Powders

Orange and peach setting powders can make the concealer look darker. This effect is even worse if you have dark circles.

Avoid orange and peach tones in setting powders for the under-eye area. If you have warm undertones, choose a yellow-toned powder to brighten up the under eyes.

On the other side, cool-toned people might look good with a pink-toned setting powder.

You can also use a translucent setting powder to stay on the safe side.

To set your concealer, you can choose between a loose or pressed setting powder

Loose powders can help to prevent the concealer from creasing. They are finely milled and they can give the under-eye area a smooth look.

Using a setting powder can prevent getting an orange concealer look. They set the makeup into place and they help control the oil production which prevents the concealer from oxidizing.

coty airspun translucent loose setting powder
Dragun Beauty Powder Pink

Use An Under Eye Primer

Is your concealer still getting orange no matter what you do?

You’ve tried everything to prevent this from happening. From using a setting powder before applying your concealer to mixing two different shades of concealer. Yet you’re still left with an orange look around your eyes after just a few hours of wearing makeup.

If your under-eye area is dry or oily, try to use an under-eye primer before applying concealer. It creates a barrier between the oils of your skin and the pigment in your concealer, which prevents the concealer from oxidizing.

smashBox Under Eye Primer

Are You Using An Old Concealer?

Using an expired concealer can make your under-eye makeup look bad. It can also lead to breakouts and acne.

Most people are unaware of the expiration date on their makeup, but it’s important to know when your concealer expires.

In general, concealers can last for up to a year. When a concealer is expired, its color will start to change. It will not perform well on the skin and it might start to separate in the tube.

Why Does Your Concealer Look Yellow?

A concealer is supposed to hide your dark circles, blemishes, and any other imperfections on your skin. But sometimes, the concealer can look yellow for many reasons.

First, the shade of your concealer can be a critical factor in why it looks yellow. Choosing a yellow-toned concealer that is too light for your skin tone can make your under eyes look yellow and bright.

Make sure to choose a concealer that matches your undertone and select a shade that is only ONE shade lighter than your skin color.

To know more, check our guide on how many shades lighter should concealer be.

Another factor could be the redness of your skin. If you have rosacea or any other condition that causes your skin to become red during the day, this might emphasize the yellow pigments of the concealer and make it look more yellow.

To avoid this look, use a light coverage foundation or a green-toned corrector to cancel the redness of your skin.


Concealer is an essential product in any makeup bag. It helps hide dark circles which gives the skin a brighter look. Unfortunately, concealer can also make you look orange if it doesn’t match your right undertone and skin tone. Luckily, there are ways to prevent it from happening.

Start by knowing your exact skin tone and define if you have a warm, cool or neutral undertone. After that, you can choose a concealer color that is ONE shade lighter than your skin tone while still having the same undertone.

Concealers might also look orange after oxidizing. It can look darker after being mixed with the oils on your skin or the oxygen in the air.

To avoid this from happening, apply concealer on clean skin. Use a gentle cleanser to wash your face and avoid layering many products under your concealer. Use a lightweight eye cream and let it get absorbed by the skin before applying concealer.

Many concealer brands can oxidize more than others. Be sure to test the concealer by swatching it on your arm and see if it turns orange. If your favorite concealer is always oxidizing, you can get it in a lighter shade.

Finally, if all else fails you can use an under-eye primer to create a barrier between your concealer and your skin. This can help in preventing the concealer from oxidizing.

Follow these simple steps to stop your concealer from looking orange and keep your makeup looking flawless all day long!

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Claire is a beauty enthusiast and lover of all things makeup. Her blog is a resource for makeup tips and tricks, product reviews and beauty tutorials.

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