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How to Find Your Perfect Makeup Shades at Sephora

posted in: Makeup
October 8, 2015

Have you gone into your local Sephora for their Sephora + Pantone Color IQ matching service? If not, you’re seriously missing out.

Last week, I took a trip to The Grove, a popular outdoor shopping center here in Los Angeles, as they were celebrating their grand opening of the new Sephora store. As a beauty lover, I was totally enamored with the pristine store, unused testers, and fully-stocked shelves. But the coolest thing I saw during my visit was the new Sephora + Pantone Color IQ Beauty Studio Kiosk. While Color IQ– a free service that has shows you your perfect makeup shades– has been around since 2012 in select stores, it’s better than ever with two new features.

The new SEPHORA + PANTONE Color IQ can match you up with your perfect shade of foundation, concealer and lipstick! Click through to see how it all works. | Slashed Beauty

In case you’re unfamiliar, the Color IQ service uses a device (pictured above) that utilizes tri-directional color image capture technology that records pure, distortionless images of your skin that are synthesized and used to assign you a Pantone SkinTone number. That number is the key to matching yourself to the best makeup shades for your skin tone throughout the store, across all of their brands. Originally, Color IQ only matched you with foundations, but now you can find your best concealer shade for hiding blemishes or highlighting, and your best lip shade to compliment your complexion based on color harmonies and undertones!

The new SEPHORA + PANTONE Color IQ can match you up with your perfect shade of foundation, concealer and lipstick! Click through to see how it all works. | Slashed Beauty

The entire process only takes a couple minutes with the help of a Sephora employee, who holds the device to your neck (to avoid makeup getting in the way) and shows you how to work the database of products. Once you have your color match, you can search by product (foundation, concealer, or lipstick), brand, coverage, finish, formula… the options are endless.

The new SEPHORA + PANTONE Color IQ can match you up with your perfect shade of foundation, concealer and lipstick! Click through to see how it all works. | Slashed Beauty

My color ended up being 4Y07, which means I have a medium yellow undertone (no surprise there!). I had been specifically looking for my perfect concealer match for covering problem spots that would give me medium coverage, and the Color IQ database recommended the new Sephora Collection Bright Future Gel Serum Concealer in Tatin. I grabbed a tester and was surprised to see it really was an exact color match for me (not to mention great coverage and a lightweight feel)! You better believe I grabbed two and checked out with a quickness. Since I’ve had a few eczema flare ups recently, I’ve used the concealer to cover up blemishes when I don’t want to wear a full face of foundation, and it blends in so well that you seriously can’t tell I’m wearing makeup. Score!

The new SEPHORA + PANTONE Color IQ can match you up with your perfect shade of foundation, concealer and lipstick! Click through to see how it all works. | Slashed Beauty

Aside from the new Color IQ additions, more stores are going to be offering the Sephora Beauty Classes, which I talked about previously in this post, as well as free mini makeovers and 15-minute facials for Beauty Insiders. All of these new additions are to help you have the best shopping experience and find the best products on the first try, without wasting money on products you don’t love.

Even if you don’t have a Sephora close by, you can replicate the Color IQ process by punching in your current foundation product and shade on their website, and it will match you to similar shades from other brands!

Once you have your shade number, you can save it to your Beauty Insider account so you never forget it. Find out yours in-store or online and tell me your number in the comments!


18 Responses

  1. Miki Nyckel
    | Reply

    This is awesome!!!

  2. Anastasia
    | Reply

    None of my Sephoras have color IQ, and I would looove to be accurately color-matched.

  3. Nidia Doherty
    | Reply

    That’s pretty cool. I see a lot of people refer to their skintone by MAC numbers, but maybe this device will change that!

    • I hear that all the time too, and I think it’s kinda bizarre since it’s only one brand and not universal. Since Pantone is like *the* authority of color, I feel like it’s a more broad way of finding your match or at least learning your undertone!

  4. mynewestaddiction
    | Reply

    That is pretty cool. I haven’t ever seen it in any of the stores I have been to.

  5. Norah Salazar
    | Reply

    This is a great tool. When I was freelancing at Dior, I helped customers use it.

  6. marciaf
    | Reply

    The one time I wanted to do this they were so jammed up that I couldn’t get near. I do want to try it one time though.

  7. PrimeBeauty
    | Reply

    I’d love to use this tool, so cool!

  8. Brooke @ Blushing Noir
    | Reply

    I’ve never done this! I think it’s a great idea though. I’ll look into it the next time I’m out.

  9. Heather
    | Reply

    I also use the original color matching system when they released it and they had me 2 shades darker. I didn’t buy that shade, and when I went to a different location they had me with really pink and darker shades. It was all out of whack hehe I think this is much better!

  10. Rachel Runyan
    | Reply

    I hope they made it more accurate. I had the matching done. They matched me to a foundation that was FOUR shades too dark and much too warm. Thank God I didn’t buy anything. They used their shade match on me, and the MUA told me, “You’re not as light as you think you are.” Yeah…I am. lol My husband even noticed, and he’s not the type to pay attention to makeup.

    • My friend who works at Sephora says that because the technology is sensitive, the pressure they use to press it up against your face can even make a difference! It’s always good to have a second opinion. When they did it on me, they used the device on my neck and I think were less shy to press it onto me, and I was super surprised with the match because it’s like spot on… at least for concealer. Haven’t tried any of the foundations it suggested!

      • Rachel Runyan
        | Reply

        They did a few spots on my face, and also my neck and chest. I wasn’t wearing any makeup. I didn’t know about the pressure affecting it. I wondered if my summer freckles, or even their lighting, affected my results. Next time I’m in Sephora, I might get it done again just to see if the upgrade is more accurate. I might get a different result in the fall/winter when my freckles are more faded. Thanks as always for the extra info. You’re so sweet.

  11. Amber
    | Reply

    I’ve used the “old” Color IQ, but the new one sounds better. Love the options. I always love going to a new Sephora before the testers are all gross! haha

  12. Aleya Bamdad
    | Reply

    What a great way to cut out the guess work.

  13. Allison @neversaydiebeauty
    | Reply

    I tried this a couple of years ago, and unfortunately, it wasn’t a great match. I need to go back to the Sephora in Boston that has the device and try again.

    • You should definitely see if the updated technology works better for you! Also be sure to either go in without makeup on or have them match your neck so that they really get a pure color match!

  14. TinaBowling
    | Reply

    Glad to hear the process actually works! I’ll have to check this out on my next Sephora trip.

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