The Color IQ device. (Photo: Sephora)
One of the biggest — and most common — makeup faux pas you can make is not properly matching your foundation and concealer to your skin, and it’s not a rookie mistake. After all, unlike your eye color, your skin tone changes with sun exposure and other environmental factors, so you can easily go too light or too dark even if the color matched perfectly at a different time and place. And it’s not just about how light or dark your skin is. It also matters if your skin has pink, yellow, or as Sudanese model Nykhor Paul once told me, “true blue” undertones. Whether you’re shopping online, scoping out your local Sephora brick-and-mortar store, or counter jumping at your favorite department store, there are a lot of options that can overwhelm you and distract you from getting your perfect color match. Today, Sephora adds to its Color IQ service, featuring concealer and lips, in partnership with Pantone. The service is available in all stores and aims to give you the perfect matches for concealer, foundation, and lip color in the scientifically precise manner that only a robot could.
It’s simple: Just walk into Sephora and ask for the Color IQ service. A Sephora artist will clean a small patch of your face and apply a spot of gentle moisturizer on it. “If your skin is too dry, it can actually affect the color swatch matched by Color IQ,” Sephora Pro makeup artist Shawn Lumaban tells Yahoo Beauty. Then, your makeup artist will use the handheld Color IQ device manufactured by Pantone — yes, the same one that some interior designers use — to snap a photo of your skin. Obviously, your skin color appears different depending on the lighting of your environment, but this device eliminations error and distortion by capturing in pitch darkness. The data is then uploaded and used to comb through Sephora’s entire selection to pick out exact matches for your skin — and yes, fellow picky makeup junkies, you can even edit down your selection further with preferences like oil-free or paraben-free. “The entire Sephora Pro team put a lot of input into this,” Lumaban says. “It’s a makeup artist’s dream.”
Of course, you still have to walk into Sephora to use this service, but the data is uploaded into your Beauty Insider account so that you can shop for the right color cosmetics without leaving your desk. And that is beauty innovation that you — and the pros — can use.