I went to Sephora and got Color Matched

Color match kit
Color match kit

I was on my way out to the mall yesterday when I checked the postal mail. Lucky thing I did, because there was a card in there from Sephora, offering me some kind of kit if I would come in to be color matched. I had read a little about Sephora’s new color “Color IQ” matching system, so I was already intrigued, because I have a lot of trouble color matching myself in foundation. And they were going to give me free samples on top of helping me out with that? Sign me up.

Always pays to check your mail


I had some stuff I wanted to buy at Sephora anyway (this weekend they had triple points for VIB members if you mentioned an email they sent) so it was perfect timing. Here’s how it all went:

  • When I got to the store it was a little busy, but I didn’t even have to ask anyone for help, as I was shopping someone came over to help me.
  • She was super nice, took me to the middle of the store (near all the bright lights and scary mirrors, for those with anxiety issues, but it wasn’t too bad)
  • She asked me how much makeup I had on at the moment (so as not to skew the results, I suppose, if I had on a truck-full)
  • Then all I had to do was stand quietly in place while she scanned my forehead, cheek and one other area (my chin? I don’t know I get distracted) with a handheld Pantone color scanning tool.
  • Those three results are then averaged, and the device shows what color you are. (I am a 1Y06.)
  • Then she input that number into the computer, and it showed on screen all the foundations they have that would match me, and said what color I needed.
  • Once we had discussed my needs and preferences (I don’t like powder foundation, I do have normal to oily skin, I don’t necessarily want full coverage in the summer, but this winter I might like more coverage) she steered me toward NARS sheer matte foundation in the color Santa Fe.
  • She tried some on my jawline and it blended in perfectly.



I wasn’t ready to buy anything on the spot, since I am still really happy with my Ole Henriksen CC Creme for the moment (full review of that coming soon.) But she put together a sample for me (see photo above) of that foundation, and then I also got some other nicely sized samples of Smashbox primer, Benefit moisturizer and Bare Minerals mineral veil. That part of the kit is already put together in this very cool rubbery bag (pictured above) and they just add the sample of foundation, and a card that notes the scanned Pantone color.

On the Sephora website you can save your Pantone color in your profile on the Color IQ section of the site, but that doesn’t seem to be connected to your Beauty Insider profile yet. Hopefully that’s coming soon. I’d like to see them use that info for blush and lipstick recommendations eventually.

If you compare the swatch color here to the matched foundation swatch above, you will see that this color is not at all representative of my actual skin color. Dunno what that’s about.

Anyway, it was an interesting thing to do, and I am very happy with the sample they gave me so I can play around with it. I was very surprised for them to say I had a yellow undertone (I think that’s what the “y” stands for, although the foundation recommendation had a peachy undertone?) I’ve always thought it was pinkish, so I might go in sometime with zero makeup on, or later in the fall, to see if it says anything different. Let me know if you have any questions about the process and I will try to answer them.