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Sephora Color IQ In-Store Experience

Sephora IQ In Store Experience

Today I went down to my local Sephora to try out the Color IQ experience. I went in with a naked face (well, I filled in my brows but that was it) so that there would be no makeup to mess with the machine. Since I got another PCA Skin Sensi Peel on Wednesday, my skin is peeling and red. I let the MUA know that I have rosacea and I’m peeling because of a facial.

The MUA took a reading on my cheek, forehead and neck. However, it still came out pinker than it should have. The only way for it to not come out quite so pink is if I had only let her do it on my neck. She said that she also thought it was picking up on the pink overtones and recommended I come back on a day when my skin wasn’t so irritated. I may end up going back on the 16th.

Sephora Pantone Color IQ Foundation Matcher ToolAnyway, the machine determined that I am 1Y01. I actually think it’s a touch dark / pink. It came up with several foundation suggestions, which were emailed to me. I also put the number in on the Sephora Website and it came up with additional matches. Some of these match me well, some of these are definitely too pink or too dark, or both.

Sephora Color IQ Adjustment

On the Sephora Website, it only gives me the option to adjust ‘darker’ not to adjust ‘warmer’ or ‘lighter.’ I think I need warmer / lighter.

Sephora Pantone IQ Foundation Finder Suggestions Sephora Pantone IQ Foundation Finder Suggestions

Here are some of the foundations that the Color IQ machine ‘matched’ me to. They emailed me the list of recommendations.

NARS Siberia (only shows the powder, not Sheer Glow or Sheer Matte, nor does it show the new cream foundation)
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Tinted Moisturizer in Y1 (looks a tad dark, I think Y0 would be a better match).
Cover FX Pressed Mineral Foundation in N10 (looks perfect)
Cover FX Total Cover Cream Foundation in N0 (looks perfect)
Cover FX Pressed Mineral Foundation in P20 (looks a touch too cool)
Kat Von D Lock-It Tattoo Foundation – Light 42 (is a touch cool/ dark, but not bad)
BB Tinted Treatment 12-Hour Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen – Fair (matches nicely)
Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm SPF 20 in Snow Glow (this actually was too dark when I swatched it, but the Air-Buffed BB Cream in Snow Glow is good)
Sunday Riley Creme Radiance Breathable Ageless Foundation in 100 C (looks too cool, I think 100 W would be better).

Cover FX is PETA Approved

After researching, I found out that Cover FX is cruelty-free and PETA approved.

Cover FX Pressed Mineral Foundation in N10 is going on my wish list.

Even though my reading came out a bit darker / pinker than I believe I am (due to the PCA Skin Peel), I still think the overall experience was good. I think if you’re curious about what your foundation shade is, you should head down to Sephora to get Color IQ Matched. Find a store near you that is participating here. The tool can at least point you in the right direction for a foundation. I don’t feel it was wholly accurate for me.

The Meet Your Perfect Foundation Match Event is going on:
August 9, 10, 11
August 16, 17, 18
August 23, 24, 25
12 pm to 6pm

Have you gone to the Sephora to get your Perfect Foundation Match? Will you? Let me know what you think in the comments below!

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  • Nothing irritates me more than sales reps with snotty attitudes who refuse to listen. I insisted they do a match using my neck & got the right shades in Laura Mercier foundations.

  • BisqueCould you tell me what color you use in the Naked line? I thought I was cool, but I have since learned that it may be my rosacea so I am either neutral or neutral/warm in undertones. I bought 3.5 in Naked because it is the first cool after the .5. It is too dark for me, but .5 would be too light. I thought Naked only had cools and warms but not neutrals. I LOVE the formula, so if I can find a better match for me, I’d be very happy about that. Thanks Bisque!

  • Phyrra lissbirds According to Sephora, the Sheer Glow in Siberia is 4Y01 and the cream in Siberia is 2Y02, less yellow and a shade darker.  Go figure!

  • Bisque I would check out Illamasqua Skin Base in 2. You can order it directly from sephora now. I’ve got it swatched in my skin base review, too.

  • mgumina12 I found the air buffed bb cream in Snow glow worked for me, but I haven’t tried the other BB cream they put out in snow glow on my face. I just swatched it at IMATS and it looked too dark.

  • Phyrra Sarsie Yes, I really am liking the Hourglass so far! Thanks for the info re: the KVD. The thing I was worried about was that full coverage foundations tend to emphasize any areas of dry skin I might have, so I will have to try and get a sample of the KVD to see how it fares. The makeup artist who worked with me raved about it, and I’ve heard generally good things about it, so I’m curious!

  • lov2read68 Yeah I put in NARS powder in Siberia, which is 1y01. I tried to put in Illamasqua Skin base in 2, but they only have 3.5 and higher in Illamasqua.

  • Gwin I think the person using the machine would be wise to ask if you match your neck or your face with your foundation, an then take readings like that. They should also not take a reading from a freckle.

  • Sarsie I need to check out the Hourglass foundations at some point. The KVD is very full coverage, but can be nice if you need either full coverage or lightly apply it.

  • I went to a larger stand-alone Sephora about a week ago and had this done. Overall, I was happy with the experience, but mostly because the make-up artist I had knew what she was doing. I hadn’t planned to get matched that day, so I was wearing makeup which this one woman took off. She then moisturized my face and my skin freaked out from it (I have really really incredibly sensitive skin, and haven’t yet figured out all the ingredients that set it off — my skin has always been sensitive, but this über-sensitivity is a fairly recent development). So I had really horrible-looking red blotchy skin. Boo. I wasn’t too thrilled at that point. Anyway, then I went to the makeup artist for the color-matching, and she did make sure to take readings from my jaw, my neck, and my forehead (my cheeks were the most affected at that point), and it came out wayyyy to dark. I don’t remember what the original number was, but one of the foundations it matched me to was UD Naked in 3.5 when 0.5 matches really well. It also didn’t list some foundation formulations that she thought would be great for my skin.
    So, she went ahead and tested a few of the ones it matched me to in addition to the ones she thought would be good for me, and her selections were far more accurate than what the machine selected. Not only that, she was incredibly knowledgeable about which formulations would work best with my finicky skin. The one that I liked the best was Hourglass Illusion in Shell, though the KVD Lock-It Tattoo in 44 was also really good, though somewhat heavy for my taste. I think I’m going to try this again but after washing and moisturizing my face a few hours ahead of time at home, so that my skin looks like its normal self, just so I can see how the results differ.

  • Phyrra PeaceLoveGlittr Is Skin Base 2 cool-toned?  I’ve been eying that, but I need something a bit on the yellow side.  I’m torn between 2 and 3, but not sure if 3 would be too dark.  (I’m super pale.)
    Have you gotten matched the old-fashioned way at Sephora to see what your undertones are?  You look a bit cool-toned to me, but that could just be how you photograph.  🙂

  • Didn’t work for me, either…they matched me as 5Y03.  But the SA wouldn’t let me take my powder off, so I’m sure that threw it off!!  I did a reverse lookup for foundations that match me on Sephora’s website and I’m more 2Y01…two shades lighter and three shades less yellow.  That method works much better!  Just go to Sephora’s color IQ website and put in a foundation that matches you, then you’ll get your color.
    I tried NARS Sheer Glow in Siberia AND the creme in Siberia–they are different, oddly enough!  The creme matched me, the Sheer Glow was too yellow.

  • I got a chance to try this concept out when Boots launched a similar device in England last year. I was just visiting on vacation and ran into a larger Boots as soon as I was able to just to check out what my “match” was. Unfortunately I am fair skinned with lots of light freckles on my face and when I was matched I was actually matched with a super dark shade. So while this concept is really neat, I don’t think it’s meant for me. *sad face*

  • I tried tried this last weekend. I think it is an interesting concept & may be very useful to get a starting point. Even adjusting lighter from the reading I got in store, the suggestions were too orange and too dark – especially once I was out in natural light. I played around on the website since you can put in your existing foundation and find out your ColorQ that way. I have some redness in my skin but I also have cool undertones.  My neck is noticeably lighter than what my face reads and my personal preference is to have a more seamless match between my face & neck. I did like that it provided a variety of suggestions including some brands that I have never looked at before.

  • mgumina12 Bisque I think the trick with liquid is how you apply it. I think you either need a beauty blender sponge or the Urban Decay Optical Blurring brush. The OBB really changed foundation for me. I’ve gotten the hang of using a beauty blender (basically bounce bounce bounce on the face) and it does a nice job, too.
    I like the Illamasqua Skin base. 2 is my perfect match. I own 1 and 4, which i mix together to make a close approximation of 2. I originally bought 4 and it was too dark, so I started custom mixing my own with 1 and 4.

  • PeaceLoveGlittr I’m pretty confident that I’m neutral leaning warm, and I have an annoying pink overtone from rosacea, so I like to counter with products that have a slight bit of yellow in them. To me, NARS Siberia is perfect. I also really love Illamasqua Skin Base in 2.

  • I’ve matched someone in 1Y01 in the Cover FX cream N0 and it was fantastic.  I LOVE Cover FX, it’s one of my favorite brands!  I personally love the Color IQ, however I realize it’s not a be all end all to foundation matching.  95% of the time my consultations go really well, but every once in awhile I’ll have to stray away from it and use my own expertise.  It really just depends on the persons skin, freckles can get a misread.  And (as you know) rosacea can throw it off too.  You just have to get a good consultant that knows what they’re doing and understands undertones.

  • oh my goodness! While it’s unfortunate that your match was a bit off due to the pinkness, I am so excited to give this a try! I really don’t know anything about my skin tone and LOVE the fact that they give you matches for multiple brands, not just one. Although the link you provided doesn’t mention the color IQ store event! So are those dates/times for international mall?

  • Bisque mgumina12 That’s my HUGE problem in life, I have the dryest, flakiest skin on the planet… it’s always flaky no matter what I do (but it’s also oily in parts). So I know that with dry skin they say not to use powder but I use the Too Faced Amazing foundation powder in vanilla creme on a daily basis because for it makes my face matte for first which helps hide the flake, it’s really subtle and light (anytime makeup starts looking like makeup then I can really see the flake), and for some reason it draws the attention away from my pores and flake. When I start using liquid foundation I get really upset after like 20 minutes of applying it an messing with it and it still looking bad so I wipe it all off and stomp away mad. So your idea about the white could be a very good one because it’s foundation liquid and that’s one of my least favorite things to wear during the day I dunno why. And yes everything with illamasque they have is pricey. I tried their creme foundation which is in the same type compact as their powder (and I think it is a creme to powder) and that was way too drying for me it was terrible (I got it in the white and in the pinky shade).

  • Phyrra BrandiIndica If you feel like you should have been warmer, I asked them to email me the warmer results too and those were 1Y02… I can email them to you if you want. It’s kinda a long list and it doesn’t show up in html in the email they sent.

  • Quinctia Phyrra  I don’t like the inconsistency in their colors, BM that is… Their original powder formula makes the lightest color that is almost perfect for me but I can’t stand the formula, then they make a matte which is what formula I would ideally love but the SAME lightest color in the matte version is way too dark and orange for me. Then the new pressed powders are all several shades lighter than the same versions of their names in the other powders (which they warn you about luckily)–but in the pressed power I finally found a powder that’s almost TOO light for me in their lightest…. so that’s the way to go if you think BM’s lightest colors are too dark still. Or better yet the Make up forever pro finish in their lightest because that’s very light and a tidge yellow.

  • mgumina12 I’ve been debating giving the white a go and mixing it, but I’ve heard not so good things for dry skin. Like it’s supposed to be a little cakey unless you mix with a moisturizer or something, but at that price I want it to work straight out of the bottle. I might give the BM a try, thanks for the info!

  • My closest Sephora is 2 hours away but I so badly want to try that gizmo out. I have redness in my cheeks usually so it would probably take a bit to get the right reading but I’m horrible at choosing foundation!

  • **but then I played with it and got a readI totally agreed with. You should def try again once your skin is more healed from the peel, I think you’d like the results better.

  • That’s awesome! I definitely feel like its a great tool, especially since it may suggest products and shades you wouldn’t have thought of. There’s still human error tho. My first read was 5r04 & i was like whoa… I am not that red!

  • Phyrra Totally makes sense, I got a free deluxe sample of the BM powder in the lightest shade, and it’s a pretty good match for me. I’m usually a shade or two in on a foundation line with a decent spread of tones.
    I’d like to do this, but I don’t think my local Sephora in JCP has this.

  • Phyrra mgumina12 Really? That’s weird because the snow glow was actually too dark for me and darker than the vanilla creme. Also tried their BB stuff in the lightest which I think was snow glow and that was WAY too dark for me but the powder is lighter on me. The powder looks a little dark going on, maybe because of the yellow and I’m pink but I it’s one of the few that doesn’t get orange so it actually gets lighter as the day goes on, opposite of oxidizing however that works and makes me look less dead without being a whole different dark color on my face.

    • BrandiIndica Yeah I felt like I should be slightly warmer, because a lot of their options were very pink. Some match me spot on though.

  • I also got the same result you did the 1Y01 and I wanted to share with you that I’ve tried (on my own color matching decision not theirs) to try Make up forever Pro Finish Power in 110 and it’s pretty much dead on…I have the Make up Forever Mat Velvet in 15 from the list as a recommendation but I don’t like it so much… the powder however is great. Also try the Bare Minerals pressed powder in the lightest shade (although kinda yellow but helps even out stuff), and then my absolute favorite is the Too Faced Amazing Face Powder in Vanilla Creme.

    • mgumina12 I haven’t tried the powder, but I did try the liquid in MUFE and it was too pink. I love the Too Faced Vanilla Creme powder but it’s too dark for me. The bareMinerals in the lightest shade is too dark as well.

  • I think the redness does mess with the color picker gizmo.  But overall, you got some decent matches, like the Siberia and Snow Glow, both of which look good on you.  I think you know enough about makeup and your own skin to use it as a guide and adjust accordingly.   I’d love to see if the results change if you do go for a second visit!!

      • Phyrra cinseven13 I just realized you wrote they did your neck.  They didn’t do my neck – they did my cheek, jaw, and forehead.  They should do them all the same way.  I’d have gotten different – perhaps close – results if they’d have done my neck.

  • Hi, I’ve been reading your blog for quite some time after my friend (an avid beauty blog person) recommended to me that I follow your’s because A-she adores you and B-she thinks you have the same skintone I too and she knows how much I struggle to find pale enough makeup. Anyways, that being said, I did the color IQ thing in Las Vegas store on vacation back in May and their results were pretty off and too dark except like one. I had them repeat and do a more accurate area and it only gave one result which was disappointing. Also, the makeup I DO find works for my skin and color was NOT on the list if even if I tried to “go darker” or warmer or whatever like you said. So I wanted to recommend that to you…It’s the Too Faced powder in ‘Vanilla Creme’ ( It doesn’t LOOK like it would match but on my skin it goes perfectly. It’s almost maybe a little dark but because it’s matte, it does so without looking at all darker against my skin and it balances out my insane pinkness.

  • This would be so fun to try! I’m extremely pale so I have a very hard time finding stuff that suits my skin. I have a neutral undertone and find most foundations are either too pink or too yellow when they start getting into the palest colours. So far I’m loving Urban Decay’s Naked Skin.
    For makeup tutorials, reviews and DIYs:

    • Bisque I am very pale as well, I got the same result that Phyrra did for my skin IQ as well and from what I was told by the guy doing it, it’s the palest their machine goes so I don’t think that being less red will help the results because that’s the palest it goes and that’s unfortunately the problem us pale girls have. But anyways, Bisque-What I was going to tell you is that illamasque now has a liquid foundation in white (lol I know it sounds silly but at this point, I’m actually glad I got it)… you can either mix it with your too dark foundations or just use it the way it is (like I do on blemishes to take away the red before adding powder or something). Another thing that was not on their list for this color result is the new Bare Minerals pressed powder, I don’t like BM in their original formula is makes me itch and break out and in their matte formula their lightest color is way too dark… but in the PRESSED formula their lightest color works miracles on special days when nothing else is working. It’s a heavy makeup so I wouldn’t recommend it daily but maybe check out their palest shade in the pressed. Also my favorite daily foundation is honest the powder foundation made by too faced (it’s a lot like the snow glow but just a hair lighter and nicer), in their lightest shade (vanilla creme).

      • mgumina12 Bisque The bareMinerals in the palest is still too dark for me, but I did try it. I do like the feel of thei rpressed though.

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