Navigation Menu


The Highlighter



Front/Center: Color IQ

Front/Center: Color IQ

Five easy steps to finding the perfect foundation with our own social media writer, Kelley Hoffman.

In junior high, incorrectly-matched foundation was just as rampant as our tendency to rock super-skinny brows and excessive body glitter. As an adult, I’ve lived a little in fear of foundation—still scarred from my tween mishaps. But Sephora + Pantone Color IQ has changed all that. The revolutionary in-store gadget borrows the same genius color match technology used in the design world—but now works to find your most accurate foundation shade, ever. I recently tested it:

1.    A cast member uses the matching device on three areas of my skin—décolletage, neck, and forehead. The device then averages the three shades to find my Pantone foundation number.

2.    I’m 4Y04. All thousand-plus foundations Sephora carries are catalogued with a Pantone number—my six matches are displayed on an iPad. I email the list straight from the iPad to my inbox, and scroll through to see some user reviews right on the spot.

3.    I narrow the six foundations down by brand, formulation, coverage, finish, skin type, formulas, or SPF (with or without).

4.    I’m also shown how to adjust my shade—should I get more tan in the summer or pale in the winter—to work with my number to make it lighter, darker, more yellow, or more red. As we go lighter and darker, I noticed the Stila Sheer Color Tinted Moisturizer Oil-Free SPF 20 in Bare stays in the results, while others get replaced. The cast member explains because it’s so sheer, it’s allows me compensate if my color changes a little. Sounds like a best bet.

5.    I ask for to-go samples of NARS Sheer Matte Foundation in Fiji and the Stila tinted moisturizer. I try out the Stila next morning—and when my co-worker says she can’t tell I’m wearing any foundation, I know my tween dream has come true.