Narrowing down which products to buy at Sephora may seem like the most daunting beauty struggle, but finding a perfect foundation definitely takes the cake. On top of identifying your undertone, there are a million formulas to choose from — each with their own unique benefits, coverage levels, shade ranges, and even shade names. It's a dilemma that can intimidate even the most seasoned beauty fanatics.
Thankfully, Sephora has our backs on this one with the Color IQ tool. Simply head into your local store and ask a Beauty Advisor to help you find your Color IQ number. It only takes a couple of minutes, which means you can even do it when you're in a rush or on your lunch break. With the four-character code in tow, you'll not only find your perfect shade in every formula, but can even see a curated list of products that best match your undertones.
Sold yet? Our staffers certainly were. To prove how game-changing this tool really is, we used it to help six of them finally find their perfect foundation match. Catch a glimpse of their transformations and hear their thoughts ahead.
Tamara, Assistant Fitness Editor
Foundation: FENTY BEAUTY BY RIHANNA Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 360
"I've only heard amazing things about the Fenty foundation, and although I don't wear makeup often, I wanted to support a black-owned business! I really liked the foundation and didn't feel like it was unnatural looking or caked on. It was extremely humid on the first day I wore it, so I assumed it would be dripping off of my face after a few minutes of being outside, but it held up very well."
Color IQ Number: 2Y11
"I'd heard of the Color IQ system before, but never felt inclined to use it since I rarely wear makeup. Now that I have, I definitely think the tool will make buying makeup so much easier. No one wants to be running back and forth returning and testing colors."
Final Thoughts: "As a woman of color, it's extremely hard to find a color that matches my complexion and the mixture of tones in my skin. It definitely makes me feel more confident knowing that this shade was made for me and will only enhance my features!"
Jackie, Senior Project Manager
Foundation: Make Up For Ever Matte Velvet Skin Full Coverage Foundation in Y355 Natural Beige
"This foundation is perfect for me. The formula is so smooth and airy that it barely felt like I was wearing any makeup. It lasted through the rest of my workday and well into the night, which was amazing considering how light it felt on my skin. Added bonus: I was still able to see my freckles (typically foundation covers them up)!"
Color IQ Number: 1R08
"The Color IQ system was new to me, but I thought it was a neat and effective way of finding the right shade for my skin tone. I'm eager to try it again in late Fall to see what color I should switch to once my Summer glow is gone. The IQ system makes it so much easier to shop for the right products and colors for me."
Final Thoughts: "Wearing a foundation shade that matches my skin tone made me feel like myself. I'm not one to wear heavy makeup on my face because I don't like when you can see the makeup on your skin. I much prefer a foundation that looks and feels natural — and this was it!"
Lauren, Senior Brand Development Manager
Foundation: Too Faced Born This Way Foundation in Pearl
"I think the most amazing part of this foundation was that it looked so much like my skin color that I didn't need to apply it all over my face. I could just apply it in the areas where I had blemishes or redness. I could barley feel it on my skin and it wore really well through the end of the day!"
Color IQ Number: 1Y05
"I had never used the Color IQ system before, but I was so impressed by how fast it worked — literally, it took less than 30 seconds — and how accurate the color matches are! I'm really fair and spend a lot of time trying to find the right foundation shade for me. This made the process so much easier!"Final Thoughts: "I feel so much more confident knowing that I wont have lines or visible areas where the foundation doesn't match my skin tone. As someone whose struggled with acne for a good portion of her life, I wear foundation every day to feel the most confident. Just knowing that this foundation is a perfect match for me is one less thing to worry about on a daily basis!"
Jasmine, Senior Account Manager
Foundation: Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick in Warm Beige
"I had been wanting to try the Hourglass foundation for a while, and it matched perfectly with my skin tone! Usually I need to mix colors to get my perfect shade, but not with this foundation stick."
Color IQ Number: 1Y08
"The Color IQ system was totally new to me, but I was amazed at how accurate it was. I think it makes things way more efficient when you're in Sephora and in a rush trying to find the right shade and product."
Final Thoughts: "My face didn't feel heavy or caked on; it just felt natural. The color was spot-on, too. I was so impressed."
Chelsea, Native Editorial Intern
Foundation: Cover FX Power Play Foundation in G70
"I really like how lightweight this foundation was. It didn’t clog up my pores at all or dry out throughout the day, even thought it's a matte formula."
Color IQ Number: 1Y10
"I didn't know what the Color IQ tool was before this. Immediately, I was surprised by how small the device was and how simple it was to identify my exact complexion. It makes it easier to find a product that’s right for you not only because of your shade, but also finding something that works well with your skin type."
Final Thoughts: "I love that I can wear a foundation that matches my skin and not feel like it makes me look lighter or darker. It worked so well for my skin that I forgot I even had foundation on. It just felt natural, which made me more confident to try adding foundation to my daily routine in the future."
Kelly, Brand Partnerships Account Executive
Foundation: MARC JACOBS BEAUTY Shameless Youthful-Look 24H Foundation in Light R230
"The coverage of this foundation is light-to-medium which, for me, was perfect since I don't like to have a full face of makeup. It lasted the entire day and into the night! I also LOVED the fact that it had SPF 25 in it since I put sunscreen on my face on a daily basis!"
Color IQ Number: 2R06
"I'm so glad that I finally tried this — it only took minutes and made shopping across brands so easy! I usually feel bad asking for a beauty advisor to shade match me as I hop from one brand to another brand (I'm so indecisive), but once I got my Color IQ number, I felt confident in knowing I was buying the correct shade. It also allowed me to shop more independently and not have to worry about the back and forth with a specialist!"
Final Thoughts: "I am usually the girl who wears the same beauty products for years! I know what I like and I stick with it until they either discontinue the color/product or I stumble across something life-changing. With that said, I was hesitant to try a new foundation, but felt confident in knowing that I was wearing the correct shade thanks to my Color IQ. I may just break my habit and start wearing this on a daily basis! Hey, it has a higher SPF count then my normal foundation — I'm sold!"
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