I’ve been hearing about Sephora’s new Color IQ system online for a month or two now, but hadn’t inquired in-store about it and wasn’t sure if it was available in the Sephora locations near me. Last week, though, I received a mailer inviting me to get my Color IQ match and redeem a sample kit, so I headed over to see what the process was like.
The process is simple. The sales associate had me sit down in one of their chairs and remove the face makeup I was currently wearing with a cleansing towelette. She then used a handheld device to take photos of 3 areas of my skin, and the machine used the images to generate Color IQ code. She brought up the result on a larger computer monitor and had me enter my email address so that the code, along with some foundation matches, would be in my inbox for me to reference later. On the monitor, she narrowed down the foundation results by asking me a few questions regarding my skin type and foundation preferences, and then hand chose two of them to show me.
She brought out a Clinique tinted moisturizer and a Givenchy foundation for me to sample on the back of my hand, which helped further guide the discussion about what I look for in a foundation. I chose to try on the Givenchy, which did indeed turn out to be an outstanding color match for me. The Color IQ sample kit includes two foundation samples, so for the second spot the associate hand picked a Smashbox foundation that she knew to have some similar qualities to the Givenchy, but was new and had not yet been integrated into the Color IQ database.
My color IQ is 1R05. I wish I knew a little more about what that indicates, but the associate did comment that my skin was relatively neutral. The foundation samples she provided were the Smashbox Liquid Halo HD Foundation SPF 15 (#2 warm vanilla) and the Givenchy Photo’Perfexion Fluid Foundation SPF 20 PA+++ (#4 perfect vanilla).
She applied the Umbrian Clay Face Lotion by Fresh and the Givenchy Photo’Perfexion on my clean face, and followed up with Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer Pencil and Guerlain Terracotta Light Sheer Bronzing Powder (sun blondes 04).
I’m also wearing Benefit’s They’re Real! mascara and Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Brow (10 light blonde) from earlier in the day, as well as L’Oreal’s Translucide translucent loose powder which I applied once I got home when I noticed that some of the foundation would transfer on my fingers if I touched my face. I’m just speaking from first impressions at this point, but the Givenchy foundation is lovely and wore well for the rest of the day on me. I’ll review each sample as I continue to wear them*, but for now just wanted to speak a little about the actual Color IQ process, as it seemed to work really well with the aid of an associate.
I do think the aid of a knowledgeable associate is key, and the machine won’t be eliminating anyone’s job as you’ll still need a human eye to help pick out formulas and shades that would be particularly well matched to an individual. This seems to be another good tool in the tool belt for Sephora, who I already feel stands above other beauty stores in terms of friendliness and helpfulness, and seems like a system for a customized shopping experience that they could potentially expand upon in the future.
Have you gotten your Color IQ match? I’d love to hear how it went!