Sephora’s ColorIQ is Drunk, Sometimes

ColorIQColorIQ by Sephora & Pantone

‘Tis winter and hence I am pale. I’m not using my Million Dollar Tan because a faux-glow in February doesn’t mean much to me. Ponds Luminous Finish BB+ is the only thing that has matched me for a while, so on a recent trip to Sephora, I had them bust out the old (okay, it isn’t old at all) ColorIQ to match me.

I really love to see technology intermixing with makeup. In fact, I’ve probably talked about how much I love the idea of ColorIQ, and how innovative it is.

I was able to have the SA assisting me bypass my cheek area because I have non-rosacea redness on my cheeks sometimes that throws off the match by thinking I have pink undertones. Instead, he matched my forehead, jawline, and chin. We did get a yellow-toned match this time, but it assigned me 3Y04. Before even seeing the matches, I knew it would be too dark.

Even though it didn’t match me to an Urban Decay shade, the SA wanted to take a shot at it and grabbed 3.0 (which I’ve tried before and will in no universe match me), and 2.0 – which is actually rated for 3Y03 – which surprisingly turned out to match. But this was luck, not ColorIQ knocking it out of the park.

In what I was looking for, Sephora’s new serum foundation (I spotted it in the new and noteworthy stuff!), it matched me to shade 16 – Linen. Based on what I read online I figured I’d be that or 12 – Ecru. I swatched Teint Infusion Ethereal Natural Finish Foundation in 16, based on my ColorIQ assignment and it was hilariously dark for me. I didn’t even put it on my face – just swatching it on the back of my hand I could tell it was too much. I tried again with 12 – Ecru, and found my match but this was my own guess.

I want to love the device, I do – but it either needs further refinement, or there’s been enough user error every single time I’ve used it to not get a one-hit-one-kill match. I still think it is worth using because it gets you in the ballpark if you’re otherwise lost, but Sephora’s ColorIQ is drunk, sometimes. I’m looking forward to future versions of the device that can give us closer approximations to what we need, but I still applaud Sephora and Pantone for trying.