I went to two Sephoras and both tested me. It's a little machine with a scan about the size of a quarter. They tested three different areas cheek, neck and forehead near eyebrow on me. It's a good starting point for a foundation match as it comes up with various brands and types of foundations: powder, bb, tinted moisturizer etc. I was matched too yellow and in both stores ended up with difference shades. The SA said because of my freckles the scan reads differently. Also I don't know too many people that have the exact same shade of skin over their face and in the first test I had foundation on, which I'm sure skewed the results. As for my Sephora experience once the foundation I was on I was given a mirror and told to go outside (this mall store has a outdoor exit as well - bonus!) and see the make up in real light. This was great but once I went back the counter the SA was gone. I went to the product line and did a self service netting the SA one less upsell chance. They will email you your results if you ask for them, which helped me to go home and do research. Bonus since the SA disappeared I pulled out the iPhone to check out the reviews on MUA before purchasing suggested foundation!
I'm not a huge fan of it, it could never match me quite right. I brought a friend in and neither the SA or machine could match her right either, I had to do it myself
I've gotten shade matched twice at Sephora once in the winter and once again more recently. The last time I wanted the SA to swatch an area of slightly darker skin closer to my chest since my face is always lighter than the rest of me. Both times I was matched to 1Y08. The system works fairly well but it's pairing you up with products that most closely match your IQ number. Sometimes the shade can be off a little but the undertone always seems to be in the right family. If you have medium skin like mine that's more neutral with yellow, beige and some rosey undertones it can be hard to figure out where you fall. I've been eyeball matched to everything from a pretty golden Liquid Halo to a very beige CK. Having the IQ number to narrow things down between products helped a lot.
I went to two different sephoras to get matched and the results were the same both times: 2Y07. I learned that the first number tells me I am close to neutral. (1 in the first number spot would be the most neutral of the yellow tones, while 5 would indicate the most yellow). The last number tells me my skin is medium-in the middle between fair and deep. (The last number ranges from 1 to 15, with 1 being fair and 15 being deep). Sounds logical enough, right? But MUFE HD in 140 and Givenchy Teint Couture in Honey are both 2Y07. The MUFE matched me perfectly, yet the Givenchy was too peach for me. Seems to me IMHO, that the system lumps peach and olive undertones into the yellow category, which results in less than accurate results sometimes.
Just got home from Sephora, where they matched me to 3y08 and then gave me some options for foundation. I ended up buying Tarte Amazonian Clay foundation in tan honey and it is a perfect match. I must say, the SA took her time and put that little gadget to several spots on my face, I guess to get the perfect reading. I think it's a great concept and I also think that many women buy the wrong shade foundation because of the fear of getting too dark of a shade.
Honestly, I just might be too light or something, but the machine matched me to a 1Y02, which was off because I lean far more towards red than yellow, and all the results were too dark. I honestly found nothing on the list, when in reality I can make some foundations work. They may not be completely perfect, but I live with it. This may be more the companies' fault for not making light enough shades rather than the Color IQ failing. Either way the machine did not do anything for me and the results it tried to give me were pretty off.
This matched me to a foundation that was a great match. You know how sometimes after you put on your foundation you have to bring life back to your skin using blush, bronzer, etc.? Cause you look lifeless? I don't have to do that now. It's perfect. Now, it did give me a few different ones to choose from and the SA grabbed them and let me try them out. So I think you have to play around with it but it does lead you in the right direction. The one that stood out was Clinque even better in Chamois. I am a Nw25.
The hype is just that, hype. It doesnt match, it spits out a list of suggestions. And do thet clean these everytime, before and after?
I'll preface by saying that I got mine done at a JCPenney in-store Sephora, but I was really disappointed with Color IQ! I'm pretty good at finding my perfect shades on my own but I wanted to see what Sephora's hype was about. The results they gave me were either wayyyyy too dark (im usually one of the lightest shades and it was giving me mediums.) I would check out the foundation grid on Temptalia.com, I think it's more helpful.
Love the idea of this technology, but in practice it didn't really work for me.
It probably has something to do with the fact that my skin is blotchy and different colors in different places, but the results weren't even close. My skin is very pale and very pink, and it matched me to foundations that were too warm and too dark. It did the same thing to my sister who has similar coloring.
My guess is that if you could actually look at their database of colors it might be helpful, because I know what shades work well in various lines and I'd be able to find sister foundations. I think it is the limitations of the matching technology that cause it to call up poor matches.
Good idea that needs some refinement.