Sephora Color IQ

Being a VIB (Very Important Beauty) member of Sephora’s Beauty Insider club not only means that I have consistently spent too much money on cosmetics at Sephora, but it also means that I am entitled to a bunch of special offers, invites, and free gifts throughout the year.

This year’s VIB membership came with a new perk: a complimentary 45-minute consultation and makeover with a make-up artist. I thought this would be a great opportunity to try out some new products and get some advice on picking out and applying the right foundation, a product I’ve never really needed to wear before. But yes, apparently with old(er) age comes uneven skin tones.

Booking my appointment for the second week of February proved to be perfect timing. Days earlier, the Sephora store in the Eaton Centre had just installed the new Pantone Color IQ system and I got the chance to try it out. Let me just say, the Color IQ system is AMAZING. Amazing and free.


Sephora partnered up with Pantone to develop a hand-held machine that scans the colour of your skin to match it to a specific Pantone skin-tone colour. Once the system knows your specific skin tone, it scientifically matches you to all of the foundations, brands and formulas available at Sephora and recommends exactly which shades will match your skin.

Sasha, my makeup artist, scanned my cheek, jawline and neck for colours, and then the machine (seen above) averages the three tones to find my personal Pantone skin tone colour (2Y04).  The interface then showed me 25 of my best foundation matches in the store and the products ranged in brands, amount of coverage (from very light to heavy) and formula (powder, stick, liquid, etc.).

Seeing is believing. Sasha recommended I try on the Nars foundation for medium coverage in the colour “Deauville” that the Color IQ system recommended as a match for me. The colour was PERFECT on my skin. Never have I tried on a foundation that looked more natural. Best yet, all of the colour matches were emailed to me directly for future reference.

colourIQ2Right now, the Eaton Centre location is the only spot in Toronto that is equipped with the Color IQ system. No appointment is necessary, just head to the store and ask for your matches absolutely free.  Vancouver’s Pacific Centre and Edmonton’s Southgate Centre stores are also delivering the Color IQ service on the West Coast.


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