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Post in Makeup Is Life

Color IQ

So who has tried the color IQ in stores & on-line?

I heard people going into multiple stores & getting a different reading each time. 

I just tried the on-line tool with a light neutral undertone shade & all my results were medium with pink or yellow undertones. I also don't understand why I only get a few results and then try another foundation and get different product results. Like if I plugged in a tinted moisturizer shade I wouldn't get any powder product results even though that's what I'm looking for. 

Maybe if we post our results, they can somehow fix/improve it. 

So please... Share your results. 

Re: Color IQ

My reading was off, too dark, but the lovely cast member helping me knew which shade was one step lighter and it was perfect. I never realized how yellow my skin tone really is, but it explains why I always looked so red in pictures before, because I was using a pink undertone foundation when I should be using a yellow undertone. Now I look like me in pictures! So, I think the SkinIQ is good for helping you figure out your undertones but for actual product matchup human eyes still win the race!

Re: Color IQ

I had it done yesterday in store, way off.  I'm fair skinned with a touch of rosacea, thanks Papa, and freckles.  I know it's supposed to read undertone and create an average but I think if there's too much surface color variance it throws off whatever algorithm the machine uses to create a match.  It's really just a fancy light/color meter similar to the ones photographers and printers have been using for decades.


It placed me at 1y06 which is far too dark and pink unless it averaging in the freckles and redness.  When the woman tried the first swatch, Dior 020, it was obviously too dark.  She went lighter to shade 010, which is 1y04, it was closer but still off in natural sunlight.


What I wear now is UD 2 which is 3y03 and that's with my summer "tan" and it matches very well but I can also wear the Benefit Oxygen WOW, 4y03, more yellow and it knocks back the red from the rosacea nicely because of additional yellow and looks quite natural.


I think it's an interesting concept and a good stating point for a lot of people but it's not perfect by any stretch.  I spent years in a darkroom in the days when digital photography was in it's infancy and people still needed to color balance by eye and my eye is better than this gadget.  It was interesting to see and try it out but I think I'm sticking to swatching and checking the match in sunlight.  The light bulbs in my store were halogen, yellow cast, and fluorescent, green cast, and the second swatch looked like the matched until I went over to the window where the mall skylight was shining into the store.

Re: Color IQ

First, I found my matches online using my current foundation shades, which seemed to match me pretty well. That gave me 3Y03. When I was in the store, it gave me 3Y05, which isn't right because I am very fair. Also, when the woman helping me showed me my foundation matches, some had yellow undertones, but many clearly had pink undertones. I have no idea why it gave me those because I have an olive skin tone. When I asked the employee, she said that she had no idea why the system gave me those foundation matches. Obviously, something was wrong. Hopefully, the process becomes more accurate.

Re: Color IQ

It's been a crapshoot for me. Part of the problem is that you're not supposed to have exerted yourself- or your skin be irritated.  Hi, it's summer, there's a good chance I'll be naturally red.


I think ColorIQ is a fabulous concept, but I believe it will be difficult to get a true reading.

Re: Color IQ

I had a card to get matched and receive a kit with items in it (which I wasn't given by the SA helping me). It matched me with a slightly darker shade and more yellow toned (I am pink toned). She had to pick one a shade lighter and more pink toned. I had a powder foundation.


She said I matched 2 powder foundations but she only showed me one (Lancome Dual Finish in Matte Rose Clair 2 which wasn't the one I matched with since I think I was Wheat but it didn't work)) but not sure what my number is since she never wrote it down for me.


Something I thought was odd is when she tried it on, she used a cotton round which was fine but she kept putting it back into the product. Hopefully she used different parts of the cotton round each time since she went back in several times (just thinking of sanitary reasons).

Re: Color IQ

I'm very confused by it too. I got it done the first day it was available in my store. And since I went there specifically to do the Color IQ, I didn't wear ANY makeup, just moisturizer. I came out as 3Y05--so yellow undertones. The funny thing is, I've always thought I was a cool with pink undertones. AND I have a touch of very mild rosacea. So yeah, I don't understand it at all and all it did was confuse me even further. Smiley Sad I was hoping it would be the answer to all my foundation matching woes, but sadly, I don't think it is. Has anyone else had this specific problem--where it suggests you have the opposite undertones of what you always thought?

Re: Color IQ

I've had my color matched twice.  The first time I had a BB Cream on and the cast member had me wipe it off, which did make my face quite red.  I don't know what she was doing, but my reading said 4Y01 and she tried Nars Sheer Glow foundation in Mont Blanc, the lightest shade.  I was certain that was too light, so we went one darker (which is a 4Y02).  I thought it was very yellow and didn't like the look of it at all.  It felt like I had a mask on.


I was going for a makeover anyway about a week later.  The Makeup Artist was going to use a BB cream, but I was curious about the machine reading so we tried it and decided to try a foundation instead.  I had gone in with nothing more than moisturizer on, so no need to take something off.  This reading was 1Y06!  That has a huge range of foundation choices, and he used MUFE HD foundation in 125, Sand. (He also pulled two others in case I needed something slightly different -- no saying the machine always knows and thus it must be right for you.)  This color looked so much better on me.  I took a sample home and liked it, so I bought it last week and I've actually worn it twice this week (which is amazing, since I never wear foundation).  It will probably be a bit too dark when I lose summer color, but it will be nice to have for going out to dinner.


I wish the Korres Mineral Powder foundation was in the Color IQ system. I'd like to know what color the one I have is.  It looks great in the summer and I look orangy wearing it in the winter.

Re: Color IQ

I finally went last night to have it done.  I had some makeup on so the cast member who was helping me gave me a LARGE facial wipe and let me get it all off.  When she had me pat my face dry and wait a couple of minutes so that the "wiping" didn't make me artificially pink or red.  She took three photos and then we got the results.  I came up a 1R06.  One of the foundations recommended for me is the Urban Decay Naked Skin in 3.5 which made me happy because that is the color that I already use.  It recommended that I use the YSL Touche Eclat in BD 40.  I have that foundation in the BR30 and I have always thought it was was a little too light and a little too pink.  I had purchased it on the recommendation of TWO sales associates at Nordstroms.  The cast member put the YSL BD40 on me and it made me look like I had no makeup on at all, only much better!  So, I have to say that I had a good experience and I feel it was quite accurate. The only thing that baffles me is I only have 27 matches out of sooooo many brands and choices. 

Re: Color IQ

I just had it done today and the cast member also took three pics of my skin.  I had BB cream on but she wiped it off the area where she was taking the pics.  The first thing I noticed was that she wiped the camera down with alcohol while my skin was getting back to a normal colour.  Then as I mentioned she took three pictures, one on the right cheek bone, one on the left side on my neck and one on my forehead.  My reading was 1Y03 which is accurate for me.  I'm wondering if those who haven't got a successful reading if the cast member didn't follow those steps? Cleansing skin, wiping down camera, take 3 pics from different areas of the face? Just my two cents. 

Re: Color IQ

It's refreshing to hear someone have a good experience with the color IQ! 

Re: Color IQ

Where is a link for the online one? 

Re: Color IQ

Just go to Makeup-Face and on the top there's a HUGE banner for Color IQ

On-line you have to search with foundations you already have

Re: Color IQ

I went and got my reading. It was way off. too dark.  I wear MUFE HD 117 sometimes I can pull off 120.  They recommended 127 and so I encouraged the SA to blend it out on my face/neck and she was like WOAH that is way too orange. She rematched me. AGAIN it was way off. Then I got up and went shopping. 

the end.

Re: Color IQ

I am 1y06 and when it popped up the list of foundations I should try it had the two I already use in the right shades - bareMinerals medium beige and Tarte BB cream in Light (although I add a drop of medium to warm it up). Does the Y stand for yellow? Because I am the epitome of neutral, but I do tend to have some redness, so the woman color matching me said this should be a good shade for me.


The only thing that annoys me about color IQ online version is that I was hoping to see more than 52 options. Okay that is A LOT of options but some of the foundations I would be interested in knowing my match (um, like Hourglass Immaculate) they didn't have. I was able to figure it out from the other hourglass products but I thought it would be a little more extensive/throughout all lines.

Re: Color IQ

Yeah, that's my only problem with Color IQ online. I wanted to find out what I would be in a couple different foundations using MUFE HD 120 which is my perfect match right now, not much I'm interested in comes up... even going back and forth between the "lighter" and "darker" option.


Are those lighter and darker options pretty close to the color you're matched to?

Re: Color IQ

So I got matched in store for 4y06 & there are only 12 foundations that are a PERFECT match for my color IQ. If I go lighter, then I only get 7 PERFECT matches. 

It only shows the foundations that are the perfect match. Which sucks, because there are others out there that are a "close" match. 

Of those original 12 I am a match for, I actually own one of them; the too faced BB cream. But my Color IQ is for 2 shades darker than what I own which is already a summer shade for me. It doesn't even show up as an option if I go lighter. 

Re: Color IQ

I think the limit in options means there's no exact match with your number for those lines. 

Re: Color IQ

Just wanted to share my horrible in store experience. So I went into Sephora the other night & it was practically empty. I asked a Cast Member to assist me with the color IQ. So we go through the whole process and my number is 4y06. Which I find odd because I don't have yellow undertones, I'm neutral & the shades where way too dark for me. Most of my results are NARS, so she grabs the foundations & starts matching me. I know NARS is known to be heavy on the yellow side & sure enough they all make me look yellow. She insists that these are the ONLY foundations for me & that the system is made by Pantone, the GOD of color. I asked her if she's seen the FB posts or BT comments on how the Color IQ might be off. She said no & that Pantone doesn't lie. I show her the foundations I do own & she swatched my shades on me (which blended perfectly to my skin) but she persisted that the NARS was the "perfect match" & kept insisting I needed it even though it looks really yellow & about 4 shades too dark. While this is going on she starts helping someone else get their Color IQ when there are 3 other Cast Members hanging around. When I start to go to someone else to maybe try a few other foundations she snapped at me to stay in the chair & wait for her to finish with the other customer. I may look young, but I am not a child & I do not like to be treated like one.  I ended up walking around the store & color matching myself. 

Re: Color IQ

It's awful how one Cast member can ruin a Sephora trip; I've definitely been in your shoes.


Maybe we should start a what's your foundation and shade thread to help out. The Color IQ wasn't very accurate when I tried it too, especially when it forgets to account for the fact that some foundations oxidize!

Re: Color IQ

I keep a google spreadsheet of all items I've bought. I keep track of what I've returned, didn't like, had a reaction to... So I have a running list of all foundations that have matched me and I think I can actually pick foundations on-line now without swatching first. 

I just can't believe she was insisting on me purchasing a foundation that clearly was not the right shade for me. 

Re: Color IQ

@dannyc- I know that's what happened to me with the suggestions getting darker and darker. Could you imagine what a hot mess we would be if we chose the colors the IQ chose for us?


133 Replies