Home > Style Domination Beauty Review: Sephora + Pantone Color IQ

Style Domination Beauty Review: Sephora + Pantone Color IQ

The other day, my friend Vanessa and I popped into Sephora as she needed some new foundation. I tagged along to scope out some new products and I’m glad I did!  That visit proved truly educational! Now, I find shopping for foundation extremely daunting. There must be a million options out there, further complicated by the fact that I am a woman of colour, and finding that perfect match is near impossible.

A couple of years ago, I found the holy grail of foundation:  Chanel Perfection Lumière in 114 – Ambré.  This shade was part of a line for women of colour that Chanel had released for a short amount of time before being discontinued.  I was shocked and upset at this. It’s discontinuation reeked of discrimination to me, but I digress.  Apparently, Ambré is still available for purchase – thank God.

Anyway, this foundation was everything I wanted – lightweight, excellent coverage, smelled wonderful (Chanel’s signature scent) and the colour stayed true all day.

Upon learning that the line for darker skin tones was being discontinued, I got to work searching for a replacement.  MAC’s foundations always made me breakout – especially Studio Fix, I found Nars too runny and not opaque enough, Bobbi Brown – despite a wide range of colours – never looked right and don’t even get me started on Clinique (yuck!).  I found an amazing option by Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup.  I got a sample and was thrilled with it.  I’ll be buying a bottle shortly.

Back to Sephora….Vanessa asked one of the sales associates for help finding a suitable foundation.  The sales associate suggested getting her skin “colour matched”.  Sephora offers a service where an associate scans your skin with some device that resembles a light metre, which then matches your skin to one of the 1,500 options available that they carry.  Essentially, their light device scans the skin, captures “pitch darkness”, assigns a colour IQ number and “assigns a foundation which is a scientifically precise foundation match”.  Well boy!  Did it work!  It assigned Vanessa a  perfect match in my eyes!! I’ll be heading back after the VIB sale dies down to get myself matched!

Here are some pics of the process:



Getting scanned!
Getting scanned!
Looking at options derived from the scan
Looking at options derived from the scan
Applying the "perfect match"!
Applying the “perfect match”!
The chosen one!  Vanessa to report back on whether she likes it or not!
The chosen one! Vanessa to report back on whether she likes it or not!

Have any of you been colour matched?  Please let me know of your experience in the comments section!  Also, if you guys could recommend a foundation you like, I’d greatly appreciate it!



Dominique Baker
Dominique Baker

Dominique is a Canadian-based fashion and beauty influencer with a strong voice in Ottawa’s black community. Since launching her blog Style Domination in 2015, she has amassed a global fanbase. Dominique shares her life through beautiful imagery and compelling story-telling that speaks to her fans on a personal level. She’s been featured in The Guardian, Flare, The Kit and Cityline. She also hosts events for Dress for Success, the Gem Conference, and has been named a United Way Person 2 Know for the past three years.

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  1. April 17, 2015 / 1:36 pm

    I had this done and my colour matches were all too dark and too yellow!
    Re: Chanel discontinuing the darker skin tone line – how terrible! One of my good friends always face this issue because a lot of lines don’t offer shades darker than a “tan”. It’s ridiculous. She wanted to try the Guerlain Lingerie BB but all the colours were too light (the darkest shade is called beige naturelle). How rude!
    I should tell my friend to check out the Armani. She tried Becca’s foundation and she’s in love with it. She also tested the Inglot stuff which she liked a lot too.
    Thanks for sharing your friend’s Color IQ experience! Be sure to share your experience once you get it done too.

    • April 17, 2015 / 1:46 pm

      I definitely will! I’m so sorry it didn’t work for you! Guerlain is notorious for having a limited range of colours. I wish they would change that…their cosmetics are so beautiful! Becca, eh? I’ve looked at the line before and keep meaning to check it out. I did buy the Becca One Perfecting Brush. It’s a wide brush suitable for shimmery body powders. Best money I’ve ever spent – love it!!!

  2. April 17, 2015 / 1:38 pm

    love this! I would love to check out this foundation matching machine : )

  3. April 17, 2015 / 2:14 pm

    Estée Lauder has a big shade range (30+) so you might want to check that out.

    I got color matched once but most of the options I had were too light. But I’ve gotten better at picking foundation shades so I just go a shade up from what the Color IQ says and it usually works.

  4. April 17, 2015 / 11:46 pm

    Definitely look at the foundation shades you try out before buying based off of the color iq! I ended up needing to buy a shade lighter for most of my matched foundations or else I’d look like a hot, orange mess!

    • April 18, 2015 / 9:55 am

      Oh wow! Jeez! Getting lots of mixed reviews on this Color IQ business! Thanks for the advice! I’ll go check it out and will be careful about what shades it picks for me.

  5. April 18, 2015 / 6:51 pm

    I’ve never been to sephora before! I don’t think there’s one anywhere in the UK unfortunately (cries?) Bit there are other colour matching services so that’s ok! I love your blog and I can’t wait to read more of your posts!❤️

    • April 18, 2015 / 7:10 pm

      Thank you, my dear! I cannot believe there are no Sephoras in the UK! What a shame! I believe it’s a French company too! One must open soon…or maybe you should just come on over to North America for a visit! Thanks for your kind words! Means a lot that you like me little blog! xoxox

      • April 19, 2015 / 2:46 am

        I’m not sure but I’ve not seen one before. I think I will be visiting now lol? No problem love☺️?

  6. April 18, 2015 / 8:02 pm

    I’m glad it worked. That thing NEVER works for me. I’ve tried it twice and both times ended up with colors that were way too yellow. Also, on a similar note, I also noticed a few lines in Sephora do not carry many foundations for darker skin tones. YSL for example, seems to have a ton of foundations for pale girls like me, but if you’re even a tan white girl you have limited options. I imagine it’s even worse for other races.

    • April 18, 2015 / 8:04 pm

      Jeez!! I may have to amend this post! Seems like I’m the only person in the world that thought highly of this Color IQ! LOL! And yes – I agree with you about Sephora carrying a limited range of foundation colours. Glad it wasn’t just me who noticed that. Thanks for reading!

      • April 18, 2015 / 8:07 pm

        LOL, well it must work for some people, right? It’s still around

  7. May 6, 2015 / 3:19 pm

    Oh goodness, I went in Sephora with my daughter in preparation for Prom a few weeks back and the MUA pulled out this lil gadget……honey I was looking like “hold up, wait a minute” lol! This was the coolest thing ever and really enable him to find the perfect shade for my daughter. Unlike her – she’s a lighter gal than her mom (me) – foundations aren’t the easiest to find for a chocolate girl as myself so please continue to share your experiences and favorite brands. <3

    • May 7, 2015 / 9:29 am

      Will do!! So glad that you stopped by! The Color IQ doesn’t always work for everyone, so be sure to have the MUA try any possibilities directly on you. Some lovely foundations to try for women of colour are Bobbi Brown, Armani, Nars and Makeup Forever. Have fun! xoxox

      • May 7, 2015 / 9:50 am

        For myself I actually have Makeup Forever (N180) and it works well for me….it has lasted awhile too (but I’m not an everyday makeup gal). Thanks for the suggestions!

        • May 7, 2015 / 10:16 am

          No problem! I like the Nars too. The best foundation I ever used was Chanel Perfection Lumière…and then they discontinued all of the foundations for women of colour!!! SO DISAPPOINTED.

          • May 7, 2015 / 10:21 am

            Uggggh don’t you just die slowly when that happens lol! The struggle…..

          • May 7, 2015 / 10:43 am

            YES!!!! God. The struggle, indeed!

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