7 Ways To Easily Get A Custom Foundation Match

by Miki Hayes
CoffeeAndMilk/E+/Getty Images

Shopping for foundation can be like shopping for jeans. You'll spend a lot of time (and maybe even money) on options that are almost right, but aren't actually your perfect fit. Which is why, if you want to save your time for something else (like finishing all the movies that are leaving Netflix at the end of the month), getting a custom-matched foundation might be the way to go. After all, do you really want to keep swatching up your arm in Sephora and running out into daylight to compare your options in a compact mirror? Sure, it's a good workout, but it gets frustrating pretty quickly.

So thankfully, there are actually quite a few options for finding your ideal match without all of the trial and error. What with skintone-identification technology and custom-mixing services, you can pinpoint exactly which shades from different brands will work for you, or you can even have a brand-new shade whipped up specifically for you. But either way, just let a computer do all the work. For tedious tasks like foundation matching, it's just better that way. So you can just get it right the first time, here are seven ways to easily find your perfect foundation shade:

1. The MatchCo App

Proving your phone really can do anything, MatchCo determines your personal foundation shade through an app. All you have to do is calibrate by holding your phone's camera over a stack of white paper, and then tap the camera against various parts of your body including your wrists, cheeks, and forehead. It may feel a little silly, but it only takes a minute for the app to learn your skin tone. Once your perfect match is determined, you simply order your foundation through the app. MatchCo will remember your custom shade for easy re-ordering, or you can always retest for an updated match.

2. Sephora Color IQ

Want to instantly know your shade for any and every foundation line that Sephora carries? All you have to do is go into a store and request to get matched for your Color IQ. An associate will scan a device over key parts of your face like your chin, cheeks, and forehead to get a reading, and you'll receive an ID number so you can easily find various formulas in your shade in-store or online. Although this method doesn't always give a totally perfect match, if you're overwhelmed by all the different formulas, finishes, and colors, it will help give you a starting point so you can more easily determine where to look for your ideal shade.

3. Lancome Custom Blend

For a totally bespoke option, Lancome offers a system that will scan your skin like the Color IQ, but then ask your preferences for factors like coverage and moisturizing benefits. Once all of this information has been collected, you can actually watch a machine add ingredients and mix your custom foundation. Because who wouldn't want to see how the magic happens? Currently, the Lancome Le Teint Particulier is only available at select Nordstrom locations across the country. But if you want to learn more, check out West Coast Fashion & Beauty Editor, Sara's experience here.

4. No7 Match Made

Drugstore foundations can be the hardest to match because there aren't always testers available. But if you're a fan of No7 foundation formulas, you can take the guesswork out of which shade is your perfect match. Like the Sephora and Lancome options, a beauty advisor at select Target and Walgreen locations will use a device to scan your skin. Once your specific shade is determined, you can then use your color ID to select your favorite No7 foundation formula.

5. Prescriptives Beauty Print

If you like being matched from the comfort of your home, try creating your custom foundation on Prescriptives. This site allows you to chat with a beauty expert who will gather information like what types of formulas, coverage, and benefits you prefer in your foundation. Coupled with a makeup-less selfie, your Beauty Print will be determined. This recipe of what colors make up your complexion can then be used order a custom foundation or powder from the website. And of course, your ID will be kept on-file so you can re-order your perfect fit whenever you run out.

6. Motives Cosmetics Match Finder

Motives Cosmetics offers two options for finding your perfect match. If you're simply interested in trying one of their existing lines, check out their Meet Your Match feature, which compares their shades to other popular brands. For example, if you already know your shade in MAC or Bobbi Brown, you can easily look across the chart to determine which shade will best match you from Motives' lines. However, if you still want a truly customized color, all it takes is a quick, online survey and consultation with one of the trained representatives to create your custom blend.

7. Clinique Foundation Finder

Simultaneously one of the best and worst things about Clinique's foundations is the myriad formulations and colors available— your perfect match in both shade and benefits very likely exists, but may also be very difficult to track down. That's where their Foundation Finder comes in. This tool allows you to select what is most important to you in a foundation from shade, to finish, to coverage. Once you select your factors and specifications within those factors, your ideal formula and shade options will be provided for easy pickings.

Because finding your perfect match shouldn't have to be that hard.

Images: CoffeeAndMilk/E+/Getty Images; Courtesy of Brands