If you think you know your perfect foundation shade, be prepared to question everything. After all, you’ve never had shade options like this. PUR is launching 100 shades of foundation and concealer with the release of the brand’s 4-in-1 Love Your Selfie Foundation & Concealer. The launch represents the largest mainstream foundation launch ever, eclipsing other wide-range brands like Fenty and Morphe by up to 40 additional shades.
PUR’s 4-In-1 Love Your Selfie Foundation & Concealer is fragrance-free and made using a vegan formula with skin care ingredients to help maintain skin health even while wearing makeup. The formula — and the groundbreaking shade range — will retail for $36, and is set to release on online on April 19 at purcosmetics.com and kohls.com. A select 22 shades will be available at Kohl’s and Ulta stores around the country, and 40 select shades will be available on Ulta.com.
Since the 40-shade release of Fenty Beauty foundation in Sept. 2017, that number has become the new unstated minimum for shade inclusivity. Fenty Pro Filt’r foundation now comes in 50 shades, and other brands like have surpassed Fenty’s current shade lineup — like Morphe, with 60 shades of its Fluidity foundation. Still, no major foundation release even comes close to rivaling PUR’s Love Your Selfie. With 100 shades that are evenly spread across shade family and undertone, PUR is set to have the single most inclusive shade range on the market.
PUR’s foundation shades are separated into five shade categories: light, medium, tan, dark, and deep. Once a customer selects a shade category, they can pick their undertone from three tones: golden, pink, and neutral. Each undertone under each shade category then has six or seven foundation colors listed from lightest to deepest. A complete guide to shade selection is available on PUR’s website, along with a tool that allows you to match a shade to your existing favorite foundation from a competing brand.
“The process of creating 100 shades is no easy task, especially when ensuring each skin tone category and undertone is equally represented,” Tisha Thompson, VP of marketing and product innovation at PUR, tells Bustle. "Once we settled on the five categories and undertone selection, we went through hundreds of samples to test the shades to see how they adjust with the skin and landed on the perfect lineup for this launch.”
The PUR team’s internal diversity helped in developing the shade range, further proving the value of racial diversity at beauty companies. Thompson says the product development was informed by employee feedback with some shades even created to fit particular employees who previously had a hard time finding a perfect foundation match.
“As a woman of color, I’ve experienced major gaps in the market when it comes to complexion representation, so formulating in our set skin tone categories and undertones made it easier for us to focus on creating a really inclusive range," Thompson says. “Luckily, our team in the office is super diverse, so we were able to experiment with the shades and give our direct feedback to the lab.”
Though the brand does sell liquid formulas like tinted moisturizers and light coverage foundations on its site, PUR says the Love Your Selfie foundation is it’s first true liquid foundation launch. The brand also offers powder foundation in the form of its hero product, the 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Powder foundation. That formula comes in 11 shades, but the brand says it is more forgiving shade-wise than a liquid formula.
While Love Your Selfie foundation is already being uplifted as an inclusive foundation line, it is also more than that. The formula doubles as a concealer, making the single product also the most extensive concealer shade range on the major market.
“Rather than focusing on 100 shades, we focused on equal representation.”
“This formula is designed to give a buildable, medium-to-full coverage look,” Thompson says. “If you’re looking to spot conceal, you can apply with the doe foot or create a flawless, allover base using the pump. Either way, it leaves behind a really beautiful skin-like finish. The buildability makes it the perfect concealer so that you are able to reduce the look of blemishes, dark spots and imperfections, while the finish creates a really pretty canvas across the entire face as a foundation.”
Creating 100 shades of foundation, however, can seem like a gimmick at first glance. After all, 100 is a nice round number that towers over previous shade ranges from competing brands. For the past year, the beauty community has been witnessing foundation launches that can be seen as “one-upping” a launch prior than championing true representation. But Thompson asserts that true inclusion, not just shattering the competition’s latest launch, was at the core of the expansion.
“Rather than focusing on 100 shades, we focused on equal representation,” Thompson says. “We noticed an opportunity in the market to create a range that had the same amount of representation throughout, so once we got into the lab and began working. Suddenly, we were getting closer to 100 shades.”
Along with the foundation launch, PUR is releasing a shade-finding resource on Instagram through the handle @purshadefiner. The account will feature unretouched photos of models wearing the 100 shades so customers can see how the formula will look on their specific skin tone.
For the campaign, PUR enlisted employees, fans of the brand, and models to star in the ads. Though part of the reason was to showcase the range on the most people possible, another reason for the choice was practical. In a majority white modeling industry, it was really hard to find models who would represent all the shades in the Love Your Selfie line.
But seeing all 100 shades blend seamlessly into the model’s skin, Thompson says, brought all the product testing and retesting and retesting to life.
“We wanted people to fall in love with themselves when they put on this complexion product,” she says, “and we got to experience that with more than 130 people.”