Know Your Skin 101-Color IQ Test

If you have read the first “Know You Skin 101” blog, you might have attained some comprehensive knowledge about the concept “undertone”, and how to test it out. But knowing the exact foundation shade that compliment your skin tone might be tough. When I first started do my makeup, one ultimate puzzle for me is choosing the correct foundation color in front of the racks of foundation choices, from white hue to yellow hue, from powder to liquid.

Using the analogy of painting on a piece of white paper to depict the process of makeup: If you start with a clean and bright paper that matches the colors of crayon you will be using, then its half of success.

A great tool to help you get an in-depth understanding about your own skin tone and undertone would be the Color IQ Test from Sephora, I had this free test last week and it absolutely shocked me in terms how they test out my skin color.

This service might be new to you, thus this preview blog will help you get a first look about how this test works, and some related fun facts that you might be curious to know!

Q1: What is Color IQ Test?

A1: The color IQ Test is a beauty service carried by Sephora that cooperates with Pantone. It uses a light meter to test out the pure color of your skin color, and generates a list of foundation, concealer and lip colors that go perfect with our skin tone.

Q2: What is Pantone?

A2: Pantone is a corporation based in New Jersey and well-known for its dedicated research and credibility on color matching system across various industries, including printing and cosmetics.

Q3: How does the test work?

A3: Pantone investigated skin colors worldwide and map out a color library which consists with 100+ skin colors based on the research. The store assistant will use a light meter to scan your face and code in your skin type (dry, oily or normal, we will talk about this in the next “Know Your Skin 101”). Next, a number that represents the shade of your skin will pop up on the meter, which later on will be typed in to the system. Finally, the system will accordingly generates a list of products that matches your shade and skin type (I skip to try on the products since I personally consider this as a “trap”that Sephora uses to let you buy)

After the test, you will also get an email from Sephora:屏幕快照 2016-02-15 00.05.43.png

My test result is 5Y06, and here are the other colors from the library.


Retrieved from Sephora

Q4: What dose this number code mean?

A4: There seems no official explanation about the meaning, but according to the Sephora assistant:

  • “R” and “Y” in the code means “red tone”or “yellow tone”
  • The number before “R” or “Y” means how red or yellow your skin is.
  • The number ranges from 01 to 15 after “R” or “Y” represents the darkness of you skin.

To help you better understand this, I will use my result as an example. Mine is 5Y06, which represents

  • I am a typical Asian that has very strong yellowish tone (5Y), and
  • I am neutral in terms of darkness (6 out of 15).

Q5: This sounds interesting! Where can I get this service and is there any prerequisite? 

A5: No prerequisite. Check out here to see the nearest local Sephora store that provides this service.

*If you are located in West Lafayette, then the Sephora in JC Penny in Tippecanoe Mall is available for this service.





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