Does Pantone’s New Capsure™Device Really Make Foundation Shopping Easier?


This is a guest post from Gloria Yang.

It looks cool – but does it work?

The most sought-after help at any makeup counter or beauty store like Sephora is for foundation matching. It’s ridiculously hard even for the most seasoned professionals. I know – I worked at Sephora before and I helped countless women find their perfect foundation shade!

Why is it so hard? Not only are you matching your skin color, you also have to match your skin’s undertones. More likely than not, we’ve all gone home at some point with a foundation that was just a shade off.

Even though a too dark or too light foundation is not a complete loss, it’s still frustrating when your foundation is not the perfect match.

How Pantone Seeks to Help

Pantone’s Capsure™ device, which scans and measures your PANTONE® SkinTone™ number.
The iPad’s input screen.

But foundation matching have gotten just a bit easier thanks to Pantone, the global color authority (the one that dictates what colors are in each season). Sephora and Pantone partnered together to create the SEPHORA + PANTONE COLOR IQ. It’s lauded as the “most advanced foundation matching solution available in North American beauty retail,” according to its press release.

This new technology uses a small device called the Capsure™ which takes a picture of your skin, analyzes the skin color, and gives it a PANTONE® SkinTone™ number. You then reference that number to the SEPHORA’s Universal SkinToneLibrary on an iPad® to find the perfect foundation available at Sephora.

Does It Work?

You can also filter the list based on formulation, coverage, finished, and more.


The “results” list – a list of all products that match your analyzed skintone.

While this is extremely cool, I still recommend that you try out the foundation for a few hours before purchasing it. While the color may match your jawline right when you try it on, most foundations still oxidize and turn darker on your skin. You can always ask the Sephora consultant to apply it all over, walk around the mall for a bit, then return to see how you like the shade.

Another option is to ask for a small sample to try at home for a few days. Take some pictures too! If it looks unnatural in pictures, it’s most likely the wrong shade.

Where Is It Available?

The new SEPHORA + PANTONE COLOR IQ technology is available now at the Sephora in Time Square New York. It will be launch at the Sephora in Powell Street San Francisco in August.

About Gloria from Obsessed about beauty since before she can remember, Gloria shares all her musings (beauty related or not) on her blog. Currently she’s on a soul-searching mission in New York City as she discovers herself one beauty product at a time.

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  • That’s really cool. I don’t live in New York, so I hope it eventually comes to my local Sephora!

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