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Sephora and Pantone Collaborate on System That Matches Foundation to Skin Tone

Posted: July 26, 2012

Sephora and Pantone have partnered to announce the launch of Sephora +Pantone Color IQ, an advanced foundation matching solution available in North American beauty retailing locations. Using Pantone’s color capture and measuring technology, the Sephora + Pantone Color IQ is a beauty system that scan the surface of the skin, assigns an official Pantone SkinTone number, and matches a scientifically precise foundation shade from Sephora’s 1,000 foundations, brands and formulas.

“Sephora + Pantone Color IQ is an incredible process that delivers a real benefit to our clients,” said Margarita Arriagada, senior vice president of merchandising at Sephora. “We see this as the first application of this exclusive Sephora technology, and are excited to expand its capabilities for other uses in the color world.”

“Skin tones are comprised of many distinct shades so developing this particular application for our color measuring technology was an exciting challenge for us,” explained Lisa Herbert, vice president of consumer licensing at Pantone. “Even within the broader range of fairest ivory to deepest ebony, there are nuances that need to be calibrated correctly to determine the right match, and this solution eliminates many of the variables that can affect shade selection.”

The Sephora + Pantone Color IQ system is based on Pantone’s CapSure, a compact, handheld spectro-colorimeter that is used in the design world to identify color with high accuracy. The device works by taking an image of the skin, analyzing it and assigning an official Pantone SkinTone number. With that number, Sephora beauty experts reference Sephora’s Universal SkinToneLibrary on an iPad, which holds over 1,000 foundation SKUs, to determine what products are a precise match for each skin tone.

This exclusive Sephora foundation service will be available at Sephora 5 Times Square, Manhattan beginning July 26 and Sephora Powell Street, San Francisco beginning August 2.