Thursday, 30 August 2012
... but it doesn't mean the search ends there.
About two days ago, came a fantastic announcement from Lisa Eldridge, heralding the start of a revolution in terms of finding, once and for all and in a fool proof, unbiased way, the perfect shade of foundation for you. The little device - which my friend Jen amusingly calls a 'hoofer doofer' - took 3 years to develop and it's all kinds of awesome really, 17 shades of awesome to be precise.
Lisa Eldridge explains with passion the whole story about it, the fascinating research they did to be able to give birth to this little piece of genius. In short, it looks like a little white remote control which takes a photo of your skin and can tell in a few seconds the perfect shade for you. The consultant who has received a special training to being able to offer this free service, puts the little device against your right cheek, then your left cheek and a few seconds later, shows you the reading which corresponds to your perfect shade.
If you already know of this product and want to skip the description, the details of my consultation, and want to get to the juicy bits directly, the bit where I share my impressions on this foundation match service, please scroll just after the embedded video below.
When I say that the device takes a photo of your skin, there's no photo of you stored somewhere on a database or anything like that, it just takes a reading of your skin tone really. The best thing about it is that you don't need to rely on outdoor lighting (nor the skillls of the consultant) to define what your perfect shade is as the device can operate in any kinds of lighting.
Yesterday, was the first day when they launched the service. I haven't found my holy grail foundation so you bet I had to try the free service as soon as possible. My 'consultant' Alison was absolutely lovely. She was so genuinely excited about the service, it was lovely to see and very infectious. She confessed that they had been working long hours lately, sad that she hadn’t had the chance to see ‘Lisa talking about it on YouTube’ yet, and that she had been nervous about today, getting her new uniform ready and everything (aww, bless!)
So the consultation started and before I knew it, I was treated to a full makeover and Alison explained to me all the various products she wanted to use on me, after we had a chat about any concerns I had about my skin and what I wanted from a foundation. I said: I'm getting old, my skin is ageing, it's dry, and I want the highest coverage you've got’
After cleansing my skin, she then proceeded to use the Protect and Perfect Serum on me, then followed it up with the Protect and Perfect Moisturiser. A thin layer of the Stay Perfect primer, she then applied a layer of foundation in the SHADE that the little device found for me: Cool Vanilla.
Cool Vanilla: I was very happy that that was the name for my foundation. Sounds silly but I love vanilla, they make vanilla where I come from and that makes me happy and easier for me to remember. The foundation TYPE she chose for me was the 'Lift and Luminate' after I told her I was hoping for a full coverage and a little bit a dewiness to help with my dry skin type. Alison applied it on just one half of my face, as I wished, so I was able to see the difference.
Another advantage of this quick matching foundation is that Boots had been working hard to ensure that the shades stayed the same throughout the 7 formulation/types of foundations that they designed. How cool is that? All companies should do that!
I couldn't wait to see what 'cool vanilla' looked on my face. I was speechless and Alison laughed at my reaction. I think for the first 30 seconds, I was not able to speak. This is because, well, I didn't really like it and didn't know how to say it. I said to Alison 'woah, is that my shade, I look a bit pale'. Alison laughed and said that my expression was priceless as it was about the same reaction she had when she was matched. She didn't want to accept that the reading from the device was the perfect shade for her. She then pressed a button and said 'do you want to know, by curiosity, the shade that is just one level darker than cool vanilla?' Of course I said yes. She then applied 'warm ivory' on the other side of my face and that was a million times better, less ghostly sick looking and (to me) matching my neck better.
Do I think the device is able to give a foolproof accurate reading to enable me to find the perfect shade of foundation?
Absolutely, the device is a little bit of genius and is perfect. Do I accept its reading? No. For me, it's the same way as your girlfriends tell you that a certain man is the perfect man for you but that it doesn’t matter anyway because your heart is not into him. I personally think warm ivory looks better on me, Alison thinks the same and that's all that matters for me.
The consultation ended very well where Alison taught me how to put bronzer on myself and it made me feel like a million dollars. At no point, beginning, middle or end was I pushed to buy anything. She gave me a little sample of foundation to take home and play with and I left the shop with a card with all the names of the products she had used on my face. For me, that's the way every consultation should be and you should not be tricked into buying stuff. If you are going to use this service and looking for a way out of not buying stuff, perhaps you can say 'this card with all the products on is going to be very handy when pay date arrives' or even 'I know what to buy with my no.7 vouchers, next'. Please don't feel obliged to buy anything.
So, why didn't I buy the foundation in the end?
Lift and Luminate (£16.50) felt lovely on the skin but I wasn't sold on the coverage. Lift and Luminate doesn't claim to be a full coverage foundation and nor did my consultant pretend it was one. I would describe the foundation to be light to medium coverage, which for me translates as 'light' coverage if you don't put layers on to build it as a medium coverage. The device might have found ‘the one’ for me, but I don't feel this is the one for me. Having said that, I can't wait to play with my tester and I can't wait to have another reading done, but this time try another foundation. I’d be curious to know what the machine says if it’s put against my neck. I can see foresee some struggle to encourage the lady to put the machine on my neck!
As far as I know, none of the Boots No.7 foundations are for people who want a full coverage but it will still be nice to try another one. The instant radiance foundation (£12.95) is cheaper, and IF this one offers better coverage, it would actually be a bargain to have a foundation beautifully matched to my skintone for £8, using a no.7 voucher. You can see at a glance here, all the foundations offered by no.7.
Have you been matched yet? Have you found ‘the one’?