Is This the Foundation of the Future?
I think most of us can agree that finding our perfect foundation match is not a simple or amusing task. Particularly for women who don't fall in the very middle of the color spectrum, the process can get pretty frustrating. When you think about it, it makes little sense that brands would only offer 10 or 12 foundation shades. After all, there are certainly more than 12 skin tones represented in the world.
This is exactly the conundrum Andy Howell and David Gross were set on solving when they developed foundation brand MatchCo. Unlike every other makeup brand on the market, MatchCo doesn't offer a set selection of foundation shades. Instead, it evaluates your individual skin tone to blend a custom color that promises to match you perfectly. Sound cool? Here's where MatchCo gets crazy, though—you don't have to go anywhere to get your skin tone assessed. You do it through an app on your iPhone. Here's how it works: You simply download MatchCo's app and take a few scans of your skin with your iPhone camera. Those scans are then sent to the brand’s mixing lab in Santa Monica, California, where they're used to formulate a one-of-a-kind foundation color that is shipped your way within 48 hours. Oh, and the product is only $49.
Skeptical? Curious? So were we. So when MatchCo offered to come to Byrdie HQ and walk nine of our editors through the process, we took the company up on it. Keep scrolling to read our review of MatchCo's custom foundation!
When MatchCo's representatives arrived at Byrdie HQ, we gathered a smattering of editors from our sister sites WhoWhatWear and Obsessee, so a wide variety of skin tones would be represented. Then, MatchCo had us remove our makeup and walked us through downloading the app. The interface feels very futuristic—a soothing, robotic British voice guides you through the scanning process, which requires you to tap your phone camera first on a stack of white printer paper, then on your wrist, cheeks, and forehead. This provides a comprehensive picture of your skin tone. The process is simple to follow and takes about five minutes in all.
I must say, though, most of us took it with a grain of salt. How accurate could an iPhone camera be at picking up on the nuances of human skin? According to the folks at MatchCo, they've scanned over fifty thousand women and never formulated the same foundation twice. So, we were eager but skeptical.
We editors sent off our scans, and the next day, MatchCo returned to deliver our foundations in person. (This isn't their typical protocol, but we just couldn't wait.) The packaging is adorable—the brand engraves your name on the bottle, as if to remind you that this color is unique to you and you alone. The foundation comes out in a user-friendly pump that distributes just enough to coat your face in a thin layer. There's exactly one ounce of product in each bottle.
This foundation itself feels lightweight and hydrating on the skin. The founders were intent on developing a formula with skincare benefits, so the product's ingredient list includes skin-loving goodies like vitamin E, peptides, and green tea extract. It's an impressive formula for $49. As for the coverage, most of us agreed it seemed light to medium and buildable. If you're looking for a super-matte, full-coverage product, this might not be your pick. But if you're into a more natural look, the formula is excellent.
Here's what's wild: All of our editors agree that the color match is exact. MatchCo's promise, fulfilled. We don't know whether to thank the iPhone camera, the scanning process, the mixing lab, or both. But what's certain is that from my fair, yellow-toned complexion to other editors' darker, cooler tones, the shades are spot-on across the board. After testing the product, I instantly started comparing it to all the other foundations I own that I thought were a perfect match, and I suddenly saw my skin tone in a new light. Plus, not having to worry about blending down my neck to prevent that obvious foundation line seems almost too good to be true. Ultimately I found myself wondering, "Why wasn't this invented sooner?" and I think that's when you know you've happened upon a game-changing product.
Download the MatchCo app to get your own custom foundation!
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