A little while back I decided to try the Boots foundation match service for their no7 range, after seeing copious amounts of advertising for it. Before I begin my review on the service, take a look at the advertisement…
Now, forgive me if I am mistaken… but the actress in this clip looks well, awfully… pale. Even in the natural lighting in the outdoor shots. Perfect! Or so I thought…
I went down to my local boots store in Freshney Place, Grimsby for my reading along with my cousin and fellow beauty blogger Vicky. I have found it’s always great to take someone along with you to properly judge the shade. A small machine photographed each side of my face, and within about 5 seconds, I had a reading. My diagnosed shade was unsurprisingly their lightest shade – Calico.
The sales assistant kindly bottled some up for me to try at home, as I rarely buy a foundation there and then. I like to look at it in natural light, away from the forced environment of a sales assistant holding a mirror to my face waiting for my over zealous reaction. If I find the shade is right for me, I will of course go back to that same counter/assistant where possible so they don’t loose out on commission. I know that may sound a little unnecessary, but when you’ve spent hundreds of pounds in your lifetime on the wrong shades, you soon become distrusting of make-up assistants, and the shades that are “just right” when they are far from it. I don’t suggest deliberately messing counter assistants around either, however you have to remember the power whether or not to buy is always in your hands, and as the consumer you should have the right to an honest opinion… and also the right to check the light outside, to be 100% that you are not going to look like you’ve stuck your head in a bag of Cheesy Wotsits.
So, here is the bottle of Calico I was given to test at home, and the results of a patch test, that has been blended across and down onto my neck. This is the same technique Bobbi Brown and Mac used on me to find my shade, and Lisa Eldridge also recommended this technique in a recent video. I apologise in advance for having a completely bare face otherwise, and less than perfect skin to photograph.
On the advert, it suggests 92% of people found the service accurate. But do people always know when a product isn’t right for them? It’s so easy to be sucked into the experience of having your make-up done and being told it looks beautiful and perfect, I think it’s easy to let your guard down.
You don’t have to be a genius to see that Calico looks far too orange against my skintone, and even blended in is impossible to avoid the dreaded tide mark between my face and my neck. I also found that once the product oxidised, it went even darker.
When I left the shop after having it tested in store, the first thing my cousin and Auntie said to me was “God that is totally the wrong shade. It’s nowhere near right”. As disheartening as this may seem, it’s actually exactly what you need to hear when it really is the case. I thought it was a shame, and so decided to check the boots website to see if they had a paler shade as I did quite like the feel of the foundation.
This is where I found out that “Calico” was infact the palest shade, and… on the website, looks much, much paler than what it does in real life! There are only 7 shades available of the particular foundation that was tested on me, and around 12 shades within the other foundations in the no7 range. The 7 shades are (despite how the website samples portray them) are very close together in colour. This leads me to my next point. How on earth can you individually match a persons skin tone, especially someone very pale as depicted within the advert, with such a small, close together range of shades?
I don’t know, maybe the Boots no 7 Foundation Match Service has indeed worked wonders for people confused about what shade to pick. However, I feel the advertisement using a pale model, therefore suggesting someone even with pale skin will find a perfect match, is somewhat misleading. However if this had been a custom match service, then it could have really taken off and I would most certainly have purchased a foundation had it been tailored to my skintone.
If I’m honest, it doesn’t take a machine to tell you what foundation shade you are. Just the right lighting, a good range of shades and honest people around you.
Have you used the Boots foundation match service? If so I would love to hear your thoughts!
N.B: Please forgive the state of my skin in the picture. This post was over a year ago now and my skincare routine has changed completely!