A Review: Boots No 7 Foundation Matching Service


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!ย  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!


18 comments on “A Review: Boots No 7 Foundation Matching Service”

  1. I got to your blog by googling random products I was interested in – and what a treat!
    I am as well pale skinned girl from Europe and for a long time couldn't find products light enough for me. Luckily – pale skin is something I've always embrace and am glad others are starting to appreciate it as well.
    Looking forward to new posts and I hope I get to try Dainty Doll products.


  2. Hi there. Thanks so much for your lovely comment! Embracing pale skin is what my blog is all about, so I hope to appeal to those who want to show off their natural self. As for Dainty Doll, the products have become much cheaper recently so now is definitely time to grab a bargain! Thanks for checking my blog out ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. hey.

    found your blog on google too. ๐Ÿ™‚ was an interesting article and informative too.
    I've used that service too and it matched to callico shade too. I use it and it is perfect for me, I have pale skin too.
    as I use the same shade 'stay perfect foundation No.7' I should say that assistant may have had made a mistake and gave you the wrong shade of tester. because the foundation calico I have is much much lighter. and the one in your pics is, well, brown.

    thanks for info!


  4. Hi, i was too matched to the no.7 calico shade which did not match my colouring at all :(. May i ask which foundation you have turned too, i am still yet to find one to suit :(?
    Many tganks
    Hannah x


  5. Heya I am a calico tone as well ๐Ÿ˜€
    I am pale as well, I'm the palest in the family (and this is coming from a Irish family!! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚)
    I got recommended calico, and I find the less of it you use the better, I usually put a bit of moisturiser with it (2 parts moisturiser 1 part foundation, really don't need a lot altogether) and that kinda brings the orange down, also topping it off with a bit of powder gives it a softer look and also brings the orange down ๐Ÿ™‚ hope it helps


  6. I have been using Revlon Colourstay in Ivory for nearly a year now but the last few times I have used it, it just hasn't looked right, the tone is off. Does anyone have anymore recommendations? X


  7. I tried to get colour matched but the machine couldn't register . assistant said that has never happened before and that i was too pale for it to work .she gave me a sample anyway calico and it looked the exact same as your blended swatch. Still hunting for that perfect shade ๐Ÿ˜ฆ


  8. Hey Sharron! Yes unfortunately like most companies they don't understand true pale skin does not contain strong orange/brown/yellow tones. I have covered this topic over on my channel but some brands to look out for include Illamasqua and Bobbi Brown. You can also try custom mixing with a white foundation ๐Ÿ™‚


  9. I bought the 3 different kinds available and had to return calico because it was so dark the other 2 I bought (one in a dropper and one of the luminating ones) only 1 could I currently wear and the other id have to get a tan to wear which I'm trying to do so I kept it


  10. It also depends on what type of Calico you were given… I have four different versions of it and they are not all the same colour. Yet when they are blended *properly* they fade into the skin.


  11. It doesn't matter how well I blend it still oxidizes and turns orange. It's the closest they have to my skintone being the palest shade they do, but is still lightyears away from my actual skintone which is off-white pale Irish.


  12. Hi everyone I got matched to calico and was given the airbrush foundation which was the perfect colour for my skin it's nice and silky on the skin but I didn't feel it lasted and it gathered around my nose and mouth. So I tried the stay perfect in calico this foundation lasts really well and doesn't gather in places only problem is it's darker than the airbrush so I have to blend it in a lot more but it's still visibly darker on my skin. How can the same shade be darker? So now I don't know what to use


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.