Matching foundation to your skin is a chore that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I love trying new foundations, but finding the perfect shade every time a new product launches is enough to make me never, ever want to stray from what I already know works for me. Does it wear evenly all day? Does it work in different lights? Trying out new foundations is really a labor of love.
Even though a product might be available in a range of shades similar to your skin, there still may not be one that blends perfectly with your undertone. Add to that the fact that, although brands are finally becoming more inclusive, foundations across the board still aren't available in shades deep enough for people of color or light enough for people with very fair skin on the opposite of the spectrum.
MATCHCo is a new beauty startup that is looking to eliminate the struggle of matching your foundation by blending you a custom shade that perfectly matches your skin for $49. The whole process takes less than two minutes, and the only tool you need is the iPhone that you’re probably reading this on. I thought it sounded too good to be true until I tried it for myself.
First, download the app. Your iPhone then pulls a total artificial intelligence moment, like from that Spielberg movie I never saw, and starts talking to you, walking you through the color-matching process step-by-step.
The MATCHCo app uses your iPhone camera to analyze your skin tone. You tap it against the bottom part of your wrist, which is where my skin is the lightest, then the top of your wrist, which is where my skin is usually the darkest. After that, your left cheek, right cheek, and forehead. Finally, just put in your credit card info and shipping address, and your custom product appears in your mailbox in just a couple of days.
The whole process sounds easy, and it is. My biggest relief is that the app actually works (unlike that breathalyzer app that I tried). Thank goodness it's a quick process, too. I was sitting alone in my apartment with my iPhone shouting orders at me, tapping it against my face, thinking to myself, If this shit doesn't work, I'm gonna feel like a total ass.
Here I am pre-foundation.
MATCHCo never calls their product a foundation, rather, an all-in-one product that acts as a primer, moisturizer, and color coverage (it’s a foundation).
The product itself is somewhere in between a tinted moisturizer and a liquid foundation. It feels like a tinted moisturizer, but it covers like a foundation.
Personally, I'm not a fan of tinted moisturizers because I find that they don't set well, they're streaky, and they're never available in precise enough shades for me, a pasty white person, so I can't imagine they're any easier for people with richer skin tones. I didn't have any problems with streaks with MATCHCo, the finish is insane, almost like porcelain.
A big plus about the light formula is that it's crazy easy to apply, and will even work in nicely with just your fingers. I used a Beauty Blender and I was a bit worried that it was going to be too light to work with the sponge, but it turned out flawlessly.
When I first pumped it into my hand, it looked like it was going to be a very full coverage base, but it applied much more sheer than I’d expected.
One layer is great for evening tone, and it builds up easily in places where you want more coverage. The product is very creamy, so it’s easy to layer evenly without getting cakey, and blends out where you want to let more of your natural skin show through. Whether you’re wearing a sheer layer or you’ve built it up, it's not going to give you away.
MATCHCo’s finish gives your skin a soft glow that didn’t make me look oily hours later like some other foundations tend to do, even well into the night when my oil kicked in. It didn’t crease under my eyes or on my forehead, either, which is a problem I have with not just concealers, but a few foundations as well. It stayed where I put it and was still there when I took off my makeup and washed my face at the end of the day. After a few days, I found myself looking in the mirror not to check if it was wearing well, but to see just how well it was wearing.
In terms of matching my skin, I have to say that it really knocks it out of the park. The formula is unique and takes a bit of getting used to. It's light and workable, but it may not be your best bet if you like full-coverage foundations? I'd definitely say it's worth giving a try, regardless. With as many foundations as I rotate in and out of my beauty routine, this one is a perfect middle ground that I've gone back to again and again.
Have you tried MATCHCo? What's your favorite beauty app? What's your go-to foundation? Tell me everything in the comments.
Tynan is wearing custom foundation on Twitter @TynanBuck.