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Does sephora still do color matching?

Finding the right shade of foundation or concealer can be a challenging process. With so many options on the market, it can seem overwhelming to figure out which formula and color will work best for your unique skin tone. This is where color matching comes in handy. Color matching is a service offered by many cosmetic retailers like Sephora to help customers find the perfect match for base makeup products like foundation, concealer, and powder. But does Sephora still offer color matching services in 2023? Let’s take a closer look.

What is Color Matching?

Color matching refers to the process of testing and comparing different shades of makeup against a person’s unique skin tone to find an ideal match. This service is usually offered for complexion products like foundation, concealer, and powder which come in a wide range of shades.

When getting color matched, a trained consultant will take into account factors like your skin’s undertone (cool, warm, or neutral), the depth of your complexion, the shade of your neck compared to your face, and more. They will then apply a few different shades of a product on areas like your jawline, neck, or décolletage to see which option seamlessly blends in and matches your natural skin tone.

Why is Color Matching Important?

Finding the right color match for base makeup products is important for several reasons:

  • It helps the product look natural and seamlessly blend in with your skin.
  • It prevents shades that are too light or dark which can look unnatural.
  • It takes the guesswork out of picking a flattering shade.
  • It ensures you don’t waste money on the wrong shades.
  • It gives you confidence that your makeup looks flawless.

With a wide range of complexion products on the market in varying formulas and shades, color matching eliminates the confusion of deciding which options will work best for your needs and skin tone.

The Benefits of Getting Color Matched at Sephora

Sephora has offered complimentary color matching services in their stores for years. There are several benefits to getting color matched for foundation and concealer at Sephora:

  • Their beauty advisors and consultants are trained extensively on color theory, undertones, and finding the best shades for each customer.
  • They carry a wide range of cosmetic brands and products, so you can get matched for lots of different formulas.
  • It’s a free service, so you can get a professional recommendation without spending money.
  • You can sample multiple products and shades to compare options.
  • Their lighting is designed to give you an accurate representation of how shades look on your skin.
  • You can get matched for face products as well as lip colors and eyeshadows.
  • It’s convenient since you can purchase the matched products immediately after your consultation.

Sephora aims to take the confusion out of picking cosmetics and provides expertise on recommending flattering shades across their wide selection of makeup brands.

Does Sephora Still Offer Color Matching in 2023?

The good news is that as of 2023, Sephora continues to offer complimentary color matching services in their brick-and-mortar stores. Their expert beauty advisors are available to help customers find the perfect complexion products for their skin tone and needs.

However, Sephora recently made some changes to how color matching services are provided:

Previous Color Matching Service New Color Matching Service
Makeup applications and shade matching took place at dedicated stations in the Beauty Studio section of stores. Color matching now takes place at the brand’s dedicated retail displays across the sales floor.
Customers made appointments ahead of time for one-on-one shade matching sessions. Color matching is now primarily done on a walk-in basis.
The focused Beauty Studio environment was tailored specifically for makeup services. Color matching now takes place in busier and more chaotic areas of the store.
Beauty advisors could provide more in-depth consultations in the Beauty Studio. Walk-in color matching tends to be quicker and more rushed.

The main change is that Sephora’s color matching service is now primarily a walk-in experience on the main sales floor rather than in the specialized Beauty Studio area. Customers can no longer book appointments for dedicated shade matching sessions.

Some benefits of the new on-floor service model is that customers can conveniently get matched and purchase products in one place rather than visiting multiple areas of the store. The walk-in system also allows stores to service more clients in less time. However, the experience may feel more hurried, with less opportunity for in-depth discussions about your needs.

Tips for Getting Color Matched at Sephora

If you plan to get color matched for foundation, concealer, or powder at Sephora, here are some tips to make the most of the experience:

  • Come with clean, makeup-free skin so the shades can be tested directly against your natural complexion.
  • Bring examples of current foundation or complexion products you use to compare colors.
  • Visit the store at off-peak hours on weekdays to allow more time for an thorough consultation.
  • Explain your specific needs and concerns to the consultant.
  • Ask for samples of a few different shade options to test out at home.
  • Take notes on the product names, shades, and formulas the associate recommends.
  • Ask the associate to apply the potential matches on your jawline, neck, and décolletage to ensure it blends seamlessly.
  • Examine the test shades in natural lighting to see how they oxidize against your skin.

Doing some preparation and communicating clearly with the Sephora associate can ensure you walk away with the perfect color match.

Alternatives for Finding Your Foundation Shade

In addition to getting color matched in person at Sephora, there are a few other ways to determine your ideal foundation or concealer shade:

  • Online quizzes: Many cosmetic brands like Lancôme, Estée Lauder, bareMinerals, and more have online quizzes you can take to get matched remotely based on your skin tone, complexion, and preferences.
  • Mobile apps: Some makeup brands like YouCam offer apps that use augmented reality and AI to assess your skin and make automatic foundation recommendations.
  • At-home sampling: Order a range of foundation sample sets from brands like Finds or Minimale Animale to test shades at home for a few days.
  • Professional makeup services: Work with a professional makeup artist for a consultation and custom color match.

While the most accurate option is to get matched in person, these alternatives allow you to get matched from the comfort of home.

Does Sephora Accept Returns on Color Matched Products?

One common question about getting color matched at Sephora is whether they allow returns or exchanges if the recommended shade ends up not working for you. The good news is that yes, Sephora does accept returns and provide exchanges on color matched cosmetics!

Their return policy allows you to return most products, including foundations, concealers, powders, and more that were purchased or shade matched in-store. You typically have 30 days from the purchase date to make a return or exchange. As long as you have the original receipt and the product is gently used or in new condition, Sephora will accept the return.

This policy allows you to truly test out the matched shades at home in real-life lighting. If you find the color looks off once you wear it a few times, you can easily exchange it for a better match.


Finding the perfect matching foundation or complexion product takes the guesswork out of makeup application and helps you look your best every day. Sephora remains devoted to assisting customers in picking flattering shades through their color matching services. While color matching is now primarily a quicker, walk-in experience, their trained consultants are still available to help you test products and find ideal shades.

Taking advantage of the free color matching services at Sephora stores allows you to benefit from professional expertise, try out products first-hand, and find shades that truly complement your unique skin tone. With the added assurance of their return policy, you can confidently get color matched knowing the process will lead you to makeup that looks and feels like an ideal fit.