Saturday, October 8th, 2011


Foundation Matrix 2.0

If you’re not familiar with the Foundation Matrix, the purpose is to help you find potential shade matches in a foundation you’re interested in.  The way you do this is by finding a foundation you do use that you already know your shade for, and then you move along the corresponding column to find potential matches in other foundations.  It began and continues as a community-driven effort, because I ask that you add in your own matches.  This way it’s real people who’ve really tried the foundations giving out recommendations to others.

We are reaching out to the community to help fine tune existing shades but also fill in more shades.  The Foundation Matrix stands at over 400 foundations strong.  400!

We have added/changed the following:

  • NEUTRAL UNDERTONES.  We have had requests for sheet just for those with neutral undertones, so we have added it.
  • NEW SHADE GUIDE/SYSTEM.  We originally used MAC’s numbering system (which is backwards and often confusing) in the beginning, because it was so recognizable that many knew their MAC shade match.  We have so much amazing data, we don’t need it any more.  Plus, MAC’s shade range does not cover some of the undertones the revamped matrix now has.  The shade range goes from Fairest to Deep Dark.  In MAC shades, fairest is like NC/NW5-10 (lighter than their lightest shade at NC/NW15), while Deep Dark is like NC/NW50-55.
  • NEW UNDERTONES FOR WOMEN OF COLOR.  We want the matrix to be more useful to women of color, who do not always fit into pink/yellow undertones.  There is a warm undertones sheet which includes yellow but also peach and red (and pink undertones remain on the cool undertones sheet). Thank you to Afrobella for her help on this!
  • ADDED 100+ FOUNDATIONS.  In the past, we only added new foundations if and when someone has a match for it.  We have now added over a hundred new foundation formulas that need matches!
  • MORE REFINED SORTING.  Once the community has populated the newly added foundations, we hope to give you more ability to sort and refine the results you want.  We have done this by creating separate columns for:  brand, foundation name, type of foundation, coverage of the foundation, and finish of the foundation.  You can view the parameters for type, coverage, and finish under the Key sheet.

Please submit your matches using the form below! :) We still need more matches!

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. may be in violation of our comment policy and subject to deletion. Please see our comment policy for more information.

71 thoughts on “Foundation Matrix 2.0 – Submit via Form

  1. Avatar of Christina Christina

    Hi Christine,

    I think this foundation matrix is great! I do want to point out, though, that the brand “Aromaleigh” has been closed for quite some time, so I’m not sure if there is value in keeping it in the list! They closed their doors for good a while back, so you can’t order their foundation even if you wanted to.

    Thanks for all you do!

    • Aromaleigh isn’t on the sheet? Are you looking at the Foundation Matrix 2.0?

      • Avatar of Christina Christina

        Oh no no! Aromaleigh IS on the sheet. I just wasn’t sure if brands that aren’t available to consumers anymore are supposed to be on the matrix. It might be good for those who have used it in the past, though. Sorry for not clarifying!

        • Hi Christina,

          I’m still trying to figure out where you’re seeing it? Because it’s not on the sheet to be edited, which is what I’ve linked in this post. It is, of course, in the first version of the Matrix since that is old.

  2. Leslie

    This is super exciting, but I cannot for the life of me figure out how to add a row. The option to do so is grayed out. Christine, do we have the option of adding new foundations or is this currently only open to editing existing options? I found a great match in Mehron’s Celebre Pro HD and want to share.

    Thanks btw, this is the foundation matrix on steroids. Should be really helpful for everyone!

  3. Devi

    I sadly have no real knowledge that would allow me to contribute to this, but I’m just so glad that you’re doing this. You’re always going above and beyond Christine, and I’m glad that the community that supports you gets to be a part of your projects.

  4. Karyn

    OMG YAY!!! I loved being able to add stuff to Matrix 1.0, I hope to be able to contribute to the newer version. Thanks Christine!

  5. I’m really liking Foundation Matrix 2.0, but I can’t add info :(

    I want to add that for medium with warm undertones, Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua B30 Beige – Sable would work pretty well :)

  6. I have a print out copy of the foundation matrix on my purse which I bring all the time! No purchase of wrong foundations anymore. keep it up Christine!

    Btw, I wanted to contribute on the spreadsheet but only have view access. How can I edit?

  7. This is an awesome idea. I am definately going to see . I will add a link to this on my blog. What a great resource.

  8. Jen

    I can’t seem to be able to add anything, I can only open a “view only” mode. But I was just going to add Bobbi Brown Luminous Moisturizing Foundation in 0 Porcelain for the Fair column, Warm and possibly neutral undertones. I was always surprised about why it wasn’t there.

  9. Alisa

    I think this is such a great opportunity, but for some odd reason I cannot add anything to the tables. I keep on clicking on the actual spots I want to add something to, and i start typing and nothing shows up. :S
    Am I doing something wrong?
    If nothing works out, perhaps I could type the things I want to add in a comment here and someone else might upload it? :S

  10. Super that this matrix is revamped. Thank you Christine! I use this matrix all the time because I have a hard time shade matching. Double the thanks for adding the undertones for women of color. YAAASSS uber excited :)

  11. Avatar of michelle Michelle

    Is there anyway you can make a mobile friendly foundation matrix? I find I could only view part of the table (maybe bc frame in frame? ) anyway it’s useful on the go! I use an iPhone 4 if that helps

  12. Avatar of MaryEllen MaryEllen

    Yay! Thank you so much, Christine. I use the matrix and the swatch guide often and they are excellent resources.

  13. Avatar of Amanda Amanda

    I can’t seem to figure out how to edit the darn thing. It says it’s in View Only mode and the edit button is grayed out. :-(

  14. electronicfly

    Christine, would it be possible to add MAC approximations (not equivalents) into the top, as a guide (can be removed after the updating’s done), since everyone’s perception on what’s exactly Fair, Light, Light-medium can be different.

    E.g., I’ve no clue whether I should put myself as fair, light or light-medium, since as a Malaysian I’m considered Fair, but compared to other Chinese I might be more Light, and to Westerners I’ll probably be considered Light-medium or even medium.

    All I know though is that NC25 is a perfect match for me, but when I referred to the column that’s mainly NC25 in the MAC rows(So that makes me Light-medium), I find that for many other brands, the Light column contains more of my matches rather than Light-medium.

    • Just scroll down to the MAC foundation you use :) The generalized names are specifically lined up to correspond with it. NC25 is light-medium, while light would be NC20. The matches that align with NC25 are the same as they always have been.

    • Seconded!

      I just came here to say the same thing. I know we can scroll down, but it would be slightly easier for people who are used to that numbering system (I’ve barely even used MAC’s complexion products and I know I’m a NC20-25) to see it up top as an approximation rather than scrolling back down and up again.

  15. electronicfly

    Oh, and I also can’t edit the file :( It says View Only somehow :(

  16. Nadia

    Hmmm I can’t figure out for the life of me how to add anything anywhere! It’s all greyed out and nothing I type shows up. I can’t add or edit!

    • amanda

      same. i liked it the way it was. cant we just add to what existed? how were people deleting stuff if it was already in there? le perplexed.

  17. Avatar of Hanan Hanan

    Thank you Christine for great job. Just wanted to point out that Merle Norman Luxiva mineral powder foundation numbers have changed. Also, could you please add Guerlain Lingerie de peau colors? I’m not sure what the matches are otherwise I would’ve added them myself. Thanks

  18. Thanks Christine. Foundation Matrix is really helpful. I never buy any foundation before checking foundation matrix first.

  19. G

    Is there any way to view edit history, like in Wiki’s? That would be nice to see exactly what is being changed, and by who, even if anonymous.

    I just fixed a couple of MAC foundation problems in regards to consistency/coverage/finish, it seems a lot of them were VERY wrong (like Studio Sculpt being labeled a sheer liquid with matte finish – lol, that is the opposite of what MAC says!)

  20. Megan

    Hey Christine. I can’t access the Matrix with the neutral tones. I keep seeing the same matrix as before with the MAC shades. Where should I be looking to get to the Foundation Matrix 2.0???

  21. amanda

    uh. what?! theres no fdtn matrix just a random spreadsheet.. why am i so kerfuffled??

  22. Glam

    Hi Gorgeous Christine,

    I need help about Burberry Foundations/Compact Foundation shade. I’ve warm undertone light to medium. with M.A.C foundations I’m between NC25/NC30. Please I need your help.Can you add the Burberry Foundation into your Foundation Matrix.Thank you

  23. Avatar of Melissa divinem (Melissa)

    How sickening that there are people who are so miserable they only find joy in destruction? Pathetic. I always have and always will support you, Christine, and I am proud to say that I contributed to several entries in the beginning.

    I think it’s wonderful that you continue to build on its complexity. People who try to subvert your efforts will not succeed. Such a waste of their time.

  24. Devi

    Aw, that’s too bad. :( I hope the sheet deleting thing was an accident done by someone with good intentions. Accidents do happen…

    Or is that just me being naive? I actually don’t know how easy/difficult it is to delete a sheet, but I would like to hope that it was all an accident. :P

    Oh well, time to use the form!

    • I am hoping that is the case, but it seems to occur every couple of hours (since I opened it up), so it is becoming very difficult to figure out what’s been changed, redo those, get it back to working order, etc.!

  25. G

    Woah, that sucks. The whole spreadsheet is now gone? No access to it ever again? I liked editing it like that or at least viewing it. Could it ever come back, even if read only mode?

  26. Lena

    I’m actually quite surprised that you opened it up for all Christine.

    Anyway, this is a great resource that I’ve turned to time and time and time again. So, appreciate the effort, Christine.

  27. Avatar of Amy Amy

    What if we’re fairer and use a foundation fairer than the “Fairest” selection?

    • Fairest is the lightest it goes to – because we had something even lighter on the original sheet and there was only a handful of inputs there (and most of them were exactly the same as “fairest”). Fairest is lighter than the normal “lightest” by a brand – e.g. MAC only goes to NC/NW15, but fairest is lighter than that.

  28. Lindsay

    Bless your soul for the irritation you’ve had to go through with this thing!!! I can’t thank you enough though, bc this is a priceless resource when it comes to buying drugstore foundations or ordering online instead of buying directly from the counters.

    THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU!!!!!

  29. yasemin

    Hi Christine. Could you please answer my question. NC means cool on MAC and all NC colors are yellow toned and NW means warm and they are pink toned. So I’m confused you say that cool means pink undertones? Could you please explain that to me? (Sorry about my bad English)

    • NC is for those with warm undertones, NW is for those with cool undertones. NC does not mean cool, NW does not mean warm.

    • G

      I always thought it meant neutralize cool/warm… and that is why the shades are backwards. If you are to NEUTRALIZE something, then you would be applying it’s opposite. MAC started with the idea of neutralizing undertones but it got lost along the way and nobody did it (they matched their own instead) but they still are stuck with the legacy ways to label color.

      • Yep – NW/NC stands for neutral warm and neutral cool – and the easiest way to think of it is more like “needs warm” and “needs cool” OR “not warm” and “not cool.”

  30. G

    MAC foundations are all messed up again for some reason on the 2.0 spreadsheet. A lot of the consistency/coverage/finish are way off. Just pointingg that out, it should be looked at.

    • Maybe you could add to the matrix with the proper listing, too :)

      • G

        lol I’m confused. Before I just edited the individual parts on the spreadsheet. Here are the correct values I know of if you or staff ever gets around to it, straight from the horse’s (MAC’s) mouth, verified w/ foundation finder:

        Face&Body – liquid/sheer/luminous
        studio Sculpt – Gel/Medium-Full/Satin
        Matchmaster – liquid/medium/semi matte
        studio moisture tint – liquid/light/natural
        pro longwear – liquid/light-medium/natural
        mineralize satinfinish – liquid/light/luminous
        Mineralize Foundation SPF 15 – cream/medium/luminous

  31. Hey Christine-

    I’m not sure about the Estee Lauder DWL being a 4,5 for NC42. So far, NC42 matches with NARS Syracuse, Bare Minerals shades (the ones i’ve used) but Estee Lauder DWL 3 is like the perfect match for my NC 42 shade and 4, 5 might be for darker skin.

  32. Roberta

    NW18 here… :-( Never included anywhere!

  33. Michelle

    Glad the new colors are being added. Hopefully more matches will be made for the lightest of skin tones (above n15). My whole life I’ve just given up looking for foundation that will match my skin, so I don’t even get to wear it unless I make sure I stay in the sun long enough to darken my skin to n15. I know its hard for dark skin women to find foundation but the same is true for super light skinned people as well, its really frustrating to say the least and wish companies would include fairest fair to all of there make up lines:)

  34. Z

    I love this! I’ve only recently begun searching for foundation and it’s been ridiculously difficult to find a match. While it sucks I can’t offer anything, I will shamelessly use it in the future to try and match my uber pale skin. :) Thank you for all your hard work!

  35. The only problem is that my skin tone is pink and ruddy but I use a yellow tone foundation and it cancels out the red and my skin looks perfect that way. So even if I find the right tone it won’t make my face look better unless I get the yellow tone.You know what I mean right.

  36. Nadia

    Hmmm I already submitted a bunch of matches via the form when this post first went up a month ago. But I don’t see them added in the matrix yet.

  37. Paige

    Given that I’ve just bought the new Chanel Perfection Lumiere foundations, I’m happy to contribute a couple shade matches (one for NC25 skin tone and another for NC30).

    Thank you Christine for putting the effort of having this feature. It was very helpful to me in the past and I am glad I could help contribute something to others as well.

  38. grace

    this is so helpful! thank you christine!!x x

  39. Avatar of artemis artemis

    hope they won’t be deleting anymore cause that’s annoying

  40. Avatar of Alex Alexandra

    Great ideas to improve the matrix! I have definitely referred to it and find it very helpful! :-D
    I was just wondering, is concealer included here as well?

  41. Megan

    I uploaded a foundation that is light enough for my skin tone which was really hard to find! But when I selected a skin tone, MAC doesn’t really compare to it at all because MAC has nothing light enough for me so just letting you know.

    • The very lightest shade indicates a shade lighter than MAC, actually… e.g. NC/NW5-10 does not exist as “fairest” is lighter than existing MAC foundations!