Thursday, November 21st, 2013


I’m very, VERY excited announce the launch of the Foundation Matrix 2.0!

There are now over 900 foundations and 300 concealers–with over 10,000 shades in the database. The most significantly added feature of 2.0 is voting, which allows the community to further vet matches by joining voices together when shades match, and even when they don’t. When something doesn’t match, you can let others know why–maybe it’s too light or too dark, too warm or too cool. There is strength in the power of the community; if 20 people agree that it’s a pretty good match, you’ll have more confidence opting for that shade. This will also help us better refine shades so only the best matches are shown over time.

Visit The Foundation Matrix 2.0!

The latest version of the Foundation Matrix can be used in two ways:

  • Use Your Existing Foundation: If you already know of a match (or a close match!), simply choose “use my existing foundation.” You can begin typing the brand of your foundation or select from a list of popular foundations. Once you’ve selected the brand, you’ll need to select your shade. That’s it — then you’ll get matches that the community (all of the information the original Foundation Matrix used) and staff have said may be matches.
  • Start From Scratch: If you’re not sure of a match, you can select your under tone and skin tone and see matches that correspond.


There are over 400 shades swatched across 14 different brands–and we hope to add more and more as time goes on! We would like to extend our most heartfelt thank you to these brands for supporting us by generously providing product samples of their foundation ranges so we could swatch and photograph. Thank you to (in alphabetical order) bareMinerals, Benefit Cosmetics, Bobbi Brown, Clarins, Cover FX, Dior, Hourglass, Illamasqua, LORAC, MAC Cosmetics, Make Up For Ever, Maybelline, NARS, and Urban Decay for believing in our dream and vision for the Foundation Matrix.


Additional features:

  • Filter and refine your results by brand, coverage, type, finish, and price
  • Add shades to your Vanity or your Wish List for future reference
  • Get more details about the formula by clicking “about this formula”
  • See a full breakout of voting results by viewing the shade’s page


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.

80 thoughts on “The Foundation Matrix 2.0 Launches

  1. This is amazing Christine! I love how comprehensive the list is and with 10,000 shades, there’s definitely going to be a match in there!
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  2. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of liz liz

    you guys are CRAZY. this is so freakin cool.

  3. Awesome! Thanks for all the hard work and effort to make 2.0 happen :D

  4. Vanessa

    I would love to be able to email this to myself (or see it in list form) so I can print it. It is really great, thanks.

    • Could you let me know what kind of info you’d want in a printable/email-able version? We have so much data we’re trying to convey, so we haven’t worked out how best to provided a more summary-like version.

      • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Ana Ana O

        I am not sure, but I think she meant a printable version of the results. I’d suggest two options: one pdf of the actual results (with the pictures) and a simpler list with just the names of brands/shades/etc. This would come in handy when shopping! If that’s what she meant… I second the request! :)

        Thank you so much for the AMAZING job you did on this one! It’s… outstanding to say the very least!

        • But would you want information like # of votes, percentage that says matching, etc.? Information about the formula? We have all this on the page now, but I’m not sure what readers want in a condensed version :) We can’t get all of that in a condensed version (we couldn’t even get it all out at the same time on the results’ page, lol!).

  5. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Kappa Kappa

    This is such an amazing tool – thank you!!!

  6. Raj

    Wow, this so cool Christine! Great job!

    I played with it a little bit and it gives a great starting point for checking out foundations in stores. Now I can go in with a purpose and have some direction, versus going in blind and randomly grabbing shades and hoping for the best.

  7. The work the Temptalia.com team does is incredible – the Foundation Matrix is a genious idea and so helpful for those who are looking for a HG foundation or who wish to try a new brand/type. I love how you pay attention to EVERY detail to make this 2.0 version even more precise. Congratulations to you Christine and the amazing Temptalia team on an excellent, amazing job!!

  8. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Karen Karen

    Beautiful!! I’m so excited about this!!

  9. This sounds very helpful! Good job on the upgrade, Temptalia crew! I’m going to check it out right away. :)

  10. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of beka beka

    Thank you for this. I’m sure it was a ton of work. It is a fantastic tool!

  11. Excellent! I always go and check the matrix when I need to order online and i am unsure of the shade! worked every single time!!!
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  12. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Sarah Sarah

    This is soo amazing to me I think its absolutely extraordinary how much work you put into your blow and I have to say it is really wonderful! It is so helpful to all of us and all of your work is greatly appreciated

  13. This is brilliant, Christine! I’m going to look at it right now. What an incredible team you guys are! :)

  14. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Lorna Lorna

    Wow, that’s amazing and so comprehensive! I’m impressed, thanks for all your hard work :)

  15. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Brittany Brittany S

    Amazing! Congratulations on the launch, Christine! I can’t even begin to imagine the all the hard work, time, and dedication that went into this!

  16. Hi Christine, this awesome! Thank you (and your sister) so much for making this happen!

  17. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Aimey Aimey

    WOAAA — all I’ve ever worn is BB so I’ve always been afraid of buying foundation. This is so awesome! I’ll check back when more people have voted, but in the meantime: THANK YOU, CHRISTINE!

  18. omg thats very comprehensive. Thanks Christine for all the hard work you put in this :)
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  19. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Rebecca Rebecca

    Christine, congrats on such a HUGE accomplishment! I’m looking forward to using this to help me choose my next foundation; so far I’ve found some close ones, but nothing perfect yet!
    On another note, a friendly suggestion I just thought of: would it be possible to include a swatch of the “benchmark” shade we are using for the “existing foundation” option? For example, if I’m searching for shades close to MUFE Mat Velvet+ 30, the first swatch would be MUFE Mat Velvet+ 30, followed by the rest of the swatches. I think this would make it a LOT easier for the user to visually cross-reference the potential shades and make a judgment on how close those are. Even better, if the benchmark shade can be the first one on every page, it would be divine. :)

    • Hi Rebecca!

      I thought about that, actually! It was something I was considering, but I’m not sold on implementing yet only because well, there are 10,000 shades and we only have swatches of 400 of them. We made it so every shade is represented by a block of color so you don’t just see “coming soon!” Is it still helpful is there’s no real swatch and just a block of color that represents the skin tone?

      • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Ana Ana O

        That’s a wonderful idea for the Foundation Matrix 2.1! :D

      • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Rebecca Rebecca

        Yes darling. (I’ve been watching Wayne Goss too much lately, can you tell?) I am actually on the hunt for my shade in LM Silk Creme; the MUFE Mat Velvet + is making me way dry in this brutal Midwestern winter. I checked out the foundation matrix again and noticed the change, and referred back to the comment section here only to see that you responded and took it into consideration. I think the “block of color” works really well, actually! The swatch for MUFE Mat Velvet + in #30 (my existing shade) is really true to how it looks on me. :) And I totally understand the need to make do with these “blocks” for now; 10,000 is A HECK LOT OF SHADES, and once you are done adding swatches for all of them, you’ll definitely have accomplished something more than anything I’ve ever done! ;)

        • Thank you, Rebecca!

          I hate that brands use blocks of color, because well, it’s their own product and surely they can open up their bottles and jars and give ‘em a little photoshoot for swatches! I don’t like doing it either, but I hoped that it would be, at the very least, a visual cue of “this is lighter than the one next to it” until the day we have that one swatched. 10,000 – oh, I wish, an impossible dream, practically a secret dream :)

      • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Rebecca Rebecca

        PS I also second your response to Wwendalynne below – adding a spectrum for undertones would be super helpful as well. That’s how the new Sephora Color IQ system works, with undertones ranged from 5R to 5Y (5R being the most red, 5Y being the most yellow) on top of the light-dark spectrum. I find it really helpful looking at the full-sized chart, tho when the SA matched me when the system first came out, she was at least one shade off, and with the foundation oxidizing I was def 2 shades dark by the end of the day. Ok, I notice I’ve commented wayyy too much on this thread, so I’ll stop now! :D

        • It’s definitely something I want to add, but I know that initially, much like the real swatches, it’s going to be limited (because I would first rank/label what I have swatched, since I can visually and in-person confirm). As votes come in, when a lot of yellow-toned folks are still voting “too yellow” it’ll also be a good cue that “hey, THIS is yelloww!”

  20. Astrild

    Amazing!!!! What a great job!!

  21. Woop woop! I have been consulting your matrix for sooooo long now! It has been a tremendous help, many many times.

  22. Once again: a wicked cool tool.. Love how Team Temptalia keeps adding super helpful tools to the site. The input from others can certainly help to pare down choices even further if you have difficult skin like mine to match. Big KUDOS to the team at Temptalia. ≧✯◡✯≦✌

    • Yay! I know that even though I’m likely to find a match somewhere in the range, since I’m in the middle-ish, it’s a total PITA because I’m not quite true medium, but I’m not quite light-medium. I’m also warm and yellow toned but not strongly yellow. One of the things we want to do is go through the shades we have swatched and add strength indicator (like 1= barely yellow, 10 = sunshine yellow) to further refine. SO, to that end, I felt like if something doesn’t match… you want to know why. Is it the color or the undertone?

  23. M

    This is amazing! Thank you so much for this!

  24. Maybe a touch to large of a range showing up. I put in Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup in shade 1 which is much paler then NC15 but I was getting shades in the NC20 range showing up. I know I’m way out there in the spectrum but with NC20 shades I look like I was fake backed. lol
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    • Hey!

      A lot of shades are categorized in two skin tones (and some are in three!) – say fairest and fair – because in the original Matrix, we had the same thing – users would self-report they were matches and with swatches, I can do some comparisons on internally, but one thing I wanted was people very clearly saying NO and YES to matches and total un-matches. As votes come in and the community starts vetting shades (and weeding out some of the outliers), my hope is that shades will be more refined overall.

      Especially with the lightest and darkest end of the spectrum, knowing that the supposed “lightest” and “darkest” of a formula aren’t going to suit, I think is super helpful! Like you might think you are very fair but think NC15 will be fine – but you know that it’s not!

      Once we have more votes in place, the way everything is sorted will start to look a bit different, too, so you’ll see more “best matches” first.

      I know that one of the problems with a really thin foundation like Naked (I see the same issue with MAC Face & Body) is that users report matching for a lot of skin tones (and even under tones) for a single shade – I think MAC C2 in F&B was getting user submissions as matches for *four* shades.

  25. This is so nice! Although when I looked up my current foundation, it only gave me one other option: a concealer.

    • Hey Virginia!

      Could you let me know what foundation that was? You should definitely get wayyyy more results than that.

      • Yeah, I thought that seemed a bit odd. It is the MUFE Duo Mat 207.

      • Cristina

        This happenede to me too when I entered Revlon Colorstay Whipped Crème in Buff. It only pulled up a Giorgio Armani concealer in two shades.

        P.S. For shades that have both a name and a number ( as i nthe one above, which is 150 Buff) it would be useful to have both in the shade selection.

        • Hi Cristina!

          You should see more results now! :)

          We included as much information as we could find when we were looking at each brand’s websites, so numbers were included when we could find them when we were collecting the data (most of it was collected July-September of 2012), so if there is only one or the other, we didn’t have both at the time!

  26. Dua

    Used it, Love it!

    Thank you for making our lives easier ♥

  27. This is wonderful! Congratulations to the whole Temptalia team! :)
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  28. lennamfc

    This is awesome!! BUT I just tried to use the foundation matrix based on my current best match – MUFE HD #125 – and my number doesnt’t show up among the options! I see #123 twice, is the second one maybe supposed to be #125?

    • Hey!

      Thank you for catching that! 125 has been added! It’s in our master sheet, but I know for sure that when we were putting in MUFE’s, because they just have #s as shade names, there were some duplicates and sounds like I accidentally deleted both 125s that we had. It’s in there now, though :)

  29. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Emi Emi

    This is really neat, thank you!
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  30. Jennifer

    Too bad my foundation isn’t on there! Make Up For Ever Pro Finish 113 :( boo

    • Hi Jennifer,

      You just have to let us know – we are happy to add it :) We even have a form linked on every step of the page so you can tell us if we’re missing your shade or formula so that we can add it!

      Just added it! You’ll now find it in there :)

  31. Adriana

    10,000 shades is an amazing accomplishment, congrats for taking this on and launching it.

    However, is there a way we can access the old foundation matrix? I just found the format to be much more quick and user-friendly when you needed to find something fast.

    For example: I searched my foundation, Armani Luminous Silk fluid in 5.5. That shade itself isn’t “swatched” on the matrix but I still get 79(!) pages worth of options, most of which looked totally off from my shade. Had I not looked to find my “original” shade first I would have had to look through 79 pages to even find that shade and then toggle back and forth through different tabs to compare. Just seems like the system isn’t super intuitive yet. Maybe something more interactive like the ability to discard shades that are way way off and just be left with a few contenders rather than hundreds of probably irrelevant swatches to look through.

    The old matrix had far less features but at least it was easier to see tons of foundation shades at once than having to go page by page.
    Just my two cents.

    • All of the shades you were given with the old matrix are actually the same as you’re getting now – we’re definitely trying to further refine and “discard” as you mentioned shades that do not fit – but that is why we need users to vote, as they find shades that do and do not match. The shades you see are there because a reader submitted that as a match, but there is strength in numbers so if users don’t agree it’s a match, it can be removed or refined based on the voting results. But we need the votes first to start making adjustments :)

      Have you tried to refine by any parameters – e.g. the type, coverage, brand, price point, etc. to narrow your search?

      We will be adding additional features in the future, including printable lists (but I’m still trying to get feedback on what readers would want in a printable list – if you have an idea of what type of information is most important – undertone? price? what? it would be most appreciated!), compare functionality, and so on.

  32. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Alce Alice

    Love the idea and the execution. I really appreciate how all the swatches are in terrific lighting (as with everything else on your blog) and also photographed with basically the same setup. If I could make one suggestion, it would be to include the photograph of the foundation you’re trying to find a match to on the page with all the suggestions–it’s easier to see them in direct comparison and in the same lighting. Great job.

  33. This update is so useful! Thanks for all of the hard work!