NARS + Temptalia Foundation Matrix is Back with New Color Discovery! Find Your Shade Match for All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation

To celebrate the launch of NARS’ new All Day Luminous Weightless foundation, the NARS + Temptalia Foundation Matrix is back and better than ever with the introduction of our Color Discovery technology to help you find your perfect match in the new formula! The All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation is described as a “long-wear foundation” that has a weightless feel with “full, natural-looking coverage.” There are twenty shades available to choose from.

Full Shade Range

  • Siberia Light with neutral balance of pink and yellow undertones
  • Mont Blanc Light with pink undertone
  • Gobi Light with yellow undertone
  • Deauville Light with neutral balance of pink and yellow undertones
  • Fiji Light with yellow undertone
  • Ceylan Light-medium with yellow undertone
  • Punjab Medium with golden, peachy undertone
  • Vallauris Medium with pink undertone
  • Santa Fe Medium with peachy undertone
  • Stromboli Medium with olive undertone
  • Barcelona Deeper medium with golden, peachy undertone
  • Syracuse Medium-dark with brown undertone
  • Tahoe Medium-dark with caramel undertone
  • Cadiz Medium-dark with caramel and red undertone
  • Macao Medium-dark with deep yellow undertone
  • New Guinea Dark with red undertone
  • Trinidad Dark with warm, yellow undertone
  • New Orleans Dark with yellow undertone
  • Benares Dark with golden undertone
  • Khartoum Dark with espresso undertone

What is Color Discovery?  In a nutshell, we digitally analyze a photo of your face to figure out your skin tone and undertone. All you have to do is upload a high quality photo featuring your beautiful face and away we go! When this information is used with the Foundation Matrix, we can give you better and more refined matches.

Find Your Shade with the newest NARS + Foundation Matrix!

The Details

Color Discovery uses a combination of face detection and facial point detection to allow us to analyze your skin tones and undertones. We took our knowledge of all things foundation, such as how shades match skin tones as a spectrum (not always as a single skin tone) and what makes a shade a match. We considered how the community looks for their perfect match, whether they visit a makeup counter, larger retailer, or use online tools like the Foundation Matrix to help them get to the right shade.  This is the mindset that we came from when we developed the algorithm, logic, and rules that made Color Discovery possible. We spent the past three months going from a mere crazy idea to development to testing hundreds of photos across skin tones.

When you upload your photo, we look through thousands of pixels for possible color values, take our initial findings and analyze them, because we’re looking for specific data that we know to be more accurate at predicting your coloring, and then we organize it in a meaningful way. We reference the data against our database of skin tone values (there are over 4,000 different assignments of skin tone and undertone). When paired with the technology that powers the Foundation Matrix, we’re able to further refine and improve the types of matches you get by as much as 50%.

For example, foundation shade A is a 90% or better match for fair, light, and light-medium skin tones–that means there are quite a few matches out there for you, because you could easily be any of those three skin tones. Without any algorithms in place, there might be nine matches in a formula that had 20 total shades! The Foundation Matrix and its algorithm might narrow potential matches down to five. Once we add in Color Discovery, we can narrow the list down to three shade matches. The refining happens through logic and rules, so it’s never random, which also improves the quality of the matches you do get.

Find Your Shade with the newest NARS + Foundation Matrix!


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fuji Avatar

Looooooooove it! Similar concept as Sephora’s Color IQ (the using current shade for matching part). But brilliant use of camera for color detection makes it a lot easier than going to a Sephora store to get color matched by the detector. After all, I wouldn’t go to a beauty store or any social occasion with my bare, imperfect skin. I just can’t face myself in the mirror.

Thanks Christine! Such a breakthrough in collaboration of blogging and beauty brands!

I get so carried away when I saw projects like this. I’m a design major student, pls bear with me. haha

Rainey Avatar

Do you upload a pic of yourself with no makeup? It looks like you’re already wearing make up in the example pic you posted. But wouldn’t that defeat the purpose because its covering up what our actual skin tone is?

Christine Avatar

You can upload with or without makeup – if you are wearing a foundation shade that matches you, it should still reflect your skin tone. We tested and designed it with both in mind so that users could have more freedom (we wanted to make it as easy as possible and approach it from the standpoint that people will upload both). Similarly, we know to exclude things like lipstick, blush, eyeshadow, etc. that can skew results 🙂

Nicole Avatar

Very cool! Like Fuji said, I hate going to Sephora or a counter and they take parts of your makeup off or all of it..the terror. They can never get it back on like I can! lol!Congratulations. Are there other formulas in the database or just Nars? i am sure ,a work in progress..Good job to “the boys” too! 🙂

Katherine T. Avatar

So your “boys” came up with this? Wow, very impressive! I’ve always wanted to try NARS foundation, and “luminous weightless” sounds good to me. Will you be testing the new foundation?

Summer Avatar

Wow! A lot of work..programming, documenting, testing, retesting, and then the BIG DAY! Congratulations, Christine and Temptalia ‘behind-the-scene’rs’!

Grace Avatar

This is amazing!!! YOU ARE AMAZING CHRISTINE!!!! Congratulations for all your successes… you totally deserve everything from all the hard work you do for all of us! 🙂

Christine Avatar

Hi Noemi!

We look at everything, and then we look more closely at what we think is going to predict your skin tone best. So, for example, we know that cheeks can often show redness, so this area isn’t always a great predictor for under tone, and we won’t use data like that. If your skin has lighter and darker areas, we look at both and see how great the disparity is before assigning a value.

Heather Avatar

I can’t get this to work for me 🙁 I’ve taken numerous shots with my camera and only had one recognized but every time I click “get shade” it keeps me on the same page. I don’t need to edit the phot and I currently don’t have a foundation match so that spot should stay blank. Help!

Christine Avatar

Hi Heather!

You have to add an existing shade with your photo or else it won’t work, which is why it isn’t letting you through! 🙁 It should error and tell you that you need to add your existing shade. If you don’t have an existing shade, you can get a match via Shade Coverter > select skin tone / undertone! 🙂

Celia Avatar

WOW. What a great update, Christine! I can’t fathom how much work you all put in over this. It’s really great. Everything on my end personally is working wonderfully (though I don’t have a suitable pic readily available to test that feature on my new laptop, once I get home I’ll try that out). Predictably it matched me correctly as your system always has and Siberia is indeed my RL match.

Christine Avatar

Hey Lulle!

Not sure – do you know what format it is? .jpg? and what device you’re using? We thought maybe it was too large, but we tried a 7MB PNG that was 5000×3000 pixels and a 3.5MB JPG that was 4256×2832 and both went through.

If you’re able to, you can also send me the image to christine[at] to see if we can reproduce the error to determine.

Thank you!

Rachel R. Avatar

This is pretty cool! My shade is Siberia. I think I could have guessed that on my own, but it’s still fun to play with the technology. 🙂

Christine Avatar


If you can link me to or email me the photo, we can try to reproduce the error. Have you tried submitting a slightly smaller (in file size) photo? I believe our hard limit is 10mb, so 48mb is definitely not going to go through! We’ll add text to say as much now 🙂

Thank you!

Arielle Avatar

While I will be checking this out as I liked the color of Sheer Glow in Gobi but wasn’t in love with the formula this just reminds me that I find NARS foundation colors being named after places to be sort of problematic. Although I do like that they added more options for dark complexioned people to make it more of a full spectrum.

xamyx Avatar

I love that NARS uses geographical locations! It actually tells me more about the color/undertones, as I imagine the people native to those places. Yes, I *know* there are many variations, and there can be a wide range, but there’s still a “feel” for the colors.

Kirsten Avatar

Wouldn’t this be highly dependent on the photo you use? I mean my camera flash turns everything really really blue, so I don’t think it would be too useful.

Christine Avatar

Depending on how many they are and where they’re located and/or if they’re significantly darker than the rest of you, most likely they won’t be weighted as much for determining the best fit for all-over. Like the beauty mark by my nose would automatically be thrown out because it’s a total outlier relative to the rest of my face 🙂

Christine Avatar

Hi Kirsten,

Yes, it is dependent on the quality of your photo, which is why we ask for a photo that you feel is a good representation of your skin tone as well as provide editing tools so you can correct your photo 🙂 It doesn’t have to be a perfect photo, but it has to be decent. We tested on hundreds of photos of varying quality, sizes, and color issues so we have accounted for more common issues found in photos, even if the user doesn’t correct for them.

Cristina Avatar

Wow! Thanks for this and all you do, you truly are amazing;) please tell me what you’re wearing in the picture foundation and all please?! I LOVE it!!

Linda Avatar

Oh my this is not working for me at all. It is recommending Sante Fe, Stromboli, and Punjab even though I am including a pic and choosing a current foundation that is a bit darker than I like. The picture I uploaded is professional and my face is certainly not washed out. If anything it looks darker than my face is in real life. When I selected NARS Sheer Matte Tahoe as my control foundation it suggests Syracuse, Barcelona and Cadiz. Is Tahoe not even in this matrix?

Christine Avatar

Hi Linda,

Sorry to hear that! If you are choosing a foundation shade that is darker than you like with your photo, then you may skew results, because we take both pieces of information into consideration. When I just put in NARS Tahoe Sheer Matte (no photo), I get Barcelona, Tahoe, Cadiz, and New Orleans as possible matches. Is NARS Tahoe Sheer Matte the existing shade you’re putting in with your photo?

Christine Avatar

I just figured out why it was throwing your results! We have NARS Tahoe in Sheer Matte as Tan/Neutral, and so it’s going to prioritize giving you matches that are neutral, not yellow-toned, but NARS Tahoe in ALDWF is yellow (that’s why it misses). You should give it a try now – I’ve corrected it to be yellow-toned (we have it yellow for other formulations of NARS, but not enough users have voted on Tahoe for Sheer Matte to correct/signal to us that it is actually yellow). Andddd I was totally putting in Tahoe Sheer Glow when I checking, which is why my matches weren’t lining up with yours (and only added to my confusion). So sorry about that!

Thank you!

Linda Avatar

I was selecting the new Laura Mercier foundation that was darker than I prefer to wear, but it is not *too* dark for me. It looks fine. I fall in between two shades. I’m closer to NC45 so my results shouldn’t match yours. My photo clearly showed a brown face with light makeup. Perhaps there’s an issue with the cataloging of the darker shades of the LM foundation, too. I may play with it again in the future. Fortunately I was familiar enough with Nars to know the results were way off. Once properly calibrated these tools are helpful.

Christine Avatar

Hi Linda,

Perhaps you could share your Laura Mercier shade(s) with me, or otherwise cast your vote on shades that match you so that we can use that information as we do for other shades. We rely on users like yourself who are NC45 to share their matches (and un-matches), since the Foundation Matrix began and remains a community endeavor. 🙂

Thanks for your feedback!

xamyx Avatar

Although I know my “NARS shade”, I still want to try this, LOL! I’m actually literally between Siberia & Deauville, so I’m curious which it will match me to!

Christine Avatar

Hopefully you’ll get both 🙂 I really find foundation and matching to be a spectrum, so while most of us lean towards one shade, I’d rather give you the two best options and let you decide (empowering the user). I can wear Santa Fe and Punjab in NARS, but Santa Fe is just a wee bit better because I have weaker yellow undertones relative to a more “true medium” skin tone.

Do you normally mix the two or do you just go with one? I mix when I use my Guerlain foundations because neither is a great fit by itself, so now I kind of prefer to mix, lol!

Kelly Avatar

I don’t know for sure, but I suspect I will fall behind those shades too. Which sucks because I love Nars and I’m able to wear their TM in Finland but their concealers are out of the question for me…I currently have a two lonely & unused NARS concealers in Chantilly and Custard that I could mix and use, but I usually just go for something else that I don’t have to mix (right now its Tarte creaseless in Fairly light neutral-close enough!). I love that NARS offers a wide range of shades, just wish they would stick another fair neutral/warm shade in there. Too much to ask? Probably 🙂

Sarah Avatar

Wow Christine, thank you to you and your team for creating such an amazing tool. I can only imagine the amount of work your team put in coding something like this! They should definitely be applauded for their hard work, since they don’t get enough attention from us readers! And of course we are eternally appreciative of you, too. I’m quite in awe of this! Just the sheer amount of work put into this, just to offer a tool free to your readers, it’s amazing. I’ll definitely have to try it out sometime! /gushing over

Christine Avatar

I have a really amazing team! 🙂 They’re awesome at taking what I want and refining it so it’s even better. I really believe in building resources for readers–how can I make online shopping easier–and think it is what makes us stand out from a lot of other blogs, so it is well worth the time and investment.

Thank you, Sarah!

Julie Avatar

As a makeup lover and an electrical engineer, I have to say this sounds SO COOL!!! Now THESE algorithms would be fun to design! Congrats to you and the team! I am so excited about this and really want to try it!

Christina Avatar

FANTASTIC! This is such a breakthrough. Coincidently last night I was looking up my foundation matches with all of the programs that are available and I felt like they were giving me TOO many choices. It was a bit overwhelming. I love that this gives you the choices/swatches (very important) and lets you decide to go lighter or darker. Genius! Congratulations!

Christine Avatar

Definitely! We have some things planned for the full Foundation Matrix (it’s really fun to pre-release something like this with a brand’s support before we go all in) with that in mind – that it can be overwhelming with matches.

Thanks for the feedback 🙂 “Go lighter” and “go darker” were last minute additions thinking, “Okay, if we don’t get a great match, how can we still help the user?” as our tests show we’re usually close right away, but if we do miss, we are usually one step away.

Saira Avatar

Hi Christine! I haven’t commented on the site for a long time but still regularly look at the site. Just wanted to say that I love the new colour discovery function on your site! That is fantastic! Huge congratulations/pat on the back to your technical team! I will need to tell my husband about it – he’s a software engineer and so will find the technical aspect really interesting.

Justine Avatar

Do you have a review of the NARS All Day Luminous liquid foundation yet? Would love to hear your thoughts. I wear Stromboli in Sheer glow, but that is far too yellow/olive in the All Day Luminous version so I am thinking of getting samples of Punjab.

Meagan Avatar

Wow, I keep getting results that are WAY too dark for me 🙁 I normally wear Stromboli as a summer shade and it give me New Orleans, Trinidad and Macao when I input EL Double Wear in 3W1 Tawny, which isn’t very dark. It does work with my UD Naked Skin shade though.

Christine Avatar

We had 3W1 Tawny categorized as Tan, Dark Tan, whereas Stromboli is Medium-Tan/Neutral, so it would make sense that it is going to skew darker as a result.

Maybe you could vote on shades you know are a good match for you to help us get more insight on this shade and improve the categorization 🙂 (There is one user vote, that could have been you for all I know though, lol, on Tawny!) We are always in need of more user votes (this is what helps us calibrate how shades are categorized).

Some background: the Foundation Matrix started as a community spreadsheet, where users would use their MAC shade to then share what their matches were in other foundations. But there was no way to track how many people agreed (or disagreed), so when we rolled out 2.0, we added voting so that we could see the power of the majority more easily on what is or isn’t a match to tighten ranges and so users can also see whether a match was strong.

Titian06 Avatar

In Color Discovery under foundation choices. I use Lancome Tiente Idole Ultra 24 Hr. Your list of color choices is missing a color: Buff 210 N. Ironically, I just bought a new bottle today, Sat., Jan. 24, so I am positive of the “N” after the number.

Valerie Avatar

So I guess I missed out on this foundation matcher, but I wear NC20 in mac pro long wear foundation, so what do you think what shade I would be in this?

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