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We're not sure which is tougher: finding your perfect foundation, or your perfect man. Like the afterglow of a great first date, you stroll out of the makeup store with only the highest expectations. Then you spend a day -- maybe a week -- with your perfect match, only to find out that, under broad daylight? Major flaws.

Maybe your foundation is too orangey. Or you've noticed in photos that you look super ashy. Whatever the issue, it's a total deal breaker -- and back to the store you go, hoping this time will be different.

Enter the Patti Stanger of makeup: Sephora Pantone Color IQ -- a matchmaking device that pairs you with the perfect foundation shade every time. The handheld tool scans the surface of your skin to tell you exactly what shade and brand of foundation (from a pool of 1,500 contenders) will allow you to live happily ever after.

Of course, with such big promises, we had to see it to believe it. So the Total Beauty team took a field trip to Sephora (Best Friday Ever) to meet up with Sephora PRO elite makeup artist Helen Phillips, who helped develop the technology.

How It Works
According to Phillips, the most common mistake people make when picking a foundation is looking only at the tone on your face. The Color IQ system remedies this by reading three separate places on your face, neck, bust or arm. "The device marries all the tones from both the face and décolleté to give you the perfect match," says Phillips.

For Best Results
To get the best read, Philips recommends coming into the store sans makeup. (You can remove your makeup in-store, but that can leave redness behind which could skew your results). Your skin should be free of self-tanner, and you should steer clear of harsh chemical peels in the days leading up to your visit. And if you're extra-serious about finding that perfect match (and who isn't?) drink more water and less caffeine the day you go in.

If you can't make it to a Sephora but still want to try out a new foundation shade, you can go to the Color IQ section of and enter a shade of foundation that matches you already and it will give you a readout and a list of matches.

Phillips made our faces look so natural that we had to get her to spill her technique: "I love using a sponge, like the Sephora Collection The Perfectionist Makeup Sponge, $12, to apply foundation because it allows you to start with a sheer layer that can easily be built upon." For sheer, yet still flawless, coverage, she recommends getting the sponge wet and squeezing out the excess water before applying.

Next up: Find out if the Sephora + Pantone Color IQ tool lived up to its hype and sent us all home with a match we could commit to -- for the long haul.
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