The colour experts at No7 have spent over eight years measuring women's skin tones around the world. The No7 Match Made foundation colours reflect the skin-true shades found from measuring over 2 million women. Knowing your skin-true shade is only the starting point though. Unlock flattering colours to go with your skin tone, based on colour science. Find the right foundation for your skin type and your lifestyle. Because No7 understands your skin and what modern life throws at women, then there's something for every day, and stage of your life.

Changing the story on colour cosmetics

Looking at the history of cosmetics, foundation colours used to be created on a scale from light to dark, with a handful of shades in between. Trying to select the right colour for your skin was often a bit of trial and error. Did you rely on your own view or that of a beauty advisor? The result wasn’t always satisfactory.

Over a decade ago, shade-adapting foundations were launched, which used colour pigments that reflected the underlying colour of the skin. This at least meant a closer match and a more natural looking colour. It worked well for many women - but only up to a point. The drawbacks were that the shade range was limited, and many of these formulations gave only very sheer coverage.

The experts at No7 knew, from the feedback from women, that this wasn’t always enough. When they set out to change the experience of choosing foundation colours, they did so using a rigorous, scientific process.

What colour is skin?: The ground breaking research to identify skin tones

In order to provide the right shades of foundation, surely, it would be best to measure the skin tones of a representative sample of women?

Simple you would think.

To bring scientific rigour to it, in the way that No7 does with its age defying serums, meant doing something other than looking at lots of women's faces. It meant taking a device that measures colour accurately and measure the skin tone of a broad group of women. The team needed to identify the colour of their skin precisely, and then translate those colours into shades of foundation.

The original study was 3,000 women across the UK and US. In the five years since the launch of Match Made, that study has now expanded to cover nearly 1 million women. The original 17 shades have expanded to 25.

How can there be a need for new shades?

There are a couple of things to consider here.

Firstly, shoes.

Imagine when there were no half sizes. The size either side might be okay for you. But when the half size arrived, that was perfect for you.

The other thing to consider is that the population changes and evolves all of the time. That's why No7 didn't stop at the original research and is committed to an ongoing programme. As our global population changes in terms of its ethnic characteristics and also how it ages, then so do the shades of skin that we'll be measuring.

Knowing your skin-true shade with No7 is just the start.

It's probably obvious that if you've got a spot to cover up, then you want to make sure what you cover it with looks natural on your skin. No7 moved from offering the classic concealer range of just light, medium and dark to the full Match Made shade range.

What about lipsticks?

Obviously, this is a really personal choice, to reflect how you're feeling in a particular moment, or what you want to say about yourself. But we knew from feedback from No7 advisors and customers that for many women what they really wanted to know was what colours would be flattering for their skin tone.

So, the No7 team went back into research, looking at over 15,000 combinations of skin tone and lipstick colour. What came out of that are colours for every Match Made skin tone in a broad range of colour families, that make your face really glow with life. No draining colour here.

So whether you want a rose pink, a pink toned nude, or the perfect red for you, knowing your Match Made skin shade will unlock a whole wardrobe of colours that work for you.

For many women in the research, this brought a whole range of new colours to try with confidence. Treat them as guidelines, not rules, and liberate the colours in your life.

From there, the team were able to look at blushers and bronzers and find flattering colours for everyone. So, knowing that one piece of information, your Match Made shade, will unlock a whole range of products and colours that will be perfect for you.

There are two simple ways to find your skin-true Match Made colour. You can find atrained advisor at over 400 No7 counters across the UK and Eire, who will find your shade in less than two minutes.It's a simple process and only needs you to remove a small amount of any makeup that you'e wearing. From there, if you'e in the mood to explore, they can help you discover the right foundation or your wardrobe of lipstick colours, or a new blusher shade.

If you prefer the DIY approach, then the No7 Match Made App means you can do this for in the comfort of your own home. Just pick up a No7 Match Made skin tone analysis card from your nearest Boots store and download the app. Simple to use, have a friend help you with the photo stage and then you're ready to explore all your Match Made options.