Boots, UK’s leading pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer with close to 2,500 stores across the country, has begun offering in 668 stores a new service that accurately measures colour values of customers’ skin and then identifies the closest colour match amongst the brand’s No7 Foundation collection.

More than 1,000 No7 advisors have been trained to carry out the No7 Foundation Match Made Service, which requires using a handheld X- spectrocolourimeter specially designed by X-Rite, the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of colour management solutions and parent company of Pantone LLC.

The service is the result of more than three years of research and development, including the measurement of skin tones of over 2,000 British women to create a whole new shade palette of skin-true foundation shades unique to No7.

"Our researchers found that 78 percent of women in the UK said they would change their foundation if they could find a better match," said Joanne Watson, Innovation Technologist, Boots UK.

The device developed by X-Rite employs proprietary camera technology that illuminates the skin from three different directions while simultaneously recording 27 colour-accurate images within 2 seconds, eliminating the shadows and interference inherent to textured surfaces. With 8 different visible illuminations and 1 ultraviolet illumination, the instrument is able to more accurately define the location of a skin tone in colour space than traditional colourimeters that typically have only three illuminations of red, green and blue light.

"Personalization is the future of cosmetics," said Matthew Adby, Product/Market Manager for X-Rite, who oversaw the European introduction of the device, which has already been used by Sephora in the US. "People are embracing the use of technology to help them to decide easily what cosmetic they want from today’s many choices."