In under a minute Dcypher made a custom-made shade and we were shocked at how well it matched our skin
Buying foundation online has always been a bit of a gamble; will it be a good match or have you just spent £32 on something that really isn’t your shade? Foundation brand Dcypher has taken the guesswork out of base shopping online with bespoke foundations made for each individual.
Three of team GTG, myself included, tried the service and we were seriously impressed with the uncanny matches we received. In less than a minute the brand’s app scans your face and a day or two later your perfect foundation arrives in the post like magic.
Brands such as Urban Decay, Trinny London and Il Makiage offer foundation matching tools that ask a series of questions to help you find a foundation that fits, but because they don't scan your face, the results can be hit and miss on whether they suit your skin tone. Services such as Findation are also available, where you enter the shades you are in certain brands and the site recommends your perfect match.
How does Dcypher foundation matching work?
The Dcypher process is slightly different. Using your phone, the website takes three scans of your face to analyse your skin tone then allows you to personalise your formula, based on your skin type picking between oily/combination skin, balanced skin or dry skin. The app advises you to take your pictures in natural light. GTG’s editorial director Victoria took hers in strip lighting in the office (never the most flattering), so we wondered how well the shade would suit.
Next up you pick your coverage, from ultra-sheer, sheer, medium and full and your finish: matte, natural or radiant, before an ID number is generated that represents your exact skin shade. I opted for ultra-sheer and radiant because I can never say no to a glow. Finally, you pick your undertone (neutral, warm, cool, etc) and voila, a sample pot of your foundation is on its way to you. You pay £28 upfront, which seems a lot for a foundation you don't know will suit you, but you can alter the shade and have edited samples sent as many times as you want without incurring any extra cost, until you have the perfect match.
I don't really wear foundation because I don’t like the endless search for suitable shades and hate how I need to buy a new one when I get the slightest tan. The heaviest coverage you’ll find me in is the Sculpted By Aimee Connolly's Tint and Glow Skin Enhancer , £23, and that’s only if I’m going somewhere very nice and want to look extra glam. As a foundation swerver at the best of times, I was dubious of how Dcypher would work, but I didn’t have to wonder for long because my sample arrived the very next day with a QR code to scan to either make any changes if the match wasn’t quite right or to order a full-size bottle.
Did the custom foundation maker work?
Yes! Without being too gushing, I was astonished by quite how well the shade matched my own skin tone. I swatched it on my hand first and it blended in right away and even just using my fingers it melted into my cheeks too with no telltale lines giving away the fact I had foundation on. See below for a swatch on my face – you'll see it's almost undetectable. Maybe Dcypher will turn me into a foundation convert.
Victoria sent her sample shade back for alterations because it was too cool and ashy (that’ll be the strip lighting!) She opted to make it warmer on site and when the second iteration arrived, it was perfect.
Jemma was pleased with her formula first time, messaging me on Slack when it arrived saying "I am SHOCKED at how much of a match it is!
"I always go to an over the counter assistant to get a shade match rather than buying online because in the past I’ve struggled to know what works for me," Jemma says. "I've never understood what my undertone is so I usually opt for something a little bit too warm which ends up looking orange. This Dcypher match took me by surprise. Initially I thought the colour was way off because the shade in the pot looked too dark and cool in comparison to what I've worn in the past, but as soon as I blended it in it was the perfect match."
The good news is when you reach the bottom of your foundation you can re-order at any time with your bespoke product ID, changing the finish if you want to swap to matte rather than radiant, or add in different depth depending on the time of the year.
In a time where brands are (rightfully) lambasted for limited shade ranges, Dcypher is a breath of fresh air, allowing everyone to find the perfect foundation for them regardless of skin tone. Plus, over the last year or so we've become used to buying everything online, with beauty halls distinctly less frequented than they used to be, so getting your hands on a perfect match foundation online is the final frontier in online beauty shopping.
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