This New Foundation Can Be Custom-Made to Your Exact Skin Tone—Here's My Review

·5-min read

For me, finding the perfect foundation has always been a bit of a task. Putting the questionable shade ranges aside, I seem to have another requirement that not many brands want to fulfil—I like sheer-coverage foundations but without an overly dewy finish. While I'd describe my skin as pretty low-maintenance, I have a super-oily T-zone, so I’m always seeking a light foundation formulation that will both even out my skin tone and mattify the oily bits—but without making my face look 2D. Trying to satisfy these needs at the same time as having to seek out a foundation range that caters well to deeper skin tones is challenging to say the least.

That is until I discovered Dcypher. A truly disruptive new brand on the beauty block, Dcypher is bringing custom foundations to the masses by uniquely creating a foundation for every individual. As soon as I heard about it, I was intrigued, but I don’t always trust custom skincare and makeup, as everyone's opinion on what makes a "good" product can vary so dramatically.

However, in the name of research, I put my reservations to one side and delved headfirst into the world of Dcypher's customisable experience in the quest for my perfect foundation. And I have to say, I think the resulting formula is pretty close.

Dcypher was founded by husband-and-wife duo Adam and Claire, a British biochemist and a consumer scientist. After years of experience in the beauty industry, they decided to venture into the new space of personalisation after seeing a huge gap in the market. "Our research shows that only 45% of female customers regularly use foundation," says Adam. "We believe they have given up on the category as they failed to find a product that works for them. We plan to change that. Our mission is to disrupt the beauty industry by making personalisation the norm. Giving the customer exactly what they want, with infinite shades, finishes and formulations."

I was worried that custom might equal confusing, but the Dcypher website is super easy to navigate. To help the team decipher (see what they did there?) your unique skin colour and undertone, you're required to take three images of your face using your phone or computer camera. As I was on my laptop, I moved around the room in different lights, which I think helped to get me such a spot-on colour match.

Keeks Reid before applying the Dcypher Custom Foundation.

Next up, you answer a few questions covering things like your skin type, your desired coverage, and what finish you like in a foundation. I selected oily skin, opted for the sheerest coverage with a matte finish and waited for my custom foundation to arrive. Before they make you a full bottle, you’re sent a small sample pot to test and ensure that the colour match is good. Then, if you’re satisfied, your custom bottle is sent out.

Keeks Reid after applying the Dcypher Custom Foundation.

While I am a fan of hyperbole, I promise you I’m not exaggerating when I tell you this is the best foundation that I have ever tried in terms of colour match. The varying tones across my face are evened out—but not totally masked—and the neutral undertone is spot-on, which the system correctly detected. As for the formula, the sheerness along with the matte finish gives me a healthy glow and controls my oil without cakiness or leaving me looking 2D, as some other matte finishes can do.

At £28 a pop, this is definitely moving into the more luxury end of foundation pricing, but for your own bespoke colour and formula, this foundation will totally stop you from having to second-guess your shade, mix and match colours or totally despair at the lack of shade range. In my opinion, it’s a totally worthy investment.

Shop the foundation:

Dcypher Custom Foundation (£28)

Discover other foundations with an inclusive shade range:

Brands have certainly upped the shade game over the place few years, but having a wide range of colours doesn’t necessarily mean inclusive. These foundations have the biggest shade ranges across the skin tone spectrum, hands down.

Uoma Beauty Say What Foundation (£30)

This base is a long-wearing matte yet radiant finish with 51 shades. The shades are broken out into six skin-colour groups to cater to the needs of specific tones.

Clinique Even Better Clinical Serum Foundation SPF20 (£34)

If you’re looking for a satin matte with buildable coverage, look no further. This latest drop from Clinique has built-in skincare benefits and a huge 42 shades to pick from.

Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Wear Long-Lasting Foundation SPF 15 (£35)

There are 45 shades of this long-wearing foundation to pick from. The formula is full coverage but comfortable enough to wear all day.

Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Hydrating Foundation (£27)

If your skin errs on the dry side, it’ll love this base offering from Fenty Beauty. It offers long wearability while giving full coverage and a radiant, dewy finish. Plus, you have 50 shades to choose from.

Nyx Professional Makeup Can't Stop Won't Stop Foundation (£16)

This full-coverage foundation, which comes in 45 shades, is really creamy and blendable with a blurring, matte finish.

Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup (£35)

With 61 shades across skin colours and undertones, this cult foundation is a mainstay of so many beauty lovers’ makeup bags. The formula is matte but natural-looking and easy to blend.

MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation SPF15 (£29)

After a terrible spell with an off-colour Dream Matte Mousse, this was my first grown-up foundation that I was properly colour matched to as, at the time, this was the best shade range on the high street with 67 to pick from. The oil-free formula is very matte but light to apply and lasts all day.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Luminous Foundation (£43)

This foundation has 50 shades across five colour categories and three undertones. The finish (unlike many with a vast shade rang) is medium coverage with a radiant finish, but the formula is still water-resistant and hard-wearing.

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation (£34)

When Charlotte says airbrush, she means it. This foundation, which comes in 44 shades, creates a blurred, almost poreless finish—no filter necessary. Think of it as a natural matte.

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This article originally appeared on Who What Wear

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