Boots UK rolls out revolutionary system of color matching No7 cosmetic foundations with skin tones of customers using X-Rite technology

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The No7 Foundation Match Made Service is the result of more than three years of research and development by Boots UK.

Boots UK has begun offering in 668 stores a new service that accurately measures color values of customers’ skin with a specially designed X-Rite instrument, then identifies the closest color match among the No7 Foundation collection.

More than 1,000 No7 advisors have been trained to provide the No7 Foundation Match Made Service, which uses a handheld X-Rite spectrocolorimeter to identify the color of a customer's skin, then precisely targets the closest matches among 17 colors of No7 foundations across a number of formats. Boots is the UK’s leading pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer with close to 2,500 stores across the UK, and X-Rite Incorporated is the world's leading designer and manufacturer of color management solutions and parent company of Pantone LLC.

The No7 Foundation Match Made Service is the result of more than three years of research and development by Boots UK. The research included the measurement of skin tones of more than 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. "Our customers who have used the No7 Foundation Match Made Service say it delivers on providing accurate, better matches. They are very, very satisfied with the results."

Watson said that early trials of the system showed that women appreciated the experience of having their skin tones measured with a sensitive instrument that could give more accurate and objective color readings, no longer relying on in-store lighting conditions. The device shows a digital photo of a person's skin, and the foundation color that is the closest match.

Boots UK selected the device from X-Rite because it provided a robust method of color measurement and was easy for advisors to use and keep on their person, Watson said.

Matthew Adby, X-Rite Product/Market Manager who oversaw the European introduction of the device, said X-Rite engineers customized aspects of the device's firmware to handle some of the unique challenges of measuring a person's skin accurately. He said they had to take into consideration the translucent nature of skin, its texture and variations in color in a small measurement area.

The device employs proprietary camera technology that illuminates the skin from three different directions while simultaneously recording 27 color-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 color space than traditional colorimeters that typically have only three illuminations of red, green and blue light.

"Using an instrument of this quality really resonates with our customers," Watson said. "It takes the guesswork out of trying to find a shade since there is so much choice in the market now. They particularly like that the Match Made device has its own internal light source, so the lighting in the store doesn't impact the way the shade is selected."

Sales advisors like the Match Made device's compact size and light weight that allows them to wear the instrument around their necks if they wish. The device is powered by a lithium ion battery that lasts through a whole day of measuring customers before it needs recharging.

"Personalization is the future of cosmetics," Adby said. "People are embracing the use of technology to help them to decide easily what cosmetic they want from today's many choices." Some cosmetics manufacturers have used instrumentation on a large scale to check person's skin hydration, but this is the largest single rollout of a system checking skin tones, he said.

Notes to Editors

About X-Rite
X-Rite, Incorporated, is the global leader in color science and technology. The company, which now includes color industry leader Pantone, develops, manufactures, markets and supports innovative color solutions through measurement systems, software, color standards and services. X-Rite’s expertise in inspiring, selecting, measuring, formulating, communicating and matching color helps users get color right the first time and every time, which translates to better quality and reduced costs. X-Rite serves a range of industries, including printing, packaging, photography, graphic design, video, automotive, paints, plastics, textiles, dental and medical. For further information, please visit

About Pantone
Pantone LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of X-Rite, Incorporated, has been the world’s color authority for nearly 50 years, providing design professionals with products and services for the colorful exploration and expression of creativity. Always a source for color inspiration, Pantone also offers paint and designer-inspired products and services for consumers. More information is available at

About Boots UK
Boots UK is a member of Alliance Boots, an international pharmacy-led health and beauty group. Boots UK is the UK’s leading pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer. Our purpose is to help our customers look and feel better than they ever thought possible. We have close to 2,500 stores from local community pharmacies to large destination health and beauty stores.

Our stores are located in convenient locations and put the pharmacist at the heart of healthcare. Our pharmacists are well placed to provide a significant role in the provision of healthcare services, working closely with other primary healthcare providers in the communities we serve.

©2013 X-Rite, Inc. All rights reserved. X-Rite is a registered trademark of X-Rite, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. PANTONE® and other Pantone trademarks are the property of Pantone LLC. © 2013. All rights reserved.

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