Meet the faces of the Fashion Quarterly and L’Oréal Paris True Match Foundation search

25 August 2021

To find out just how easy it can be to find your dream foundation shade, Fashion Quarterly and L’Oréal Paris enlisted the help and flawless complexions of 20 women from around New Zealand.

Produced in partnership with L’Oréal Paris 
Clockwise from left: Sadhna Chauhan wears 6N, Karin Hall wears 5C, Kaycee Intic wears 5N, Azara Hill-Lydiard wears 0.5C, Kai Verdadero wears 7.5W.

If you feel like you’re the only one out there who has difficulty finding your dream foundation—think again. Unfortunately, it’s an all-too-common beauty dilemma for Kiwi women. While deciding on the right formula for your skin type can be hard enough, finding a shade of foundation that enhances your skin tone—and is neither too light, too dark, too cool, or too warm—is another challenge entirely. 

“Foundation shopping is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do,” admits Xinran Chen, one of the 20 faces of the 2021 Fashion Quarterly and L’Oréal Paris True Match Foundation face search. “It’s been a constant challenge to find the right shade. I feel like, especially for people with my ethnicity, that my skin’s undertone will change on a day-to-day basis.” With this thought in mind, Chen decided to enter Fashion Quarterly’s search for the faces of L’Oréal Paris True Match Foundation. “I thought if I saw someone with a similar skin tone to myself, in a magazine or advertising foundation swatches, then that would help me be more confident and try new things.”

Haromi Setephano had similar motivations for entering the faces of L’Oréal Paris True Match Foundation search—she wants to become a positive role model for women who don’t always feel represented and who struggle to find the right make-up shades. 

“Māori women are quite shy when it comes to make-up because they don’t always know about make-up and they don’t know how to put it on, and so it tends to put them off using it,” Setephano explains.

It was this sentiment that became the motivation that Setephano needed to enter the search. “If I’m doing something like this and it helps at least one of them think, ‘Oh, I can wear make-up too’, then that’s a win in my books. We have beautiful Māori women out there, but for them to be able to recognise that they can use make-up too, without having that stigma around it, is so important,” Setephano says. “I saw this as an opportunity to be a positive example to other women of colour, and show them that they can wear make-up too.”

Clockwise from left: Louise Hall-Strutt wears 1.5N, Elspeth Coldwell wears 2C, Vivian Mavunga wears 8C, Sammi Haines wears 4W, Siposetu Duncan wears 8W.

Karin Hall, one of the 2021 faces of L’Oréal Paris True Match Foundation, can relate to Setephano’s experience. “Growing up, I always found that there weren’t a lot of people that look like myself, and when I looked at media at the time, there weren’t very many people out there that represented my skin tone,” Hall explains. “I found it really hard to find make-up that suited me, especially my undertone or range.” 

While Hall says it has been amazing to watch as more diverse shade offerings have become available across foundation ranges recently, she says she was excited by the opportunity to represent her Pasifika heritage. “It’s much easier to find a foundation shade these days, but for me being part Tokelauan and Samoan is a really important part of my identity. It’s a lens that I wear in any environment. Each side of those cultures is a gift,” she explains. “So when we get a seat at the table, I do it not only for daughter and me, but also for all those other brown girls that are wanting to speak up and feel shy or want to be able to walk in the room and to see someone else that’s their skin tone, and feel welcomed in.”

Clockwise from left: Haromi Setephano wears 5W, Xinran Chen wears 2N, Natasha Bidesi wears 5.5W, Kasia Stanicich wears 4N, Aliyah Hussein wears 7W.

The True Match difference

Like many of the 2021 faces of L’Oréal Paris True Match Foundation, Siposetu Duncan has found finding the right foundation for her skin tone incredibly challenging. “Because of the experiences I’ve had, I’ve had to learn how to teach myself how to find the right colour matches and foundation matches for my skin,” she explains. “With L’Oréal Paris True Match Foundation, the make-up artist was able to find the correct match for my skin tone really quickly.”

“It’s quite hard for deeper skin-toned people because foundation can come up a bit ashy, or not the right tone,” Duncan says. 

But with an impressive 36 shades that cater to all skin tones and undertones, finding the perfect shade of foundation for the 2021 faces of L’Oréal ParisTrue Match was easy. 

“It’s been difficult to find foundation in New Zealand with my skin tone and colour,” admits Vivian Mavunga. “L’Oréal Paris True Match Foundation is one of the first products that matched my skin.”

“It matches both my décolletage and my undertones, which is great,” adds Mavunga. “I’ve often found that few foundations, even though they match me, my undertone isn’t even right, and it’s a nice golden undertone. And it makes the biggest difference in my make-up,” she explains. 

Chen, who has always struggled to find her perfect foundation match, was impressed by how well L’Oréal Paris True Match Foundation matched her unique skin tone. “I’m quite surprised by how well the colour matches now that I’ve seen it. It’s usually so hard to find a foundation colour that suits my neck because in a certain light, foundation can almost look grey or green. I really like the undertones of the foundation—it’s a rare find.” 

Clockwise from left: Alida Sadler wears 1N, Malvika Patel wears 6.5W, Rumbie Mutanga wears 9N, May Napilan wears 2W, Hannah Keys wears 6W.

More than meets the eye

While certain foundation formulas can often feel too heavy on the skin, as the faces of L’Oréal Paris True Match Foundation discovered—this is an incredibly lightweight formula that just glides onto skin and works to enhance your natural complexion rather than hide it.

As well as being powered by ultra-fine pigments, an ultra-blurring serum, and mattifying powders, L’Oréal Paris True Match Foundation contains skin-nourishing benefits that actually work to improve the health and appearance of skin. Formulated with hyaluronic acid, L’Oréal Paris True Match Foundation not only perfects and enhances your complexion, it works hard right around the clock to keep skin deeply hydrated. Remarkably, with each and every use, skin is more hydrated and luminous, and youthfulness is restored. 

“I like a foundation that’s fairly natural, is easy for me to apply and has a nice finish,” explains 2021 face of L’Oréal Paris True Match Foundation Hannah Keys. “This has a really nice, natural finish to it and I love the fact that this improves your skin when you use it.” 

Gone are the days of simply wanting a foundation that covers up blemishes—most of us are now looking for a multi-tasking formula that cares for skin too. “You know, I’m kind of at an age now where I’m looking for more from my skincare and from my make-up,” agrees Keys. “It’s great that L’Oréal Paris True Match Foundation has an extra added bonus of improving your skin.”

Make-up artist Kasia Stanicich knows a thing or two about  finding the perfect foundation, and her verdict on L’Oréal Paris True Match Foundation is that it’s “absolutely divine.”

“I’ve been wearing it for the last couple of weeks, just as I needed something more hydrating,” she explains. “It moves with my skin, which I love, and I also love the kind of finish that it gives to the skin, and how it looks like skin.” 

To find out how to discover your perfect L’Oréal Paris True Match Foundation shade visit fq.co.nz/true-match, and shop the range here

Photography: Stephen Tilley 
Make-up: Gabe Henderson, Gee Pikinga,
Kasia Stanicich, Morgan Manson

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