Getting My Pantone Number @ VDL Dongdaemun

I really swore to myself that I would start my little blog with information that will help those who are starting to learn about Korean beauty products at the start of year as a New Years resolution. But yet… I really thought for a few days about what post to start the blog with… then it just all slipped my mind.

But then all of a sudden I got the grasp of what I wanted to write about: my skin tone. The whole reason why I wanted to start my blog in the first place was because I wanted to help those with skin tones darker than the Korean No. 23 and an interest in Korean Beauty. The whole thing starts with a friend I met last semester but that is another story for another day.

So back to my skin tone. For me I have never been a ‘bright’ girl. My dad has dark skin and being his daughter I also have a dark skin tone too. Luckily, I am not as dark as him, just slightly darker than the average Korean No. 23. Well, at least in my head anyways. I also felt that I had a darker skin tone than my friends who use No. 23, because I had a slightly darker tone than them whenever I went to the bathroom with them when we hangout. So in my head I thought of my skin tone as No. 24 or 25.

However, I wasn’t always sure. It just all depended on how the companies made their foundation or BB cream products and label them. So sometimes the No. 23 would be very, very light, so light that I would never be able to use it unless I wanted to look like a clown. Then sometimes it would be okay, I could work with it. But I am in an Asian country where a bit bright is okay. So I still do feel the product is light for me.

So one day, I wanted stop to it. I just really wanted to know what my skin tone was, based on a standard. I thought about a few options. At first I thought about going to MAC and ask them for a recommendation on a color. But I am in Korea and MAC here don’t have a wide range of tones they usually have in other countries. So I gave up with that idea. I was still a student then, so it would be too expensive to get my skin tone distinguished by a professional. Then while I was looking on the internet for a lipstick for a present, I found my answer. The Korean brand VDL had a service called ‘colorintel’.

Colorintel is a service that identifies the pantone number of your skin tone. As I know, it is the same as Sephora’s ‘color IQ’. The colorintel uses a machine that scans the color of your skin and gives you a pantone number. So at VDL, you can get the service by becoming a member of their brand but you can only get them by visiting limited stores, so calling the stores and checking if you can get the service will be required. Because I don’t really go to VDL, I checked if I had a membership which I had for some reason. Then I checked out the VDL stores that had a ‘colorintel’ machine on their homepage. Conveniently, there was one in Dongdaemun, where I was planning to meet a friend to hang out.

So, my friend and I went to VDL. First, I bought a lipstick for a present because I felt I shouldn’t just get the service, even though it is free. Then I just asked about the colorintel, because I actually forgot to make an appointment and I was thinking of making one just then. Luckily for me, the worker there was really nice and there was practically no one there in the store. So she made an exception and gave me the service, since no one was there getting the service anyways.

At first, they asked me if I had any makeup on, since they needed to wipe off anything that I had on my face for a precise measurement of my skin. I only had sunscreen on my face, so I told them that. Then, they wiped a bit of my chin, the center of my forehead and a cheek. As the worker explained, the machine measures the three points on my skin and gives the average of the three points as my pantone color.


So my pantone color was the number 1R07. To my surprise, I wasn’t as dark than I thought I was. Maybe I was a bit darker, but I wasn’t that dark. I could use a No. 23 product but the problem was the way I was perceiving how I looked in the tone. The worker also told me that there were some customers who used a No. 21 with the same skin color as me. So for me, I prefer to have a more natural look than the bright skin tone look that most Koreans look for.

What I was also suprised about was that I was a ‘neutral tone’. I thought I was a classic, basic warm tone, since warmer tones did suit me more and a cool never really suit me before. But come to think of it, when it comes to clothes, I look better in cool toned clothes than warm toned clothes. So I guess that I could say that I am a neutral warm tone. It was also easier to understand that I was a neutral tone, since my friend got 1Y07 for her skin tone. She also has a darker skin tone and we both had the same feelings for the base products we tested together, but we had different preferences for lipsticks and eye shadows. So we both understood why that happened.


So there it is, my skin tone. Out of all the skin tones in the world, it still is on the lighter side. But as I have searched several blogs, no Korean has 1R07 or 1Y08, so I believe that I still have darker skin for a Korean. So I still do struggle with finding a good BB cream or foundation that I like here. I still have eye shadows that I can’t see on my eyes unless I really pack it on. And I still use the No. 13 or 21 foundation samples I get instead of using a highlighter.

I just really wanted to know how my skin tone really is before I really started to blog about Korean beauty, because it does play an important role in makeup. And hopefully it will help the readers of my blog compare their skin tones with mine and get a picture of how products will look on their skin.

So I hope I can post pretty soon and keep up with the one post per week blog resolution I started.


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