Artist Uses Pantone Colors To Document Every Human Skin Tone Possible

You know when you’re shopping for makeup and two shades that are virtually identical are called two completely different things by different brands? And, of course, we’ve all had those moments when a shade looks just right in the store and the minute you step into the sun it’s horribly, horribly wrong. But what if someone could tell you a universal shade that exactly matches your skin tone?

The Humanae project is trying to do just that. The brainchild of Brazilian artist and photographer Angelica Dass, who studied fashion design in Rio de Janeiro, the aim of the project “is to record and catalog all possible human skin tones,” according to the project site. Dass takes portraits of people of different genders, races, and ages, then takes 11×11 pixel samples of their faces. From there, she is able to translate that sample into a Pantone color, floods the back of the portrait with the subject’s shade, and arranges the images like a paint sample with color codes on the bottom. According to her site, Dass uses Pantone colors because their alphanumeric codes allow them to be represented accurately across different types of media.

We’re skeptical that it’s even possible to document every human skin tone there is, but even so, what a cool idea! Maybe Pantone shades should become the new standard for makeup. We’d sure love to be done messing with all the vanillas, bisques, almonds, and toffees at the cosmetics counter… and wow, all this foundation talk is making us hungry. Check out a slice of the project below!


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