Made to Measure Makeup
Makeup artists just love the idea of having products made just for them!
The first time I came across the concept of customization was in London in the 80’s. I had always had a hard time finding a foundation that would match my neutral/slightly olive skin tone in a world of pink based skin color products. The minute I stepped into Cosmetics à la Carte (which is still on Motcomb Street) I felt I had come home. The staff mixed the most delightful shades of foundation and powder for me which I used for a long time.
Years later Proctor & Gamble hired me to become the creative consultant for Reflect.com, one of the most daring makeup concepts to date: a large-scale customized line sold exclusively online. At the Reflect.com website, a customer would direct how she liked her product to be made from texture and color to packaging. A brilliant concept that was too far ahead of it’s time – and therefore the project was shelved after a few short years.
Today, it’s still possible to order “couture” makeup through Giella and the great team at Three Custom Color Specialists.
The great consumer benefit for having custom made products is that any discontinued shade of color makeup can be re-created – one never has to live a day without one’s favorite lipstick! It is also great for customers who have unusual coloring or a skin tone that needs special attention.
For many a woman the idea of designing a product in a store is daunting and confusing. She may not have a clue what to look for, or how to explore the options available to her in the endless lineup of pigments. She may actually wonder why she should bother: why get a lipstick for about the same price of a Chanel lipstick without the Chanel fragrance and packaging, its feeling of luxury? The client also has to rely entirely on the level of skill and knowledge of the consultant who advises her – and that can have it’s variables. In addition, there are issues linked to small scale production – a necessarily limited variety of textures and finishes – which impact the stability, look and smell of certain items. A custom lipstick might smell waxy, for example, because it doesn’t have added fragrance to cover the natural odor of the material.
However, for anyone with imagination willing to overlook little shortcomings – aspiring makeup artists, makeup addicts and pros alike – custom “couture” makeup is fantastic! The trick is to create personal concoctions (yes, that’s right, mix some lipsticks together, bring fabric swatches for inspiration, Pantone color strips, a box of water colors etc…) and design your own unique products. It’s a shame to just recreate relics from the makeup graveyard!
So today I stand on my virtual apple box to encourage all of you who dream, live and breathe makeup to get your creative juices flowing and make your own unique beauty statements!