This time it’s personal
As the beauty industry moves away from a mass-market approach to something altogether more individual, it’s time to get personal
If there are 87,000 possible varieties of Starbucks coffee orders which we can tailor to our own taste, it stands to reason that beauty consumers are increasingly demanding a more personalized approach to the products they buy.
“In recent years a new kind of beauty consumer has emerged with a new set of expectations,” says Emily Saunders, Beauty Buyer of Selfridges Beauty Workshop, devoted to personalized brands. “More than ever, customers are seeking products that are tailored to their own individual uniqueness, rather than a one size fits all approach”
Take the Face Gym’s + Training Serum at Selfridges where customers are guided by a skincare ‘mixologist’ to create an elixir suited to their very own skin in three stages – with your name printed on it too (£70). Allel Skin Genetic system from Sweden gets more personal; a DNA sample from a cotton-bud rubbed inside the cheek, is thoroughly analyzed and eight weeks later a comprehensive and completely individual skincare regime arrives - but at the cost of £1,500. Very personal but not quite as bespoke, Genue uses customers DNA to advise on which of their range of serums is suited best, one to enhance collagen levels and the second to boost antioxidant protection (from £200). But what could be more personal than skincare made from your own blood? Dr Barbara Sturm takes blood from the client to create clients DNA matched MC1 cream in her lab in Dusseldorf (£900). Her clients swear by it - and they happen to include Rosie Huntington Whitely and Kate Moss.
Out of all thousands of foundations in the world, finding The One is a painstaking task; now Lancôme offers a service at Harrods to create a bespoke base with a hand held device to scan your exact shade of skin, whereupon your very own foundation is mixed (£85). Less expensive, the No7 Match Made Boots system uses a similar camera and now an app to match to it’s plethora of foundation choices; in fact two million women have used the service (free app and service, product from £13). Colour FX Custom Cover Drops foundation colour can be added to the skincare of your choice letting you choose the texture and also how much coverage you want; and MAC make-up artists will curate a personal palette from their existing shades (from £5 for case only).
If by chance you have missed the reinvention of Trinny Woodall from TV fashion police to beauty vlogger, check her out . Using online technology her Trinny London stackable pots of make-up are a Godsend to a stuffed handbag. It’s simple too – enter your eye and hair colour and skin-tone and an algorithm directs you to every product you need for a full face (from £40). All except mascara - however Eyeko will custom-make your own tube of according to your eyelash desires (£30). And as for that moment of discovery of the only lipstick you will ever love has been dumped by the brand, send off the stub to Cosmetics a la Carte who will faithfully reproduce it (£58). Tantrum on Twitter towards said brand avoided.
A bespoke fragrance is not a cheap option so a wonderful way to discover what existing scents you might like is through – another – clever algorithm at The Perfume Society. But for a real treat, a visit to the Experimental Perfume Club will guide towards a unique signature scent with a three-hour consultation discussing memories, aroma and taste (£450). As Selfridges’ Emily Saunders puts it, “the bespoke concept is a celebration of individuality and choice.” And it’s only going to continue. Put that in your iced skinny caramel double-shot macchiato and blend it.