When it comes to bespoke beauty, I would tell you not to take it personally, but that’s kinda the point… *shrug*
One of the things that first appealed to me about makeup way back when I first started getting interested in it is that most products are one-size-fits-all; for example, anybody can wear the same mascara regardless of skintone, gender, or size. This does get a little more tricky when it comes to products such as foundation or when it comes to skin type or allergies, buuuut let’s save all that for another post.
Something that’s been on my radar for awhile that I’ve never really had the chance to do a deeper dive into is personalized beauty. Also referred to as “bespoke beauty,” according to 2017 insights by L.E.K. Consulting, this is an emerging area that “offers an alternative to ‘one size fits all’ offerings” that I was just going on about. The insights also report that “45% of adults indicated that they were interested in individualized skincare products created in a laboratory, and in 2014, customized products drove 22% of skincare consumption by volume globally.” In fact, I’ve apparently been sleeping on this whole thing, because Harper’s Bazaar reported that this would be a hot trend to watch in 2018 as bespoke products “give customers a personalized, elevated experience, and provide more effective results.”
Now it’s 2018 and I’ve apparently just stepped into the future of beauty – hello, everybody! I’ve gone ahead and compiled a list of all of the personalized beauty brands I’ve come across lately to try and see what this trend is all about:
Ok, maybe I wasn’t totally asleep because as it turns out, I’ve actually tried some ~personalized beauty~ before. Enter: Function of Beauty, which I’ve done a whole review post on here if you’re so inclined.
That post was a loooong one and I’m not going to rehash the whole thing, but basically the company cooks up a personalized shampoo + conditioner based on your answers to a hair quiz that you’re prompted to take upon landing on the website. The first part of the quiz is to build your hair profile by indicating your hair type, hair structure, and scalp moisture. Next, you’re asked to select five hair goals, such as volumize, strengthen, deep condition, etc. that you’d like to achieve using the hair products. Finally, you can pick the colors, fragrance and strength, and name the product.
When it comes to choosing the size and frequency of the purchase, you have a few options – you can purchase an 8oz shampoo + 8oz conditioner set for $36 or the 16oz set for $48. You can also opt for an 8oz shampoo + 16oz conditioner (or vice versa) for $42, or you can buy the 16oz size of shampoo or conditioner individually for $30. This can be a one-time purchase or you can have it be a reoccurring one.
Since this is the only personalized product I was able to try out of this whole list I’m about to present to you, I have the luxury of being able to provide you with my thoughts! The watered-down version of it (again… read the post for my full review!) is that while I thought it worked well and it smelled really nice, I didn’t really notice anything different about my hair (I have straight, very manageable hair that isn’t damaged since I don’t use heat) during my use of Function of Beauty in comparison to when I used drugstore brand OGX, which I actually used before switching to Function of Beauty.
In the end, I paid 137% more per oz for a product that I thought performed equally as well as another product I’ve used before, so it wasn’t fully worth it for me, BUT I did interview three of my friends with curlier hair that’s less manageable than my own and a little more heat-damaged, and they felt that it was worth it for them.
2. LOLI Beauty
I actually first heard about LOLI Beauty while listening to the Beauty is Your Business podcast and thought the whole concept was really interesting. According to CEO Tina Hedges on the brand’s Our Story page, “LOLI or ‘Living Organic Loving Ingredients’, came to me the moment I realized the beauty industry needs to be stirred up… Our products start with the purest, most potent, food-grade ingredients, hand-selected and responsibly sourced. Let your intuition guide you. Blend a beauty ritual all your own. Together let’s ‘stir up beauty’ and make a conscious change.”
Something that I think is really cool about the brand is their mission, which is “to stir things up and make a conscious change – equal parts ethical, effective and empowering.” They do this by supporting the stopping of people trafficking and donating $1 to organizations that are making a difference for every purchase of $75 or more. Their packaging is also very well though through as their glass yogurt jars are food-grade and can be reused for food storage and their labels, bags, and boxes are certified compostable.
From their Collections page, it looks like they have a pretty full range of skincare products and you can purchase oils/serums, moisturizers, cleansers/toners, masks/scrubs, and even haircare products. Aside from these types, it looks like there are also three categories: bases, which are “multitaskers that cleanse, hydrate or treat skin, body or hair;” mix-ins, which allow you to “make it yours with one, two or three MIX-INS for pure, powerful results;” and Blend-It-Yourself (BIY) recipes that “give you everything you need for customized skincare and haircare potions in a single click.”
I took a look at this BIY Balancing Scrub recipe and think that it’s really cool that LOLI puts together a full concoction of products for you to use to take the guess work out of things. I also think it’s cool that you can buy the bases and mix-ins on their own and mix them together as you see fit for your own skin.
The caveat to this is that these products are a tad on the pricey side – bases range in price from $38-$78 and the mix-ins range from $8-$58. I still think that this has the potential to be worth if especially if you take into account the ethics of this company and the fact that all their ingredients are food-grade. If you’re really into skincare, ethical practices, minimalism, or a unique ~personalized~ mixture of all three, this might be a good investment for you!
I was introduced to MatchCo by Safiya Nygaard, not personally, but from her YouTube video where she reviewed the custom foundation she received from this app. She said that the idea is that you basically download the app and scan your skin through your iPhone camera and the company will custom-blend a foundation for you and send it back for $49.
This video was posted on April 13, 2017 and since then, I’m noticing things are a little bit different – when Safiya when to the website, she was met with MatchCo branding; however, things seem to have been rebranded because as you can see above, going to getmatch.co, the original link, now redirects you to the bareMinerals website. The app looks to be the same exact thing, but it’s now called “bareMinerals Made-2-Fit.”
I think this might have to do with the fact that MatchCo was acquired by Shiseido in January 2017 and if you read my post on Who Owns What in beauty, you’ll know that Shiseido owns bareMinerals so they might have thought it appropriate to re-brand it under the bareMinerals umbrella.
I think this is actually very on-brand with bareMinerals as it says “MADE-2-FIT Fresh Faced Foundation is perfect for all skin types and provides a naturally radiant finish with sheer-to-medium coverage. The weightless formula contains nourishing and antioxidant ingredients including green tea extract, Vitamin E and peptides as well as ceramide, chamomile and white lily flower for an instantly younger-looking, more beautiful you.”
This seems like a cool idea, but as somebody who doesn’t wear foundation, this honestly isn’t very useful for me. Furthermore, if I were to purchase foundation, I don’t think I would splurge and spend $49 on one. This is also mostly because my skin definitely doesn’t stay the same color all year round (with my summer tan and whatnot), so it seems kind of silly to me to buy one “perfectly-matched” foundation for $49 that would only match me perfectly for a limited time out of the year.
I do have one drugstore foundation on hand that I wear on special occasions (the L’Oreal True Match Lumi foundation) that is the shade of me at my most tan, as well as a bottle of white foundation-adjusting drops from Manic Panic so I can adjust my foundation as I feel fit. This is much more economical for me since both products together cost me just under $25 and I can “customize” my shade throughout the year.
I’m not sure if I’m exactly sold on this whole thing – I think the overall idea is cool, but due to the higher price tag that comes with customization, I don’t know if getting everything customized would be worth the splurge. For example, when I tried Function of Beauty, while it worked well, I didn’t see any extraordinary results that warranted the additional cost since my hair isn’t really “problematic” for me, while my friends with greater hair needs did think it was worth it.
I think the same thing kind of applies to the skincare and foundation – while I think LOLI Beauty is a really cool concept because it goes beyond the product itself and I love the idea of it, I can’t justify spending that much on skincare products when my current skincare routine is still pretty natural, affordable, and seems to be working. As far as the foundation goes, I already kind of did my whole spiel there, but the bottom line is that $49 is a little too much to spend on foundation for somebody who doesn’t even wear foundation.
Do I think personalized beauty is the future? I definitely think it’s going to become more popular as time goes on. There are obvious benefits of being able to personalize your beauty, but while it remains on the pricier side, I’m not sure just how accessible it will be to everybody ironically enough.
Has anybody tried any of these brands listed above or know of any other brands that do bespoke beauty?
- L.E.K. // Next-Generation Personalized Beauty
- SquareUp // 5 Beauty and Wellness Trends to Watch in 2018
- Beauty is Your Business // 042 – TINA HEDGES OF LOLI BEAUTY – FOOD GLORIOUS BEAUTY
- Safiya Nygaard // I Got Custom Foundation From An App
- Fortune // Shiseido Just Bought a Makeup App That Scans Your Skin and Creates Custom Foundation
*Disclaimer: I purchased all above products with my own money and am not affiliated with or compensated by any of the brands mentioned (I wish!). As always, all thoughts & opinions are my own (unless stated otherwise)!