Bespoke, personalised beauty products are set to be one of the biggest trends in 2018, as skincare, make-up and fragrance brands increasingly put you at the heart of what they do.
While beauty trends of the past tended to focus on one prescribed look, like the 90s brow, super-straight tresses or contouring, as 2018 approaches we are seeing the customer taking a bigger role in the products that make up their beauty routines – in a shift that neatly mirrors the industry’s late move towards greater diversity.
1. CUSTOMER SERVICE
On the smallest level, you may have noticed that there are an increasing number of so-called ‘chat-bots’ present on websites (for beauty brands and beyond) as part of a more tailored customer service approach, or that brands are increasingly investing in Amazon-esque product recommendations to direct you to other items you might enjoy.
Cosmetics companies old and new are turning their attention to delivering a more personalised approach to make-up, and questionnaires are at the heart of this process. Newly launched, Trinny London – by Trinny Woodall, of Trinny & Susannah fame – bases its whole concept on this data-input approach, as you use a simple five step online form, alongside colour-matching Match2Me technology, to generate a personalised ‘stack’ of products, based on your hair, eye and skin colour.
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Eyeko is also adding a bespoke option to its eye make-up arsenal, to give your mascara a more personalised overhaul. Co-founder of the brand, Nina Leykind, revealed: “One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to mascara because we all have different lashes, eye shapes, and desired styles. We also rarely try mascara before we buy it and we’re often disappointed with the results once we get it home.”
With Eyeko’s bespoke service, the aim is to change that. The process is once again very simple; you answer questions online about what your lashes are currently like, and what you would like them to be. Your answers then create your perfect mascara from a choice of custom formula and brush combinations, at the cost of £30.
This isn’t to say that bespoke make-up is a completely new concept, or that it only exists through questionnaires. Cosmetics à la Carte, which was founded by Lynne Sanders 40 years ago, employs trained make-up artists who blend foundation to match your skin tone and type, as well as colour-matching lipsticks and eyeshadows, during in-store consultations.
“I am thrilled that the concept of bespoke is even more relevant in 2017”, commented Lynne Sanders, founder of Cosmetics à la Carte. “When I founded the brand 40 years ago it was because there was a complete lack of choice in colour cosmetics. Confidence comes with looking the most beautiful version of yourself and that can really only be achieved with bespoke make-up that perfectly fulfils your individual requirements. When we buy bespoke products, we also spend less money accumulating products which don’t quite suit our skin, or buying an eye palette and using only one shade.”
While choosing a signature scent is already somewhat personalised and the ability to engrave perfume bottles, especially for Christmas, is nothing new, bespoke beauty is now allowing customers to have a greater hand in the fragrances they wear everyday.
Most telling, perhaps, is the extension this year of Harrods Salon de Parfums, where boutiques like Burberry and Bond No. 9 offer a customer-led, personalised service – which includes bottle engraving all year round. Penhaligon’s also has a Fragrance Profiling experience online, which will direct you to an existing fragrance that is likely to suit your likes and dislikes.
But for those customers who want to have a direct involvement in the specific ingredients in their new scent, there are even greater possibilities available. Floris, Perfumer H, Roja Parfum and Penhaligon’s all offer such services – unfortunately with the price tag to match. The Penhaligon’s Bespoke by Alberto Morillas, for example, will cost you £35,000. It’s described as the “olfactory equivalent of couture”, and will see you create your perfect bespoke fragrance – the formula of which cannot be replicated for anyone else – with the help of one of the world’s leading Master Perfumers, Alberto Morillas.
While categorising your skin into different types – dry, oily, combination – has been the norm for years, in recent times brands and consumers alike have slowly broken away from these often broad-sweeping categorisations. On a simple level, services like Dermalogica’s Face Mapping – launched back in 2014 – seek to banish a history of keeping consumers, intentionally or not, ignorant of their specific skincare needs.
“Face Mapping is designed to help everyone understand their skin better”, reveals Sally Penford, director of education for Dermalogica. “This inch-by-inch analysis by a professional skin therapist gives essential information about the condition of your skin. Different areas of the skin can exhibit different conditions due to small alterations in the skin structure. This means you might require a slightly different strategy to address different areas. Understanding small differences means you regimen can become much more bespoke.”
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It is telling too that FaceGym – the facial bar known for its face ‘workouts’ – has decided to transform their skincare offering into a personalised service as of this month. At FaceGym’s Make It bar in Selfridges, you can now blend your own serum oil with the help of expert mixologists. The process sees you take charge of everything from the ingredients (from a preselected selection), the name on the bottle and the packaging, all to ensure a personal touch.
To get even closer to true individualisation, a range of skincare now takes into account your genetic make-up, using DNA swabbing combined with lifestyle questionnaires. Suggesting the growth of interest in this area, GENEU was given a permanent space in the Selfridges London beauty hall this year, after a successful pop-up. It provides a series of serums created to suit your skin needs based on two key genes related to skin-ageing.
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ALLÉL – itself a play on the word “allele”, which is a form of gene – is also newly launched in the UK. “There is no doubt that the trend is moving toward a personalised skincare regime”, reveals Dr Elisabet Hagert, its co-founder. “Consumers are actively seeking high-tech and high-quality products suitable for their needs and recent science has shown that how we age and how we handle the onslaught of external factors, really is dependent on our genetic predispositions”.
With this understanding in mind, the company aims to tackle anti-ageing at its source, by combining “a DNA analysis with a professional evaluation of visible signs and lifestyle factors”, explains Hagert. This helps to provide an overall “skin score”, which in turn determines the ALLÉL skincare and supplements you should be using.
SO, IS IT WORTH IT?
Cosmetics à la Carte founder, Lynne Sanders predicts that “with research into our genetic code and algorithms to understand it, we are undoubtedly going to see more bespoke” products and saying goodbye to a blanket beauty approach is a cause to be celebrated; just look at the reaction when Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty launched its foundation in a broad range of 40 shades. But, the fact that many truly bespoke options will currently leave you out-of-pocket is less exciting news. In time, as science and technology advances, the price is likely to fall, but, in the meantime and in true personalised style, we’ll leave you to decide whether unique beauty is worth the current price tag.
From: Harper’s BAZAAR UK