There has been a really interesting shift in the beauty industry whereby customers are demanding a more tailored, personalised experience. Customers are now, more than ever, wanting to know "how is this the right product for me?" Companies are finding that if a customer feels that their exact needs are not met, then they are less likely to purchase the product, as customers are now more clued in than ever. There is a growing demand in the beauty industry for the 'customisation' of products, whereby customers want more control and more meaningful connections with their beauty products. The ability to customise a product is a powerful one, not only does it solve a particular problem for the consumer, they also feel like they own the product as it is a special one-off - it is uniquely theirs.
Customisation is has long regarded to be a sign of wealth and luxury as only the very rich had products made for them. Bespoke meant one of a kind and only the wealthy had the means to acquire such an indulgence. These days, with the latest advancements in technology, custom beauty products have become more accessible than ever as companies are now able to address the main problem of scale and demand and keep prices affordable, widening their target market. Technological advancements such as the internet, phone and apps have made the art of customising beauty products accessible to more people and at all times of the day. It has never been easier for consumers to indulge in that bespoke experience of creating something for yourself from scratch. It truly gives the consumer the satisfaction that they themselves have created something so special and unique. As WWD says, "It's like finding your soulmate".
Finding beauty brands that offer that ability of creating something truly unique, personal and that addresses certain concerns and issues, has never been easier to find. I have found 5 brands that offer a bespoke service, dedicated to giving you a product that is unique as yourself.
hop & cotton
Imagine having a simple skincare routine that was completely tailored and created for you, where each and every product's ingredients has been carefully selected and formulated to suit your skin's needs and your concerns. Well, you can finally stop imagining as this is exactly what the brand hop & cotton will do for you.
hop & cotton is a skincare brand which is all about customising a skincare product or routine to the consumer. Founded by Ee Ting, a self confessed ingredient nerd with a background in molecular biology who just couldn't seem to find any skincare products that worked for her skin. She says "There was always something that my skin did not agree with, or a reason why I did not like it" and this search went on for over 10 years. Fed up with using products that simply didn't work for her skin, Ee Ting decided to use her background in science (she has a degree in Molecular Biology and a diploma in Cosmetic Chemistry) and her passion for ingredients to create her own customised set of skincare products. Finally her search was over. Soon, Ee Ting found that she was creating products for family and friends, and like with any tight knit Asian community (yes, they love to talk! I speak from experience myself), word began to spread about her amazing and effective formulations. This ultimately lead to the creation of hop & cotton, bringing customised skincare to the everyday consumer.
So how does it work exactly? Every single hop & cotton product has been tailored and formulated to suit each person's individual needs and preferences. It simply starts with a 'skin test' that is completed before purchase. Questions asked are generally to do with things such as skin condition, skin concerns and general lifestyle. The questionnaire also goes into detail about things such as scent, textures and ingredients that your skin might not agree to or that you simply don't like. Once completing the questionnaire (its takes about 15 minutes) the results are sent to Ee Ting and her small team of expert formulators. Taking into account all the information in the questionnaire, the hop & cotton team will create and formulate a product that is tailored to yourself and your skin needs. The product/s ingredients list is then sent to your email for a final review which then can be tweaked if there are any ingredients that do not agree with your skin. Once given the okay, Ee Ting and her team will create your skincare which will then be delivered to your door.
The hop & cotton range is designed to be simple, with a full range comprising of 3 products - a cleanser, exfoliating toner and a moisturiser. Ultimately, the products are tailored perfectly to the customer, lessening the need for more products to be used. Quick, easy and effective - you couldn't ask for more in a skincare routine!
All hop & cotton products are available on the hop & cotton website and prices start at AUD$58.
Finding Ferdinand is a beauty brand that is all about customising your make up bag. It's star product? Lipstick. I love a good lipstick, who doesn't? However, to be able to create your own shades and have control over what finish is a whole other world of fun. Finding Ferdinand a beauty brand which is all about customising and finding exactly what it is that you are after. “Beauty is a very personal thing,” Nhu Le, founder extraordinaire of Finding of Ferdinand . “People don’t want to be told. They want to choose what looks good.”
Finding Ferdinand is a super fun, new and innovative way for consumers to create and explore with different lip colours and finishes, all in the comfort of their own home. There are two ways where this journey of experimenting and discovery can go, each starting with a set of 22 colours which you mix to create your dream shades. The first way of obtaining these 22 shades is via the Starter Kit 2.0 (retails for USD$60), a physical palette of the 22 base colours used by Finding Ferdinand. Experimenting is always encouraged and this way, you can try the shade/s before purchasing. Once a combination of colours and a lipstick finish has been chosen - simply submit the colour formula via the Finding Ferdinand app. Each Starter Kit comes with a redemption code for first lipstick (yes the first lipstick is free) and will arrive at your door within the week.
The second way of being able to play, experiment and ultimately create your own custom lipstick is via the Finding Ferdinand App (also a great way to procrastinate) or online via the website. Simply select 4 colours from the 22 shades shown and adjust the depth of each colour until the desired shade is reached (see the images below). I personally could spend hours upon hours coming up with countless combinations via these platforms and its so much fun. The amazing thing about Finding Ferdinand is that they also give you the opportunity to create a sample size (USD$6) before committing.
Finding Ferdinand doesn't just stop at lipsticks though as there is also the opportunity to create your own customised eyeshadow palette, cheek palette as well as a cheek and eye palette on the website as well. Honestly, I could spend all day coming up with all sorts of combinations and the variety of colours available is so impressive. Finding Ferdinand no doubt stays true to their 'explore, create and find your own beauty' philopsphy. The website is a playground for any beauty junkie who has always wanted to create something of their own in the comfort of their own home.
All Finding Ferdinand products can be found on the Finding Ferdinand website.
Tamanu Oil Lab
Having had the opportunity to try so many different types of oils and oil blends, I can happily say that there are some particular botanical oils that I absolutely adore - whether it be for its scent or my skin's responses. The Tamanu Oil Lab gives those who have a fair understanding of oils (or enjoys certain types of essential oils) the chance to create their own signature blend via their 'Inspire' Blend.
Jeannie, the passionate founder of Tamanu Oil Lab, loves the power of Tamanu oil and uses it in every single one of her blends -whether it a be a custom blend or a pre-made one. Tamanu oil comes from the South Pacific and is made from the nut of the Tamanu tree. It has fantastic anti-inflammatory benefits, has anti-microbial properties and most importantly helps to protect the skin by building the skin's natural barrier function. Jeannie takes great pride in the quality of her Tamanu oil, she says "I source all my products extremely carefully and the Tamanu is one of the most important since it cant be farmed. It has to be sourced in from its natural state by a seashore that is near living coral reefs. To have maximum benefits of the oil, the surrounding trees should be 100+ year old". She has indeed worked hard to source the best of the best and would rather provide other quality over quantity. On her website she is found saying "we would rather serve a small customer base the very best blends possible rather than sell bottles containing lots of chemical fillers to the masses". All of Jeannie's formulations are created by herself and she will lovingly create and concoct whichever combination of oil you wish for the Inspire Oil blend.
The process of the Inspire oil is quite simple, select the Inspire Oil on the Tamanu Oil Lab website and once the page has loaded there are a plethora of different options with the corresponding price which can be added to your Inspire oil blend. Tamanu oil will be the base of the product (the base is USD$28 for 30ml) and you have full control of what you wish to add. Jeannie will then blend the oils together for you to create a unique one of a kind blend and it is delivered straight to your door.
I have spoken about the The Buff previously, back then it was a new skincare line that freelance journalist, Jasmine Garnsworthy, had just launched. The Buff is result of Jasmine's own troubles with her skin when she first moved to New York from Australia. Having spent hours upon hours scouring the internet for solutions on how to rid her skin of cystic acne, Jasmine's research sent her on a more 'natural' route. She found that harsh formulations and miracle elixirs didn't quite work for her and instead 'clean' beauty products were much more friendly to her skin. Jasmine saw an improvement with her skin in just a matter of weeks just from using natural oils such as jojoba oil. After seeing such amazing results, Jasmine went on to create her own line called 'The Buff', starting with face and body oils (the line has since expanded to hand and hair oils) which are tailored to for each and every customer.
The process is relatively simple, as all that is required is that a simple questionnaire about your own skin concerns and skin type is completed. Jasmine and her team will do the rest to create a truly beautiful formulation that is perfectly customised just for you based on this information. In an article by Professional Beauty, Jasmine says she uses "oils such as jojoba, tamanu, rosehip, argan, raspberry seed, and maracuja (derived from passionfruit), handpicking the most relevant to our clients’ needs in order to blend a serum that’s both beautiful and personal" in her bespoke creations. At checkout, you will also have the chance to select your initials so that it can monogrammed on the label of the bottle, a beautiful finishing touch. If answering a questionnaire is too much, The Buff also has ready to go formulations that are categorised by skin type or, they also have a range of beauty boosters which can be mixed into existing moisturiers or skincare products.
Each bottle of The Buff is a generous 120ml and is available online from The Buff for USD$40.
The Match Co
Foundations are possibly one of the hardest makeup products to get right in terms of colour. I often read about the struggles of finding the right shade match for many when it comes to foundations. In fact, a 2007 study of 5,200 women conducted by Estée Lauder found that 94% of women were wearing the wrong shade of foundation. With beauty now becoming so personalised, it was only just a matter of time that there were affordable options available for creating a bespoke foundation shade. The MatchCo will do exactly that in the comfort of your own home.
The MatchCo is a small independent beauty brand with the goal of solving an age-old problem of getting the perfect shade of foundation for women (and men) at an affordable price. The MatchCo offer one type of foundation with endless possibilities of skin tones at USD$49 for 30ml. The price is extremely competitive to those you would normally purchase over the counter at a Sephora or department store. The idea of custom foundations hasn't really ever been a groundbreaking one, however, in the past its been extremely difficult for many companies to have a model which is easy and affordable for the customer but also cost-effective for the company itself. The Match Co seem to have bridged this gap of affordability, scale and demand in foundation customisation by taking advantages of the latest mobile app technology.
The process of getting matched with The Match Co is quite simple and doesn't require an appointment in a lab - with the advances in technology, everything can be done in the comfort of your own home with a mobile app. Quite simply, you, the customer will download the MatchCo's mobile app. From here, the app will require you to take 5 skin scans which will help to analyse your skin tone. These scans take place at the wrist area, forehead cheeks and will calibrate the perfect skin match. The whole process only takes a few minutes and will blend a perfectly matched custom foundation formula for you. From there, the order will take 48 hours to be fulfilled and shipped to straight to your door. It honestly seems to seamless and easy. To add an extra touch, each foundation bottle is personalised with your name and also the date it was created.
A custom formulation from the MatchCo is USD$49 (includes shipping) for a 30ml bottle, further details can be found on the MatchCo's website and to order - just download the app.
Have you had beauty products that have been tailor made for you before? What was your experience of these products? Did they work wonderfully for you? Can't wait to hear your answers in the comments section below.