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Bespoke beauty has arrived! Your ultimate guide to making your own skincare, perfume and makeup

It's personal.

26 Aug 2019

We love a monogrammed accessory, but when it comes to bespoke personalisation, it’s the beauty world that’s winning in innovation for 2019. “Clever tech means mass customisation is now regularly achievable, and there’s a trend for products and services that put you at the centre of things,” says Chris Sanderson, cofounder of trend-forecasting hub The Future Laboratory.

Arriving by late summer is Neutrogena MaskiD – a 3D-printed face mask tailored to your skin’s needs, based on data collected from a selfie. Later in the year, La Roche-Posay drops its stick-on My Skin Track pH patch, which tracks your pH levels and prescribes targeted products via an app on your phone. Or go straight to SkinCeuticals for your made-to-measure Custom Dose correction serum. We can’t have any of them yet *sobs*, but we’ve got you covered until then with these genius personalised hair, skin, fragrance and makeup buys.

Scent that’s not for sharing

On a scale of one to FFS, how annoying is it when half the people at a party are wearing the perfume you spent ages finding? If you’re enraged, enter the world of customisable fragrance. First, there’s ‘scent layering’, where a brand creates perfumes with just a few high-quality ingredients, allowing you to spray different fragrances on top of each other for a freshly mixed result, without any overpowering effects.

We’re in love with Tailor Your Story Layering Scents, a trio of perfume rollerballs including Mocha Bloom, Leather Haze and Vanilla Satori (£19, & Other Stories). Or tweak an existing fragrance by adding specific extracts under the guidance of in-store experts with Ex-Nihilo’s Personalised EDP (£240 for 100ml), or Floris London’s Bespoke Fragrance Customisation (£450 for 100ml EDP). And the big-time dream? A purely personal luxury perfume made from scratch just for you. Until recently, that would have cost thousands. Tens of thousands, even. The Experimental Perfume Club offers a one-to-one three-hour workshop in east London, where founder and perfumer Emmanuelle Moeglin will help you create your own fragrance for £450, including the first 50ml bottle. Plus you get to name it. Let the scent smugness commence!

Have-it-all haircare

Does anyone actually even have a hair type any more? Because last time we checked we were frizzy, dehydrated, flat, greasy, highlighted and itchy-scalped all in one day. Same same? Then let us introduce Function Of Beauty into your hair life. The US customisable shampoo and conditioner brand is now available in the UK and yours in just a few clicks. The brand’s questionnaire, which asks everything from hair texture to scalp sensitivity, takes a few minutes and you even get to choose the colour, scent and name.

We love that it’s vegan and cruelty-free with zero sulphates and parabens, yet it still delivers swish, bounce and silkiness (from £29). And for spa hedonists, Ayurveda-inspired wellness brand Rituals has a new personalisation service that transforms a mundane weekday hair wash into a sensorial nirvana that will blow away every bad-vibes cobweb. The Hair Temple shampoos and conditioners (£17.50 each, available in Rituals boutiques) are aromatherapy-laced formulas, to which you add two elixirs that suit your hair’s desires, from a choice of nine. Divine.

Mix your own makeup

Unique, just-for-you, custom-blend cosmetics are hitting our sweet spot, which is why we’re lining up for Code8’s bespoke Colour ID Lab Lipsticks, £55. Head to its travelling pop-up store (in Burlington Arcade in London until April) with a swatch of fabric, a discontinued shade or a screenshot of your fave lip look, and in 45 minutes your unique lipstick will be box-fresh finished. Want the same tailor-made hit from your concealer? Praise be to Cosmetics A La Carte for allowing us to create a bespoke shade of its Secret Light Serum Concealer – get the same formula with anti-fatigue botanicals and optical blurring diffusers blended in its London store to perfectly match your skin, for £58.

Build-your-own eyeshadow palettes are also finally a reality. NYX has Custom 9-Shadow Pro Palette (£5 for an empty palette), with 88 singles to choose from (£2.50 each), and you can instantly make your own eye, brow and face Custom Palette at beautonomy.com. This is customising at a whole new level, people: you can choose the design layout, outside print of the palette (or upload your own photo), and once you’ve picked your shades you can even name them. Or, for a pay-day treat, the By Terry Palette Factory (£45; Selfridges London and Manchester) is sweet-shop levels of awesome: during your consultation your makeup artist will help you curate the dream mix, with a possible 5,000 combinations. An actual candy crush.

DIY derm

We’re all about self-discovery; now it’s time to do the same for your skin. “With so many beauty shoppers unsure about the products that work best for them, the brands that offer a deep degree of personalisation are paramount,” says Chris. That’s why the smartest ones are stepping up their skincare game with products that put you inside the bottle. Biomedical skincare range Allél uses your DNA to determine the right ingredients to treat your complexion. During the in-clinic evaluation, a mouth swab is taken and your genetic markers are analysed in various categories, from hydration and pigmentation to collagen levels. From that data, you’re prescribed a 360-degree regimen including skincare and oral supplements (from £570, including products, at select clinics).

In the same vein (sorry) is Dr Barbara Sturm’s Blood Cream, which at £1,200 (yes, eye-watering, we know) promises incredible youth-boosting results. A vial of your blood is mixed with glass beads, which trick your cells into thinking they’re surrounding a wound. This prompts your blood into producing healing proteins that are mixed into your skincare products. The aim is to reduce and prevent skin’s natural inflammation, which causes ageing and imperfections. There’s another reason we’re all over this: Victoria Beckham is a major fan and her glass-fresh skin looks better now than ours did in our teens.

There’s no need for needles over at FaceGym, which has launched a made-to-measure Custom Blend Training Serum. The massage brand, known for its personal-training-style facials and toning tools, has opened Make It Bars in all nationwide stores. Grab a seat and chat through your skin issues with a consultant, who will mix up your very own serum from 125 possible combinations to feed your complexion with healthy goodness. Or do it online by adding your choice of amplifying actives (such as co-enzyme Q10 for cell energy) and mood-enhancing extracts (we love palmarose and bergamot for confidence).

The genius doesn’t end there. Just when you thought the Foreo Facial Cleanser Brush couldn’t get any smarter, it goes and gets a frickin’ PhD. The new Luna Fofo has clever gold-plated sensors that analyse your skin’s hydration levels to generate a cleansing programme with custom intensity and duration. Mind. Blown.