It’s personal! The rise of bespoke beauty

From tailormade foundation to customised eyeshadow palettes, matchmade make-up has arrived
Getty Images and Pixeleyes

Until now, personalised beauty has always been a bit of a luxury; bespoke fragrances that cost hundreds of pounds, expensive make-up blended to suit your individual skin tone, even skincare that’s created to work with your own DNA. Not something many of us can afford! But thanks to clever technological advances and consumer demand for more diversity, affordable, tailor-made beauty is on the rise. From your face mask to your foundation – and even the way you colour your hair – this year, buying beauty is no longer simply about a one-size-fits-all approach.

Instead, 2019 is all about mixing, blending and customising to suit your individual preferences. Need a foundation that works with your skin, whatever it’s up to (be that hormonal breakouts or air-con-related dryness)? No7 Custom Blend Foundation Drops can be mixed with any No7 cream, serum or primer, depending on your skin’s needs. Want a palette where you use every single one of the colours, not just a few? Then check out NYX Professional Makeup Custom Pro Palettes, where you can create your very own, personalised set of shades for eyes and face. Or perhaps you’ve got a skincare gripe that you’re not sure how to fix? Head to the Clinique or Dior counters*, where their sophisticated diagnostic tools will work out the best regime of products to help rebalance your skin.

Make it personal

According to a recent report by market researchers Mintel, this shift in the way we use our beauty products is just the tip of the iceberg. They predict an even bigger increase in customisable beauty in the year ahead, with the demand being driven largely by the Asian market (estimated to be worth over £10 billion). Why? The report found that for a vast number of Chinese consumers, ‘individuality’ was the very definition of luxury, meaning that a suits-all attitude just isn’t going to cut it any more – with them, or us.

‘Consumers are more demanding and knowledgeable than ever before, and their expectations are increasing by the day,’ says Grace Vernon, the global trend lead at Walgreens Boots Alliance (Boots’ parent company). ‘In beauty, the rise of social media has led to a consumer who really knows her stuff. She knows what her skin needs – from the specific ingredients that nourish, moisturise or fight spots, to understanding different make-up artist techniques when it comes to application. These consumers are looking for products that meet their needs specifically, and in order to meet that need for the masses, personalisation and customisation have emerged as a key trend.’

"2019 is all about mixing, blending and customising to suit your individual preferences"

Francesca Abramovitch, a celebrity make-up artist who works with make-up brand Collection, agrees: ‘The customisation trend is going to continue growing, as it gives consumers the chance to be more creative with the beauty products they use. It also allows you to save money, as you won’t accumulate products, such as eyeshadow shades that you don’t use.’

DIY revolution

And it’s not just make-up and skincare that are offering more bespoke options. Innovations in DIY hair colouring seem to be on the rise, too, with experimental temporary colours as well as touch-up products seeing huge growth. ‘Women are getting more confident using at-home hair colouring and that’s why products are now being developed to help make this simpler and less damaging to hair,’ explains Lyndell Mansfield, hair colour expert and Schwarzkopf LIVE ambassador.

New technology even includes ‘smart’ colourants that adapt to your natural hair shade for a bespoke finish. So we can now get the same personalised results at home which, in the past, could only be achieved by professional colourists.

‘Women are changing their hair look frequently and dialling up the colour, which shows that it’s easy and risk-free,’ adds hair guru Josh Wood, whose celebrity clientele is a who’s who of the red carpet. He adds that social media has played a huge part in popularising experimentation, with celebrities, influencers and friends showing off their new ’dos all over the internet. And with at-home kits that give you the same results as professional colourists, why wouldn’t you get involved?

So, if you want to add some customised luxury to your beauty arsenal, here’s our lowdown on the products we think you won’t want to miss out on this year.


Smashbox O-GLOW

1. Customise your make-up

Update your regime with these innovative essentials.

Smart glow Smashbox O-Glow Intuitive Cheek Colour* (15ml). Forget trial and error to find the right shade of blusher for your complexion – this clear gel intuitively reacts with your skin’s pH to give your cheeks a tailor-made flush.

No7 Match Made Custom Blend Foundation Drops

Perfect Match No7 Match Made Custom Blend Foundation Drops (15ml). Now you can tweak your No7 foundation to create the level of coverage you want – just add one drop to your moisturiser or primer for a light base; two for medium; or three for full coverage. There are 25 shades to choose from, too.

2. Personalise your locks

Intelligent solutions to max your shade and shine.

Custom Colour new Josh Wood Colour Shade Shot Plus (25ml). Meet the home hair colour that offers a customised shade. Used with the Josh Wood Permanent Colour Kit, the pigment in the Shade Shot Plus develops differently depending on whether you have warm or cool undertones, to give you a unique finish.

Bespoke Blend L’Oréal Paris Préférence Glam Bronde Brush-On Balayage in No5. Instead of spending hours (and a fortune) at the salon, try this clever at-home kit that allows you to apply colour exactly where you want it. Add blonde highlights at the stroke of a brush to create on-trend ‘bronde’ locks.

Tone Zone L’Oréal Paris Colorista Spray 1-Day Colour (75ml). Fancy a quick-and-easy change? These wash-out sprays come in a range of fun colours, from pastel blue to rose gold and hot pink – and dry quickly for an instant update. Try different colours on separate strands for a mermaid look.

3. Target your skincare

Smart formulas to get you glowing.

Dynamic Duo NEW Clinique iD Skincare System* (consists of a base, £32, and a cartridge, £13). With more than 15 unique combinations, this allows you to combine a jelly, lotion or gel – you choose which one is best for your hydration needs – with an active ingredient that you can pick based on your main skin concern. Clever!

Tailored Tan Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster* (15ml). Set the level of your golden glow with this made-to-measure self-tan. Want a gentle hint of colour? Mix one drop with your moisturiser. For a deeper tan, add more. Simple!

Extra Boost Indeed Labs Collagen Booster Serum* (30ml). Serums are a great way to power-up your routine as and when you need to. Try adding a few drops of this collagen booster to moisturiser or foundation to help improve skin tone, texture and suppleness.

Vit Hit Clinique Fresh Pressed 7-Day System With Pure Vitamin C*. Need a little pick-me-up? Packaged in individual doses to keep the formula fresh, this two-step set – a cleanser and a skin booster – uses vitamin C to restore radiance to tired or dull skin.


Pro Tip

The future of beauty? If you think bespoke products sound futuristic, then how about artificial intelligence? More and more companies will be using computer science to create personalised products specifically for individuals. ‘Artificial intelligence in beauty tools and products is sitting on the horizon right now,’ says Nichola Joss, celebrity facialist and spokesperson for Foreo beauty tools. From shampoos to mascaras, AI technology will help you pick out a product or mix one specifically for you, depending on your needs and concerns – meaning that over the next few years, the way we buy beauty looks set to change dramatically. Watch this space!

*Available in selected stores only.
Photography Getty Images and Pixeleyes