[unpaid/experiencereview] I had such a lovely day yesterday at Cosmetics A La Carte to see how they make bespoke lipsticks. I took along – can you guess?! – my Gucci Rene Pink and maybe less obviously, a milky pink Revlon shade that I’m wearing a lot at the moment, Beaming Strawberry. That name makes me laugh.
I took along my friend Genevieve because it’s such a great thing to do with a mate. It crossed my mind too that it’s a lovely present to a bride – most of the people I know who have got married recently already have what they need in terms of traditional gifts (toasters! air fryers!) so a bespoke lipstick for the wedding day or for the honeymoon seems to be the most beautiful and personal gift. I was very lucky to meet founder, Lynne Sanders, who formulates everything and it’s all made here in London. Lynne started out at Unilever, moving on to Yardley where a quest for equal pay met with dismissal. So, in 1973, she began her brand with her business partner Christine. Being on the boundary of Chelsea and Belgravia, her clientelle, about whom she is very discreet, is as you would imagine for that area, but if anyone remembers Princess Diana’s famous ‘Toast’ lipstick, we have Lynne to thank for it. Don’t get me wrong – it’s not ‘posh’ – but there is a specific emphasis on immaculate customer service (which I saw with my own eyes as someone wandered into the shop while we were there) and you will be made more than welcome.
The way the service works is that you can go in with no colour inspiration and let the make up artists guide you, or you can take a beloved shade and have that replicated. I’ve had bespoke lipsticks made before but at Cosmetics A La Carte, they rely far less on technology and far more on instinct and colour knowledge. My Beaming Strawberry took a mix of five separate shades to replicate, and Rene Pink took four. Then, take into account intensity and that’s again where experience comes in – a little of this, a bit more of that.
You can choose from four formulas, my option was Sheer Balm and the others are Moisture Plus, Matte Velvet and Lustre.
Even though Gen and I went together, we both got surprisingly involved in the process, so you could easily go alone. You get a glass of complimentary champagne although we were very good and stuck to coffee and water (in a champagne glass obvs!). Cosmetics A La Carte is a friend to many make up artists who have them on speed dial to colour match or create for campaigns or celebrities they’re working with.
I’m not going to say that it’s best for older women, but if you’ve ever felt overwhelmed at a beauty counter, Cosmetics A La Carte is the antidote. They’ll give you time, all the advice you want and any guidance you feel you might need. If I can counterbalance with anything, it would be that it doesn’t feel like a place Gen Z would head to and that it’s not especially trend led. I’d like to see limited editions now and again that would go across the board. So, it’s a very strong recommend from me – my lipsticks are being made up as I type and hopefully on Friday I can do a big reveal. They’re available to buy if you want to but you’ll need to know the names – fingers crossed for Friday! The Cosmetics A La Carte website is HERE where you can book any of the bespoke services. Our session would cost £80pp and re-orders £68.
All products are sent to me as samples from brands and agencies unless otherwise stated. Affiliate links may be used. Posts are not affiliate driven.