On Monday, I had a real treat. Prescriptives invited me to Bergdorf Goodman to try its Custom Blend service. Now, this is different from Colorprinting. Colorprinting involves finding out which tones your skin has, then choosing existing products within the appropriate family. The Custom Blend service involves working with a makeup artist to create a precise foundation, concealer, lip gloss and/or powder—specifically created to match your skin tone.
My makeup artist was Matthew Garber, who I highly recommend seeing if you're in New York. He's fun, funny and very easy to work with. We decided to do a Custom Blend foundation ($62) and concealer ($32). To find out how it went, and to see pictures of the process, read more
The first step is to be Colorprinted. This involves putting four different swatches of foundation—all with different undertones—on the cheek, then seeing which color family blends best. I'm a blue-red, which means I have cool rose undertones.
Matthew started making the concealer. First, he asked me whether I wanted an undereye concealer or one that would work on blemishes as well. Because I just wanted to stop looking like Uncle Fester, he recommended the addition of light-reflecting, brightening ingredients. Then he filled a test tube with the concealer base. From there, he added pigment and applied it under my eyes. Now, this is the part that made me happiest. He looked at my eyes, pursed his lips, and squinted at it. "It's not quite perfect," he said, and went back to mixing. A few moments later, he tried again. "Much better," he said. When I looked in the mirror, his attention to detail was apparent. I had no more circles! Better yet, it didn't look like I was wearing concealer.
After perfecting the concealer, Matthew went on to create the foundation. We decided to go for a light-coverage liquid with a bit of moisturizing action. First, he primed my skin with Super Line Preventor Xtreme ($48). Then, after mixing the foundation, he applied it. Again, it was very close but not exact, so he did a little tinkering with the formula. When he applied it this time, I couldn't believe it. You know how foundation often shows up like a coat over your skin? This was the exact opposite. Instead of seeing makeup, I only saw skin. It was absolutely perfect.
I went home with a large bottle of foundation, a smaller travel size, and a concealer—all of which provided equally excellent results when I tried them at home. In fact, TeamSugar saw me with it on the other day, and said, "Did you do something different? Your skin looks great." Yay!
At the risk of sounding maudlin, I can see the Custom Blend service being a life-changing thing for a lot of women. So many cosmetics companies have limited foundation shades, and many people—particularly women of color—have had to settle for foundation and concealer that doesn't match their skin tone very well. If you've had this problem, I think this would be a great solution for you. While it isn't cheap, I think it's worth it considering how personalized it is. Not every Prescriptives counter is a Custom Blend one, so look up the closest one to you. If anyone else has had a Custom Blend revelation, let me know.