Finding one’s perfect foundation match ranks way up on the frustration scale, but hang tight because the future of makeup is here, and last Friday I had the opportunity to test that out with Lancôme’s Le Teint Particulier. For the first time ever, I can vouch that this truly is a custom made beauty product, as it’s not only created based on your own unique skin tone & preferences, but actually made right in front of you … plus you get to name it too!
This innovative machine that has several patents pending, looks both futuristic and a little scary, and happens to be very similar to the concept of getting one’s can of wall paint shade mixed. The day I went to try this service out, I was fortunate enough to be in the hands of Gillian Okopny, Canada’s National Makeup Artist for Lancôme, who also happens to be someone I’ve had the pleasure of meeting before (back when she was with NARS), and is not only a wealth of information, but such a humble and totally fun human being … as well as an incredibly talented makeup artist.
The process begins with a 3-point facial scan using a hand-held device; Gillian first asked me which area of my face I felt had the “best” skin and I said my forehead (1), then she took a reading on my cheek (2) and the last spot was along my neck. The information is then calculated using an algorithm and within seconds, the information reveals my skin tone match (3) and is displayed on the iPad.
The next phase of the process involves selecting your preferred coverage (sheer, medium, full) — I usually prefer light to medium coverage, but on Gillian’s suggestion I went with medium, as I can always sheer it out if need be. Good call. Lastly and based on my scan, my optimum hydration level was selected, ensuring a finish that would stay super comfortable throughout wear.
At this point, the magic begins: using a simple process of white, red, yellow & black pigments along with moisturizer and/or thinner — all based on your scan results, the machine begins creating your foundation.
Gillian programmed the machine to mix half a bottle first, which she then tested along my skin to see if I liked it. The result was astounding: even looking at myself under various lighting and angles, I couldn’t tell where my foundation began and skin ended. Once I approved the colour, she then had the machine finish my bottle.
Once the foundation was ready, a pump dispenser was attached and this inner plastic tube was inserted into a luxe bottle. At this point, you then get to select a name for it (which is optional, so no need to panic about trying to come up with something); naturally, I went with “ommorphia“. The label is instantly printed up and applied to the bottle as well as the back of the outer box. Finally, the bottle is snugly nestled into a flocked velvet liner and voilà: your custom foundation is good to go.
After creating my foundation, Gillian then completed the process by creating a stunning makeup look on me — seriously, I really didn’t want to remove my makeup at the end of the day.
Le Teint Particulier Custom Made Foundation in ommorphia (CAN $110.00) | The cost includes the complete service of: face scanning, custom colour mixing, and bottling — with all information stored on file for future reference without needing to repeat the process when coming for a refill. That said, even after creating your custom shade, you still have “tweaking” options; for example, the density can be adapted for fuller coverage or more moisturizer added for a sheerer consistency, and you can also increase the pigment level in the event your complexion darkens (i.e.: a Summer tan), but note that the reverse won’t work: the hue cannot be lightened. The formulation is brand new and builds on all the best features of Lancôme’s current ranges, offering a weightless feel and smooth glide along the skin, with a natural finish that’s pretty much undetectable.
Apart from the fact that you get your very own personalized shade — a fact that eliminates the need to cocktail several foundation hues to reach the same result, you get to have it freshly created before your very eyes and you get to be a part of the entire process from start to finish. On top of all that, how does this fact grab you: there are 72,000 combinations available and yes, you read that correctly: 72,000. Kind of deflates the numbers offered by other brands, no?
While it’s no secret that I adore beauty, it really takes something special in this industry to totally wow me, and Lancôme’s Le Teint Particulier Custom Made Foundation has done that — in spades. Apart from the cool factor, I love that this is personalized and unique to me (not a fan of being part of the herd, if you know what I mean) and while I was a bit skeptical about the shade the algorithm came up with for me (it looked a bit more pink-based than I’m used to), it turns out that the colour is not only BANG-ON perfect, but somehow manages to perk up my complexion at the same time. Final word: I can’t recommend this service enough & it’s well worth every single damn penny. In other words, you’ll definitely want to look into it.
Available at Holt Renfrew/Ogilvy (Montréal) & select locations
Many thanks to Lancôme for giving me the opportunity to try this service