Tailor Made: Bespoke Beauty Prescriptions

Customisable beauty is a fast-rising trend in the consumer market but there are exciting avenues that aesthetics professionals can capitalise on too.

In fact, as a skin specialist, you’re already part of the movement – that is, you’ve tailored the products you’re using and retailing to individual client concerns since … well, forever!

Now, new research by Canadean shows consumers are increasingly dictating exactly what they want in (and out of) their personal-care products, reporting that globally, over 25 per cent of skincare purchases are driven by individualism.

And with advances in technology, it’s not surprising that brands are responding with agility, offering solutions built from scratch, crafted especially for the individual.

Guive Balooch, Global Vice President of L’Oreal technology incubator explained why this is the case, at a recent media forum, where he identified personalised beauty solutions as the number one market trend for 2017.

“In the last three years, a new kind of beauty consumer has emerged with a new set of expectations,” he said.

“Because of the internet, beauty clients are more educated and more engaged than ever. And because they have such strong product knowledge about ingredients and formulas, they are more selective about their purchases, seeking holy grails that meet their distinct needs.”

We explore the bespoke-beauty trend across the categories of professional grade-skincare, colour makeup and the world of tailored private label collections available to spas, salons and clinics.

“Customisation is now a worldwide trend,” says Panagiota Danopoulos, director of product development at Medisca. “As an innovator in bespoke skin care, our concept addresses multiple skin concerns simultaneously, which allows people to reduce the number of steps in their skincare regimen.”

Custom-Made Skincare

More than anyone, you understand the complexities of “skin type” classification and the importance of prescribing the right home maintenance products for your client.

They may be oily yet dehydrated. They might be concerned about signs of ageing like pigmentation, but not wrinkles. Maybe your client suffers from rosacea but is equally concerned about the effects of pollution on their skin.

Suffice to say, one size never fits all (or most) when it comes to skincare, which is why Canadian pharmaceutical company, Medisca, designed the Blend & Boost concept.

The concept, now available to Australian spas and medi-clinics, allows a skin therapist or doctor to craft their client’s very own personalised potion, with the help of a compounding pharmacist.

It starts with a client skin consultation before or after a treatment –  the practitioner sits down with their patient and guides them through an easy-to-navigate but detailed questionnaire about the nuances of their skin. The questionnaire is available via the Blend & Boost software (supported on an iPad or other smart device).

Once the questionnaire is complete, the Blend & Boost software generates one or two formula options according to the patient’s answers.

They are generated to address the patients primary and secondary skin concerns simultaneously, each option boasting a slightly different formula. For example the app might recommend either a rich, creamy base or a lighter texture, which the client can choose between according to their personal taste.

As a matter of fact, there are 5 different bases that can be fused with 2 or 3 of 13 different active ‘boosters’. This allows for 90 unique combinations.

These boosters are a cocktail of ingredients designed to treat specific skin concerns. For example, one booster complements skin lightening procedures and contains vitamin C, while another targets acne and is loaded with healing, oxygenating, non-comedogenic ingredients.

Therefore, if pigmentation and breakouts were your clients’ main issues, then their custom blend would likely contain these two targeted boosters.

As soon as the therapist and client finalise their holy grail formula choice, the app automatically sends a prescription to a partnering pharmacy where it is prepared fresh. Once compounded, it is shipped back to the business or directly to the client.

“The Beauty Base in Narellan (NSW) is servicing approximately 20 lipstick customers every day with The Lip Lab concept. “So it is a great income stream for any savvy business owner,” says Janine Treacey, marketing manager of The Lip Lab.

Made-To-Measure Makeup

According to Cosmetics Design USA, customisation is one of the biggest trends to hit the cosmetics industry in decades, but, when it comes to colour makeup, we have been mixing it up (literally) longer than people might think.

For example, the Freedom System by Inglot Cosmetics has been available for 30 years. It starts with an empty magnetic palette designed to be filled with any combination of eyeshadows, blush, bronzers, and highlighters from the range.

“The system offers unlimited potential for customers to create their dream colour palettes, with no restrictions, and no matter if you’re a makeup novice or a seasoned professional, that’s something that appeals to everyone,” says Courtney Cavanagh, marketing manager for the brand.

DMK Cosmetics foundation palettes work on a similar principle. They’re made to be filled with 6 different shades of the brands’ highly-pigmented, botanical-packed foundations. They were initially designed for customers looking to customise their makeup colour as their skin tone changed from season to season but are also a hit with people wanting to colour correct or contour their face.

But perhaps The Lip Lab based in Paddington, Sydney, takes bespoke colour to a new level. It’s a concept that allows customers to create a lipstick, gloss or balm in a unique colour mixed just for them at the table while they watch.

One of the most exciting thing about the creative process is, customers can choose the fragrance of their lip product too. Fans of gormande scents, in particular, will love the vast array of choices which range from champagne to creme brulee.

An instant success, the concept is now available to independent spas or salons. Depending on the physical size and space of the business, an area is sectioned off and made into a mini Lip Lab. The customer experience mirrors that of the head quarters and starts with a colour consultation.

Individual spas and salons can elect whether they make the lipstick in-house or send to the Paddington HQ to be formulated then mailed to the client.

“Because the needs of our partners’ clients are vastly different, every collection we custom make is unique,” says Steve McGee.  “Typically our partners start out dedicating around 25 per cent of their retail range to private label.”

Personalised Private Label

Formulating (and packaging) a collection of skincare, body-care or giftware products exclusive to your spa, salon or clinic is simpler than it sounds.

In fact, there are local laboratories like RX Skinlab that specialise in crafting private label personal care products for businesses looking to build or strengthen their brand voice. RX Skinlab manufactures cosmeceutical skincare lines for many dermatologists, plastic surgeons and skin clinics throughout Australia.

“Nobody knows your customers better than you, so we work with you to eliminate all the reasons why someone wouldn’t buy a product or treatment, areas like: specific ingredients, texture, performance strength, packaging, size, dominant skin types and condition,” says Steve McGee director, RX Skinlab. “Once you eliminate the misses you generally end up with a range of outstanding products suited to your business.”

“It’s about having total control over your offering and driving customer loyalty.

“Because it’s exclusive to your brand, you don’t have to worry about being price matched, margin erosion or losing a sale to a competitor.

“Plus, your message is reinforced every day by all that use the skincare.”

While RX Skinlab specialise in results driven targeted skin solutions, it’s also possible to make a private spa or salon collection based on solely on a signature scent.

Artisan perfumers such as Fleurage are equipped to custom design a unique fragrance for spas and salons, from scratch.

“Scent is in fact a deeply effective method of communication that transcends the barriers of location, time and space,” says Emma Leah, the director of Fleurage, who has a pedigree education in traditional and modern perfume creation methods. “When we like a certain smell, we lock it away in the memory bank and seek it out over and over again.”

“A custom signature scent sets your brand apart and cements it in the client mind as associated with a pleasant, healing, soothing experience they will want to return to.

“We guide our spas and salons clients through the relatively unknown world of perfumery by explaining our processes and involving them in the development.

“Paying attention to the brand image as well as the feel of the spa or salon and ask lots of questions so we can develop a detailed brief that leads to a blend that captures the spirt of the business.

“Most clients want their signature scent to translate across a range of products from simple parfumes to body oils, lotions, scrubs, serums and space scenting too; with candles, diffuser oils, and room mists.”