[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.
Love the colour in the top picture on you- where you are holding the brush in your hand – is that the Beaming Pink? Or the bespoke?
My favourite “lost lipstick” is the original Armani Rouge Ecstasy- which is discontinued in all colours – but I particularly loved 510 Dolci- which is very similar to what you are wearing in that photo. They are amazing for not bleeding, lasting for ages, and don’t dry lips out.
Not sure why Armani decided to stop making them…..I managed to get a couple on a brilliant site called Hogies which still has a few colours left …..
I’ve got both shade matches coming up today or tomorrow so it will become clear. Wow, I actually haven’t looked at Armani for so long I didn’t even realise they had gone. It’s a bespoke of Gucci Rene Pink.
More years ago than I care to remember (probably 25+ ) I travelled down to London for a session with Joan Price are her Face Place – does that ring any bells? – I think it was on the same street as Cosmetics a la Carte is now situated, but that was in the days when General Trading Company was still on the corner and it was considerably less gentrified (definitely more “old money”) than it is now. Super that you had such a good experience.
Face Place definitely rings a bell! I didn’t go though – and oh, the General Trading Company – I worked on a parenting magazine at the time and I was forever in there taking ‘inspo’ from their immaculate wooden toys 🙂
A little off topic but I had my first ever makeup lesson at Joan Price’s Face Place! It was in Walton Street then. And some of the things I was taught that day still hold good. Hadn’t thought about it for ages but it was a seminal moment .
They recommended green for my eyes which actually suits me and you hardly see atm – so maybe i should go to Cosmetics a la Carte…
Yes someone else mentioned The Face Place – I’m sure that there’s an excellent catalogue of greens at Cosmetics A La Carte 🙂
I’ve had the luxury of trying out A La Carte Beauty Cosmetics around two years ago. I am fussy when it comes to what lipstick colors I like, as well as the finish and wearability. I was lucky they had a lustre shade in Cinnabar, it fit me PERFECTLY as if it was made specially for me!
I love how you go for such bright shades, as they suit you beautifully, and one should never shy away from these gorgeous colors, especially when the weather becomes warmer. Thank you for sharing your personal experience with many of us online 🙂
thank you Dana – so pleased you found ‘the one’!