Beauty Without Fuss

Monday 9 May 2011

Bespoke Lipstick with Daniel Sandler & Cosmetics a la Carte

Picture the scene: a boring Tuesday morning at work, your mobile phone rings unexpectedly, and it's a world-renowned makeup artist who tells you that they want to create a lipstick for you.

What's a beauty blogger to do?

Well, in the case of this particular beauty blogger, you basically SQUEEEEEEEE with excitement, and run round the office like a lunatic for twenty minutes then say a very polite "thank you very much, I'd love that" then set a time, a date, and a place to sort everything out.

Which is how, two weeks ago, I found myself in the Cosmetics a la Carte store in Knightsbridge with two of my favourite people: one Mr Daniel Sandler and the always wonderful Lynne Sanders. Tucked away like a tiny jewel box in a very exclusive part of London, the  Cosmetics a la Carte boutique is a beautifully inviting, indeed, wondrous place to spend a few hours, and Daniel, Lynne and I had a delightful morning poring over the selection of lipsticks I'd brought along for inspiration (some of which you can see above), and trying to figure out what we were going to create.

First of all, we talked about some of my favourite lipsticks, and, once again, we spoke about my love for Chanel's long-discontinued "India" lipstick (Chanel, if you're reading this, bring it back!).  I've spent the best part of ten years attempting to find a dupe for this lipstick, and the nubbin of the shade that I still have remains one of my All Time Favourite Lipsticks of All Time, and after a while, we decided to use this as the "inspiration" behind my new signature shade.

This was where the fun really began! Using Cosmetics a la Carte rainbow of lipstick shades, we began mixing and matching lipsticks together in various combinations to recreate India (which you can just see at the bottom of the picture above), we mixed up three different combinations, then tried them on the lips to see how they matched up.

Once we'd hit on what we thought was a winning mixture (you can see Daniel writing out the "recipes" there) a little further chat revealed that Daniel also wanted to move me out of my comfort zone a little bit.  It might not be completely obvious to most readers of this blog, but it turns out that I'm far more adventurous with my eye makeup than I am with my lipstick ... what that basically boils down to is that there are certain lip colours that I simply will not try.  So, of course, it was decided that for lipstick number two, we'd go a little crazy!

Purple.  It's going to be huge this winter apparently, and that's where Daniel decided my lips had to go ... his inspiration was "Pretty Biba" or ... "Happy Goth" (and where have we heard that phrase before ... hmn?).  Now, I freely admit that I much prefer a bright lipstick to a dark one, having an inkling that dark shades are too ageing for me, these days, but Lynne and Daniel were insistent that I'd be able to pull this off.   I remained sceptical, but, it was kind of hard to resist!  Of the three purple groupings above, I was drawn to the one at bottom left, so we used those to start off with.

Once again, we mixed up a couple of shades, one brighter, one darker, and tried them on the lips to decide which colour I liked best.  Here's how the one at the top looked on:

Funny camera angles R us

There was a hard decision to be made here, but I finally made it - and selected one of them to be made up into a full bullet of lipstick.  You'll be able to see the finished results tomorrow!  And you'll find out what we called them then too ...

Now, you might think I'm a jammy so-and-so for getting to have a bespoke lipshade created (and, well, let's face it, you'd be right, I am blessed with great and very thoughtful friends who I've met as a result of this blog, and well, yes, I'm jammy), but one of the exciting things that I found out during my time in the store is that anyone, and I do mean anyone, can also have this service carried out for them at Cosmetics a la Carte.  All the staff are trained in this technique, and it costs £47.  Yes, £47 is fairly expensive for a lipstick, but, for a bespoke lipstick, created for you and you alone, I actually think it's a bit of a bargain, particularly when you compare it to the cost of, say, a Tom Ford lipstick at £35, or a Guerlain Rouge G at £28.  I think for brides, or for a special birthday, or any special event, it would also make a great present for someone, too.  To find out more, take a look at the Cosmetics a la Carte website.    Sadly, Daniel isn't included in the price ...

So, tune in tomorrow where I'll show you the lipsticks in detail ... 

The Fine Print: No PRs were harmed in the writing of this blog post, I was invited along as a friend of Daniel Sandler, the blog post is purely incidental. It's also belated, but that's another story ...

This post originated at: All rights reserved.


  1. Oh, what FUN! Looking forward to seeing the finished products.

  2. I CANNOT wait to see the lipsticks! I love purple so I'm really looking forward to the unveiling of that custom colour :D x

  3. Notjealousnotjealousnotjealous:P The shade in the pic looks fab, as do you. Hmmm I think next birthday present to myself needs to be a lippie!

  4. looks like you had a fabulous time, can't wait to see the finish products and to see what names you gave them. Jude xx @jadlgw

  5. What a great post, it sounds like my idea of heaven! Really interested to see the final result, especially the purple. I love purple in theory, but not so much in practice. Maybe your next post will convert me x

  6. Wow, how amazingly lucky are you! That said £47 for a similar experience is really quite affordable, if you wanted something unique for a special occasion - great idea as a pressie for brides to be! Really looking forward to seeing the finished lipsticks tomorrow!

  7. I love Cosmetics a la Carte. They are lovely and their products are great :) Can't wait to see your shades and pop in :) (And yes Daniel is lovely too :) I second your recommend both these ranges and people xx

  8. How exciting! I'm looking forward to the purple as well.

    Lucky old (you know what I mean) you!

  9. Oooh I loved the purple shades and the shade you had made looks stunning on you. Can't wait tfor your bespoke lippie to ne unveiled. Such excitement over a lippie!!

  10. Oh wow this sounds just fantastic, I am dying of jealousy. I always wanting to try a custom cosmetics service like this, but I doubt I will ever afford it :( Boo hoo. I love purple, I'm very excited to see how the one you made turns out. Theres one at the very left of your first picture that looks amazing!

  11. Ah I am really looking forward to seeing the finished product. Just the day itself sounds like fun and it's definitely something I'd keep in mind for a birthday present for a friend or my mum.

  12. WOW what an amazing experience! And how lovely to have your all time fave recreated.

    Looking forward to the names almost as much as the colours! :)


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