Photo Credit: prescriptives.com
When The Estee Lauder Companies decided to pull the plug on Prescriptives Custom Blend in 2009, the foundation world was aghast. Prescriptives, with its unique custom-blend foundation, was pretty much the only makeup company on the block who could provide the ultimate bespoke foundation experience, complete with undertone matching.
But the reason for putting the kibosh on Custom Blend was fairly straightforward: the brand was moving everything online, and pulling Prescriptives from department stores meant that everything would go online, including the custom-blend business. But instead of moving directly into online territory, Prescriptives announced that custom blend would be pulled completely, with no information on when it would be available next (if there was a next).
But like a makeup Phoenix rising from the ashes, the line resurfaced, and Custom Blend became available online in November 2012. For those of you who miss chatting with a live makeup expert at the counter, Prescriptives now offers Live Custom Blend Chats with a top-notch consultant called a Beauty Genius, who will virtually connect to discuss all your concerns including skin tone, undertone, and formulation
My Custom Blend process was quite painless. It involved the following steps:
- I logged onto the Prescriptives Custom Blend site and created my profile, and encountered the page where I started my own Custom Blend Recipe;
- The highlight of Custom Blend is the exciting video chat component, which honestly is a cinch (they use “better than Skype” software, in my opinion, and the connection is crystal clear and the chat is not very long). Schedule an appointment, login, click on the CHAT LIVE button, and off you go!
- My specialist figured out that I really needed a specific undertone, and a matte version of the foundation, and quizzed me on what kind of finish I would like (there are several, ranging from a candlelight to sheer to matte…the candlelight option is perfect for my oily/combination skin, and performs some anti-aging functions too including brightening and evening out skin tone);
- After narrowing down the choices, I was sent a confirmation with my precise choices: Base Shade Levels 4&5 (the consultant can mix and match levels if you’re in between, edium coverage, candlelight finish, and more).
You do have to upload a photo of yourself so that the LIVE CHAT will be a lot more productive when you’re chatting with a Prescriptives Beauty Genius. After you finish your chat (mine took about 15 minutes), you will receive an email with your precise shade numbers and finishes. I went to Prescriptives.com to register the recipe and to select either a foundation ($65) or powder ($48) or both.
My foundation took two weeks to arrive, and my online profile will save my Custom Blend formula forever, so I can get the same shade in a powder if I want to order it later. The best part about Custom Blend? You can return and tweak it until you’re satisfied.
At $65 a pop, Custom Blend Foundation is a bit pricey, but the huge plus is that you get an exact shade match, which can be tweaked along the way. If you’ve ever been frustrated by choosing a foundation, the virtual custom blend system is a great bet. It may not have the same initial experience as visiting your makeup expert at the store, but it yields similar results.
As the saying goes, once you go bespoke, you’ll never go back.