Custom foundation by post

I can remember looking through the internet years ago, looking for bespoke makeup. Cosmetics a la Carte was, if not the only result, certainly the only one that didn’t sound dodgy. At that point though I didn’t wear any base products so their main selling point was sort of lost on me.

Now, however, I have embraced the cover up potential of foundation and concealer fully, and so in a never ending pursuit of nice matchy foundation I googled my way back to them. I ordered the Personalised Sample Set, which is a series of testers (for free) which you answer a questionnaire about yourself for. And attach a photograph. Which is quite a difficult request to fulfill. You need a photo that shows your skin in its most natural state, but also, frankly, I am not sending complete strangers a picture of me looking awful. There was a lot of selfie checking that went on before I found one that seemed to get the right balance of honest vs. too honest.

I was furnished with four samples. Two foundation, two concealer.

One of the foundations was Opal, and the second was Opal mixed with Ivory.

FYI: the photos are awkward and not ideal, but with phone and selfie stick was my best solution.

This is Opal. It’s a bit too beige on my pasty skin.

The second is the Opal/Ivory mix and that seems a bit less of a jump. Though at this point I still wasn’t completely convinced. The foundations do have a nice scent, but I’m not sure whether that’s ingredients or perfume.

The next thing to try was the Concealer and under eye coverage.

It seemed to give a fair amount of coverage, but I had to blend quite heftily to not look as though I was peach hued. It lasted, but did crease, and I just didn’t like it.

The next test was a full face of the foundation. I opted to try only the mixed one since the other had been so off.

The texture seemed good put I felt a little off-shade. It lasted well throughout the day, but every time I caught myself in reflection I was a little startled by not looking quite like me. Perhaps, I could work myself up to the shade, and so on a weekend away I took my little pot with me to use. I tried using it almost like a concealer, and for coverage it worked well. I just couldn’t bring myself to do a full face of it again, which is not a great sign for a foundation.


First off I think it probably is a service best used on a face to face basis, so if you’re in or near London and have problems matching your foundation it is worth a shot. However, it isn’t the only custom foundation service in town any more, and if you go to Harrods you get to see fancy machines make it. This foundation does have a lovely texture, good lasting power and I do like the scent. But it isn’t so much better than any of my other foundations as to justify schlepping to London to get matched in person.

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