DIY beauty is the new buzzword because when you decide to personalise ideas and products according to your requirements, it gets that much more exciting and effective. So when we heard that we could customise our own lipstick shade to be just like the ones we loved on Instagram (hello, Bite Beauty Lip Lab), we were over the moon. Bengaluru-based makeup artist Sabrina Suhail is the lady leading the revolution and is creating a buzz on social media about her custom-made, handcrafted offerings. The fact that just a half hour session with her can result in a unique shade that’s just made for you, is a big draw.
With Suhail, you can choose a shade you have never managed to get your hands on, mix a few to get your exact formula, and even go the extra mile with texture – matte, gloss, or shine. That’s a big smorgasbord for makeup addicts who are forever looking to find that elusive shade that speaks to them. We met with Suhail at an art gallery in Mumbai, where she created a set-up for a couple of days. She set out a table with all kinds of goodies – rows and rows of Pantone shade cards, and bright bottles filled with colours and glitter. We heard that Lisa Ray and a few other celebrities have got their own custom shades done at Suhail’s studio.
This was a by-appointment experience and Suhail recommends it more than ordering a shade off her website. She asks you questions, looks at your personal style, makes suggestions, and figures out your taste. And for that one reason, though she offers customising services on her site as well, the personal interview really works. Suhail starts off by asking me about the shades I like and offers a Pantone shade card to help, where the colours range from dark greys to blacks to purples and vibrant reds. After a 10-minute chat, an Innisfree Orange lipstick comes out of the bag as a reference. The orange in it veers towards a neon hue – harsh and thick, but the colour payoff when applied is big. But it still needs adjustments and additions, hence a custom lipstick in the making.
Once the colour is discussed, it’s also important to pick a texture finish; Suhail has five readily available – mc matte liquid, mc glossy gloss, mc tender tone, mc matte wax, and mc antioxidant. Matte is an easy choice for me – it stays put. These finishes stay in place for eight hours – you only have to eat and drink a bit carefully. Remember, they are also natural, vegan, and have no chemicals.
The blending then continues, and the final step involves choosing a lipstick aroma from a selection of natural oils like mandarin berry, pineapple lily, guava pineapple, mint, coconut, vanilla, and strawberry. Guava pineapple is my choice. Suhail then analyses the texture, colour, and adds warmer, redder tones to make it more vibrant yet wearable. It is a delight to watch – your own custom hue coming together like a dream with the swirl of a spatula and the texture of butter underneath it. The blend is then poured into moulds and packed into beautiful matte and gold lipstick cases. The formula and the details are then sealed on paper – you get a copy and Sabrina keeps one in case you need a refill. It’s a seamless, transparent process, and you also get to name your shade.
These are India’s first bespoke lipsticks and the experience is a winner on all counts. Also note that the shelf life of these natural lipsticks is around a year, not more.
The price of a custom lipstick stands at Rs 2,702. One can also book an appointment for Rs 500, which can be redeemed while billing your custom product. Alternatively, Suhail also customises other products – there is a Custom Miniature Nudist Collection of mini lipsticks (pack of 5) at Rs 3,800, a Custom Lip Balm priced at Rs 1,500, and a host of vibrant Custom Fairy Dusts at Rs 950. You can also make a custom lipstick online – at time of delivery, you can choose your shade range. Since this is done without a personal consultation, it is priced at Rs 1,700.
So which shades are Indian women opting for these, we ask Suhail. She tells us that women are experimenting more and they had orders that went from silvers to greys, browns to reds.
Know more about Sabrina Suhail’s bespoke lipsticks here.