Style + Beauty

Customized Makeup for Anyone: How to Get the Perfect Shade of Foundation, Lipstick or Eye Shadow


Have you ever found the perfect makeup product, only to use it for three months before it got discontinued? Or maybe you have a blouse whose color you WISH you could find in a compact somewhere? Either way, at some point in your life, you’ve cursed your cosmetics for failing to provide the tools you need to look your best. But thanks to modern technology, that perfect (or long-lost) shade of lipstick, eye shadow and foundation can be obtained with little extra effort, allowing you to keep your mild-mannered self looking and acting your very best.

Elizabeth Arden Custom Color Foundation at Red Door Spa

Skip the hassle of trying to match foundation to your skin via trial and error once and for all. At Red Door Spas, your undertones, skin depth, skin type, desired coverage and finish are evaluated to produce an exact color-match fluid foundation using Custom Color technology developed exclusively by Elizabeth Arden. This is important, especially considering the fact that skin tones change depending on the season. “You should change your foundation three times a year: summer to fall, winter to spring and spring to summer,” says Lindsay Ebbin, National Makeup Director at Red Door Spas (pictured above). “Perhaps the best part of Custom Color foundation is that it can adjust your personal formula to how your skin tone changes.” Oh, and did we mention it comes with a complimentary one-week travel size that fits perfectly in your bag?

  • Price: $59, including a travel size along with a 1-ounce full-size
  • Available: At select Red Door Spa locations

Estee Lauder Custom Color Foundation/Gone But Not Forgotten Program

In addition to their online foundation finder, Estee Lauder offers a Gone But Not Forgotten program (for all Estee Lauder brands including Bobbi Brown, Origins, Clinique, etc.) that locates products that have been discontinued within the past 36 months, excluding limited-edition items, so you can still purchase them.

  • Price: Varies depending on product
  • Available: Call (800)-216-7173

Three Custom Color Specialists

As their name implies, these custom color specialists offer three ways to acquire your cherished shade of lipstick, eye shadow, blush, face/brow powder or foundation. You can search their database of discontinued products by brand and color, send a sample of your current item for them to duplicate, or send a swatch of almost anything, from paint chips to a picture of your favorite top, and they will match your custom blend.

Prescriptives Custom Makeup Collection

In addition to their ready-to-wear collection, Prescriptives offers its clients a haute couture line, in which the client is "colorprinted" to classify skin tones into one of four categories: yellow/orange, red/orange, red, or blue/red. Once that is determined, cosmetics can be hand-mixed to create personalized shades, allowing customers to choose among matte, glossy, sheer and shimmery finishes.

  • Price: Consultation is free and cosmetics range from $45 to $80
  • Available: Select department stores and