9 Bespoke Brands That Are Making Personalized Products Popular

9 Bespoke Brands That Are Making Personalized Products Popular
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Photo: Courtesy of Prose/Allison Kahler

In 2018, we’re no longer oblivious to the harmful but all-too-common ingredients being used in our beauty products. Not only do we want to know what’s going into our hair, skin, and makeup staples; we desire things that cater to our unique set of needs, too. And why shouldn’t we? Even though some experts love to file us under overused, nonspecific categories, we’re finally rejecting this idea that “one-size-fits-all” products exist. So it makes complete sense that customized brands are on the rise.

“Beauty and skin care are a very personal thing, and consumers are looking for products and experiences that are unique to them. With the internet and a wealth of beauty and skin-care products on the market, consumers are also getting savvier about what they purchase,” says David Lortscher, MD, of Curology. The upside of using customizable products is getting to avoid researching reviews, browsing in exasperation, and wasting money on products that may not work for you.

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Artificial intelligence is also creating more access to customized brands. For instance, the personalization hair-care brand Prose uses A.I., along with the guidance of professional hairstylists, to develop customized shampoo, conditioner, and hair masks based on a multitude of factors including your scalp health and the pollution levels wherever you live.

“The algorithm that we’ve built evaluates 85 data points from a 25-question consultation with 50 billion possible combinations, and we’re constantly iterating based on consumer feedback,” says Arnaud Plas, cofounder and CEO of Prose. “This means that when someone gives feedback on their formula—both positive and negative—it goes back into the algorithm to help it learn, thus creating better and better formulas for all future consumers.”

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The other benefit to personalization is that it eliminates the need to use preservatives and other potentially harmful ingredients since products are made to order and not sitting on a shelf for months on end.

“We develop each formulation without common harmful ingredients such as sulfates, parabens, phthalates, dyes, GMOs, and more. Prose products can also be made vegan, gluten-free, silicone-free, and fragrance-free,” adds Plas.

And contrary to popular belief, customization isn’t as expensive as it sounds. In fact, the prices typically beat those found at the hair salon, dermatologist office, or even your local Sephora. For instance, Dr. Lortscher’s Curology not only cuts out the guesswork; it’s also accessible and affordable for those who don’t have a dermatologist that they regularly visit.

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“Before Curology, I was practicing as a dermatologist in the middle of New Mexico. A lot of my patients were driving over two hours to see me, only to find that their prescriptions cost upwards of $200, so they left their local pharmacy without them,” he says. “Curology offers access, affordability, and convenience by cutting out the need for health-care insurance, in-person dermatology visits, and pharmacy markups for prescription ingredients.”

So where’s the best place to start if you want to experience customization for yourself? Ahead are nine beauty-focused brands to get started with.

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With the help of an assessment that takes multiple factors, such as scalp health and pollution levels, into account, this brand creates a shampoo, conditioner, and hair mask that is uniquely you.

Shampoos and conditioners cost $25–$32 each and hair masks cost $38–48 depending on the various ingredients in your formulation.

Prices vary at Prose

Photo: Instagram/@prose

On Curology's website, you can complete a skin quiz and upload photos of your face to get paired one on one with a licensed dermatology provider who prescribes a custom prescription formula tailored for your unique skin.

$20/month at Curology

Photo: Instagram/@curology
Bite Beauty

The food-grade beauty brand, known for its dual-use face products and boldly colored lippies, operates "Lip Labs" in a slew of major cities, where shoppers can create their own custom lipstick from a library of nearly 200 exclusive pigments.

$55/per person (1 shade) or $80/per person (2 shades) at Bite Beauty

Photo: Instagram/@bitebeauty

Although this brand has been in existence since the late ’70s, it underwent a relaunch in 2011 and has since become one of the top customizable makeup brands. In addition to purchasing from the brand's own namesake line, customers can also custom blend their own foundation or powder by uploading a makeup-free selfie and being set up with an expert to get their product.

$78 for 1 oz at Prescriptives

Photo: Instagram/@prescriptives

Since the late ’90s, this brand's mascaras have been among the best reviewed. And on the website, you can also create your own bespoke tube in just three easy steps. Choose your natural lash shape, the effect that matters to you most, and your brush style. Voila!

$40 at Eyeko

Photo: Instagram/@eyeko
MCMC Fragrances

This Brooklyn-based fragrance house, run by a dynamic sister duo, sell its own line of scents and also gives the customer an opportunity to create their very own unique smell through a custom fragrance session.

$450 at MCMC Fragrances

Photo: Instagram/@mcmcfragrances
Function of Beauty

Take the hair quiz on FoB's website to have a custom shampoo and conditioner created to address your specific hair care needs. As of March 2017, the products became vegan, too!

Prices vary at Function of Beauty

Photo: Instagram/@functionofbeauty

Upload a selfie to start creating custom-made products that address some of the most universal skin struggles, such as rosacea and acne.

$20/month at Dermacare

Photo: Instagram/@dermacarerx

The widely known brand's new "Made 2 Fit" app allows customers to custom blend their own foundation. With the help of your smartphone, simply scan your skin using the app's MATCHCo technology, and the rest of the work is done for you.

Prices vary at bareMinerals

Photo: Instagram/@bareminerals

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