Custom Blended Foundation

Seriously, I have been telling EVERYONE about this: custom-blended foundation, courtesy of Sayuki cosmetics, exclusively at Holt Renfrew.

Forget about the now-defunct Prescriptives counter where foundation was blended by hand and the match you got depended on the associate who was mixing your foundation for you.  Sayuki cosmetics has their own machine that takes a picture of your skin, and then has their computer create a colour of foundation just for you.  Eight heart pumps dispense just the right amount of white, black, red, and yellow pigments to create your foundation colour.  You can even choose what kind of coverage you want and the correct formula for your skin.

Sayuki is the middle name of Tracy Wells who started the company.  After working in the cosmetics industry for many years, Tracy frequently saw clients who couldn’t find the perfect match of foundation and would sometimes even mix their own just to get the right colour.  She finally thought: “What if I could have a machine that makes just the right colour foundation?”

She approached her father, an entrepreneur and manufacturer, who decided to come out of retirement and help Tracy figure out how to make her vision a reality.

Three years later, the machine was ready and Tracy has since opened counters in Bloomingdales and Barney’s stores south of the border.

I met Tracy at Holt Renfrew and went through the process of having a foundation created for me.  I wanted medium-sheer coverage with a formulation for combination/oily skin.  The colour of the foundation was spot on, and what further impressed me is that there’s absolutely no white flashback, and because the foundation was created for my skin color by a computer, it matches me no matter what light I’m standing under.  It’s pretty impressive and far outshines any foundation I’ve ever been matched with.

The formulas of the foundation leaves something to be desired.  Even though my foundation was supposed to be slightly mattifying, I am finding that the finish is very dewy and not long-wearing.  It’s definitely something that I can fix using powder, but I do miss the long-wear of my Bobbi Brown foundation.

I compared the colour with the Bobbi Brown and Benefit foundations that I’ve used last, and found that my suspicions about those colour matches were real: the Benefit foundation is slightly too orange, and the Bobbi Brown one is slightly too light.  The Sayuki foundation matches my skin-tone so well that I can layer it on and you can’t even tell!

The Sayuki counter can even make you a matching concealer or tinted moisturizer.  If you go on vacation, they can make the foundation one or two shades darker.  The best part is that you get a card with an ID number on it that’s stored in their computer system.  If you want a refill of foundation, you can just order online.  Or if you find yourself at Barney’s or Bloomingdales and without your foundation, just head to the Sayuki counter and give them your card to have your foundation made for you, or just get re-matched.

A bottle of travel-sized foundation is $62 and a full-size (which is quite large, actually) is $84.  The price is steep which makes me wonder if I can find a foundation on the counter which matches this new one, but if you’ve ever had a hard time finding foundation, you’ll find this well worth the investment – I certainly did!


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