Both startups and gigantic beauty brands alike have recognized that when it comes to attracting today’s consumer, it’s all about a choose-your-own-adventure beauty mentality. The more bespoke the options, the more the end user is able to make each item his or her own and that’s of increasing importance in 2018. It’s interesting to note that while these bespoke beauty adventures are rising in popularity, makeup brand Prescriptives began offering custom-shade makeup in the Eighties with moderate success — it ended in 2009, but relaunched digitally in 2011. That said, whether the goal is mixing a custom lipstick shade, personalizing items with stickers, addressing unique hair concerns, or nailing that perfect foundation shade, here are the brands leading the customized beauty product category right now.

Ktchn Apothecary

Like Blue Apron for skin care, this startup allows users to create natural moisturizers using the enclosed beeswax tablets, ground oats, aloe extracts, face oil, a blue glass jar and science beaker for $45. Automatic refills can be delivered every 30, 45 or 60 days.


With Curology, users begin by filling out an online questionnaire and submitting photos for examination by either a dermatologist, nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant. The healthcare providers then enable the brand to provide prescription-strength products featuring acne busters such as azelaic acid, tretinoin and more. Even better, they come at drug store prices — $19.95 per month or $39.90 for a 60-day period.

Finding Ferdinand
An entire lipstick operation at your fingertips, this brand sends lip palettes in the mail, which are mixed to a preferred shade. Then, users submit an estimate of their custom mix through the company’s website, which allows up to 65,000 color combinations. From there, users get a full-size lipstick in their hue and finish.


While this Millennial favorite doesn’t (yet) allow users to create their own shades, this brand began the sending-stickers-with-your-product-purchase-to-personalize trend that’s quickly gained steam. Decorate a Glossier-issued pink makeup bag, lip balm, face wash and lip tint with star, heart or rainbow stickers aims to make the entire experience more personal.

Function of Beauty
Like Living Proof, this hair care brand was founded by a team cosmetic scientists and MIT engineers and developers. Function of Beauty creates personalized shampoo and conditioner that are individually filled and formulated based on hair type, hair goals and personal preferences. To start, users fill out an online hair quiz discussing hair type, five ultimate hair goals and preferences such as colors, fragrance and fragrance strength. Bottles are then printed with users’ names and mailed out.

The Body Shop
The Body Shop’s light and dark shade adjusting drops make it easy to customize one’s own shade by adding a few drops of either formula to make a shade darker or lighter, respectively.

Skin Inc.

This brand, available on, provides customers with a computerized quiz about stress levels, daily hours of sleep and their level of pollution exposure. Then, per its algorithm, Skin Inc. recommends a skin care “recipe” of serum combinations to target concerns. In the last year or so, it’s become a top seller for Sephora.