Beauty consumers are more empowered than ever to tailor-make products to suit their individual beauty wants and needs. Here, Beauty Insider scoped out the latest brands that make customization fun, engaging and affordable.

Finding Ferdinand

Nhu Le, Founder & CEO

What it offers: Finding Ferdinand looks to provide high-quality, customizable products to allow consumers to define their own aesthetic. The “accessible prestige brand” targets millennials between 18 and 35 years old, but also aims to reach beauty lovers of all ages by providing low-cost entry points. The company’s tag line is Create. Explore. Discover. Find beauty your way.

How it works: To make a custom lip color, customers use the Online Mixing Tool on a desktop, or the Lipstick & Beauty app on mobile, to select up to four base colors. Then they adjust the intensity of each selected base until they achieve their desired color. Once they see the swatch they want, they select from creamy, matte or sheer finishes and give their custom color a name. To create a makeup palette, customers can visit the site to select the eyeshadows, highlighters, blushes, and bronzers they would like in their Rosé, Overshadow or Overnight palette. Each palette comes personalized with their name (or the recipient’s name) on the back.

Scope of personalization: “We like to say our lip colors are customizable and our palettes are more-so personalizable. With our lip colors, there are over 75,000 color options. However, with our new Starter Kit 2.0 [launched on July 12], we’ve added six new colors, so there are now 175,000+ possible color combinations,” said Nhu Le, Founder & CEO.

Cost: Products range from $6 to $60, with most priced in the $30 to $60 range.

Customer education: A Color Guide blog showcases influencer interviews, makeup tutorials and DupeAlertes, where customers can learn how to recreate the popular lip colors and makeup palettes they’ve seen online with Finding Ferdinand.

Skin Inc.

Sabrina Tan, Founder & CEO

Brand positioning: Skin Inc. offers customizable skin care solutions tailored to an individual’s skin needs. Products feature highly concentrated, pure and active serums from Japan that combine ingredients with delivery systems for maximum results. Skin Inc products are free of added scents and parabens, and safe for all skin types.
How it works: Skin Inc distinguishes itself by converging beauty and technology with its online diagnostic tool – My Skin Identity. Available at, My Skin Identity empowers consumers to decode their skin identities by having them complete a brief, but thorough, quiz about their skin and conditions.

Scope of personalization: The quiz diagnoses an individual’s current skin conditions and recommends the three most suitable active ingredients to create their unique My Daily Dose Serum. Skin Inc currently has 10 serums allowing for 120 possible combinations.

Cost: $35 per individual serum, or $84 for a My Daily Dose kit, and $33 for a 3-pack of Sheet Masks.

Seva Topoliansky, Founder

Brand positioning: For now, the company is focused on ladies 25 to 50 years old, with the price of a cream costing around $90.

How it works: Younom’s cream is made by analyzing the genotype and lifestyle of each client. It looks to contain the optimal concentration of active ingredients and serums, which are responsible for the four main attributes of skin health and beauty: elasticity, hydration, antioxidant protection and photoaging. To determine a genotype and specific skin needs, the company requires a sample of a client’s buccal epithelium. The website explains the five steps to provide the sample. Within seven business days, the client receives a report with the results of her DNA analysis. Within 12 days the client will receive her customized cream.

Scope of personalization: “When we launched the project, we recognized four traits with Positive or Negative DNA analysis results. It gave us 16 possible formulations for the Cream. Now, six months after the launch, each trait can be interpreted on three levels, giving us 81 possible cream formulations. Rapidly increasing our client database will give us the possibility to create more specific customized formulations and products,” Seva Topoliansky, Founder.


The minimum first order consists of a DNA Test $90 (requested only once) and the Customized Face Cream, $90. Nutritional supplements can be added at varying costs.

Customer education: For now, Younom products are sold only online. The company offers videos, content and social media as a way to engage and inform consumers.

Function of Beauty

Adrienne Gaines, Head of Marketing
Brand positioning: The firm believes beauty is not one-size-fits-all and encourages women to embrace and celebrate their natural, authentic selves. “We empower our customers to use products that are made by them, exactly for them,” said Adrienne Gaines.

How it works: Customers take a hair quiz and FOB collects hair type (texture, structure, scalp moisture), hair goals (select up to five), preferences (color, fragrance and fragrance strength). Each bottle is individually hand filled by their proprietary machines. Being direct-to-consumer, FOB oversees every step of the process, from sourcing, to bottling to shipping.

Scope of personalization: Founded by MIT graduates, FOB’s proprietary algorithm takes all the hair selections from the hair quiz and dictates not only what ingredients to use but exactly how much (it gets as specific as specific as 0.01 milliliters) for each different hair type/hair goals. No combination has ever been made twice; there is the potential of having 12 billion custom combinations. Every profile and formula is saved and offers the ability to adjust customers’ formulas as their hair changes.

Cost: $36 for an 8-oz set and $46 for a 16-oz set. Shampoo and conditioner sizes can be mixed and matched.

Beauty Hack by Sheamoisture
Richelyna Hall, Chief Innovation Officer, Sundial Brands

Brand positioning: Targets the traditional beauty DIYer looking for an easier method to creating her own beauty products, as well as a first time DIYer who is curious about making her own product but needs an easy guide and process to achieve a desired product mix.

How it works: First, users choose an unscented base, blend in a pure oil for a benefit, and complete with a fragrance oil to finish the personalized mix for skin and hair cleansers, as well as body moisturizers.

Scope of personalization: Combinations are limited only to one’s imagination… six unfragranced bases, six pure oils and five fragrance oils form the core of the Beauty Hack collection. With multifunctional bases consumers can combine bases with pure oils and butters, such as grapeseed and raw shea butter, to increase hydration and provide desired benefits to skin and hair. Consumers can also choose to “hack” a product that may not be working for their specific needs by adding a Beauty Hack component. Cost: $3.99-$12.99
Customer education: A weekly recipe is featured on social media channels, as well as a recipe contest from Sheabassador Brand Ambassadors.