Bespoke beauty: Why we're no longer buying off the shelf in 2019

Funciton of beauty shampoo
Bespoke formulations of beauty products are on the rise. Photo credit: Function of Beauty.

Bespoke, personalised beauty products have historically been a perk of being one of the world's finest movie stars or supermodels; only the likes of Cara Delevingne have designers hand-mixing them perfume and makeup.  

But finally technology and the beauty industry have caught up with the times, and brands are increasingly putting you at the heart of what they do.

In 2019, we're seeing less defined "trends" and customer taking a bigger role in creating the products in their beauty routines - a shift mirroring the industry's move towards greater diversity.

My top bespoke beauty picks for 2019:


Function of Beauty Shampoo and Conditioner

If you're on Instagram or part of online beauty community, you've probably heard about Function of Beauty. News of the cult shampoo and conditioner range has started trickling over from the States, and this product is worth the hype. 

While I've previously bought shampoo and conditioner from the SUPERMARKET (gasp) or even the hair salon if I'm feeling particularly fancy, this experience was like no other. I had to fill out an online form like I was applying for insurance: Giving my hair type, length, issues like frizz and dryness, favourite scents, my relationship with my father...

The lovely people at Function of Beauty then create a specialised formula based on your quiz, and send you Insta-worthy bottles that reflect the strong social media following. My hair has been in some of the best condition I've ever seen it. Apologies to Countdown - I don't know if I can buy two-for-one Schwarzkopf ever again.

Clinique iD Serum and Moisturiser Range

One of my favourite skincare launches this year, the Clinique iD range allows you to select a blend of moisturiser and serum to treat your own personal skin issues. 

First you choose your serum out of options catered for irritation, uneven pores and texture, lines and wrinkles, fatigue... take your pick. Once you've done that, choose your base - whether an oil control gel, a moisturising jelly or their signature Dramatically Different moisturising lotion.

So for example, dry-skinned dames might want a mix of fatigue serum and hydrating jelly. The little bottle of serum slips into the larger bottle - it's all very technical and cool. 

It's such a bloody good idea it was about time someone thought of it.       

Eyeko Bespoke Mascara

Massive with the Brits, Eyeko bespoke mascara is the best gift you can give your peepers. You have to ship to New Zealand but it's worth it: the creators of the brand truly understand we all have different lashes, eye shapes, and desired styles. Frustratingly, mascara isn't usually something you can try in the store, so this is a great way to choose exactly what you need. 

Similar to Function of Beauty, you answer questions online about what your lashes are currently like, and what you would like them to be. Your answers then create your perfect mascara from a choice of custom formula and brush combinations, at the cost of around NZ$70. 


The thing about bespoke products is they are expensive - you're paying for the personalisation. Yes, the price will continue to lower as the market catches up with itself, but until then expect to pay more than you would for any off the shelf shampoo, moisturiser or mascara.

But beauty is indulgent, so I think it's worth paying a little extra - it's going to bring you joy in the long run. 

Sarah Templeton is the Newshub Lifestyle Editor.