Most women, by the time they’re 30, know which lip colours speak to them. For some, MAC’s Ruby Woo is the go-to remedy for everything from a rainy day to heartbreak, for others, only Brown by Bobbi Brown will do. Recently, I heard a friend asking another friend to get at least three tubes of a particular Revlon lipstick from Europe that she was unable to find in India. For Bengaluru-based make-up artist Sabrina Suhail, these represented an opportunity to create bespoke lipsticks for women who are still looking for that “soulmate shade" or want to recreate a beloved colour.

At her make-up studio in Bengaluru’s Ulsoor, each lipstick is created after a consultation with Suhail or her team—of course, by appointment only. When I met Suhail, we spent the first 10 minutes chatting about my preferences and lifestyle, followed by a mix-and-match process of creating the colour I wanted using base pigments. This was fun—I learnt, for instance, that most red lip colours have a blue undertone and browns have a purple component. Unlike beauty counters, where the testers can only be tried on one’s hand, I could apply the colours straight from the mixing tray using disposable wands till I got the shade I wanted—a muted plum with just the right mix of brown and pink. Then Suhail started the process of fixing it to the base.

At this stage, customers can specify what kind of finish they want: matte, glossy, shimmery, etc. The base contains mostly organic substances such as castor oil, candelilla wax and cocoa butter, and both base and pigments are vegan and cruelty-free. You can also choose the aroma out of half-a-dozen options like vanilla, mandarin and rose. Finally, the lipstick is contoured into a lipstick tube and packaged in a trendy box along with a sample-size tube of the same colour and a prepping balm. After using it for a week, I can say that while it’s not as long-lasting as some of the stay-on lipsticks in the market, I love using a colour that I helped create—and got to name as well.

For appointments, contact Sabrina Suhail Makeup Studio, 17, Aga Abbas Ali Road, Bengaluru, 9538477770. Each custom lipstick costs 2,702.

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