A couple of weeks ago I went to visit the wonderful treasure-trove of a shop that is Cosmetics a la Carte. The shop, in Motcomb Street, has had a bit of a facelift, but I also had been waiting for an excuse to meet the infamous Lynne Sanders, cosmetic chemist and co-founder of the brand. I have long been intrigued by Cosmetics a la Carte because makeup artists tend to rave about it on shoots, but I had never tried the products outside of the makeup room and I was excited to see what all of the fuss was about! There were, unsurprisingly, more than a few people who wanted to come along and play with gorgeous makeup, and in my merry band of travellers I had not one, but three top makeup artists! They all had a whale of a time looking at newly launched bits and pieces and testing out shades and formulas that they hadn’t used before, whilst I, in typical model fashion, sat on a stool and had makeup applied!
Let me just say now that Cosmetics a la Carte is a rather special makeup brand; they hand-make all of their products right here in London – the only brand in Europe who actually makes every product themselves. How special is that? I mean, in this age of mass-production and gigantic corporations buying out smaller brands, how lovely to have a home-grown brand that actually has total control over their products? Not only that, but the products are luxurious and of the most fantastic quality. Cosmetics a la Carte was also the first British brand to offer a ‘couture’ service – their made-to-measure makeup and custom blend services go to extraordinary lengths to ensure that women (and some men, apparently!) find their perfect fit makeup.I absolutely adore the fact that this brand have such a passion for their products and the people who buy them – they have never ‘sold out’, they’re available to buy only in a few, select places, and they create true luxury products in a little factory in Battersea. Delightful.
On with the makeover, which started with a brow shape and ended with a lick of mascara. I have put together a video (below) with some quite manic piano music – you’ll either love this music or you’ll detest it – if it’s the latter then you know where your mute button is: use it! The products were incredible – I’m going to be doing a separate video at some point looking at the key products from the makeover in more detail, but for now let me tell you about Skin Veil. Skin Veil is a perfecting primer that can be used either alone or underneath makeup. It really does make skin look perfect, evening out tone and texture, smoothing and filling in fine lines and open pores. It’s an absolute joy to use; it smells beautiful and has the softest, silkiest texture. It was used on me instead of a foundation, to keep my makeup light and youthful! If you’re looking for a foundation alternative but want a ‘soft-focus’ effect, then Skin Veil could be a brilliant choice. It’s the ultimate ‘no makeup’ makeup!
There will be more from Cosmetics a la Carte very soon – I recorded Lynne talking about her products and she made some very interesting points about cosmetic formulas that I’d like to share with you. It’s very, very rare that you get to meet someone who is involved with the creation of products from the very beginning right to the end result, and I hope that you feel the same way as me about this! With small brands constantly disappearing or being ‘swallowed up’ by larger ones, companies like Cosmetics a la Carte should be treasured!
Skin Veil is £30 from www.cosmeticsalacarte.com
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