There are certain things I’ve come to expect when purchasing a new foundation. While there are lines that boast twenty or more shades, which sounds impressive, there are usually only one or two colours that are even in the realm of matching my skin. I usually go straight for the darkest shade and hope for the best. The results are often disappointing. Sometimes the shade is too warm, which leaves an embarrassing orange tinge to my skin, not unlike a bad tan. Other times, the shade is too light, which leaves a dry, ashy finish. In both cases, it’s going to be a “No” for me.

There are, however, a few recent success stories: Revlon’s Colorstay Makeup for Combination Oily Skin in 410 Cappuccino (it feels like a dream to apply and gives me a great glow) and the Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 480 (the perfect matte finish for a no-makeup makeup look). 

Still, the possibility of building a foundation specifically to match my skin is enough to pique my interest. With my oily/combination, blemish-prone skin and some areas of hyper-pigmentation on my face, I have more than a few requirements on my “perfect foundation” checklist.  Lancôme was willing to step up to the task with its new-to-Canada Le Teint Particulier Custom Made Foundation. 

As an extension of its Teint Idole Ultra Wear collection—which already has forty shades—Le Teint Particulier Custom Made Foundation is a personalized foundation blended to meet the needs of every skin tone and type (oily, dry or normal). Through its collaboration with the R&D department of L’Oréal Group, Lancôme’s Le Teint Particulier offers 72,000 different combinations.

The secret behind this innovative machine is the patented scanning technology and algorithm. The scanner measures the colour of the skin in addition to its natural undertone (warm, cool, or neutral) to predict the perfect colour match. The initiative is evidence of Lancôme’s belief that “the future of beauty lies in personalizing products and services,” according to Françoise Lehmann, general manager for the brand. Each bottle of Le Teint Particulier comes with a personalized label that includes your name and shade number for easy reference upon refill—it doesn’t get more customized than that.

For now, the foundation is only available at Lancôme counters in Nordstrom’s Eaton Centre and Yorkdale locations. When I arrived at Nordstrom Eaton Centre for my appointment, the beauty advisor quickly greeted me and sat me in front of the very machine that would create my custom foundation. (It looked straight out of a lab with its plastic tubes, bright lights and clean design.)

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She removed my makeup, and then, with the small scanning device, scanned three points on my face. (We agreed on my forehead, cheek, and chin to get an accurate reading of my natural skin tone.) The scanner creates an average from these points, which becomes the first step of my personalized algorithm. For the second step, the advisor asked me about my skin type and what kind of coverage I want. I forgo the hydration boost—because I have oily skin—and opt for medium coverage. She entered this information into the system, and the machine got to work creating my personalized foundation.

The ingredients are simple—a white foundation base, red, yellow, white and black pigments, moisturizer and thinner. Once the machine pours the right amount of each to create my shade, the advisor blends the formula in a separate device that resembles a mini-washing machine. The entire process takes between 20 and 30 minutes, and ends with a one-of-a-kind foundation, ready to take home. 

For me, the result is magical. When I say the colour match is spot on, I mean it. Even after I look at my face from different angles in the mirror, I can’t see where the foundation ends and my skin begins. I’m shooketh, to say the least. The formula feels light and the dry down time is minimal. The beauty advisor tells me I can always add another layer for higher coverage if needed, but I’m happy with my face as it is. 






Le Teint Particulier Custom Made Foundation ($110),