Trend watch: bespoke blending

Bespoke blending is making a comeback, and puts the power in the hands of the therapist and the customer, writes Suzanne Braithwaite

Tailormade treatments are in high demand at salons and spas. Skincare brands have spent years perfecting their ranges for discerning customers who want products that suit their skin, age and lifestyle. But some brands and salons are now taking it a step further to allow therapists to create products in front of the client.

Personal touch

“We’ve always believed in tailor-made treatments,” says Decléor’s director of training, Fiona Brackenbury. She explains that the brand doesn’t just have one anti-ageing range but three, for example. “Now we’re not just looking at how we can bespoke the product by the skincare it offers but by how the client is feeling at that time”.

Decléor has devised three blends that can be mixed together in different concentrations depending on how the client’s mind, thoughts and body are feeling at that particular moment. The idea is to let the therapist be prescriptive even if they have not trained in blending. The three elixirs are called Flow, Mind Thought and Bio Cell.

“Bespoke blending gives the therapist control to treat her client on a more personalised level. It also lets the client feel like she is getting something different to the next customer,” says Brackenbury.

The process is simple enough. The client is asked nine multiple-choice questions with a, b or c answers. Each answer relates to one of the three elixirs. The therapist then tallies up the a, b and c scores and adds that number of drops of the corresponding elixir to the base oil.

“The blend could end up being different each day, depending on the client’s answers,” says Brackenbury. The blend is used in a 90-minute face and body treatment massaged into the skin to help with the client’s circulation, lymphatic system and mind thought.

Caudalie blendingSpotlight treatment: The Lab at Caudalie, Covent Garden

Caudalie bespoke

What it is: It’s not just treatments that are offering on-the-spot blending. French skincare brand Caudalie has developed The Lab concept, which allows clients to create their own bespoke scrub following a consultation about how they feel. I went along to Caudalie’s Covent Garden flagship, where 

store manager Jean-Axel Pain explained the process. How it works: The client has a consultation with a Caudalie expert and is then offered a choice of six essential oils including lemon, lemongrass and geranium, which are good for toning, cypress and “gin” (juniper), for stimulating circulation, and rosemary for detoxifying.

The client can choose an oil (or oils), which are then mixed into the scrub of grapeseeds, brown sugar and honey. The carrier grapeseed oil, which helps to activate the circulation, is then added to blend the scrub together. The amount of oil used varies depending on how dry the skin is. The scrub is presented in a glass pot with the client’s name on. 

The verdict: I liked the idea of creating a scrub that would be personalised for me. It also makes the retail process more of a treatment and less like a sales pitch. I wanted to target toning on my skin, so I chose the lemon oil. I used the scrub at home while showering, which was a little messy but worth it as my skin was very soft afterwards.