LIPS | Making my own lipstick at Blend Beauty

Blend Beauty Lower Hutt custom lipstick experience

Since I saw photos of the Bite Beauty lip lab in New York City I’ve been dying to try a custom blended lipstick ~experience~. You get to go along and they work with you to blend a lipstick to your exact preference and then put it into a tube right there for you.

Then a few months ago I was invited to the opening of Blend Beauty, a custom lipstick and foundation blending experience at Dollface Beauty Hub in Lower Hutt. Custom lipstick right here in the city I grew up in! And it’s a local business!

So obviously getting a custom lipstick blended is super fun, but it has some other advantages too. If you’ve ever felt like you can’t find just the right red or nude or whatever for you, this is the way to try a few iterations and adjust it until you get something perfect. Or if you have a lip colour you love but it’s discontinued, the team at Blend Beauty can whip you up a match. And did I mention it’s really fun? And cheaper than buying a MAC lipstick, even? (It’s $37!)Blend Beauty lipstick pigments and oils

So for $37 you get a half-hour appointment to blend the colour of your choice. (My appointment was free, but I’d still go do it for $37!)

Matty, my lipstick-blending-consultant-assistant-guy (I don’t even know what his job title would be?) was super friendly and entertaining and made it an extra fun experience. It’s very interactive, because you’re picking colours and trying them on and constantly revising, so it’s pretty important that the person you’re doing it with is a good time.

He asked what kind of shade I wanted and frankly I hadn’t considered it much (because it was Saturday morning and my brain hadn’t woken up yet) but after thinking about the many shades of pinky brown that I already had, I decided to go for something more fun instead and suggested we do a “deep dark” shade.

Blend lipstick mixing

Matty picked a deep warm red-brown to use as a base and started mixing it up on the palette. All the pigments are set out in front of you to choose from and are based on lipsticks from the Dollface line, so if there’s one you like on its own, you can just buy that (but that’s no fun!)

The mixing is super satisfying to watch and I kind of wish I had got to do it myself… but I guess I can just squish up some lipsticks at home if I really want to.

Matty then added a raspberry shade and some royal blue, consulting with me all the while. I think we could have started a bit deeper because I kept saying “more blue! more black!” but to be fair, I think when most people say they want a deep dark shade they don’t want as deep and dark of a shade as I had in mind.

Custom lipstick blending in Wellington

I got to try the colour on (with a disposable lip wand) at every stage throughout. One thing I really appreciated was that at no point did anyone talk about what was flattering. This was my lip colour to make and the choices were up to me.

When the colour finally done, Matty scraped it into a bowl, melted it up and then it was time to choose a fragrance. I’m not particularly bothered about what my lip products smell like, but when the opportunity to add a sweet caramel scent arises, that’s not something you pass up. (The other Blend Beauty scent choices were vanilla, cherry blossom and melon, but the caramel scent was by far the best.)

Metal lipstick mould

The lipstick was poured into the mould and went into a fridge to set for a bit. I don’t have a picture of the pouring part because I was juggling my camera and my phone trying to document the experience for the blog with my camera while posting to my Instagram story with my phone… and I picked my phone for the pour. (I’ve been posting Instagram stories heaps lately, so go follow me there if you don’t already!)

Custom Dollface Lipstick

After the lipstick is all set up (well, almost all set up—they suggest not using it from the tube for a few hours while it’s still hardening) it goes into a gold leopard-print tube. So you do end up with a proper lipstick, not just some pigment scraped into a tiny jar. The mould is exactly the same kind that gets used for “real” lipsticks.

You also get to name your lipstick! I’m atrocious with names—I hate titling essays or articles I’ve written, so I thought this part would be agony. As we were blending the colour, though, we were talking about how it looks like the colour of ink that’s leaked out of a ballpoint pen, you know, blue where it’s concentrated and purple where it’s thinner. So the lipstick is called Biro. Idk if that’s a cute name or cringy or what, but nothing could be as cringy as the names of Shaaanxo’s lipsticks, so it’s fine.

Dark vampy lipstick custom colour

I also somehow forgot to take a good photo of me with the final lipstick colour on, except for the selfie on the right which I took at 9 o’clock that night, so almost 12 hours after I applied it, with no reapplication! (The selfie on the left is one of my earlier iterations of the lipstick, before it was dark enough.) But anyway, the formula—it’s firm but not stiff, still comfortable on the lips, but lasts for dang ever. You can see it’s wearing off a bit in the middle of my lips there in the second photo, but that’s after eating and drinking and having a nap so like, that’s perfectly acceptable.

Dollface Blend Beauty lipstick

Your Blend Beauty lipstick even comes in its own box! It’s a nice finishing touch that makes it feel like a real lipstick—I mean, it is real, but I hope you know what I mean.

A few quick things to note: custom foundation is also available at Blend Beauty, which is awesome if you have a darker skintone and find it hard to get colour matches in stores, or if you have weird undertones, or again, if you just want a fun custom makeup experience.

Also, the lipsticks are cruelty-free but not vegan as they contain beeswax (which is probably what helps the formula last so long on the lips).

I had such a good time doing the Blend Beauty thing that I booked in right away to go back to get my nails done with Debbie, the owner of Dollface and Blend Beauty. (Spoilers, they’re great and she’s great!) I think it’s such a good idea, and it’s awesome to have a service like this in Wellington—well, little old Lower Hutt, technically. It’s the first of its kind in New Zealand and it seems like it’s been really popular, for good reason.

Do you have an elusive lipstick colour you just can’t find? Or an old favourite that’s discontinued? You should head along to Blend Beauty if you’re local!

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  • I just got to do the Bite experience in New York, and while it was 100% worth it (I had an amazing tech who I ended up adding on Insta! I ended up with three colors! One of them is TEAL) I do wish that (a) I had one closer to me here in Texas that was (b) at a similar price point to yours – Bite, you are paying a lot for the ~ experience ~, and while I don’t regret it one bit, I also don’t know if I’ll be doing it again for a long while. The wear for me is about the same as the Amuse-Bouche lippies – good if I blot and reapply, but it can move a bit if I’m not careful. They’ll probably wear better in the winter, when it’s not 100 ˚F and 100% humidity the way it’s been down here recently.

    (One of my lipsticks is scented lime-mint, and the other is citrus-mint, which I’m very fond of.)

    Your deep color looks fantastic, by the way.

    • Thanks Kate! I love the idea of a lime-mint scent. I’ve always wanted to do the Bite experience because I love Bite products, but it does sound like it’s got pretty expensive now!

  • Wow, what a cool idea. I`d love to create my lipstick.

    Georgiana / Beauty Nerd

  • This looks amazing! I have always wanted to do this. I’m planning to go to the Bight Beauty Lip Lab to make my own lipstick maybe next month 🙂

    Sheer Beauty Blog

  • This looks amazing! You got such a gorgeous colour too, and I love the name!xx

    Hannah | luxuryblush

    • I’m so happy with how the colour turned out! Although when I think about it, I do have a bunch of colours this shade already.. clearly I have a type!

  • Radi

    So awesome that you got to see your own lipstick in the making. Love this darker lip color.

  • Good to see there’s another company that does custom blend lipsticks and a bigger bonus is they also do custom blend foundation. The market definitely needs it, so many beauty enthusiasts are unable to find the right shade for themselves.

    Shireen⎜Reflection of Sanity

  • I LOVE this idea so much and I love the lipstick you’ve created too – Biro is such a good name! Did you get to pick the finish too, like matte/satin etc?

    The Makeup Directory

    • They just had the one finish at the moment, although I think they are intending to introduce more. Some of the pigments had quite a bit of shimmer in them but I steered clear of those!

  • I absolutely love the shade you created! I did the Bite Beauty Lip Lab when I was in NYC and the shades I made are so special to me now 🙂

    Jasmine xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty