To me, there are few things greater than a bangin’ lipstick colour. Opening in March earlier this year, ladies of Geelong welcomed an innovative new beauty concept that has changed the way you buy lipstick and find that perfect colour – completely designing it yourself.
Located at 138 Shannon Avenue in Geelong West, The Lip Lab is a rare beauty, with professional lip colour consultants helping every step of the way – from choosing colours, flavours and finish to creating the lippy and applying – right there in store.
The guru behind Geelong lip lab is cosmetic nurse injector Marsha Davies who began the venture to compliment her work in lip injections. “It’s the best of both worlds – people come in and they’re looking at the lipstick then the next thing they’re looking at lip injections – it goes hand in hand,” she says.
Lucky for Forté (and me), the wonderful ladies at The Lip Lab were kind enough to take us through the process of making these custom lippies.
At the shiny Lip Lab store, I was set up with the lovely Kelly, my colour consultant. She asks me if I have any ideas for my lipstick but I’m still taking in the gorgeous fit-out and only have a vague idea about colours, admittedly a bit of a novice with make-up. Kelly asks what sort of base I’m after – cream, matte, butter or pure vegan. “Ah something super comfortable,” I say.
Kelly suggests vegan or a cream, with vegan being the most natural you can get which is actually quite nourishing on the lips and it’s got a bit of that shine. Now it’s time for the colour to which I tell Kelly “a sort of natural light pink” – luckily she knows what I’m talking about.
She squeezes out little blobs of all different colours – coral pink, a nude and a creamy yellow colour. She mixes them together and I marvel at how they merge to produce a colour that’s almost exactly what I want.
“Essentially you can get any colour you want,” Kelly explains. “The only thing we can’t make is like a real vibrant green, that’s probably the only colour we can’t make.”
After mixing in a vegan base, she hands me an applicator to try on the colour. It’s subtle and the texture is nourishing and glides on nicely. I decide that I’d like it just a touch lighter so Kelly squeezes out another pink blob and mixes it all together. After testing it once more, I decide that I love it.
Keeping track of everything she uses and adds, Kelly scribbles all these funny equations on a card. “I write it all down on the card so then if you love it and you use it all or lose it, any of the girls can pull your card out and we can re-make it. So that’s the good thing about it,” Kelly says. Perfect.
Next, I choose the scent. My mouth waters as I smell my way through cappuccino, chocolate, peach, Sambuca, exotic spice, carrot cake, lime and coconut. After a fair bit of deliberation, I settle on a gorgeous and subtle Pink Champagne scent. The scent is just one of the many additives on offer – there’s also the option of a plumper, extra sunscreen, moisturiser and so on.
After mixing it once more, Kelly leaves to heat up the colour and mix it to remove all the air bubbles. She returns with my melted colour and a metal device that could pass as a torture instrument (which I then realise is the lipstick mould). I sit, mesmerised as she begins to pour the liquid lipstick into the mould (which you also get to choose).
While my lipstick sets (which will usually take about five minutes), I begin the whole process again with Kelly, this time creating my very own foundation.
We start with deciding on a base and how much coverage I want the foundation to have. There are three bases that Kelly suggests; matte, oil free and enriched, and three colours; pink (porcelain), yellow base (ivory) or beige (neutral). Deciding on medium coverage, an enriched base and beige, Kelly once again squeezes out little blobs of all different colours and mixes them together and applies it to half my face.
“The thing is a lot of people see colour different so I could be looking at you and seeing heaps of yellow but then you could say no I can see pink, so you always have to go with what your client sees,” Kelly explains. “That’s the good thing about this – if you want a different colour or a tone that you like you can create it.”
Deciding I want a little bit more coverage, Kelly squeezes another blob onto the board and begins mixing before applying to the other side of my face. This meant I could see the difference between the two and decide which I prefer. Similar to the lipstick, there are a number of additives on offer for foundation as well – sunscreen? You got it. Illuminator? Yes please.
Happy with the colour and coverage, Kelly mixes it once more and then instantly heats it for five seconds touring it into a liquid before pouring it straight into an air-pump bottle. Voilà!
Heading back to my patiently waiting lipstick, Kelly smooths the excess lipstick off the top and opens the mould to reveal part of the lipstick. Gently twisting the case over the top, Kelly secures the lipstick in place and removes it from the mould. It looks beautiful!
One tip I have for anyone wanting to try out this experience is to come semi prepared! There’s an overwhelming range of colour possibilities, so arriving with a clear idea of what you’re after will make the process a lot easier.
The verdict: My first Lip Lab experience was everything I had hoped for: I created my very own lipstick which smells divine and is the perfect balance of colour that is natural enough to wear everyday, with a texture that lasts but is not dehydrating on the lips. For a fun party idea or even if you just feel like treating yo’self, I’d highly recommend The Lip Lab Geelong.
Check them out on Facebook or book your appointment now at theliplabgeelong.com.au
The Lip Lab will feature as a pop up at The Glitter Project this weekend.
Written by Talia Rinaldo