Melli rocks foundations of beauty retail

Melli Cosmetics founder Melissa Carter

Nearly 10 years after launching its custom blend foundation system, Melli Cosmetics is continuing to shake-up the beauty industry with its personalised approach to makeup sales.

Melli Cosmetics founder and freelance television makeup artist Melissa Carter says ‘The Foundation Bar’ is growing in popularity largely due to the general increase in demand for personalisation in the beauty sector and other industries such as jewellery, clothing and accessories.

Melissa created the system while working as a television makeup artist in 2005. She had already begun developing a range of colour cosmetics but  struggled to find the perfect foundation “that’s not too pink, too yellow or too orange” for her clients until she started ‘custom blending’.

Three years later she opened a Melli Cosmetics concept store on NSW’s Central Coast selling a full range of colour cosmetics and the fully customisable foundation.

“I wanted to be able to offer a foundation to anyone who came into our store,’ she recalls.

“So many women end up having to mix a few foundation shades together to get ‘sort of close’ or they might find a pretty close match but the formula may be oily or too matte or the coverage isn’t right for their skin.

“Custom-blending was the perfect solution.”

The Foundation Bar has since expanded beyond the concept store to seven stockists in NSW, four in Queensland, two in WA, one in the Northern Territory  and one in New Zealand – and four new outlets are set to open in WA and Victoria in June.

Melissa says the Foundation Bar is popular with salon owners as it “creates a buzz in the salon and a point of difference”.

“The Bar (which includes all the liquid bases, toners and adjustors required to create a variety of foundations from sheer to demi-matt to match any skin shade) caters for every skin tone and type,” she says.

“You can formulate a super matte full coverage to sheer and glowy plus everything in between.

“Our customers call it their ‘skin in a bottle’ because that’s exactly what it is, ‘your skin but better!’”

Melissa says Foundation Bar clients become customers for life after their first purchase of the foundation in a refillable “40ml airless luxe pump bottle”.

“They can only return to you as you have their recipe on file”… we still have clients from 2008 who still order refills of their ‘recipe blend’.”

She emphasises that although the foundation is made from the highest quality ingredients, personalisation is undoubtedly the key to its success.

“We have always said this is not just a service but an experience,” she says.

“We love that the client walks away feeling special. We have listened, we have connected and they leave with their bottle of foundation that wasn’t just purchased off a shelf but ‘formulated with love’ just for them.”

“Makeup isn’t just makeup. So many people think it’s a vain industry. But when you have customised a foundation for someone with low self-esteem and you give them that boost and see that confidence there is nothing like it.”

“Tailor-made beauty is here to stay because no matter how technologically advanced we become, women still love to have that one-on-one human connection.”

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