Go Inside Mix Beauty Lab, The Toronto Boutique That Lets You Create Your Own Makeup

Just a few years ago, customization in the beauty industry was hardly the requirement it is now. Today, it’s something most up-and-coming brands automatically offer, like haircare brand Function of Beauty, which lets you customize haircare products based on your needs. Even the big names are getting in on the trend, such as L’Oreal-owned SkinCeuticals who debuted a game-changing skincare machine at South by Southwest in Texas earlier this year. 3D printing is also making the entire process easier and more readily available, too.

And when it comes to lipstick, the Bite Beauty Lab in Toronto allows customers to bring in anything (literally, from a flower petal, a fabric scrap to a piece of wallpaper) to have colour-matched and made into a lipstick. On the foundation front, scanners are available (in Sephora, for instance) to recognize your exact skin tone and suggest a perfect foundation match.

But what if you want to get down and dirty and actually DIY your dream makeup shades using your own two hands? Then check out Toronto’s Mix Beauty Lab. Along with offering skin treatments, manicures and pedicures, and carrying top-of-the-line products like Herbivore Botanicals, Vintner’s Daughter and Agent Nateur, Mix Beauty Lab allows customers to book sessions to mix their own beauty products in their lab. (Note: the “lab” is made up of a row of tables within the shop. But you do get latex gloves!)

After years of trying to find my perfect MLBB (my lips but better) shade of lip gloss, only to fall back on mixing a few to get the perfect shade (my current blend is Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb mixed with Dior Addict Lip Glow in “Coral” and a touch of Bite Beauty’s Agave Lip Mask in “Smashed”), I made my way to Mix Beauty Lab and got to work.

The first step in the DIY process is to choose a base formula from three options: balm, regular gloss or high-shine gloss. I went with balm. Next, you add your pigments. I explained to the Mix Beauty Lab mixologist I was working with that I was looking for something to accentuate my natural lip shade, so she handed me four pigment bottles: white, brown, pink and orange and told me to add one drop of each to my clear balm. After mixing them together, adding fragrance (coconut and vanilla) and a sunscreen additive, I blended until it was time to pour my creation into a tube. (Note: I opted out of adding a metallic finish but that’s an option, too).

To make an appointment for yourself, head to mixbeautylab.com. A custom foundation session will set you back $65 (and you leave with a hefty sized bottle), lipstick is one for $50 or two for $80, and custom lip gloss is one for $40 or two for $70. I left with a gloss that I can now brag about “making” myself the next time someone asks what lip gloss I’m wearing. And that’s priceless.