Rescuing Lipstick From Oblivion: An Adventure With Three Custom Color
It happens to every girl sooner or later. You find The Perfect Color. Maybe it’s a lipstick, maybe it’s a blush, maybe it’s an eyeshadow. It makes you look fantastic. It may be the perfect neutral that makes you look like you’re wearing nothing but a healthy flush, or maybe it gives you the perfect smoky eye to rock at night. Maybe it becomes your signature color. And then it gets discontinued. The discontinuation is always incomprehensible. What kind of business decisions are these people making? But there’s nothing you can do about it but curse your fate and nurse the tiny remnant of your color that you have left.
For me, that color was MAC’s Spanish Fly lipstick. Spanish Fly was always sort of a weird color, which is what made it so difficult to find an adequate substitute. It was a brownish red, maybe a little orangey, and with a metallic green frost. You heard me right, green. On paper, it sounds like the strangest color in existence, but it worked on me like a dream. I’m not a big believer in “my lips but better” lipstick, but I don’t want to be wearing red all the time either. Spanish Fly was the ideal compromise.
MAC discontinued some years ago, and I’ve been nursing two remaining stubby tubes ever since. Until now. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, custom makeup blending is now accessible to everyone through Three Custom Color Specialists. For a fee, Three Custom Color will take a sample of your favorite makeup (pretty much anything but foundation and eye pencils) and reproduce it for you. I was a little skeptical about whether they’d really be able to do to Spanish Fly. Sure, the base color would be easy enough to do, but green frost? I sent in my last tube for them to sample but reserved judgment.
The people at Three Custom Color know their stuff. When the two tubes I ordered arrived (along with the return of my original tube), lo, what should I see but green frost? Here’s a pic of the result, with Spanish Fly on one side and the Three Custom Color reproduction on the other.
Can you tell the difference? I’m not sure that I can. It may not be exactly the same consistency that Spanish Fly was, but it’s pretty damn close. And as for the color, the original might have slightly more frost than the reproduction, but that could also just be the fact that the original is a bit torn up from the sample being taken and went on a little heavy. I am a happy camper.
At $55 for two tubes, it’s more expensive than just buying the colors MAC is stocking now, but for custom work and my perfect shade, it’s well worth the money. Three Custom Color also keeps their reproductions on file, so if you’ve had something compounded once, you can order it again without having to provide a sample. You can also search their archives for discontinued colors that other people have had done, so if you’re a fan of Spanish Fly, you can now order it from them without having to have an old tube on hand.
In sum, booyah! I’m so wearing it tonight.