Wednesday, November 4, 2015


Jean is attending a Social Tees Animal Rescue charity event this evening, so in her absence, Valerie is revisiting a very important lady issue.

OF COURSE readers will remember that waaay back in July we did a post called Red Lipstick, which wasn't really about red lipstick per se, but about two particular lipsticks I favored that had both gone the way of the dodo.  (Chanel's Red Coromandel and Lancome's Rouge Essentiel.)

I've wondered why manufacturers discontinue their lipstick shades.  Is it because sales dropped by 10%?  Because they can no longer get a particular ingredient?  Do they just make a clean sweep of everything periodically to appear new and exciting?  No manufacturers have heard me wondering, and so none have ever answered.  So, sorry, I still don't know why.  All I know is I couldn't get my lipsticks.

I didn't know it at the time, but there is light at the end of the tunnel for those of us with problem lipsticks.  One of the commenters on that post was Vancouver Barbara, who wrote assuringly that there are custom lipstick makers.  She wrote again a few weeks later with the name of the company she'd been thinking of, Three Custom Color Specialists.  I looked on their website, and to my amazement, among the lipsticks they have reproduced, they had a list as long as my arm of discontinued Chanel lipsticks alone, and Red Coromandel was one of them.

Good blog post, I thought.  Let's try it! 

The instructions say to send them a dime-sized sliver of lipstick.  You don't HAVE to if your lipstick is already on their list, but this way you can be sure to get the exact shade you want, since batches can vary.  I used a blunt knife.  I really don't recommend wearing gloves.  The gloves in the photo are just for effect.

Smear your sample on something that will keep it pristine.  Plastic wrap is a good choice.  It looks like I've smeared it on a paper towel, but that's actually under the plastic wrap to help the red show up better.

Wrap up your sample into as flat an object as possible, because then all you need to do is pop it in an envelope.

And off it goes, for the price of a stamp.  Don't forget to include your check.  There's a two tube minimum, for $60, plus return postage.  Some of you might say that's expensive.  I agree, but a) have you seen some of the lipstick prices out there these days?  This price is competitive.  And b) if you have, like me, spent literally months trying to match your favorite lipstick, and if you think about what your time is worth, by the time you've trudged around to just five different stores on five different days, this is cheaper and more efficient.

Exactly as promised, my Faux Coromandels arrived in the mail a few weeks later.  I'd swear I photographed the USPS box they came in, but I can't find a photo anywhere.  (And I only finally threw the box away a week ago!)  I did, however, take a picture of the contents.  I like my red table so much I should see if someone can make a lipstick in that color.  (I will not be cutting a dime sized sliver, though.)

And then there was the unveiling.

I've been using one of the Faux Coromandels for a few weeks now.  On the left is the one I've been using; on the right is the unused one, with its sharp oval and point intact.  In the middle is the original.  When I took the picture, I couldn't see any difference, although because of screen variations and uncontrolled lighting, they may look slightly different to you.

The verdict: I think they did a perfect job, and am very happy to recommend them.

On the other hand, now that I've gotten my Red Coromandel back after all these years, and have had a few weeks to try it out, I think I've come to prefer a lipstick with more yellow undertone.  See?  You finally get what you want, and you discover it's not what you want anymore.

Sometime soon, I'll probably trudge around to five different stores on five different days hunting for the next perfect lipstick.



  1. Aw, shucks. 'Tweren't nuthin'.
    Vancouver Barbara

  2. Good to know about this in case I ever find the perfect lipstick and then it gets discontinued. I heartily agree with your line, "you finally get what you want, and you discover it's not what you want anymore". Patti got a custom colour lipstick mixed for her at Bite in Soho so that might be some good to try.

  3. What a sense of humor you have! It's a gift! I still haven't found my perfect red lipstick, but still trying. Kind of like finding my perfect black turtleneck. Seems to be a lifelong process!