Today’s blog is about a beauty brand that has just turned 40 and, rather than letting the date quietly slip by, has spent the year marking the occasion. Knightsbridge based Cosmetics a la Carte, has been bringing ‘colour and culture’ to our faces for four decades. The label has seen many famous names grace its hallowed beauty halls – Princess Diana was a fan, as is Grace Jones, Elizabeth Taylor, Lady Gaga and even U2, who used their cosmetics for their tour. Renowned for its ultra bespoke beauty range (they will mix a foundation to exactly match your skin tone), Cosmetics a la Carte was the first luxury make-up company to make all its own products. And one of the owners, Lynne Sanders even has a science degree to back up her innate talent.
I was introduced to this brand about a year ago and am a huge fan. Whenever I use their foundation I get compliments on my skin, and the product is so light that people really think it’s just my natural glow. I have forgotten the amount of times I have had to correct them with the words ‘honestly, it’s my foundation’ (FYI it’s called Moisture Tint). Furthermore, their cream Bare Blush adds just the right hint of ‘I’ve been for a walk in the country’ rouge to my cheeks
This spring saw a commemorative exhibition that celebrated the company’s use of colour and iconic status, including the first nude lipstick bought by Princess Diana in the 1980s. Also showing were four monoliths, a collaboration with revered artist Alex Noble. I saw these at this week’s press day and they are so stunning. Inspired in turn by Grace Jones, Princess Diana, Lady Gaga and Kate Moss, Noble was given four iconic moments in the brand’s history and used these to create the pieces.
‘CUTTING THE EDGE OF BEAUTY’ MONOLITH I – GRACE JONES BY ALEX NOBLE
‘CUTTING THE EDGE OF BEAUTY’ MONOLITH II – PRINCESS DIANA BY ALEX NOBLE
The first was inspired by the midnight blue face powder worn by Grace Jones on the cover of her album Nightclubbing (the product itself was inspired by Grace asking for skin similar to the boutique’s Egyptian black cat). The gorgeous broken pearl bust is a tribute to the late Princess Diana and her devotion to the Nude Toast lipstick. Monolith III represents Lady Gaga in one of her early appearances on BBC breakfast news, where she wore Bubblegum gloss in a heart shape on her lips. The final piece, and my personal favourite, references a May 2000 Vogue cover, where Kate Moss wore Candy lipstain in pink with two boldly coloured eyelids.
‘CUTTING THE EDGE OF BEAUTY’ MONOLITH III – LADY GAGA BY ALEX NOBLE
‘CUTTING THE EDGE OF BEAUTY’ MONOLITH IV – KATE MOSS BY ALEX NOBLE
The May 2000 Vogue cover that inspired Monolith IV, featuring Kate Moss in Candy lipstain
If you’re going to a Halloween party this weekend, take inspiration from these gorgeous monoliths and be creative with your make-up. Or book in for a masterclass with the boutique’s talented artists. Why be boring when you can be bold?
Visit Cosmetics a la Carte at 19b Motcomb St, Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 8LB. T: 020 7235 0596 www.alacartelondon.com
Exhibition curated by Ryan Lanji: http://www.ryanlanji.com. For more information on Alex Noble head to: alexnoblestudio.com.