Moment: What's your color? Elea Blake customizes makeup colors

Moment: What's your color? Elea Blake customizes makeup colors

October 27th, 2014 by Maura Friedman in Local Regional News

Glass canisters of powders and liquids stand in neat rows along the walls. And up and down them. The room glows with their bright and varied hues from cool beige to electric purple. At an aluminum table, Stacie Jackson uses tubes and beakers to mix those contents into a careful concoction.

"There are four drops in a smidgen, two smidgens in a pinch and two pinches in a dash and two dashes in a quarter," Jackson said.

She's a color girl at Elea Blake Cosmetics and Color Studio, where makeup is part art, part science and all custom-made.

"The makeup is customized to each individual's particular skin tones," Jackson said. "We love to take our time and make sure that everyone is wearing the best color that they can be in."

In the 1980s, general practice was to divide cosmetics into four color categories -- Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. With the system now in use at Elea Blake, there are 12 color categories. And a new, in-store system called EB Hues will make even more differentiations.

"We're just really dorky about color," Jackson said.

The products start with a natural base and from there, depending on the saturation needed, liquid and mineral pigments are added. On a recent weekday, Jackson decided the lipstick she was working on was too purple, so she added an orange liquid pigment to "take it more to the red side" before pouring her mix into a mold.

"Back and forth; it's a balancing act of color," Jackson said.

This level of control -- and understanding of color -- makes for one-of-a-kind products.

"We can take a lipstick that's been discontinued if they have a swatch of it and we can remake it with our minerals," Jackson said. "Or if they come in and they really want an orange lipstick, then by goodness we can make them an orange lipstick."

The real reward, she says, is the effect on customers' confidence.

"Once we start playing with their colors and get them in something that makes their eyes twinkle or their smile brighter, you can really tell that it makes a difference," Jackson said.

Stacie Jackson, a color girl at Elea Blake Cosmetics and Color Studio, pops a tube on a custom lipstick she just mixed at the Chestnut St. storefront on Wednesday, October 22, 2014. All the cosmetics at Elea Blake are custom-made in house.

Photo by Maura Friedman /Times Free Press.