Find makeup made exclusively for you at Be Beauty

Leesburg custom cosmetics boutique keeps a record of every order’s ingredients and can also attempt to recreate favorites from other brands.

Photo by Christin Boggs Peyper

Christina Gatsby, owner of Leesburg’s custom makeup boutique, Be Beauty, had an early appreciation for makeup—puckering her lips and begging “Me too! Do me!” while her grandmother, a painter, added a touch of lipstick. But that innocent curiosity eventually faded, Gatsby admitting to stealing her grandmother’s paintbrushes so she could apply her own makeup as a teenager.

“Not a great idea since she cleaned them in turpentine,” recalls Gatsby, who once held positions at bareMinerals, MAC, Lancome, Philosophy and Bobbi Brown.

Today, Gatsby does her best to steer clear of potentially harmful chemicals—parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, petroleum and animal byproducts—while creating custom foundations, beauty balm (BB) creams, lipsticks and lip glosses. This month, Gatsby will add custom loose and pressed powders to the list, and looking ahead to late June/early July, will offer a trade-in program where clients can get rid of their old products for discounted Be Beauty alternatives. There’s also a weekly buy one, get one free Two-For Tuesday special.

“If we make you a [foundation] formula in the summer and then your tan fades and then it’s too dark, we can always adjust it so you’re not left with half a bottle of foundation that you can’t wear,” Gatsby says of making changes to Be Beauty products.

Photo by Christin Boggs Peyper

The store, which keeps a record of every order’s “recipe” of ingredients, can also recreate favorites from other brands—helpful when items are discontinued.

Though makeup seems to be Be Beauty’s focus—other services include lash extensions, false lashes, teen and adult makeup lessons, year-round custom and organic airbrush tanning, special occasion and bridal makeup—the store also carries a small selection of clothing and accessories.

“Bright, fresh color is what we’re seeing for spring. Greens, turquoise, pinks, raspberry or red lips,” Gatsby says. “We are doing a wearable take on those colors. Something that pulls in the fresh colors of spring but looks more ‘office’ than ‘catwalk.’”

Be Beauty buys from multiple vendors, but local jewelry company Love & Merry is a brand that Gatsby says “always has fun, unique pieces.”

“When I was younger I had the tendency of showing people the things that I liked,” Gatsby, who never does the same makeup two days in a row, reflected. “I’ve gotten better about realizing that sometimes my taste is the outlier … and making suggestions that might be outside of my own comfort zone, but looking at someone else’s face and thinking ‘this type of thing would be perfect.’”

And at the end of the day, that’s what Be Beauty is all about: appreciating individuality and recognizing that one size does not necessarily fit all.

(March 2018)