Beauty Store Business

MAY 2019

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34 May 2019 | beautystorebusiness.com MATCHCo Custom Foundation MATCHCo, creator of a digitally integrated, custom-blended foundation and a forerunner in the beauty-meets-tech space, was founded in 2013 by two visionaries with, ironically, no experience in beauty or mobile app development. However, Dave Gross and Andy Howell did have experience building custom product programs as well as brands and limited-edition programs, respectively, in other industries ( but never a beauty app ) . They also had a hunch ( "a hunch that a completely per- sonalized mobile and product experience could disrupt, if not change, the industry," Howell says ) . As they researched their new idea– MATCHCo–Gross engaged in the creation of fizzy bath bombs in his garage with his daughter. Producing fizzy bath bombs proved uncomplicated; so Gross and Howell imagined a similar experience in the production of custom beauty products. "We couldn't have been more naïve," Howell admits. They later would find that venture capitalists weren't sold on their lack of experience or their multifaceted endeavor. As it turns out, their proposal was a bit of an anomaly. Most startups present a singular area of focus and execution. Their venture would require a three-pronged execution: "We needed to develop a vertical system that wrapped homegrown mobile diagnostics, custom formulation and individual product manufacturing into an app experience," Howell explains. Howell and Gross began to bring together all the right players and pieces to bring MATCHCo to life. They drew in Young Harvill, a prized engineer and artist with substantial experience in virtual reality and product personalization, to help merge "objective diagnostic technology with subjective makeup artistry." Harvill also assisted in the creation of the team that would produce the scanning technology and custom- formulation algorithm. Next, Howell and Gross partnered with a high-end lab and chemist to create a formula that could be custom blended to order. Last, they brought on Joel Stewart, an engineer with a background in chemistry, who began testing ways of blending the formulas: first by hand, then via handmade machines and, finally, through their proprietary custom-manufacturing system. Nearly two years later, the business was ready and they got their funding. Today, beauty users can download the bareMinerals Made-To-Fit mobile app, scan their skin and order their very own personalized makeup foundation. With MATCHCo, customers don't need to choose from a range of preexisting varieties; they can have a shade custom-made to fit their skin tone. The customer's information is stored for future orders and no two shades are ever the same, says the company. Howell says that MATCHCo's technology is useful for all types of beauty customization. "With all the advancements in the industry over recent years, we've barely scratched the surface of what's possible," he says. "Beauty is still wide open to technology for enhanced experiences. We're just getting started!" Shiseido Americas Corp. announced its acquisition of MATCHCo in early 2017. Howell and Gross remain with MATCHCo as strategy officer/ cofounder and general manager/cofounder, respectively. Perfect Corp. YouCam Makeup App Alice Chang's personal frustrations with the makeup sampling process led to the creation of Perfect Corp.'s extensive suite of augmented reality apps. Chang, CEO of Perfect Corp., paired her experience in technology with her beauty frustrations to reinvent the way beauty consumers experience beauty and beauty shopping. "Perfect Corp. was founded with an aim to provide a complete and integrated beauty experience to consumers, cosmetic brands and retailers by combining the personal touch of in-store shopping with the convenience of web," says Chang. Today, Perfect Corp. provides consumers, brands and retailers with a host of apps and other beauty technology. It offers six different YouCam apps, including YouCam Makeup and YouCam Nail. Its offerings feature a host of technologies, including Face Detection & Tracking, Face AI and Skincare AR. Its services for brands and retailers run the gamut of brand analytics, live AR training, and web and in-store consultation, to name a few. Chang says that these beauty-tech innovations weren't birthed without challenges, as inaccuracies within the augmented reality experience can increase customer returns. But Perfect Corp. has worked to overcome them by using more than 100 points of facial recognition, skin tone matching and first-rate AI technology to help ensure the most true-to-life try-on experience possible, she explains. "The use of augmented reality helps to increase sales. … Impressively accurate product and look try-ons have given consumers utmost confidence in basing purchase decisions off digital try-ons, as they once did physical ones," explains Chang. "We have reinvented the way consumers shop for "With all the advancements in the industry over recent years, we've barely scratched the surface of what's possible" –Andy Howell, MATCHCo From top le : courtesy of MATCHCo, Perfect Corp.

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