10 Beauty Tech Start-Ups that are Disrupting the Cosmetics Industry
The beauty industry welcomes many technological advances to better serve its customer base. The market reached $49.2 billion in the United States in 2019, according to Statistica, and many companies are keeping an eye on the startups with the potential to change everything. These ten beauty startups have developed artificial intelligence, augmented reality, machine learning, predictive analytics, and other solutions to drive digital transformations.
Augmented reality technology is prevalent in the beauty industry. Beauty consumers get to try on makeup virtually to see what look works best for their unique needs. ModiFace is one of the biggest players in digitally transforming the cosmetics experience.
ModiFace has several products and services available focusing on AR skincare, hair products, and makeup. The Beauty AR SDK creates a real-time simulation with a photo-realistic representation of the products on the consumer’s face. Face AI SDK can track facial micro-features through videos and photographs. The Custom AR Module is a bespoke version of ModiFace’s technology, developed based on the unique parameters of the client. Web E-Commerce AR puts the virtual experience right on product pages. Consumers can virtually try-on cosmetics without going to another app or website, which greatly reduces friction in the sales process. The AR experience goes beyond the digital world.
ModiFace has in-store AR mirror software that performs the same functions as the previous solutions. This technology is device agnostic, allowing beauty companies to choose their preferred smart mirror technology for the in-person experience. Beauty stores can also use this type of product for a safe alternative to sampling in a COVID-19 era.
Perfect Corp, best known for the YouCam Makeup app, has adopted an AI and AR focused concept called Beauty 3.0. This concept revolves around a highly personalized virtual experience that guides consumers through the beauty shopping experience.
The products and services that fall under the Beauty 3.0 moniker include:
- AI Smart Shade Finder: Researching a matching foundation shade is a challenging task, especially when there are limited in-store opportunities to sample shades. This AI-powered solution recommends foundation shades that match the individual consumer best.
- AI Skin Diagnostic: Ideal skincare routines change over the years, and this product assists consumers with keeping track of their concerns and experiences in the long-term.
Live Hair Color and In-store Barcode: Perfect Corp has a partnership with Ulta Beauty to bring their AI and AR solutions to the in-store experience. For example, consumers can try out different hair colors through AR before they go to their hair appointment at the store’s salon or scan a product’s barcode to see how it will look on them.
The skincare market has a lot of potential for beauty technology. Atolla uses data-driven systems to create customized serums that serve the short and long-term needs of its customers. Each person fills out a preliminary assessment with questions about their skincare concerns, the environment they live in, their typical lifestyle, and their routines.
Atolla’s predictive analytics model chooses a starter serum for the customer based on this information. The company also includes a Skin Health Kit with this serum. Customers use this kit after two weeks to see whether the starter serum is sufficient for their skincare needs. It tests for skin pH, oils, and moisture. The algorithm uses the results of this test to continually improve the serum over time, with updated results taken each month. This highly personalized experience uses a science-based approach to help consumers achieve their skincare goals in an efficient fashion.
Genetic factors have a significant influence on how someone’s skin changes over time, and Allel is tapping into this information for its customers. By researching DNA genome variations, this company has created several product lines to address the different causes of aging.
- Allel X-Series: Intrinsic aging comes from issues with collagen formation caused by matrix metalloproteinase. Losing collagen elasticity leads to wrinkles and fine lines. This product focuses on restoring the skin’s structure.
- Allel G-Series: Glucose molecules are involved in a binding process that inhibits collagen. The skin becomes less elastic and is prone to deep wrinkles. This product helps the skin regenerate.
- Allel T-Series: Sun exposure is a significant influence on someone’s skin condition later in life, especially if they failed to use sunscreen consistently. The skin’s pigmentation is affected and it often becomes dry. The T-series line improves skin tone and moisture.
- Allel A-Series: Many people lead stressful lives, have exposure to pollution, or smoke. These three factors lead to free radicals causing damage in their systems. Common symptoms of this issue include wrinkles much earlier than expected and older looking, dull skin. The A-Series line addresses free radicals to limit their damage potential.
- Allel C-Series: Skin irritation comes in many forms, and can hurt the skin barrier. This product line reduces inflammation.
A DNA test identifies the genome variations related to each person’s aging processes, so they can get skincare that’s adapted to their genetic risk factors.
Beauty companies rely heavily on robust sampling programs, and being able to reach their ideal audience at scale is important. Sampler.io uses a digital targeting platform to get cosmetic samples into the hands of the right consumers. While some brands run their own sampling programs, being able to use a technology-driven turnkey solution speeds up the time to market.
Sampler.io’s data also provides a cost-effective way of sending out samples. People who fall outside of your target demographics are not eligible for your products, so you’re not wasting money on someone unlikely to convert to a sale. This platform is an end-to-end service, starting from audience selection and going to fulfillment. If you have your own audience data, you can bring it to Sampler or leverage its own network. The experience is white labeled to offer a fully branded experience for your prospective customers.
An analytics dashboard gives you real-time information on the samples and the audience enjoying your products. Remarketing services are also available to improve your chances of sales.
Beauty service providers often have small businesses and limited resources to handle backend operations such as scheduling appointments, marketing, and follow-ups. They also face added challenges with limited capacity for in-person appointments during COVID-19, or needing to go fully remote with their services.
MindBody is a health, beauty, fitness, and wellness marketplace platform that helps providers build sustainable businesses. The features it offers include:
- Seamless appointment booking: Customers can book appointments with a beauty service on the MindBody marketplace, on the provider’s website, or through the provider’s custom application.
- Pre-registration: Customers can register online before their appointment to reduce the time they spend on check-in.
- Payment processing: Providers can accept many types of payments through the platform.
- Live streaming: Beauty service providers expanding into live streaming sessions can use the video tools on this platform rather than depending on generic meeting solutions.
- Video on demand: Videos on demand can be used to scale services through pre-recorded content and to improve retention.
- Third-party software integration: This platform offers integration opportunities with other leading business software in the beauty industry.
- Custom marketing templates and automated marketing tools: Businesses can increase their outreach opportunities and engage with their audience to build a loyal customer base.
7.Function of Beauty
Function of Beauty is a hair and body care company using technology to offer personalized products for its customers. Each person goes through a quiz that collects information about their hair and body care preferences. The customers share their skin and hair condition and concerns, the scents they like, and even the product colors they prefer. If they have ingredients they never want in their products, they can opt to skip those ones. Function of Beauty produces the customized product out of trillions of available combinations.
The product line includes:
- Hair serum
- Body wash
- Body lotion
- Leave-in conditioner
- Purple shampoo
- Hair mask
- Hair mist
Mira Beauty is a massive makeup and skincare community that empowers beauty shoppers during the buying process. The database has more than 100,000 products from many brands and consumers can sort and compare each one to find the best options. It’s a collaborative experience and provides an independent look at different products. They can read through reviews from other users and ask questions of the community. Another focus on this tech-forward website is its inclusivity. It has a full section covering beauty brands founded by Black people, and Mira Beauty often highlights brands founded by women and the LGBTQIA community. Mira Beauty has gone through several iterations over the past few years, with the Universal Store concept as 2020’s update.
Proven uses an AI engine to make intelligent skincare product recommendations for its audience. This data-driven approach reduces the research time involved in choosing an effective skincare routine, and improves the chances that it will meet all of the person’s skincare goals from the beginning.
The data used in this process comes from reviews, testimonials, and peer-reviewed research papers. The company calls this database the Skin Genome Project. Machine learning algorithms parse the available information and compare it to the customer’s survey. Proven develops a custom formula for each skincare product and offers a personalized routine based on a massive amount of data. Its ultimate goal is to stop people from going through an expensive trial and error process to find skincare formulas that simply work.
FOREO is a prominent player in the beauty and wellness device market. This Swedish company quickly grew into a household name, shipping out over 20 million devices globally. It is best known for the LUNA product line, which are facial cleansing devices.
They use T-Sonic pulses to clean the skin more effectively. It’s a gentle way to do a facial cleanse without irritation, even with heavy makeup on.
The UFO Face Mask is a device designed to elevate the mask experience. Customers enjoy a 90 second mask that is heated and cooled to better distribute the ingredients on the skin and to create a spa-like experience. It uses T-Sonic pulses that are similar to the LUNA devices as part of its process. It also includes a LED light therapy feature.
FOREO also offers an electronic sonic toothbrush that shares the same design ascetic and T-Sonic technology of the other device lines.
All of these products use silicone in the design to keep them cleaner and reduce allergic reactions. Silicone is also easy to maintain and durable, so it can hold up to long-term use. Many of the products are rechargeable, or feature long-lasting batteries that are travel-friendly.
Beauty technology startups come in many forms, from the AI-driven skincare companies to innovative device manufacturers. As you look forward into the next set of changes in store for the beauty industry, look for ways to implement these improvements and keep your customers happy.