The cosmetics-perfume sector is one of the most profitable in France with a turnover of 25 billion euros in 2016 (©Bpifrance), it is quite natural that entrepreneurs have tried to attract the French market by innovating in this field. However, mobile applications generate a phenomenal worldwide craze. According to the 2016 CREDOC study, 48% of French people have download apps on their smartphone, a number constantly crowing since the early 2000s.
Like in the fashion sector, a wave of start-ups have invaded the beauty market, but only some of them were able to convince mobile users. Although the universe of beauty has been democratized with new digital influencers, beauty apps are facing constraints of their device: French people download approximately 29 apps on their smartphone but at the same time 1 apps on 4 isn’t used by mobile users (© Journal du CM) and 26% of the installed applications are diserted after the first use (©Google).
Today, it’s time to discover 5 apps which differentiate themselves from competitors and succeed thanks to their innovations.
BIUTAG – to find the perfect products
Biutag is a start-up founded in 2015 by Chloé, Marilyn and Sandra. Financed on December 2016 via the crowdfunding platform Ulule, the mobile app offers to discover products and cometics services which are adapted to users. From the color of their eyes to the ingredients that they doesn’t like, the app asks their users to answer a long list of questions as soon as they are registered. It will allow the platform to propose personalized and geolocated recommendations that can be redefined when the user adds cosmetics that she owns by scanning the bar code of these products. Also, the collaborative platform allows to follow beauty news of similar profiles in order to discover new products that correspond to its expectations.
The founders set up a business model based on three axes: media placement, references to partner e-commerce websites and user data sharing. The way to offer mobile users a totally free application. Although all brands are not yet on the platform, this one offers users to contribute to the uploading of non-referenced cosmetic articles by sending a photo of the product to the Biutag team.
PERFUMIST PERFUMES ADVISOR – to find the perfume of your dreams
Frédérik Besson has been working for many years in the perfume sector as Director of Bel Perfumes, a company selling celebrity fragrances. This experience have been a real inspiration for him because he creates, a few years later, an app that allows users to find in less than 5 minutes the perfume which suits them. The French application Perfumist offers mobile users to select a perfume they like or have already worn. From there, the mobile platform suggests perfumes that can be liked by the user. Then, algorithms analyze the ingredients of the perfume, its type as well as its price in order to find fragrances with similar notes.
YOUCAM MAKEUP – to test products
The mobile platform offers to test hundreds of cosmetic products from partner brands thanks to facial recognition and augmented reality. If the user is convinced by her choice, she can buy products via the app. Thus, in May 2017, YouCam Makeup proposed to its Japanese users the product ranges of L’Oréal and Yves Saint Laurent. At the Cannes Film Festival, the app and L’Oréal Paris made about sixty make-ups available to American, Indian, Mexican and Russian users, which raise their collaboration at the international level.
And YouCam Makeup does not stop there: it offers a service allowing users to have a follow-up of their skin. A software analyzes the face of the user and explains if her skin is healthy according to the magnitude of: pores, wrinkles, pimples or dark circles.
CLEAN BEAUTY – to protect yourself
On average, a woman applies 150 ingredients per day in her skin (© Télématin), an impressive number that pushes consumers to call the composition of the products they use into question. It is in this context that the mobile application Clean Beauty, informs its users about ingredients integrate in cosmetic products. Created in 2014 by OFFICINEA, the French platform allows everyone to easily decode ingredients of a beauty product by scanning the list of ingredients thanks to a smartphone.
Unlike many of its competitors, the app does not scan the product barcode but uses image recognition to analyze all cosmetics’ composition on the market. Allergenic ingredients, endocrine disruptors, irritants or comedogens, preservatives or nanomaterials, Clean Beauty automatically detects controversial ingredients and details their effects on our organism. The app also allows the most curious user to have access to a glossary containing more than 800 ingredients usually used in cosmetics. This information enables consumers to finally understand the list of ingredients on the back of cosmetic products.
POP MY DAY – to be beautiful at any time
Morgane L’Hostis and Charles Berenguer, co-founders of Pop My Day, were inspired by many mobile apps of uberization that both used and have come to the conclusion that there was no mobile platform allowing good quality beauty or wellness services. So, in 2014, they embarked on the Pop my day adventure and created a mobile application to make appointments in order to receive beauty and wellness services at home.
Offering a flexible schedule, the app offers services 7 days a week and from 7 am to 10 pm, and services with a volume discount. Moreover, the application offers each month a new collaboration with a beauty or fashion brand.
One of advantages distinguishing Pop My Day from its competitors is the assurance that freelancers are pre-selected and then tested in a situation by a model and a supervisor of Pop my day.
Look Forward Perspectives
Unlike fashion apps, those in beauty have to draw the mobile users attention, a target easy to reach but who gets bored very quickly. This is one of the reasons why technologies such as Augmented Reality, Face Recognition, and Artificial Intelligence can be used into this applications. We are looking forward to which future technological innovations will help the new generation of beauty apps to succeed!