Need for Development in the Cosmetic World
A commonly shared fear held by most makeup enthusiast is having mismatched foundation, especially for people with skin that falls outside of the centre of the colour spectrum. People have different skin colours, textures, undertones and preferences as to how they want to wear their foundation. The variation of skin makes it increasingly difficult for brands to come out with products that could please the masses. According to one of the creators of MatchCo, “94 percent of women struggle to find a precise shade.” Point being, foundation matching is frustrating.
Some experts have seen a shift in preference, as there is an increasing demand for more product information and a more customizable approach to foundation. For many people, a product that is sold on the counter just meet their expectations and usually a more accurate match of foundation is sought out. Besides the match itself, there is a charm to the idea of having a custom product unique to you. For foundation, it all comes down to how accurate the shade matching is.
Product Development & Design
MatchCo is a simple application that would allow you to find a perfect match within seconds, no makeup artists, human interaction, and no mismatched foundation. An invention that would enable you to find a foundation that fits you. Digital is driving beauty brands to get more personal than ever before, and that is exactly what the makers of MatchCo hatched with the help of personalization and technology experts, David Gross and Andy Howell, who have created a wide range of custom product programs for some of the world’s top brands.
The rapid pace at which innovation in algorithms and colour matching technologies is taking place could be the key to making these services more accessible. The only drawback of the product is that there is only one patent formula that accommodates for individuals who are looking for a medium to light coverage. According to the creators of MatchCo, they were deliberate about creating one formula to master the perfect blend before entering the colour cosmetics arena.
How Did it All Begin?
MatchCo is a company that had its startup from Shiseido, one of the oldest cosmetics companies in the world, a brand that would custom blend foundation for customers using mobile devices. The advancements of smartphones such as Apple’s IOS system and mobiles with high-quality cameras have allowed the hyper-personalization of the cosmetics industry. Masahiko Uotani, chief executive officer of the Tokyo-based Shiseido, said: “accelerated innovation in rapidly evolving digital tools and customised products” were a priority to the company. Marc Rey, the CEO of Shiseido’s American subsidiary, added that implications of this acquisition “humongous.”
How Does it Work?
MatchCo allows its customers to scan their skin through their free mobile app using data to match and personalise a foundation for the user. Once the user has taken photos as instructed by the app, MatchCo’s technology then analyzes their skin tone and blends an all-in-one foundation, a 1-oz. Bottle of the foundation is $49. Each bottle is personalised with your name and the date it was made.
How to Use the App
The hyper-intelligent technology takes five skin scans, analyses your skin tone, and then blends a perfectly matched all-in-one foundation for the user. Each bottle is personalised with their name and the date that it was made. They also suggest scanning at least two to four times a year to capture your skin’s ever-changing tone from season to season.
Step 1: Inner & outer wrists
The scan begins by reading your skin undertones. Your wrists are resistant to discoloration, natural shade contours, and free from age and sun spots.
Step 2: Forehead
The forehead is the largest and smoothest area of skin that is free of natural shade contours. Unblemished skin allows for a precise skin scan.
Step 3: right & left cheek
These are the main zones for makeup coverage. Scanning both cheeks provides the best data about your overall skin tone.
The foundation itself is meant to be lightweight and hydrating for the skin and is intended to contain beneficial the ingredients such as vitamin E, peptides, and green tea extract. All in all, the product is great for its value of $49. However, if you are someone who prefers a fuller-coverage, matte, thicker consistency product; it may not be right for you. However, if you prefer the natural look than this product is excellent.
Lessons for Others
The product design of MatchCo is a mere glimpse of what the future holds in cosmetology using social media. There are many lessons to learn from MatchCo’s success in product development and design. However, the main points are as followed:
- Accessibility is the key to product development and design. The fact is that no matter how innovative the product is if the user doesn’t find it convenient that it is of no use to them. Product design has to do with comfort and accessibility. For example, Lancôme had its Le Teint Particulier debut at Nordstrom in 2015, and Kevyn Aucoin’s The Sensual Skin Enhancer Custom Blend option launched at Bergdorf Goodman the same year. The service for Lancôme’s foundation costs $80 and Aucoin’s $105. Both those brands provide the same result as MatchCo, however, they have no corresponding digital presence to have the process online, which puts them at a significant disadvantage. Just how MatchCo made it easy and accessible for the end user to match themselves, you should think about the end users comfort before designing the product.
- Quality over quantity is another lesson to be learned from MatchCo. Although the formula is not intended for everyone or mainly people who require a heavier coverage of foundation, they are perfecting one product instead of putting numerous faulty products out into the market, preventing the loss of future customers and loss of capital.
- MatchCo also proved that it doesn’t matter where or how the product is developed, either by human or machine, as long as the product is efficient.
- Lastly, product design and development is not about reinventing the wheel; one must take what was already there and find ways to improve it, make it accessible, and put the product into the market quickly. For example, MatchCo uses social media and technology to enhance a product that was already invented and introduced to the market. The custom blended foundation has been available for decades. Sylvie Chantecaille is the woman who pioneered custom blend foundation at counters with Prescriptive in the Eighties. After that, personalization innovation is becoming a growing industry.
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Authored by: Huda Mohammed
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