How beauty and tech are making waves together in the start-up world

Here are a few start-up businesses that are already changing the face of the beauty industry.

Earlier this year, L’Oréal, one of the world’s largest, most powerful beauty industry corporations, announced it was teaming up with Founders Factory, an influential, London-based tech startup incubator co-founded by entrepreneurs Brent Hoberman, Henry Lane Fox and Jim Meyerle. The deal involves investing in five start-ups and co-creating two new companies from scratch every year.

While such announcement might seem old news in the world of tech and start-ups, it’s actually rather significant in the sense that the beauty market is a bit late to the party and hasn’t gained as much traction compared with other sectors such as fashion: funding in fashion start-ups went from $25 million in 2010 to a whopping $980 million in 2016.

The fashion industry is changing fast and the beauty sector is rapidly following in its footsteps, as demonstrated earlier this year by L’Oréal’s deal with Founders Factory. It’s a prime time for business entrepreneurs to start their own tech-based beauty business and here are a few start-up businesses that are already changing the face of the beauty industry.

Also see: What insurance do I need for my beautician business?

Augmented reality and the final frontier of medical aesthetics: ModiFace

Based in Toronto, this augmented reality app launched at the end of 2015 and quickly gained a lot of traction amongst some of the biggest cosmetics and beauty industry players, becoming one of the most widely-used reality augmented app on the market. It enables prospective customers to try on various types of makeup, superimposed virtually over a person’s face.

Impressively enough, 55 of the top makeup brands such as Sephora and Unilever are using it. The success story doesn’t stop there however as dermatologists and plastic surgeons are also showing heaps of interest for the app that can show potential patients what they will look like after a procedure.

Such interest is fuelled by the increasing popularity of minimally invasive cosmetic procedures such as Botox, dermal fillers injections and laser-based treatments, and the subsequent rising number of Botox courses for nurses on offer to help medical aesthetics professionals meet the demand. Medical aesthetics will probably be the final frontier when it comes to beauty tech and apps, and the revolution is most certainly ongoing right now.

TréStique: beauty summit winner

Tréstique was founded by Revlon veterans Jennifer Kapahi and Jack Bensason. After years working in the beauty industry, they decided to launch their own makeup brand that specialises in beauty pencils. It was rewarded last year by a beauty summit showcasing some of the most innovative startups in beauty and held by FounderMade, an incubator style platform “dedicated to connecting entrepreneurs to corporate partners, investment and financing”.

The summit is held every year and each time brings its load of young and hopeful business entrepreneurs looking to make it in the beauty sector. Actors such as FounderMade are essential in enabling the current dynamism of the cosmetics field.

My UV patch and beauty wearables

L’Oréal’s global vice-president Guive Balooch introduced a revolutionary sun-protection patch during a discussion panel in January 2016. The patch will be conceived like a tattoo and woòò contain a chip whose sensor will be able to detect how much sun the wearer is getting.

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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