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L’Oréal Takes Minority Stake in Korean Temporary Tattoo-maker

The group has invested in Prinker Korea Inc.

PARIS — L’Oréal has taken a minority stake in temporary tattoo-maker Prinker Korea Inc.

The world’s largest beauty company said in a statement Monday that the investment into the South Korea-based company was made through the corporate venture fund BOLD Business Opportunities for L’Oréal Development.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Prinker Korea, which launched in 2015, invented and manufacturers the world’s first digital temporary tattoo device “with a goal to inspire consumers and offer new tools for self-expression,” according to L’Oréal.

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Prinker’s temporary tattoo device is compact and light, enabling the creation of durable yet easy-to-wash-off tattoos in color or black-and-white, at home or in store.

On the Prinker app, it’s possible to choose a tattoo from among more than 12,000 designs. People may create their own drawings on the Prinker app, too, which are then made into tattoos.

Prinker claims to have the world’s first and only cosmetics inks and primer to be wholly compliant with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Voluntary Cosmetics Registration Program, as well as the European Union’s Cosmetics Products Notification Portal.

The debut iteration, Prinker S., was introduced in January 2020, with a price tag of $269. Two years later came Prinker M, a smaller, lighter version costing upward of $199. That gizmo measures 103 by 55 by 75.5-mm, and weighs just 169 grams.

L’Oréal and Prinker have worked together for some years to develop L’Oréal Brow Magic, billed to be the first handheld, electronic brow makeup applicator to provide a custom brow shape. It was just unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show, or CES.

“Using AR technology and patented AI algorithms, the device scans the user’s face and makes recommendations on the best brow shape, which is then printed in seconds automatically,” L’Oréal explained.

“At L’Oréal, our researchers are partnering with high-end technology start-ups to create the future of beauty,” said Barbara Lavernos, L’Oréal deputy chief executive officer in charge of research, innovation and technology.

“Through this strategic investment, we can fulfil our deep commitment to bringing breakthrough beauty technologies that truly empower boundless personalization and self-expression into the hands of every person,” she added.

Luke Yun, cofounder and CEO of Prinker Korea, said L’Oréal “aligns with our mission of empowering consumers with versatile and customizable tech to express themselves. Their century-long heritage of beauty, research and development, and sharp focus on beauty technology will allow us to reach more consumers than ever before. Their investment will enable us to create innovations that will have the best solutions for people worldwide, and we are elated to work together to reach this goal.”

Prinker’s temporary tattoos have won numerous CES Best of Innovation awards and the global iF Design award. At last year’s Cosmoprof in Bologna, Italy, Prinker’s stand drew crowds daily.

In late November 2022, BOLD took a minority stake in Microphyt, a French biotech company, with the aim of developing new cosmetic solutions.