Map My Beauty, the firm that developed the technology that powers Sephora’s Pocket Contour mobile application, is launching its own eponymous, direct-to-consumer app today.
Utilizing the same technology as Sephora Pocket Contour, the Map My Beauty app is an instructional service that guides consumers to find the correct makeup products and application tips for their unique features, based off selfies taken in-app. The proprietary face-mapping technology analyzes selfies in order to make personalized product recommendations and step-by-step application instructions based on distinct characteristics like skin tone, hair color and face shape, said Annabella Daily, founder and chief executive officer of Map My Beauty. Daily founded the firm in June 2014 and pitched its technology to Sephora soon after. The retailer, quick to capitalize on the growing facial contouring trend, picked it up as part of a three-month pilot program that was introduced in March 2015.
“A partnership with a major brand like Sephora is incredible because you learn so much — what works, what doesn’t work — and you can keep building your product and platform from there,” Daily said.
You May Also Like
Daily noted that a key learning from Sephora Pocket Contour was that consumers are curious about all stages of makeup application, even the basics — not necessarily the hot new trends. Thus, the Map My Beauty app offers step-by-step instructions for every step of obtaining a look — from foundation, to eyebrows, to highlighting and lipstick. Users can explore predetermined looks conceived by makeup artists and beauty YouTubers — for instance, Spicy Smoky Eye, a red eye shadow look, or Power Brow — and then receive personalized steps and product recommendations in order to achieve them.
“There are so many makeup products that we find that might end of up sitting in the back of your top shelf because you don’t know exactly how to apply them or you might be afraid to even buy new products because even if the beauty adviser showed you in-store how to apply it, you might not know exactly how to do that once you get home. It’s easy to forget,” Daily said. “We had a 40 percent repeat rate [on Sephora Pocket Contour]. This really tells us that people want to remind themselves how to make this happen.”
At launch, the Map My Beauty app will feature four “beauty counters” — Indie brands Evelyn Iona, Make Beauty, Katherine Cosmetics and Gallany. The beauty counters are sections of the app where users will be able to purchase the products recommended to them in their personalized tutorials. The service offers a universal checkout and free shipping. Daily noted that she plans to expand the brand offering, with a focus on Indie labels, in the coming year.
“[Map My Beauty] is really a destination of discovery as well as learning,” Daily said. “[We are] bringing consumers into the world of Indie brands, so they can learn what that brand stands for and get to the know them.”
Looking toward the future, Daily plans to apply Map My Beauty’s technology to skin and hair care, and roll both categories into the makeup-based app.
“When you have this type of technology you don’t have to actually master anything. You could really become your own makeup artist, your own beauty adviser, own beauty influencer,” Daily said.