The retailer has just launched its private label Skin Shades developed in partnership with U.K.-based company Trigenex, which is behind the AI technology at the core of the brand’s customization system.
Using a patented AI system, the Trigenex technology analyzes customers’ skin type via a lipstick-sized scanner run on different areas of their face and neck, matching the data registered in the process with the preferences in terms of coverage, texture and finishes that clients express via a questionnaire on a tablet.
The information is then studied and processed by a compact blending machine installed in the stores, which creates the personalized mineral based, vegan and cruelty-free formulation on the spot and completely from scratch.
“The machine has all the individual ingredients… There’s no base or a bottle of non-colored foundation that’s been colored but we’re actually creating it, meaning that we can make hundreds of thousands of different combinations,” said Adam Triantis, cofounder and chief executive officer of Trigenex. The company launched in late 2020 following an investment of one million pounds aimed at developing the concept and technology.
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Triantis also underscored the project’s benefits in terms of tackling stock limitations as well as of reducing waste, energy consumption and carbon footprint during shipments.
In addition to personalization, speed and the enhancement of the shopping experience in the brick-and-mortar channel, Skin Shades also comes with sweet-spot price points as each foundation retails at 34 euros.
“We believe that customized products are the future of cosmetics and it’s all about making it accessible for as many people as possible,” said Triantis. Trigenex commercial director Ross Beagrie added that customers are now willing to pay more for a customized product and are more likely to be loyal to a brand or retailer offering this service.
Launched at a selection of Marionnaud stores in Italy, Skin Shades will roll out in the chain’s units in France later this year, but the plan is to introduce the range also in other markets starting from 2022.
While the product is not available on e-commerce platforms yet, Beagrie underscored that Trigenex has “the capability to offer the same process online, too.”
“Rather than having a physical scanner in store, we have a piece of technology that scans your face without recording the image but just taking a reading of it. Then that [information] goes into our system, we produce the product and we ship it wherever the customer will be… or if you’re a retailer, we can send it to your warehouse and you forward it, in quite a quick period of time,” he added.
Product-wise, the technology can be applied to other categories, too, said Triantis. “As long as it’s liquid, we can customize it. So going forward, it could be things like concealers, liquid lip color, but also personal skin care and, at a more complex level, potentially hair color,” he noted.
On the collaboration front, the company is looking to flank the partnership with Marionnaud — the first with a retailer for Trigenex — with projects developed with beauty brands, too.