PARIS — Imagine a Nespressolike machine that makes fresh face cream for you daily. That’s the gist of Romy Paris, billed to be a next-generation beauty concept that just prelaunched here.
“The idea is really to propose connected intelligence in cosmetics,” explained Morgan Acas, one of the brand’s cofounders, who said the project has been five years in the making.
This story first appeared in the September 24, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The gizmo works by adding highly concentrated active ingredients contained in capsules to a reserve of serum or cream depending on a user’s needs and determined with the help of an app.
On their mobile devices, people first need to fill out an in-depth questionnaire regarding lifestyle, habits and skin type. In order to further complete the survey, they can also authorize that information be culled digitally from Apple’s Health application.
Once queries are answered, the app then suggests what specific product formulation — chosen from about 1,000 possible ingredient combinations — is necessary using two lines of capsules.
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There’s the “Evolutive” collection, which responds to cutaneous stresses linked to the environment and lifestyle, such as too little sleep or too much alcohol consumption, and involves active ingredients being added to a serum.
The “Fondamentale” line (as its name suggests) is for more basic issues, like skin’s need for hydration or nutrition, and it is meant to be used in a cream base as a second step in the treatment regimen.
“The hermetically sealed capsules protect the active ingredients, so they can give the most possible [effect] during the formulation, just before application,” said Thomas Dauxerre, another cofounder of Romy Paris, whose parent company is AC&B.
Both the serum and two creams, with a lighter and a heavier texture, are housed in the back of the contraption called “Figure,” which is described as a mini-laboratory.
“Figure is a beauty assistant,” explained Acas, of the machine that has already been trademarked in France, with countries abroad in the works, and whose streamline design was created by Servaire & Co. The gizmo stands 1.1 feet high and weighs almost six pounds.
Via Bluetooth it can tell the Romy Paris app if the stock of base products in it is running low.
Once people receive their formula information, they can feed up to three capsules into Figure, where the active ingredients are mixed with a base. Seven to nine seconds after the touch of a button, a 1-ml. dose of serum or cream pops out on a spatula.
Gérard Redziniak, a scientific consultant and dermocosmetology inventor who works on the Romy Paris project, said that its introduction reminds him of the cosmetic sea change experienced 30 years ago when he helped launch Christian Dior’s Capture brand.
“It was a revolution,” said Redziniak, adding that Romy is as well, since it allows people to formulate their own treatment on a daily, up-to-the-minute basis according to skin’s specific needs. He lauded the capsules’ “super protected,” highly active, fresh ingredients that contain no preservatives.
“We respond to a need of daily health for our skin,” said Redziniak.
Five hundred Figure machines can currently be preordered online, through romy-paris.com. Each sells for 490 euros, or $547 at current exchange, and comes with three months’ worth of treatment, including one 30-ml. serum with two boxes (or 56 doses) of Evolutive capsules and one 30-ml. cream with a box of Fondamentale capsules. Deliveries of these will be made prior to Christmas.
Individual boxes of 28 capsules will be priced from 26 euros to 38 euros, or $29 to $42.40. A 30-ml. serum is 25 euros, or $27.90, while a 30-ml. cream is 20 euros, or $22.30.
In the meantime, more capsule types are being developed, and Romy’s app will keep evolving, too, its founders said.
Executives at the brand explained that the overall concept can be broadened greatly — to involve hair-care products or a rollout to dermatologists’ offices, spas and beauty institutes, for instance.
Other ideas include opening a Romy boutique, ideally in Paris, within two years and having department store shop-in-shops. Cobranding could be in the cards, as well.