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Sephora and fledgling beauty firm Map My Beauty are teaming up to offer customers a mobile app that gives personalized instructions for facial contouring.

Finding the right makeup look is one thing, but figuring out how to put it on is another.

Sephora and fledgling beauty firm Map My Beauty are teaming up to offer customers a mobile app that gives personalized instructions for facial contouring.

This story first appeared in the March 4, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The new cross-platform beauty application, also called Map My Beauty, is what the company is billing as the very first “virtual makeup artist” mobile app that teaches consumers how and where to apply makeup based on their unique features, said Annabella Daily, founder and chief executive officer of Map My Beauty. Daily founded her firm in June 2014.

“Millions of women look to YouTube for beauty instructions and ‘makeup tutorial’ is one of most-searched terms on Google, yet none of them were personalized for a consumer’s specific face,” Daily said. “Also, while there are color try-on tools, they just show the color pasted on your face without any specialized directions.”

Here’s how it works: one uploads a selfie and Map My Beauty’s proprietary beauty analysis and makeup-mapping technology will read the user’s face and analyzes the symmetry of her features to immediately provide personalized makeup application tips based on her distinct facial features. Shoppable links are included, looks can be shared on social media, and users can e-mail themselves an electronic face chart, also with shoppable links. Daily expects the technology to especially resonate with Millennials — “they want it fast, they want it on mobile, and they want it personalized,” she said.

Sephora was impressed enough to team up with Daily for a three-month pilot program, which is designed to support one of the retailer’s fastest-growing categories, facial contouring, said Bridget Dolan, vice president, interactive media, for Sephora. The program begins March 5 and runs through June, she said, adding that it’ll be housed on Sephora’s mobile site. It can be found at

“We’ve been looking for something like this for a while — a program which actually teaches you step-by-step rather than just showing your face with the color already applied,” Dolan said. “Contouring is a category that’s been heating up for us over the last six to nine months, and it’s an area where customers are often confused about how to replicate it. We don’t want them to go home and throw the product in a drawer because the consumer can’t remember how the beauty adviser applied it. This literally shows, step by step, exactly where on the consumer’s face to add the product and how to apply it, and it’s also adaptable to the type of contouring consumers prefer — stick, powder or cream. We believe this is the type of technology which will demystify beauty for consumers and make them dedicated beauty customers for life.”

Daily aims to take the technology to a wider audience, allowing brands and retailers to upload their own beauty trends and how-to looks in-store and on mobile with a stand-alone B2B platform and iPhone app she will launch this fall. They are intended to serve as “the first-ever beauty industry how-to hub in the cloud,” said Daily, adding that tutorials for both face and eye makeup are planned. Daily noted that possible iterations for brands could include replicating Oscar and Golden Globes red-carpet looks.

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