Matchco, a new beauty app that aims to create a 100 percent, customized foundation through a patented end-to-end iPhone scan, is catching on.
According to the company, “the app promises a custom color, all-in-one complexion formula, individually blended to perfectly match each and every unique skin tone.”
The one-minute analysis match process operates thanks to a complex algorithm developed by a team of experts. Since launching in November, it’s had more than 750 uses but hasn’t created any two shades that are alike.
“Our wives were our focus groups,” said Andy Howell, co-founder of Matchco. “They said they never found the right colors or products that matched their skin, so we were intent on developing a product or brand that did, while creating a new way of thinking about shopping. We wanted to solve real problems instead of decorating something.”
Both Andy and his partner, Dave Gross, have extensive customization backgrounds, having worked on personalization programs for Nink Id, Skullcandy, Apple, Target, Reebok and Quiksilver, among others. Obsessed with the evolution of limited edition and special collections, they became passionate about personalization and bringing that concept to the masses. The pair have worked for the past two years on Matchco while zeroing in on a digital white space within the beauty industry, all during a time when it seems like other companies are promising similar offerings. Their technology is said to be more advanced than Sephora IQ or Sayuki.
The process is simple, and possibly fun, depending upon your level of neurosis. The phone literally takes thousands of photos to create the perfect recipe for one’s individualized complexion product. First, download the app. Place a sheet of white paper on a table, which is used to calibrate your phone. Register and execute the scanning process on your phone, which verbally speaks to you as you do this. Once your phone has been color-set, you’re asked to scan the inside and outside of your wrist, your makeup-free forehead and cheeks… and voilà! Within minutes, your unique skin profile is formulated and your My Perfect Complexion Custom Tinted Hydrating Formula is presented with your name printed on the bottle, which will arrive at your front door 48 hours later for $49.
“The increased selection at retail is almost a hindrance and inevitably retailers can’t stock all the shades companies are making, so the consumer is always chasing colors,” Andy said. “What we’re doing with this product is more than matching your color. We take all the guess work away from the customer while solving their problems at the same time.”
He went on to say that women with different skin issues will now “have a better way to experience beauty and makeup. We have the opportunity to understand other elements of their complexion, as well and potentially address those down the road.”
In addition to color, the foundation’s formula offers: bisabolol, a form of calming chamomile; vitamin E; peptides, to help to reduce fine lines and wrinkles while adding a level of hydration; ceramides, to restore the skin’s protective barrier against bacteria and pollutants; and antioxidants – including green tea and white lily extract. Though one would think their consumer would sku a bit younger—the magic happens on smart phones after all—what they’ve found was surprising.
“Though the younger consumer is quick to download lots of apps, $49 could be considered a little high for an 18-year-old,” said Andy. “Matchco has sold in every state, and our most frequent customers is in the 24 to 40 range. That’s exciting. We’re the most basic of the color category, the 30-plus consumer, who is interested in taking care of her skin and is time pressed.”
Though Andy was unable to give more information about forthcoming initiatives, he did add that the company is talking to customers and getting feedback. With a makeup/salon studio in the front of their blend lab in Santa Monica, Andy and Dave host influencers and media, and have makeup artists do tutorials about the product.
“Having a product made for you is a completely different experience than buying something off a shelf,” Andy said. “When the makeup/no makeup line under the jaw disappears or your skin is covered with a product identical to your skin tone, it changes the experience. Rather than you matching the makeup, the make up is matching you.”