Beauty Tech Live: Business France showcases five French beauty tech start-ups

Transparency, traceability, consumer experience and customization are among the key trends driving the beauty industry, attendees heard at a webinar hosted by agency Business France in the Beauty Tech Live Engagement Lounge.

In France’s beauty space more engineers are innovating in the industry, Business France Cosmetics Project Manager Camille Barrat commented.

Cosmetic Valley deputy ceo– Europe & International and Director Cosmetic 360 Franckie Béchereau said that French tech also aims to “respect people and [the] planet” with strong sustainability credentials.

Business France’s Suite at Beauty Tech Live is hosting five French start-ups presenting tech-driven beauty innovations.

BeautyMix

BeautyMix is a new machine that allows consumers to make their own beauty products at home. Founder Nelly Pitt has a background in engineering and began making her own personal-care products for her children in order to control the products’ ingredients. However, as she had less time, she saw a gap in the market for a product that allows consumers to make their own products in easily and quickly. BeautyMix provides customers with ingredients and hardware, in addition to recipes and guides that consumers can follow via a mobile app. Users add ingredients to the machine, press a button and the machine produces the product. Consumers can make a variety of products across make-up, skincare and personal care.

BeautyMix is based in France and sells throughout Europe. Pitt commented that beauty routines and products can be  personalized and country specific. “As a beauty brand that’s where we are very different because in our case our product can meet the needs of almost anybody, we just provide the solution,” she added.

Sommelier du Parfum

Sommelier du Parfum is described as a perfume discovery platform. Sommelier du Parfum ceo Samuel Fillon said that while consumers need to sample fragrance in-person, there are many benefits to a digital fragrance discovery platform, including the fact that a digital base can contain a larger catalogue. The mobile app’s starting point is the consumer’s taste: Users first enter information regarding fragrances they already like and what kind of scents they prefer, among other criteria. The technology has machine learning algorithms that then provide users with five or six fragrance suggestions. Once the app suggests fragrances, this then leads the user to choose sampling options. In France the platform offers the option to buy a €15 discovery set to test the perfumes at home. The user can then get the €15 rebate once they purchase a full-size product.

With the pandemic, Fillon noted that many consumers are hesitant to test products in stores, and that an online platform offers another way to facilitate discovery.

The app is available internationally. Markets outside of France currently make up 90% of Sommelier du Parfum’s revenue, Fillon said, with 100,000 users. In Europe, Germany and Italy there is a high demand for niche fragrances, while Russia is one of the start-up’s biggest markets. Sommelier du Parfum currently has 20 brands and the start-up is focusing on adding new brands with the aim of housing between 40 and 50.

Beautylitic

Beautylitic was launched in 2019, when it was first presented in a beta version at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in the US. Beautylitic claims to be the first B2B SaaS platform to meet the challenges of sustainability and consumer expectations. The platform measures five key items across all types of product portfolios, including: Health (Clean Beauty), Ecotoxicity/Biodegradability (Blue Beauty), Biodiveristy, Activity and anticipating product ratings in main consumer apps worldwide. Beautylitic co-founder and ceo Candice Colin noted that while the beauty industry is moving to more natural ingredients, it “cannot destroy what we are trying to protect.”

The cloud-based software was initially designed for retailers and was first used by French retail group Auchan. However, the start-up developed new functionalities to serve more industry players, such as brands and manufacturers. Retailers can use the platform to better manage and rationalize their offer, better select products, provide transparency, set up retailer programs and assess programs to meet sustainability standards. Meanwhile, Beautylitic enables brands and manufacturers to analyze their current portfolio, highlights the points they need to improve , analyze risk, manage their transformation and benchmark their performance compared to competitors.

While the platform launched in France, the company is now working with other European countries. Beautylitic inked a partnership with Spanish company Puig. The start-up aims to expand its presence in Europe this year but ultimately aims to move into the US market.

4.5.6 Skin

4.5.6 Skin claims to be the first customized skincare brand created for the specific needs of melanin-rich skin. Skin phototypes IV, V and VI, those of melanin-rich skin, are often left outside the R&D process, notes 4.5.6 Skin Co-Founder and ceo Noelly Michoux.

“Skincare must be at the forefront of customization [and the] audience that we serve has different needs than what the industry considers standard,” she noted. “Skin phototypes IV, V and VI are often left outside the R&D process so before we even talk about data it is about looking at the difference of this skin [that need] to be taken into the R&D process if you want to be inclusive.”

The brand combines science and findings from dermatology, water science, fragrance science and formulation, among other areas, to develop products geared towards the needs of melanin-rich skin. Product customization is another layer to the brand’s process. Customers enter their skincare concerns and the brand can personalize products according to specific ingredients, added fragrances and packaging. Michoux notes that melanin-rich skin people represent more than 40% of the world population and collecting data on these consumers’ skincare habits will help the industry better serve them.

Based in France, the brand first launched in the UK with a direct-to-consumer model. 4.5.6 is currently preparing to launch in the US.

Beautigloo

Founded by Clara Lizier and Florian Ménard, Beautigloo is a French start-up specializing in the electro-beauty sector. The brand is presenting its Refrigerated Beauty Box at Beauty Tech Live, a device that claims to maximize beauty products’ efficacy. Developed in partnership with dermatologists, the device is said to preserve products, boost their effectiveness and is eco-friendly. The made-in-France device has already been adopted by various beauty brands, notes Lizier, including Dior, among others. The brand has met with strong international demand in both the B2B and B2C space. The brand is stocked at French department stores like Galeries Lafayette and BHV Marais and will soon launch in select beauty retailers in the US and the UK.

Lizier said the start-up is focusing on prototyping to be able to meet beauty brands’ needs and provide them with customization.

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