The beauty industry has been slow to catch on to the digital trend. A few brands like L’Oreal and mass retailer Sephora are leading the charge in beauty innovation.
In late March, Swedish beauty and personal care brand FOREO—whose previous products include the Issa electric toothbrush and the Luna facial brush—announced the world’s first digital makeup system, MODA, which is still in beta (and the cost not released).
Using advanced 3D printing and facial-scanning technology along with an integrated smartphone app, MODA allows users to customize their make-up look via an app and replicate it in 30 seconds by sticking their face into the printer, shown above.
The idea is similar to Grace Choi’s Mink, a 3D printer that produces make-up, though MODA takes this idea one step further by 3D-printing the makeup and applying the desired look directly on the user’s face.
MODA applies FDA-approved mineral make-up ink via a three-step process: primer with SPF; foundation; and then color (eye makeup, lipstick, cheek) cosmetics.
brandchannel contributor Brittany Waterson spoke with Justin Wang, FOREO’s Vice President of Communications, about MODA and how digital innovation is making over the beauty and personal care industry.
brandchannel: Where did the idea for MODA come from?
Justin Wang: The idea of the MODA has been around for a few years, but the experience of our close friends and employees with their beauty routine really inspired us to develop a solution for the challenges they face.
When you are working at a start-up skincare brand, just like any start-ups, people are often asked to take on several roles and wear different hats—often times we would have people help set up POSM and do a retail launch in the afternoon and rush to a PR cocktail event in the evening. The MODA was conceived to help people keep up with their busy lives while looking and feeling their best.
bc: Who is MODA’s target audience (millennials? Gen Z?)
Wang: Anyone that wants the latest looks and trends at the touch of a button.
bc: MODA was announced around April Fools Day, spurring many to think the product wasn’t real. Why do you think consumers find MODA unbelievable?
Wang: Any disruptive technology can be misunderstood and seem unbelievable at first. We’ve released the news about the MODA as a concept unveil with the consumer release yet to be confirmed.
bc: Do you see MODA as disrupting the cosmetics industry or is it simply a (revolutionary) aid to helping women apply make-up?
Wang: Absolutely! Everything we do at FOREO is meant to be disruptive and outside the box.
The MODA stemmed from an idea to work towards a product that will completely change the relationship between women and their makeup… to make every look and style available on demand, from celebrity looks, to the makeup trend they saw on Instagram or maybe even recreate a look they had last year.
It’s not just about replicating looks instantly, but offering a solution that can keep up with today’s fast-paced life. We can change our clothes and fashion in seconds, why not makeup?
bc: The beauty industry is struggling to become digital and incorporate tech into their brands/brand experience, why do you think this is?
Wang: For any traditional branded industries—from beauty to fashion—technology and change can sometimes be intimidating. For brands that have traditionally relied on strong retail presence and traditional print/TVCs to communicate with the consumer, it is often hard to shift away from a traditional mentality.
However, today 70% of beauty consumers are incorporating online research and the digital experience as part of their decision making process – and for majority of them online is becoming the dominant channel of influence. Brands and product solutions need to follow suit to provide a meaningful digital brand experience. Companies need to see their customers as savvy and sophisticated and provide a experience and solution that respects that sophistication.