Launched earlier this month, My Makeup Collection is a new premium mobile makeup management application for beauty bloggers, makeup artists, and power-users.
So how does it work? Users upload pictures of their makeup items accompanied by photographs of how they look in them. This allows the user to keep track of what makeup items they have at home; and when they’re out shopping, they can compare new cosmetics and testers in retail stores to what they already have in inventory. They can also review their makeup collection by looking at graphs to understand how many of each item – type, brand and colour – they own.
Users can also create different looks and record them via the app for reference before special occasions Each photograph can be tagged with the products used, making it easier to replicate the look in the future.
Further, My Makeup Collection allows users to share their collections via email and social media, as well as post reviews on WordPress, Blogger and Typepad directly through the app.
Founder of My Makeup Collection, Rebecca Pedlow-Collins, says “current apps are all targeted at ‘the woman on the street’ and demystifying makeup”. There are no others apps in the market targeted to the power-user segment.
“The power users are already confident at using makeup and are looking for the functions that are more common in ‘productivity apps’ – organising, analytics, sharing. We saw a really interesting gap in the market for an app targeted at the power-users of cosmetics who have issues like buying identical ‘dupe’ products from different brands because they weren’t sure what they had at home or in their makeup kit,” says Pedlow-Collins.
She adds that beauty bloggers, makeup artists and power-users would typically use Excel spreadsheets to keep on top of their cosmetics collection; but My Makeup Collection adds a crucial visual element to it.
“Makeup is inherently visual, so it is much more useful to have a database rather than a spreadsheet where you can actually attach an image to all of your records. People don’t carry their entire makeup kits when they’re out shopping, so having access to that database in an app is much more useful for people on the go,” says Pedlow-Collins.
The size of the beauty market is currently estimated at USD$230 billion, with compounded annual growth rates of approximately 3.4 percent (Lucintel, Global Beauty Care Products Industry 2012-2017: Trend, Profit, and Forecast Analysis). Given the current largest markets are the US, Western Europe and Asia, international expansion will play an important role in the startup’s success. In fact, Pedlow-Collins says it was important to establish a design that would be attractive to the Asian market.
Pedlow-Collins spent around AUD$30,000 on building the app, excluding time and free labour. She chose not to raise money because wanted “full control over the project”.
“There are other makeup apps that have come out, and the founders have become so focused on raising money and monetising the app as quickly as possible, that they’ve overlooked what the users want, and how they would like to use the app,” says Pedlow-Collins.
“For me, user experience is the most important thing to nail down. I think if I raised external funds, I would have lost focus.”
The app is currently free to use, and features some advertising to cover basic server costs. The only in-app purchase offered at the moment is to remove advertising.
Pedlow-Collins plans on further monetising the app by adding more features and functionality once a strong user-base has been established.
“The next 12 months, we are focusing on growing our user base to the level that we can justify developing some more powerful features,” she says.
Some of the premium features they’re looking to add in the future include the ability to upload multiple photos for each entry and make the user’s personal collection and profile public. They’re also looking at making the app more interactive, so users can share information with each other.
Pedlow-Collins admits it’s going to be a slow but steady process before they’re able to scale, but she has no problem with that.
“A lot of people think that once you have a great idea for an app, all you need to do is take it to a developer and you’ll magically become a millionaire. But it’s like any other business. It takes time. You are not going to make money straight away but it is worth it because you are building something for yourself,” she adds.