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Cult Beauty leads AI tech charge with next-gen foundation finder

Gaelle Walker
15 February 2021

Cult Beauty has harnessed the power of AI technology to launch MatchMe – an innovative new foundation finder to help make-up shoppers select the best base for their skin tones.

The new app guides shoppers through five questions about their skin and foundation preferences and then asks them to upload a quick ‘selfie.'

The innovative colour-matching technology then works to analyse skin tone, before presenting shoppers with a curated list of suitable options.

Scouring swathes of top beauty brands, from Huda Beauty to Too Faced, Charlotte Tilbury to NARS – the MatchMe app was “tipped to make foundation faux pas a thing of the past,” co-founder and Co-CEO of Cult Beauty Alexia Inge said.

The development, in partnership with US-based tech solution Make It My Experience (MIME) comes amid a monumental shift in make-up buying behaviour - with the Covid-19 pandemic having accelerated the trend towards digital discovery and spending.

In development since 2019, the technology learns and improves by retrieving matches so, the more people try it, the greater the accuracy.

Inge said: "I have been searching for a killer virtual foundation shade recommendation tool since I started Cult Beauty with mixed results – so we worked with MIME to create our own one.

“Most of the offerings out there rely too much on the user’s knowledge of their skin tone and ability to identify detailed colour nuance, without understanding personal preferences like finish and coverage.

The genius of MatchMe is it’s a (wo)man/machine amalgam that layers sophisticated light reading technology, with live self-certification and a machine-learning AI that improves the results with each user.

The recommendations are quick, practical and most-importantly, accurate.’’

MIME CEO and founder Chris Merkle added: “Covid-19 and the lockdowns have not only changed the way customers purchase colour-cosmetics online, but have further accelerated the shift towards digital spending and product discovery.

More searches on ‘how to match my foundation’ have occurred during 2020 than ever before – and customers demand a personalised shopping experience when accuracy matters most: when matching their own skin tone.

“Our team, along with Cult Beauty, understand that virtual try-on only brings the customer so far in the purchasing journey.

“We therefore have to be confident that when we suggest a product, we know it’s going to be the correct shades when the customer eagerly opens their parcel.

“MIME has dedicated years of research to solving this problem, so that customers are thrilled with every purchase.”


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