In an age where technology has become central to our day-to-day lives, where a simple selfie can circulate to hundreds of people as quickly as it takes to make your morning cup of coffee, it’s hard to imagine a time where you couldn’t just click a button on your phone and instantly send a snapshot of your life to everyone around you. Avid social media enthusiasts from younger to older generations alike have created a demand for people wanting to stand out, to show your individuality. And the beauty industry has started to follow suit by designing individualized products that work for customers’ specific needs. The recent boom in the demand for customized products has expanded based on a wide range of needs. Personalized cosmetics, individualized remedies for skin care concerns and even preventative beauty treatments are being actively sought by educated consumers.
In the real world, beauty is about more than just covering up your flaws, and the increasing number of people are looking for personalized beauty products that will target specific goals, without the tiring battle of trial and error they get from searching through generic, one size fits all products. Cutting edge beauty companies are working to give consumers the products they need with the same efficiency and ease of access that they are used to, aspiring to make it as easy as a few clicks on an app. Working alongside revolutionary technology, companies are developing software and specialized machines that work to create products based on requests sent by the individual; in a simple, streamlined process designed to be user-friendly and fun. There are hundreds of reasons why people are turning to customization, here is how companies are making it happen.
Getting to know a customer as an individual is a crucial aspect in the process of creating custom products. Traditionally, customers had to go through purchasing and test the products they were interested in to ensure that it worked for them. Companies are hoping to completely remove this step in the process, putting it on themselves to work for the individual needs of their customers. Generally, the use of questionnaires and online quizzes would be the first step in the process, allowing to determine what the person’s concerns are to better guide them throughout the process. As you answer questions, you choose your priorities and identify the issues you’d like to address, and the outcome is a tailor-made product based on your answers. Function of Beauty, is an innovative company that allows the consumer to create custom hair products that takes into account personal details regarding your hair care needs. This includes your hair type, it’s thickness, your scalps moisture, and your overall goals. Their quick, easy questionnaire takes only a few minutes and results in a custom product labeled with your name. Turning to custom beauty alleviates the need to search for a desired product. The objective is to give you exactly what you need in the fraction of the time that it takes to shop at a drugstore. Tech doesn’t have to be complicated, and the beauty industry is working to make the process as enjoyable as possible.
There are several ways that companies are making customization easier and more accessible. Some have developed apps that can be used to order and “test” products before you purchase them. The company Finding Ferdinand, for example, specializes in creating custom lipsticks. According to its website, the founder Nhu Le has designed a process that encourages customers to mix and match different shades of colors. The range of base colors allows the customer to create thousands of possible shades for every occasion. To simplify the process, the app lets you mix colors, save your shades, and try them on by using your phone’s camera, giving you a more accurate idea of what the shade will look like on you before you buy it.
Some skeptics have expressed their concerns with the customization of products, especially around the possibility of human error in the manufacturing process. How can a company guarantee that a product that is designed for allergy prone skin, for example, will not get contaminated or mixed up during the process of customization? Organation, a high-tech company that specializes in personalized skin care has created a process that eliminates the possibility of such error through the use of a specialized machine. They have replaced human labor with a proprietary algorithm and a precision device that receives orders for customized skin creams and then dispenses the precise quantities of selected ingredients, ensuring quality and accuracy during the process. In the past, large-scale manufacturing of large batches of identical products ensured quality, but beauty is not standing still and has taken advantage of technology that works for its customers. As technology develops, algorithms like Organation’s will allow for mass customization, producing a unique product in each jar in the same amount of time as it would take to mass produce cookie-cutter products.
Customization gives you the power to decide what goes into your product, letting you select what they are putting on your body of face. Giving the control to the consumers gives them the ability to create what they need when they need it. From re-creating discontinued products to hypoallergenic creams, there is a space for creativity that has never been seen before. The key is that companies have to work for the customer, closely monitoring what they want so that they can shape their process accordingly. A great example of this can be seen in the increasing demand for more natural ingredients. Almost like a domino effect, this created a trend in customization of avoiding synthetic ingredients altogether, showing just how quickly the beauty industry is adapting to its customers’ needs.
As consumers, people want fast and affordable, service. No one wants to waste time and money on products that are not going to work for them. Many people have gone the route of customization not only because of convenience that advancing technology brings them, but also because of the very fact that what you are getting is created to work specifically for you; saving a vast amount of time and energy in the long run. The increase in demand for customization in recent years is forcing businesses to adapt to an intelligent and tech-savvy customer base. The consequence has been an immense effort put into the development of custom beauty products, allowing for a more inclusive creation of solutions that can deal with a wide range of beauty goals. At the rate this is happening, the sky’s the limit for the potential growth explosion in the custom products market that will undoubtedly benefit the consumers by putting them in the driver’s seat.
Olga Frunze is the founder of the company Organation and an expert in cosmetic chemistry. Her degree in chemistry in cosmetic industry, a detailed approach to components and application of the latest scientific achievements have all led up to the creation of customized skin care products, created by a woman for women.