Every few years there is an App that takes the tec world by storm, something that sets the internet alight and draws users in their droves to hit the download button. However it’s rare to have an App that is both incredibly technologically advanced but also has both the fashion industry and beauty industry clambering to find out more about it.
Well step up Perfect Corp, the company who’ve created three incredible Apps, YouCam Perfect, YouCam Nails and YouCam Makeup. YouCam Perfect allows you to take a perfect beautified selfie, blemish free and perfect lighting, YouCam Nails, an App that allows you to take a blank canvas (the nails on your hands!) and create your own perfect nail designs. And then last but no means least (in fact my personal favorite) YouCam Makeup- Simply take a selfie, and instantly apply makeup to it. Having partnered up with some of the top beauty brands you can try the latest eyelashes by Ardell, foundation, blusher lipstick, and eye shadow, by Elizabeth Arden, all of which can be tried and tested and then purchased online.
The Apps technology is so accurate that the makeup is applied as though it had been done at the hands of the most talented of makeup artists and there is now even an option to color your hair and see if the color suits you before committing. Incredible, I think you’ll agree?
Well, the fashion and beauty world certainly does, Perfect Corp managed to secure a partnership with The Daily Front Row during fashion week, and YouCam Makeup even featured the looks on the runway from Chanel (Oh So Coco) to Versace (Venus) allowing users to try the looks from the runway for themselves, no wonder the App has one numerous awards including App of the Year in 2015 Appy Awards in the Fashion & Apparels category.
The Apps aren’t just a faze for fashion week though, with YouCam Makeup going from strength to strength as Perfect Corp continue to see the downloads increase. In addition they have created BeautyCircle, a community for fashion and beauty lovers who can share their favorite fashion and beauty looks, and beauty articles other readers would enjoy - a Pinterest for fashion and beauty if you will.
Even publications such as InStyle magazine are using BeautyCircle and a select few invited bloggers have been given the title of 'Beautyist' on BeautyCircle, as featured writers on the App and are using it to publish articles and share information.
Just to give you an idea of how big YouCam Apps have become and how incredible their team is; They have 150 employees, global offices in New York, Shanghai, Japan, Germany and San Francisco. YouCam Makeup has become the number one App. They have almost one million downloads globally every single day, YouCam Makeup is ranked Top 10 apps of App Store’s ‘Photo and Video’ category in 151 countries, and to top it all off, this success has come just 16 months after its initial launch.
When I first meet Alice, I'm bowled over by how welcoming she is, and despite running such a huge company, with their latest Apps being such a knock-out success, she is incredibly down to earth. The perfect balance of a women in charge of a hugely successful company, but the right sprinkling of excitement for the success of their Apps, and understanding of their female customer to know what drives them, and what gets them excited about revisiting their incredible Apps everyday.
Alice is aware that the success of the Apps has been truly remarkable, but she is certainly not resting on the laurels of its current success. Alice is constantly looking at the next opportunities with the App and knows the possibilities are endless.
As I interview Alice, we are just two weeks away from the Oscars and the team are finalizing the technology to replicate Amy Adams makeup look among others, so she and the team are constantly working on updates, no wonder Vogue Paris has featured them and above all this, the app is completely free, Alice tells me, “Now, in this economy, it has to be. There are beauty Apps, but I knew we could do better. I saw problems that could be perfected. I wanted to be able to create something where girls could take a beautiful photo and want to keep it for themselves." Alice tells me that the App only took ten months to develop. “We already had the technology here, our technology team here is so good.” Good is an understatement, having tried out other Apps as research they didn’t come close to the precision and options that YouCam Makeup has.
I ask Alice, why makeup? Does she feel it is a form of expression for girls? “As a girl I loved going to department stores and trying on makeup, so I wanted to create this in a virtual world. Then I can bring it into the real world. That’s when I felt I could work with real brands. You don’t have to go into a department store and try it anymore, you can try it virtually and then buy it.” Due to how advanced the technology is it is a very real version of what the final product looks like on you, seeing it next to your own skin tone, and complexion it certainly allows you to experiment more. “It helps for girls who wouldn’t normally wear makeup” Alice says.
I tell Alice that I'm also a huge fan of BeautyCircle, that has not just created images, but also a space for women, bloggers and publications to create a communication and social circle with shared interests. “I love Pintrest, I just look at the fashion. It wasn’t enough to just have content, I wanted to invite brands to create premium content for beauty lovers.”
I ask Alice if they have thought about doing the same thing they are doing with makeup for fashion? I would love to be able to 'try on' items in an App before I buy. "We would like to." Alice says enthusiastically "But the technology for that is much harder with so many different cuts of clothes. We are looking at starting with t-shirts though." More immediately however, Alice is looking at expanding into accessories, sunglasses, nail polish brands, rings and watches, “We have more brands coming in.” I ask how the brands are responding? Incredibly well by all accounts? “There is a fundamental demand. It’s difficult for brands to reach out to millennia’s.” Certainly Perfect Corp seem to have found the ideal way, YouCam Makeup has been so popular that Alice was in Paris the week before I meet with her and is flying out to New York the week after our interview to meet with more brands.
Perhaps an added reason for the popularity of the App is the social aspect of it, not only are users creating gorgeous looks but users are able to share them with other users for them to try. “Everyone can become a beauty expert” Alice tells me, smiling. With such a strong I.T background, Alice and the team admit they are still learning about the beauty industry but they are now "able to mix high tec with high beauty.” Perfect Corp are even dipping their toe in the water of the TV industry, now working with the most popular TV drama in Taiwan to recreate the looks on the TV show through the App, I ask if the production company approached them, “No” Alice tells me, “They approached us.” Proving what an incredible reach the App is having.
With future plans to expand into the U.S With features in magazines such as INSTYLE’s - Get The Look readers only used to be able to try the looks real life having physically purchased all the products, but now users can try it on their phones before committing to all the products. “We have had the technology for twenty years. It is faster than previous software, and totally different. Every three weeks we make improvements and every 5-10 weeks we update with looks such as The Oscars, NYFW. We have a calendar that has a 6 month plan of release.” One of the latest being 'Horoscope' themed looks.
It’s so unique to have such a feminine, fashion and beauty driven product that is as exciting to the tec world as it is to the beauty and fashion world. A few weeks after I met with Alice even Silicon Valley was discovering the wonder and success of YouCam Makeup.
In San Francisco on February 18, 2016 –Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, in her keynote at Yahoo’s Mobile Developer Conference presented YouCam Makeup as one of Yahoo’s top partners, highlighting not only the incredible download rate of the App, but also the significant amount of time users spend on each session. It’s so incredible to see such high technology mixed with beauty and fashion in a way that has never been done before.
Having met Alice in the midst of her working day, I can’t tell you how impressed I am with what she is accomplishing. A true inspiration for women, showing that a we can both enjoy beauty and fashion but still have an incredible talent for business. Alice is juggling both the business development as well as constantly working to keep up with the latest makeup and fashion looks for her customer, a never ending feat. Such an incredible pioneer, with such a remarkable resume and business foresight that is catering to the new millenniums, a combination, which is proving to be unstoppable. I can’t wait to see what they do next!
To download YouCam Apps visit your smartphones app store and Type 'YouCam'
Click below for more information on:
Perfect Corp Youtube channel - For their latest looks.