Shiseido Just Bought a Makeup App That Scans Your Skin and Creates Custom Foundation

January 18, 2017, 9:54 PM UTC
Japan's cosmetics giant Shiseido employees tend to
TOKYO, JAPAN: Japan's cosmetics giant Shiseido employees tend to customers at Shiseido's counter in a Tokyo department store 08 May 2001. Shiseido announced its first loss in 55 years for fiscal year 2000 ended 31 March and posted a net loss of 45.1 billion yen (275.8 million dollars) after the company booked a huge one-off loss on pension liabilities. AFP PHOTO/Yoshikazu TSUNO (Photo credit should read YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)

From custom lipstick to custom fragrance, makers of bespoke beauty products are having a moment thanks to an increasingly tech-savvy customer base.

One of those companies is MatchCo, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based startup that creates individualized shades of foundation for its users based on their photos. On Wednesday, Japanese cosmetics giant Shiseido announced its U.S. subsidiary was buying the three-year-old company for an undisclosed amount.

MatchCo allows customers to scan their skin tone through a mobile app and uses the data to blend a matching, personalized foundation. The app instructs users to take photos of their inner and outer wrists, forehead and right and left cheeks. MatchCo’s technology then analyzes their skin tone, and blends an all-in-one foundation. Each bottle is personalized with your name and the date it was made. The app is free and a 1-oz. bottle of foundation is $49.

Shiseido is one of the oldest cosmetics companies in the world, and the acquisition of a fledgling company signals the continued need to attract the modern consumer.

In a news release, Shiseido CEO Masahiko Uotani said the acquisition will allow the personal care giant to offer more value to its customers through “accelerated innovation in rapidly evolving digital tools and customized products.”

The MatchCo team, including founders David Gross and Andy Howell, will remain in Santa Monica and become part of Shiseido’s Global Makeup Center of Excellence, where it will work closely with Shiseido’s makeup brands on color capabilities and new product ideas.