When innovation driven by customers and data could be the perfect mix to perform

Astrid Taupin
7 min readFeb 9, 2019


BeautyTech in Paris has reunited the most high scale beauty entrepreneurs sharing their thoughts on how to make their influence and business grow. Hosted for the third time by Isabelle Rabier and Ilan Koskas, two young french entrepreneurs at La Piscine in front of a large audience of entrepreneurs and investors.

From left : Ilan Koskas, Mathilde Lacombe, Mathilde Lemée, Stéphanie Hospital, Marc Briant-Terlet, Alexandre Lebrun, Isabelle Rabier, Laurent Droin, Stanislas Vandier, Nicolas Gerlier

Invest in innovation first.

Some of the speakers tonight like Mathilde Lacombe from Aime or Marc Briant-Terlet from Horace have already a large community to talk to and ready to consume.

Laurent Droin, Mathilde Lacombe (Aime), Marc Briant-Terlet (Horace)

After creating Jolibox acquired by Birchbox, Mathilde launched Aime, a food supplement brand based on beauty glow. « I want to bring food supplements into french beauty routine as it is in the USA. »

With a large community of more than 100 k followers, Mathilde already had a strong growth potentiel prospects. Four months later, the brand is a huge success and customers are already begging for new products.

« Innovation is the key. New products should only be launched with innovation behind and not to follow a marketing strategy. That’s why we started with a short line of three products » she says.

Build a strong community, your followers will be tomorrow customers

Having a strong community is part of the success. Nicolas Gerlier from La Bouche Rouge, a lipstick brand, feels totally connected to his community who is incorporated into the growth of his business.

Nicolas has build La Bouche Rouge on clean beauty and sustainability. « My goal was to offer a luxury product as a lipstick can be with clean ingredients only. Clean beauty can be as chic as luxury products from big compagnies. »

La Bouche Rouge means literally red mouth in french which means a beautiful mouth with amazing red lipstick in make-up artist language. « We like to have our customers on our side. Out of 26 different shades of lipstick, 20 of them have been created by our customers. »

Besides using the cleanest ingredients for his lipsticks, La Bouche Rouge has a sustainability attitude. « For every lipstick sold, we donate the equivalent of 100 liters of drinking water to Eau Vive Internationale, an NGO focused on bringing drinking water to people in need »

Make your community be part of your creation process

Horace funded by Marc Briant-Terlet, a skin care brand dedicated to men with a fun twist.

Photo 1-Marc Briant-Terlet (Horace), Nicolas Gerlier (La Bouche Rouge) — Photo 2 : Audience

Take a look at their Instagram account @horace.co . It is all about fun, happiness with a cool dude attitude. « We have a very strong relationship with our community. Our customers like to share their content quoting our brand, some of them even come to test our products during the creation process. They also participate to our advertising campaigns on Instagram, they are part of the company. »

Left : Nicolas Gerlier (La Bouche Rouge) -Right : Laurent Droin, Mathilde Lacombe (Aime)

It seems like time has changed lately. Classic cosmetics brands are still very shy with their communication until the product has been shown to the press and influencers. They are still far from the Direct-to-Consumer model. The new cosmetic brands generation shares at a very early stage with their customers even during the creative process. Being closer to your community is the key of being successful.

Show your customers you are here to help them anytime.

It is not only about selling beauty products it is also about helping consumers to choose the right product and being there to answer to any of their questions.

Marc Briant-Terlet says « You need to show your customers how to use your product and explain the benefits they can expect, specially with some men who are not very familiar with cosmetics. »

Listening to your customers, being concerned by all their comments is part of the creating process to develop your company.

Focus your business not only Data but also on human beings

At Jolimoi, (a multi-brand platform that provides peer-to-peer sur-mesure beauty recommandations and sales through a mobile app for ambassadors), Mathilde Lemée, CTO, says that all the Data that have been collected so far (>1 million data on beauty profils and customer preferences) have helped them to be more efficient. « We focus on the right mix of technology and human to give advices and provide a unique service to our customers. We except more than 1500 beauty stylists in France by next year. Being everywhere where your soon-to-be customers will help grow our business quicker.

Mathilde Lemée (Jolimoi), Stéphanie Hospital
Left : Stanislas Vandier (Wired Beauty), Alexandre Lebrun (Nabla) — Right : BeautyPartners

Our beauty stylists are not only pros, they are full time moms at home, or teachers, nurses who are fond of beauty and want to share their passion with other women. We provide them with start of the art beauty recommendation tools and e-training to add authority to their already very powerful beauty tips and recommandations. It is the new word of mouth.

« A lot of companies have access to a lot of data but don’t have to the mindset or the organisation to make the data speak and use it purposefully in the business. My advice to your entrepreneurs and tech founders is to build any kind of business from the data. This has a tremendous value in terms of business, decision making and prediction » says Mathilde Lemée.

High personalization through tech is the future of the beauty industry

The shift of power is going towards the consumer with items with a large impact of technology providing information to a more focus personal use of cosmetics. Wired Beauty funded by Stanislas Vandier offers wearables to protect the skin against the sun and help to hydrate your skin when needed. « It tells the consumer when she/he needs to reapply sunscreen or when her skin is vitamin C deficient. » says Stanislas Vandier. It is not only about skin type but also about timing when does my skin need to be hydrated, or sun protected or needs more collagen or vitamine C or fruits acids….

Stanislas Vandier (Wired Beauty), Alexandre Lebrun (Nabla)

Stanislas is very much aware that launching a start-up in the IoT is not an easy road as it is very capital intensive and a global market project from day one. He recognizes some corporates are doing a great job like L’Oréal. However, he says the success of his company comes from his ability to pursue his vision as an entrepreneur. « What matters the most is not only the device but also the data collected and how to make the best of this data to the beauty business. » This is where the most value is and what he expects to build on next.

Photo left : Alexandre Lebrun (Nabla) — Photo right : Julie Exertier (Laboratoires Exertier)

Former Facebook executive, Alexandre Lebrun founded Nabla only six months ago. Within a few months, Nabla has become the start-up to follow for many venture capitalists. Alexandre was in charge of setting up the IA Research Lab for Facebook. While doing his research, he came across many companies that were looking for expertise and applications of this new technology. He came up with the idea to found Nabla to help cosmetics companies to get the best of the artificial intelligence by developing real in time data and tools dedicated to customers such as augmented reality live trials. Alexandre mentioned to entrepreneurs in the audience? « I raised money with no business model as my company is manly focused on research but the existing demand for this technology helped me convince investors. »

The boundaries between brands and consumers seem to narrow, soon the consumers will be the main actors of the future in beauty.

Left : Audience, Right : Ilan Koskas, Isabelle Rabier (BeautyTech Paris), Alizée

A huge thank to all the speakers, Stéphanie Hospital and Laurent Drouin, our moderators and the audience to be part of this successful event. Many thanks to La Piscine for hosting the event.

Thanks to Odile Roujol who organized the first BeautyTech Meetup in her living room. Two years later, it is 12 chapters around the world with more than 1500 entrepreneurs and investors.



Astrid Taupin

Beauty Editor — Beauty Advisor — Brand Content — Travel writer — Ex-Madame Figaro Beauty Editor — Contributor @elle_fr — Live between Biarritz, Paris and Hawaii