From left to right, Chloe Takahashi, Lily Xu, Suveen Sahib, Astrid Taupin

The 6 good ideas from Californian fashion and beauty start-ups we can steal.

Last week @TheBeautytechSF had its fourth meet-up was hosted at Docusign in San Francisco. This amazing community of 550+ founders and investors created by Odile Roujol share the last tech trends in beauty and fashion. This debate was moderated by three investors : Sunil Chhaya from Nextworldcapital, Nicole Quinn from Lightspeed Venture Partners and Jett Fein from E.Ventures.

As a beauty editor, I was honored to be one of the guest speakers to share my experience about trends in France.

Being immersed in the Tech culture during my stay in San Fransisco was a great opportunity to understand how beauty and fashion start-ups work to meet their consumers expectations.

1 — Think about your consumer as an individual human being.

In 2017, 2,5 billions people use social medias around the world. « Social media is the new word of mouth, it comes from someone who inspires you » says Calgary Avinson, CEO of GlamCam, a platform of live beauty content. A brand has now access to the consumer at the moment he/she puts the product on his/her face and collect his/her immediate reaction. « It helps brands to develop new products quicker » adds Devon Bergman from Social Standards (Influence and social media data analytics platform). As Joël Palix, CEO of Feelunique, an European online retail company says, thanks to social medias, we have seen take-off of make-up » In 2018, people spend up to 5 hours a day on social medias. The trends come now from social medias and not from companies anymore. Companies have direct access to products that consumers are not only buying but using. It helps the developers to work better on consumers expectations.

2 — Perfection is out, Authenticity is in.

Communication is more casual, more spontaneous than it used to be with classical medias. Young brands do not focus on perfection anymore, they focus more on how the person looks when she is on live on social medias. Brands want to see closer to what the consumer really looks like. They start to react to reality. Even if we are in a torn position when looking for perfection is competing with authenticity. But authenticity is going to win because consumers want to believe in reality.

3 — Micro-influencers are the winners

Everyone has now some influence on their friends, their community, what is called micro-influencers. Brands are not jumping on big influencers any more, they rather choose more authentic people, real people with stories to tell consumers they can trust.

Face to face interaction has more meanings. A spokesperson can be anyone. Someone who has a few hundreds of followers can be more persuasive than any big influencer with millions of followers. Micro-community is going to win because it means more real people behind.

From Left to right, Chloe Takahashi, Astrid Taupin, Odile Roujol and Lily Xu

4 — Focus on live content instead of recorded content

The future will be more live content and more emphasis on the wrongness. When products are sold on air, people reactions can be seen on stage and all the excitement that come along when there are only a few products left on the market.

5 — A product made for you

With social medias, fashion and beauty accelerate. A few years back, clothes would be seen on models six months ahead before hitting stores, now it is « Buy it now, wear it now ! » With augmented reality, it is now possible to increase diversity. As Gabrielle Chou, Allure Systems (platform for virtual models) points out « No one wants to see the T-Shirt I buy shown on a size 2 when you are a size 6. Now, we can virtualize any garment on any model. » Zack Parker from LÜK Network, a disrupting model booking agency, includes models of all different backgrounds. « We have a big success on Plus sizes. »

Pinterest offers 175 billions ideas. « It is about discovering and helping you to love » explains Nicolas Zylberstein from Pinterest. Products are not only good, they need to be made for you.

Astrid Taupin and Jett Fein

6 — Going green is not only a trend, it is more of a lifestyle

Lily Xu from Sephora Accelerates, an incubator that helps young start-ups to grow, Chloe Takahashi from Cosmehunt, a JBeauty Platform to find the best Japanese products in the US, Suveen Sahib from Aquis Hair, a haircare brand and myself, we all notice a huge need of transparency from consumers.

Thinking green, consuming green, being sustainable, educating young generations has become obvious for Millennials and generation Z. It is clear that consumers tend to be very suspicious about what is in the beauty products they buy. Some even screen ingredients lists with App as ThinkDirty just to name this. Time is over for products with tons of unnecessary ingredients or even worse with carcinogenic substances or hormones disrupters. Buying organic beauty products is taken for granted, but the next step is to offer more personalized organic skincare, a larger variety of make-up, cleaner nail polish and organic products that work as good as « chemicals » one. Clearly, a lot still needs to be done.

Thanks to @techandcoffeemedia for the beautiful photos you can see in this article. www.techcoffeemedia.com

Next BeautyTech events will happen on October 2, in London and October 4, in Paris.