Online shopping has changed the way we buy everything from food to clothing, and now three guys from the US have decided it’s time for the cosmetics industry to follow suit.
Beauty buffs everywhere will know how expensive buying make-up can be. From high-end foundations to lip kits, keeping up with the latest trends isn’t always cheap.
Enter, Hush – an app and website that sells inexpensive make-up and skincare from well-known brands as well as intentional dupes.
Launched in January 2017, Hush was created by Alex Lin, a successful entrepreneur that dropped out of college after seeing the movie The Social Network.
“I was like, ‘Well, if he can do it, everybody can do it!’” Lin told Racked.
After teaming up with two friends, Cooper Mor and Will King, the trio decided that after pervious virtual entrepreneurial endeavours – G6pay, an ad network provider, and LVL6, a multiplayer online gaming company – they wanted to sell something real.
It was here that they decided on creating a retail mobile phone experience where they could offer name-brand products at low prices.
After raising $2 million, the first iteration of Hush launched in January 2016 but they soon realised that no one was buying any of the items; expect for makeup.
“We moved into makeup because we saw that everybody was just buying the makeup, essentially,” he says.
“As tech guys, we decided to double down on what the data was telling us.”
But, just how did three men manage to set-up a successful app selling cosmetics, a product range so overwhelmingly used and purchased by the opposite the sex?
With their own unique knowledge of social marketing and the gaming world, the founders sought advice from potential customers by looking to the Makeup Addiction section of Reddit and now also count 60 per cent of their workforce as female.
“They’ve been incredibly helpful, kind of like a North Star to where we should be building toward,” he says.
“There’s nothing better than surrounding yourselves with your potential users, and it’s really helped our business grow faster.”
With metrics doubling week over week, the app continues to thrive and has the new wave of young, beauty obsessed digital natives to thank for its successes.
For them, being able to source reputable beauty products without having to spend a ton of money is where the appeal lies here.
“We’re trying to make it so that if you shop for budget makeup it’s totally cool. We want to be that one place where it’s very accessible.”
This isn’t the first app attempting to change the landscape of online beauty though.
There’s GlamScout, an app that identifies the make-up shade on eyes, skin and face just by uploading a photo; Findation which colour matches you to your perfect foundation and L’Oreal Makeup Genius that lets you virtually try on any beauty product in any shade.
They’re changing the way we shop, the shades of lipstick we pick and the way we look after our skin. Finally, beauty is gaining some serious steam in the app world.