Background Research

The team initially came up with the idea for the PFF during a discussion about how difficult it is to find a good foundation for a reasonable price. Evelyn recalled her experience at a department store where a makeup specialist used a handheld color-sensing device to help her find a foundation match, but the products they suggested were limited to a few brands and were all too expensive for her budget. With this problem in mind, we asked ourselves, “how can we use technology to help people find the best makeup for an affordable price?”

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After conversing with classmates and sorority sisters, the team realized that many makeup wearers commonly struggle with finding a good foundation match for an affordable price. Many would prefer to purchase less expensive drugstore makeup, but they are hesitant to do so since they are unable to test it out before making a purchase.

The team decided that a good way to make foundation more affordable would be to make finding drugstore makeup easier and with less risk of purchasing the wrong shade. To do this, the team brainstormed several different possible solutions. Ultimately, the team decided to prototype proof of concept for an app that could detect a user’s skin tone through an image and then suggest a variety of makeup brands and shades based on the user’s pantone color.

We began our research looking by benchmarking existing products, and looking into how poor foundation matching affects people who used makeup, particularly women.

What we found:

  1. An app that analyzes Facebook photos to come up with skin tone, Beautiful Me
  2. A website that finds foundation based on foundation one already owns, Findation.com
  3. Foundation matching quizzes on several beauty sites
  4. Lack of foundation matches for dark-skinned people, especially in mainstream brands
  5. Sephora’s Color IQ library and shade finding

We also looked up information on color-detecting programs and anti-skin-whitening campaigns. From there, we went to customer discovery to fine-tune our app’s function.