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Beauty Tech Startup BoldHue Secures $3.37 Million to Ship ‘Keurig for makeup’

Have you ever wished for a personalized makeup dispenser? BoldHue’s co-founder and CTO, Karin Layton, has created just that: a device aiming to be the “Keurig for makeup.”

BoldHue’s device scans your face and dispenses a customized foundation formula that perfectly matches your skin tone. The beauty tech startup announced on Tuesday that it raised $3.37 million in a funding round led by Lucas Venture Group, with participation from Mark Cuban and others.

Layton, a former aerospace engineer for Raytheon, conceived the idea while preparing for work one day. She realized her new, expensive foundation didn’t match her skin tone. Combining her engineering background and knowledge of color theory from her painting hobby, Layton developed the first of many prototypes.

The countertop-sized device, which will cost $295 when it is released, uses a “wand” to capture your skin tone by placing it on different places of your face. A proprietary skin typing algorithm then analyzes your skin and creates the correct foundation shade using five pigments: blue, black, red, yellow, and white. The device dispenses a week’s worth of foundation.

“In the backend, it’s grabbing that person’s [data] and taking this many white droplets, droplets of red, yellow, and so on,” co-founder and CEO Rachel Wilson told the sources. “It really is custom to you because every drop is accounted for your skin.”

The new funding will be used to ship BoldHue’s initial wave of devices, as well as to support hiring and marketing efforts. In the next few months, 10,000 units will be sent to a waitlist of 40,000 people (most of whom saw BoldHue’s viral TikTok videos) before it becomes available to the general public. BoldHue will also conduct a nationwide roadshow, visiting major cities to promote the product.

We haven’t been able to test the device since it hasn’t yet shipped. However, if accurate, this could be a promising tool for many people. Despite online foundation-finder tests or mobile applications that utilize a photo of your face to match colors to your skin tone, many individuals continue to struggle to find the right shade. This could be due to fluctuating skin tones from medical conditions or sun exposure. Additionally, makeup brands have historically neglected shade diversity, with many large companies criticized for their lack of darker shades.

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