7 Beauty Startups to Watch

7 Beauty Startups to Watch

At Third Wave Fashion, we not only track all things fashion and tech related, we found that the beauty tech space is red hot, too. Not only is it making big waves, it’s increasingly becoming more innovative — even imitating some of the business models we’ve already seen succeed in fashion tech. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and the fashion tech industry should be flattered that their sister industry is following in its footsteps.

Here are 7 beauty startups we’re watching:

Poshly: This personalization startup is the first of its kind. Users take in-depth quizzes in exchange for the chance to win products from esteemed brands, and that data is then sold to brands for market research. This isn’t purely a data-driven platform, as they told us that they plan to roll out other features to satisfy the existing hyper-engaged Poshly community.

Bloom: The part-Fancy, part-Pinterest startup of the beauty industry, this is one of the first ever social platforms built for discovering beauty looks. It doesn’t stop at pretty pictures; users can tag beauty products, instantly allowing other users to shop the look directly.

Preen.me: We’ve seen the community based social-sharing business model in fashion a hundred times over.  So, it makes sense to check out the beauty version of it. And while we’re sometimes overwhelmed with outfit sharing platforms, we can understand why there’s huge demand for a beauty version — Preen.me is just that. Goodbye, clown face, this beauty community has you covered!

BeautyARMY: Another subscription model has emerged: introducing BeautyARMY. Their model is simple: for just $12 a month, they allow YOU to choose up to six out of a suggested group of nine beauty samples to receive at home. Don’t have time to look? No problem. Their promise is that you will trust their team of experts to choose the right products for you based on your preferences.

GLOSSYBOX: Similar to BeautyARMY and Birchbox (the classic beauty box), GLOSSYBOX provides you with up to 5 travel-sized products every month that they promise you will love. They vet the best beauty brands in the business and guarantee to provide you with new products you will love. Just ask The Man Repeller — you can now order a box curated by her. GLOSSYBOX differs because they give you the option to participate in a month-to-month model or a long-term subscription. No need to feel tied down ever again.

BeautySets: The Polyvore of beauty, this startup’s goal is to help you discover looks and trends thanks to their customized “sets.” Customize your sets with their templates (or create one of your own) by adding images of your favorite products of the moment.  You can also give your very own editorial description to each one of your sets; it’s a way for users to feel like an editor of their very own publication.


Posh Beauty: An online/offline beauty startup, this online community helps you connect with offline makeup artists, hair stylists, and spas based on location and preferences.

Other online booking startups to watch: BeautyBooked & iLook Beauty Book (an app for a beauty junkie on-the-go).

So, what’s next for beauty and tech? We’ve seen subscription models (such as our client, Lacquerous: the first subscription model for luxury nail polish), discovery at your doorstep, social sharing and community, virtual try-ons, and rental — all of which have been successful business models for some of our favorite companies. And as we all know, co-creation is a big trend in fashion tech.

Will the same be true of beauty tech? Will we be seeing more B2B platforms for the beauty industry emerge? What sort of online-offline models will we see? Surely brick-and-mortar Sephoras doing transactions through iPads won’t cut it. What other trends will translate into the beauty industry that perhaps 10 years ago we might’ve been shocked to see? Only time will tell. As far as we can can speculate, this is just the beginning of emerging platforms in beauty that will change a once-antiquated industry. We’re keeping our smokey eyes glued on the trends.


Third Wave Fashion has been your fashion tech think tank since 2011. We publish the first ever printed fashion tech magazine, Third Wave.  Follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our newsletter to stay on top of the latest in fashion tech + wearables.

Image via GLOSSYBOX.