Need a new shade of lipstick and not sure which one to buy? Debating whether to go for the pixie cut or what orange blush goes best with your skin tone? Well, there is a free and easy way to get those questions answered in a live chat session with a beauty professional. Introducing recent beauty startup, Makeoverly.com, the website that brings us online personalized makeovers.
It’s no news that more and more consumers today are turning to the web to find and shop for their beauty products for reasons including no pressure sales environment, 24 hour shopping convenience, competitive pricing and most importantly access to product reviews.
Research has shown time and time again, that opinions from peers and beauty experts matter a great deal to consumers when making purchase decisions. This trend has spawned a growing number of beauty peer review sites that offer product suggestions based on data collected from the user profile.
While the number of data driven recommendation sites focusing on beauty consumers is fast growing, there are consumers who would still prefer the option of having a real-time conversation with an industry professional to get their questions answered. These users will find great benefit from Makeoverly.com. The company bridges the gap of human interaction and online product recommendation.
Founded August of this year by 23-year-old, Hannah Wright, Makeoverly, offers its users the ability to have a conversation with a beauty expert and receive product advice and a personalized makeover with just a few clicks of the mouse, and all for free! The beauty startup also recently released an Android app so users can also get this service on their mobile devices.
In my interview with the young CEO, I was able to get a deeper look into the newly launched startup and how she it all got started.
Interview with Hannah Wright, Founder and CEO of Live Beauty Chat, Makeoverly.com
Tell us a little bit about your background
I have always loved all things beauty. I started Makeoverly with a passion for hair and makeup and a desire to improve the digital beauty experience. For the past few years, I have had the pleasure of working with beauty e-commerce startups and saw a need to develop this platform.
When you launched Makeoverly, did you do so on a full-time basis?
I am not full-time at the moment, however it is my goal for the future. I have a job to support myself as the site expands.
Describe a typical work day over at Makeoverly
A typical work day includes going over business goals such as marketing plans, milestones and projections. I can also be found reading business articles and stories from other inspiring companies. I do a lot of the behind-the-scenes work and constantly strive to learn, grow and strengthen Makeoverly’s business model.
What was the inspiration to start the website?
The inspiration for the site came from the recognition that more and more women are choosing to buy their makeup online. We wanted to provide a platform where it would be easy to receive professional makeover consultations using an online platform.
With Makeoverly, users do not feel the in-person pressure to buy particular products, and our beauty assistants are free to recommend any brand of beauty products they personally love. We don’t represent any one brand, so our beauty assistants speak from the heart!
What does Makeoverly.com offer differently than other recommendation sites out there?
There are many virtual makeover services out there, but we wanted to offer something more interactive and to be the 1st independent platform where anyone can chat live with makeup artists.
Instead of automated programming, our users receive personalized tips and recommendations from real people – our awesome virtual beauty assistants! It’s just like going to a beauty counter for a makeover, only digital and without the inconveniences. In addition, our beauty assistants can recommend products from any beauty brand they personally like!
Where are your beauty assistants based?
Our virtual beauty assistants work all around the US, and I now reside in the beautiful state of Alaska. Given that I live in a remote location, I travel often to the cities of the Northwest such as Seattle and Portland for opportunities to connect to the larger business community.
Everyone works from home and we conduct staff meetings via Skye to save on overhead costs. We have a small but fierce staff of under 10 beauty assistants and are quickly expanding and always taking applications. We hire certified cosmetologists and/or those with prior beauty counter experience. It’s been a fun journey and I feel thankful to work with such talented, wonderful staff.
Can you walk us through the consultation process and from start to finish?
Getting started is easy and users are able to choose to be a guest without sign up, or sign in via Facebook. After that, they open up live chat by clicking the “Get started” chat tab at the bottom-right corner of the website.
Next, users let their live beauty assistant know what they would like help with – whether it be the best eyeshadow shade for their complexion, new hairstyle ideas or anything else. Users may choose to upload a photo or describe their features such as complexion, eye color or anything else that may help the beauty assistant provide the best advice.
Users receive a response via live chat which includes the beauty assistant’s advice and helpful links to products.
How many users do you have currently signed up so far?
We have had roughly 3,000 users since our launch 2 months ago.
What strategies are you utilizing to get the information out there about your startup?
We’re utilizing blog, Reddit and twitter ad campaigns along with SEO to get the word out to our target audience. We have also posted some fliers around university campuses.
Financially, where does your company currently stand?
As of now, two months in, we are self-funded and generating revenue through link monetization. In addition, we plan to sell tasteful ad space to select beauty companies who are the right fit.
What can we expect from Makeoverly.com in the near future?
We are working on expanding our blog content so users are able to stay posted on the latest trends and tips. In addition, we will be selling a makeup quick-start guide for download later in the year.
Finally, who are some of your greatest inspirations?
Some people of inspiration are Sara Blakely of Spanx and Alexis Ohanian of Reddit, they are both strong entrepreneurs who have wild ambition and approached their business models in a unique way.
Tell us what you think of live beauty chat? Would you get a personalized makeover from Makeoverly.com? Please share your thoughts in the comment box below?