By Kim Boram
SEOUL, Sept. 17 (Yonhap) -- Korean actors and K-pop stars have gained unprecedented popularity across the world in recent years for their outstanding talent and performances on screen and stage.
At the same time, Korean pop culture fans have also been inspired by such celebrities' appearances, especially their makeup styles, which put the focus on a smooth and bright complexion to appear young and healthy.
Those who want to look like the stars search online for Korean beauty products and become eager to mimic their skincare routines and makeup, buying the exact products that they use.
Here comes the Korean startup Zackdang Company's Zamface, a mobile application that not only offers video and text reviews of Korean beauty and cosmetics but also lets users find their exact skin type or tone and get personalized beauty solutions based on artificial intelligence technology.
"Usually people watch YouTube videos on makeup styles or certain cosmetics and learn how to use them. Then, they search for the products online to buy them," Zackdang Company's CEO Yoon Jeong-ha said in an interview with Yonhap News Agency last week.
"A few years ago, I found out that there were no beauty apps where I could do all these processes in one place. There were some apps for product reviews or advice," she said. "I wanted to create a platform for the new generation who communicates with videos."
The initial version of Zamface, launched in 2019, attracted users with its creative "time jump" function, which allows users to skip to a specific section of a YouTube video where the selected cosmetics were used.
Using AI, the feature automatically extracts cosmetics and times in the video to help users find their desired information without having to watch the entire video.
"The function has accumulated over 3.6 million clicks from users since its launch," she said. "Based on the increasing fan base, I started to expand the app with user bulletins, beauty tutorials and other services."
Consequently, Zamface, whose customers are nearly all in their teens and 20s, introduced personal color and skin type analysis services to meet the rising demand from youngsters.
Personal color is considered the special color of an individual's complexion and skin tone that helps a person make the best choice for clothing, makeup and accessories.
To test the personal color with Zamface, users take a picture of themselves and try on a series of lipstick shades virtually to find the best tone. The app categorizes users into 24 groups, such as spring-warm-light or winter-cool-mute.
"It was hard to create the personal color analysis on a mobile platform," said Yoon, who used to work for Kakao Corp., a leading online portal operator, as a marketer. "And the key was narrowing down the color types to 24 from the 64 that dermatologists and clinical test centers have."
After receiving the test results, the app recommends bespoke lipsticks, foundations, eye shadows and other skin care products, as well as YouTube reviews and online influencers and streamers who have similar personal colors or prefer the same cosmetics.
More than 2 million people have tested their personal colors on Zamface, she added.
As the latest step, Zamface opened a shopping mall in a bid to help users purchase the recommended cosmetics or their favorite products without shifting to separate e-commerce platforms.
Yoon said she is proud that the app serves as an all-in-one beauty platform, letting users learn about their own skin characteristics, share their experiences with people who have similar skin types and enjoy shopping at the same time.
"We still have more to go. I want to expand our beauty services to the men's territory," she said. "As a global plan, moreover, we will launch the Vietnamese version in the first quarter of next year."