When tech entrepreneur, Sian Morson, moved from hot and dry San Francisco to the very humid ATL, she didn’t realize the move would ruin her skin and hair.
Her usual beauty products and routines were no longer working and when she talked to other women experiencing similar issues, Morson created a new mobile app, Cast Beauty.
She recently spoke to Atlanta Blackstar about her inspiration for creating a beauty app that can use a women’s unique beauty attributes, like hair and skin type along with the weather, to suggest ideal beauty products.
“So, I started talking to some women who had relocated from different parts of the country to Atlanta, and what they told me was that they had to make some changes too, in terms of the products they were using,” Morson told Atlanta Black Star. “So that got me thinking, if this is not just a problem that I was experiencing and other people were having the issue, maybe there was a way to technically address the issue.”
The process is really simple. Once you download the app you’ll need to sign in and answer a few mandatory questions like your age, hair type (curly, straight, etc.), skin type (dry, oily or combination) and the city where you live. You might be asked additional questions, but Morson says they are optional.
“Those are the only mandatory questions we have, because your age, your skin type and your hair type are really critical to the algorithms providing the products,” she explained. “We do our magic on the back end, and we go in and find the products that are best suited for you based on your current location.”
Signing in with Amazon makes the process even easier if you decide to purchase any of the suggested products. When it comes to the quality of the products, Cast Beauty has a mixture of low end and higher end brands. Morson says, “The more expensive brands tend to be some of the better sellers.” If you find yourself not satisfied with any of the choices, then you can always refresh the app until you find something you like.
“So it’s not like you’re stuck with whatever is recommended. If you choose to continually refresh, you’ll get new products until you find something that you like, so that’s been a positive.” says, Morson.
Morson says she is still working to per-fect Cast Beauty. Her hope is to make the app a popular destination for interesting content like videos, articles and general beauty information. Right now the content is there but users complain that it’s hard to find.
Top beauty brands are also finding this app to be very valuable. By partnering with Cast Beauty, the brands are learning more about their consumers and how to meet their needs. 85% of the app’s users are women of color who normally are ignored when it comes to beauty offerings. Morson hopes to “disrupt” the beauty industry and eliminate traditional beauty standards.
“The beauty industry needs to wake up to that fact,” she said. “Because my audience is mostly Black women, I’m privy to what brands they prefer, what brands they like. And I think the beauty industry really needs to acknowledge that. I think it’s happening, but it’s not happening quickly enough. And so I think that technology is really where I think that change can happen a lot faster.”
When asked about her future goals for Cast Beauty Morson remarked,
“Right now we’re focusing on the U.S. market but ultimately, we would love to expand to Japan and China and the continent of Africa,” she said. “We want to be able to get beauty products into the hands of women all over the world. I think that that is our goal.”