With LUUM, “Beauty” and “Tech” truly come together…on your face. Behind this brand hides a robot that applies eyelash extensions.
This type of treatment may grab you, but it’s already a $ 2 billion market in the United States and $ 20 billion worldwide. Are you raising an eyebrow?
We met Philippe Sanchez, CEO of LUUM, during an event organized by FrenchFounders, and we immediately wanted to know more.
How can a machine apply artificial eyelashes to your natural lashes like a licensed professional?
Philippe Sanchez explains: “This is the result of four years of research carried out by two roboticists who cut their teeth in the exoskeleton industry. They were both among the founding team of Ekso Bionics, a now publicly traded company.”
He continues: “The story of LUUM began a bit by chance; they saw a technician applying extensions traditionally and realized that a machine could perform this long and meticulous work… at least the repetitive part of the execution—lash after lash.
The two founders were aware that beyond the ultra-precision required in the execution, it was necessary to master hyper-powerful cameras and integrate a good dose of artificial intelligence but it was in their strings.”
However, Sanchez insists on the fact that the machine needs a human: “It is not the robot that defines the design of the eyelashes expected by the client, it is a technician. Like a hairstylist, she suggests and adapts the length, volume, shape, and color of the extensions. Some clients come for discreet extensions that will give a natural gaze; others will come for a unique look. Whatever the desired finish, a stylist programs the robot that does the job under careful supervision. Human intervention is at the center of our LUUM proposition. Our idea is not to offer a cooky cutter service, but a premium service with personalized advice.”
Why use a robot if there has to be human intervention?
“With the traditional method, an eyelash extension session lasts for about two hours. With this robot, our goal is to divide the time by six! The “lashbot” is not limited like a human. It can even do both eyes simultaneously, “adds Sanchez.
Currently, the robot still needs to improve its performance before its large-scale deployment. But Sanchez tells us that the session duration has already decreased by 20% compared to what it takes to a human: “It’s a very encouraging start, and by the time we deploy the service to the general public, we should have reduced the time in half.”
Last but not least, we wanted to know about the price. Philippe Sanchez announces, “The market price of premium extensions is around $ 250 to which one must add 20% service. With the LUUM service, the goal is to offer a premium service at around $ 175. If we reduce the exposure time even by 50%, the adoption rate of eyelash extensions, which avoids the make-up routine, should attract a lot of people.”
The brand’s development objectives
We understand that this is a market with broad potential probably a bit like the market for hyaluronic acid or Botox injections ten years ago.
But we asked Philippe Sanchez, who has broad experience launching consumer products (Starbucks in France, Boulangerie Paul in the US, private clinics in the bay), to tell us about his ambitions for LUUM.
His vision is clear: “We want to build a premium brand where customers will come with confidence for the quality of the service. To accentuate our message, we are working on our salons’ decor, and we are even in the process of developing beauty products to create a holistic experience. We will launch with a series of LUUM studios on the California coast within a few months, and we plan to grow into major American cities. Ultimately, we hope to expand into the Asian market. We raised $ 10 million for this startup. “
If you want to test the service …
It’s entirely possible! Already more than 200 people have come to the LUUM Lab for extensions. Do not hesitate; it is a unique experience in the world.