Il Makiage, the digital-first prestige beauty brand, has acquired NeoWize, a Y Combinator-backed data science startup that develops advanced active machine learning algorithms. Il Makiage and NeoWize look to innovate the beauty industry in the areas of AI, data science and algorithmic thinking. Two of the three founders of NeoWize, Omer Nevo and Yoav Cafri, will join Il Makiage’s technology team. Omer will become Vice President of R&D; Yoav will become Chief Data Scientist. Both come from elite intelligence units in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The company’s third founder, Ronen Ness left in mid-2018.
Earlier this year, Il Makiage released PowerMatch AI Algorithm and Kenzza, their new e-commerce platform and business model, which utilizes influencer content to link inspiration, education, trial and purchase experiences within a singular site. The launch allowed the company to amass a substantial amount of industry data, which the NeoWize team will leverage to bolster the brand’s AI, machine learning and tech capabilities.
Created in 1972 by New York City professional makeup artist, Ilana Harkavi, Il Makiage was acquired by brother and sister team Oran Holtzman and Shiran Holtzman-erel, who redesigned the line to speak to successful women, appealing to both their swagger and substance. The brand re-entered the U.S. market in June 2018 with a NYC pop-up store, which they took on the road across the US. As a point of difference, Oran and Shiran implemented proprietary formulations that were used for decades by celebrities and professional makeup artists, but were not available to consumers. They then worked for five years to extend the range into a full line of makeup products with uncompromising attention to detail.
The brand bills itself as the antithesis of the unadorned, natural, pink-washed minimalist trend that has prevailed in beauty in recent years. Instead, it proudly positions itself as high maintenance, targeting high-maintenance millennials.