Start-up of the Week: Beauty app connects customers with makeup artists and photographers

Updated 19 September 2018
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Start-up of the Week: Beauty app connects customers with makeup artists and photographers

  • The FRH app offers its services in Saudi Arabia, in both Madinah and Makkah regions

JEDDAH: Keeping up with the 2030 Vision and supporting Saudi women was behind the concept of the FRH app, which connects customers with professional makeup artists and photographers.
Kholoud Al-Mehdar, public relations director of FRH Application, said customers then rated and reviewed their experience with the service provider.
“The FRH app is targeting Saudi Arabia for starters, then expanding in the Middle East. The crowd-sourcing industry is ever growing in the Arabian market, and FRH is hunting that market share through connecting people who are looking for good service and cheap prices together with their targeted professionals without any subscription fees,” Kholoud said.
The FRH app offers its services in Saudi Arabia, in both Madinah and Makkah regions, and will expand to the rest of Saudi Arabia and the Middle East as the business expands.
FRH launched in January, enabling people to connect easily through instant messaging via the app and the rating service as well for the provided services. The application is free. The services that can be found through this app are for makeup, hair, hair removal, tattoo, nails, skin care and for photography.
“We had the idea almost a year and a half ago where we thought about all the problems facing ladies and beauty artists and photographers in Saudi Arabia. These problems include: Having a lot of upcoming weddings, engagements, parties and not enough time to prepare for them. Also, there are so many good makeup artists that people don’t know about and many photographers whose talents are hidden from the public,” Kholoud said.
She added that people generally did not trust those who worked individually, and for these services peers tended to provide lot of suggestions on who to choose.
“The best ones are so expensive and the cheap ones use bad-quality materials or take bad-quality pictures,” she said. “All these problems were facing women in the present time, since most of the services are now done online, people communicate and have everything done in seconds. So why not booking makeup artists and photographers online as well?
That’s when she and her team started working on the idea of FRH app to solve these problems and to help service providers and customers connect through an elegant and simple platform.
Kholoud is from Madinah, Saudi Arabia. She holds an MA in TESOL from Adelphi University and is a certified makeup artist from Make Up For Ever Academy in New York.
FRH team’s vision is to change the standard rate of service locally through providing quality service and to become a leader in the industry.


US senator asks FBI, FTC to probe Russia’s FaceApp that alters users’ photos

Updated 18 July 2019
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US senator asks FBI, FTC to probe Russia’s FaceApp that alters users’ photos

  • Chuck Schumer says the mobile software app could pose security risks
  • FaceApp has denied selling or sharing user data with third parties.
WASHINGTON: US Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer called on the FBI and the Federal Trade Commission to conduct a national security and privacy investigation into Russia-based FaceApp, whose mobile software application alters users’ photos, in a letter sent on Wednesday.
FaceApp’s artificial intelligence application for editing photos requires users to provide it with “full and irrevocable access to their personal photos and data,” which could pose “national security and privacy risks for millions of US citizens,” Schumer said in his letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray and FTC Chairman Joe Simons.
Schumer posted the letter on his Twitter account.
Users’ photos can be edited to make a user look older or younger or to change their gender, he said.
“FaceApp’s location in Russia raises questions regarding how and when the company provides access to the data of US citizens to third parties, including potentially foreign governments, ” Schumer said in the letter.
It is not clear how the artificial intelligence application retains the data of users or how users may ensure the deletion of their data after usage, Schumer said.
Schumer said the photo editing app’s location in Russia raises questions about how FaceApp lets third parties, including foreign governments, have access to the data of American citizens.
In a statement cited by media outlets, FaceApp has denied selling or sharing user data with third parties.
“99% of users don’t log in; therefore, we don’t have access to any data that could identify a person,” the company said in a statement cited by TechCrunch, adding that most images are deleted from its servers within 48 hours of the upload date.
While the company’s research and development team is located in Russia, the user data is not transferred to Russia, according to the statement.
FaceApp’s website says it has over 80 million active users. FaceApp’s website promotes the app by saying: “Transform your face using Artificial Intelligence with just one tap,” showing photos with changes in users’ appearances.