L’oreal Offers App For Interactive Makeup Choices : Mirror, mirror on my phone

Makeup Genius, an app that lets you test makeup without actually putting it on your face. It is voice-activated beauty advisor on new looks, professional makeup tips, or the latest product promotions.

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Mirror, mirror on the wall who is the fairest of them all? Thus does the story of Snow White present the eternal dilemma of how even the powerful wicked Queen was beset by, and dealt with, her own personal insecurities at least until Snow White came along.

Snow White herself of course did not need such a magic mirror, she just was radiantly beautiful, just as, say, Marylin Monroe epitomised beauty to millions of her adoring fans simply as a force of nature.

But for everyone else some days it can be a struggle, and makeup is a girl’s best friend, they say. Cosmetics companies know this and spend large fortunes n marketing to continue to convince their customers they can help them.

A recent start-up in the United States, that offers people the ability to 3-D print cheap makeup at home really in a way just misses the point; many women want the emotional assurances that major brands offer, as well, not just the coloured potions they provide at sometimes outrageous prices.

Even so, advances in technology certainly offer the means to change the form of the conversation, which is really just another form of marketing opportunity for those who are nimble. And so French beauty company L’Oréal is adapting quickly to this trend in order to continue to stay ahead of the pack.

Already two years ago the company had offered its first iPhone app, called Color Genius, which allowed the user to match their makeup to their clothes on their iPhone, by taking a picture of the outfit with the phone first and then comparing it to various makeup choices.

Introducing Makeup Genius,    an app that lets you test makeup without actually putting it on your face

Now L’Oréal is launching a new app, called “Makeup Genius, ” to be available for the iPhone only initially, that goes much further and uses much more sophisticated facial recognition technologies under the hood.

Its first truly interactive, connected, digital innovation, Makeup Genius comes from L’Oréal’s own innovation incubator, which they established in New York just eighteen months ago. The idea now is to offer consumers a much greater degree of customisation in choosing their makeup through interaction with, of course, the L’Oréal brand and its products.

Makeup Genius will enable consumers to test makeup products using their mobile phone or tablet as a fully functional virtual mirror. it does so utilising the front facing camera on the device.

L’Oréal customers will now be able to test makeup products, and experiment with new makeup looks, completely virtually and in real time. They will even be able to scan a bar code at the point of sale and instantly experience the most premium and innovative Before & After service. To build the app L’Oréal turned for help to facial recognition company Image Metrics, which is known for its facial mapping in movies and video games.

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According to Guive Balooch, Director of the Connected Beauty Incubator, L’Oréal Research & Innovation, “By combining our knowledge of consumers and the science of colours with technologies for monitoring facial expressions, we have been able to calculate the best possible algorithm capable of producing an extremely realistic colour-rendering in real time using just an iPhone camera, ”, “This innovation will enable L’Oréal Paris to offer all women an unprecedented beauty “e-routine”.

Cyril Chapuy, President of L’Oréal Paris International said, “We believe that one of the major trends to come concerns the virtual reality experience, which will offer consumers a new and effective way of trying products, learning how to use them and personalise them, with unparalleled results for the consumer”

Makeup Genius will be launched in France, the United States and China later this week, then later in other countries as well where L’Oréal offers its range of beauty products.

L’Oréal is currently the world’s largest cosmetics company. It owns 28 brands including Lancome, Yves Saint Laurent, Kiehl’s, The Body Shop, Clarisonic, Urban Decay, Garnier, Maybelline and Essie. The company has annual revenues of over $28 billion and its shares trade on the Paris Stock Exchange. Currently L’Oréal enjoys a market capitalisation of over US$108 billion.

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