Makeup Genius: Bringing Beauty into the Tech Generation


The concept of minimalism is one which ebbs and flows in cultural popularity. From ancient monks to Henry David Thoreau, all the way to the newer phenomenon of the 100 Things Challenge, the idea of purging superfluous possessions seems to be in a perennial state of flux. While a relative few adherents will pare their belongings down to the very bare minimum, most people seek only to eliminate the clutter and stress of too many pointless possessions. This mindful approach to minimalism doesn’t put stringent restrictions on the number of belongings one should own, instead focusing on the importance of making thoughtful purchasing and collecting decisions.

A Minimalist Approach to the Makeup Table

Sifting through the makeup collection of any woman who uses cosmetic products will yield proof of at least a few ill-advised purchasing decisions. Lipstick chosen on a whim that looks great in the packaging but clashes garishly with one’s complexion, eye shadow selected to try out a new trend, and foundation that looked like a natural match under poor lighting conditions are nothing new to women who like to experiment with their makeup. The only way to find out exactly how a product looks is to try it on and let it dry, which usually only happens after the product has been purchased. Trial and error has been par for the course when it comes to selecting cosmetics.

A mindfully minimalist approach to makeup collections doesn’t necessarily mean eliminating all but the barest essentials. Instead, it means choosing products which are useful, valued and will serve a purpose. The traditional approach to choosing new cosmetic products requires consumers to select new products under harsh fluorescent lights which distort color quality, while being bombarded with marketing images. At the same time, many of these consumers are also forced to make relatively quick purchasing decisions. More often than not, these rushed purchases result in products which are a poor match to the consumer’s natural coloring, so they’re tossed into a pile of products to take up space without serving a practical purpose.

Bringing the Beauty Business into the Tech Generation

When cosmetic consumers are asked to think of their most vital and effective beauty tool, few consider their iPhone or iPad devices. While there are a host of retouching applications which allow for the adjustment of photographs, there have historically been a limited number of options which change the way consumers look in the real world.

L’Oréal’s changing the role of tech devices in the beauty business by adopting cutting edge facial mapping technology as part of a strategy for changing the way women try out new looks and choose new products. With the new Makeup Genius app, consumers are able to see how more than 300 popular products look on their faces instantly, reflecting the diversity of the human race in terms of skin tone and natural coloring. Rather than waiting for each product to dry, users of this app can get a realistic view of new shades and curated looks.

Guive Balooch, Director of the Connected Beauty Incubator at L’Oréal R&I, gives us an exclusive behind the scenes look at the making of its first connected beauty digital innovation called “Makeup Genius” exclusively available through L’Oréal Paris.

This innovative technology does not require consumers to spend their time, money and effort to purchase those products and try them out in the flesh, potentially adding to their stockpile of essentially useless products. By allowing users of the app to browse looks and products at a leisurely pace, L’Oréal is effectively eliminating the margin of error resulting from impulse purchases and poor lighting conditions to facilitate brand growth. Consumers are able to make mindful purchases when they’re armed with a realistic view of how each product will look on their skin, increasing their perception of value.

With Makeup Genius, consumers can make more informed decisions about their makeup options and feel more confident about experimenting with new looks, while still maintaining a mindfully minimalist approach to cosmetics.


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