Certain beauty industry players are proving to be quite innovative in using A.I technology to meet consumer demands during the COVID-19 pandemic. Technology and artificial intelligence are usually the catalysts for massive and urgent changes to the ways companies conduct their business. The rise of e-commerce proved this to be true for all industries, including the cosmetic business. However, COVID-19 has shown that a global health scare can be even more disruptive and far-reaching. The global pandemic has prompted unprecedented innovation and the businesses which cannot innovate and adapt quickly enough will have to face an uncertain future. The beauty industry has taken note and made strides in ensuring a post-covid future with the use of A.I .
Getting a consumer to like a cosmetic product has always been a question of getting them in direct contact with the product to ensure it meets their particular need. It is the reason testers and sample products are commonplace on any beauty isle. It is the reason beauty counters exist in department stores. Even then, to truly satisfy a buyer, the product would have to capture their personality, aspiration and maintain their social approval. These consumer demands are hard enough to meet without social distancing protocols and restrictions on non-essential businesses. However, some beauty industry players have proven that they are up to the task. They are using artificial intelligence (A.I) technology and augmented reality (A.R) to create a similar buyer experience that customers can access in the relative comfort of their homes.
At least one beauty industry player has tried to use this type of product on the market before. In 2014, L’Oréal launched Makeup Genius, a virtual makeup mirror that worked on smartphones, allowing players to virtually try on and create different makeup looks. Guive Balooch, global vice president of L’Oréal’s Technology Incubator notes that “L’Oreal invested in the vision of the future even when there were challenges.” He credits their foresight for the company’s ability to now launch the first consumer product using their A.I and A.R powered Perso technology. Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Sur Mesure Powered by Perso will use color cartridge sets of YSL’s iconic Velvet Cream Matte Finish lipsticks to create thousands of bespoke shades with a single touch. Customers will be able to not only have the technology assess their needs but also create a product made specifically for them. The fact that they will be able to do so virtually is not just a solution to the restriction issues caused by the pandemic, it is a genuine industry disruptor.
Estée Lauder and Neutrogena ( a Johnson & Johnson company) are working on similar innovations with Perfect Corp, a Taiwan-based beauty tech provider that has pioneered A.I. and A.R. solutions in facial recognition and color matching.While technology cannot truly replace beauty enhancement processes like those offered at Dermani Medspa, a provider of non-surgical skin care services, they can surely create unique user-focused experiences that give one of the most thriving industries a foothold into the next era.