Today’s overabundance of options in the beauty market is causing some unintended issues, like decision fatigue.
Technology can provide relief. Such as artificial intelligence and augmented reality that allows retailers and manufacturers to recommend products and services directly to individual shoppers, saving both time and customer bandwidth.
“AI is data,” Wayne Liu, senior vice president and general manager of Perfect Corp. said during WWD’s Digital Beauty Forum earlier this month in Manhattan. “We have tons of data.”
Users can get virtual makeovers, manicures and even accessory recommendations on the platform just by uploading photos of themselves. The site also lets them buy the items they like. And the filters are better than Instagram.
A redhead can try out jet black hair without damaging her scarlet locks. Another shopper can try out a new blush digitally before buying. The site analyzes things like face shape, skin tone and even facial emotions, to find the best products for each person.
Liu said the inclusion of AI and AR in the beauty space represents the shift from beauty 2.0 to beauty 3.0.
“Everything is changing,” Liu said. “I’m not saying it’s evil. It’s just changing.”
One constant, however, amid the endless array of options, from legacy brands to digitally native start-ups, is consumers’ need for advice.
“The good thing is you don’t need to go to the high mountain to find a mentor,” Liu said, speaking of shoppers’ needs. ‘They need advice and we give them advice.”
In addition to playing with their looks digitally, users can scan images of their favorite celebrity or influencer to help them copy the look. Or, place themselves in an exotic locale so they can see what their makeup will look like against a beach backdrop.
Liu said the technology can even recognize seven emotions, including happiness, excitement and sadness, and find the best cosmetics for the moment.
Perfect Corp. partners with about 200 brands and designed for shoppers to use on their smartphones. The end result, Liu said, is to help consumers minimize their time spent shopping and maximize their time spent feeling and looking beautiful.
“It sounds like science fiction, but it’s real,” Liu said. “With the help of AI we can come up with anything.
“Basically, beauty 2.0 to beauty 3.0 moves from a reactive [attempt at beauty] to a proactive…from impersonal to personal,” he said.