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The Estée Lauder Cos. Launches App to Help Visually Impaired People Apply Makeup

The app is the first of its kind, and aims to help customers apply makeup more accurately with assistance from artificial intelligence and augmented reality.

LONDON — The Estée Lauder Cos. U.K. and Ireland has pulled AR and AI out of gaming and the metaverse to solve real-world challenges by creating a mobile app aimed at helping visually impaired people apply makeup.

The Voice-Enabled Makeup Assistant app wants to help customers apply cosmetics easily and confidently and enable “further self-expression and self-empowerment through their relationship with makeup,” the company said Wednesday.

Lauder said the app’s “smart mirror” technology is driven by its AR and AI capabilities, and was developed using machine learning.

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The company said it developed the app “while connecting with visually impaired consumers who expressed the need for technology that can empower them with more independence to apply their makeup with confidence.”

VMA uses voice instruction technologies to assist the user in makeup application. Users receive audio feedback and tips on whether their lipstick, eyeshadow, or foundation is evenly applied.

The app identifies the makeup applied on a user’s face and assesses its uniformity and boundaries of application and coverage. It also identifies any areas on the face that may require more accurate application, and audibly describes where touch-ups may be needed.

“We are committed to building innovative technology solutions that make beauty truly inclusive to everyone. We are thrilled to bring the experience of independently applying makeup to the millions of people who are visually impaired,” said Michael Smith, chief information officer at The Estée Lauder Cos.

“Technology is a powerful tool to drive inclusion and we are delighted to be first to market with this pioneering app,” Smith added.

Monica Rastogi, executive director of corporate cultural relevancy and inclusion and diversity in the U.K. and Ireland, said the company is “deeply committed to playing our part in creating an inclusive beauty industry. The launch is an important step in our journey toward makeup accessibility for all by removing barriers to engaging with beauty products and services.”

The new technology will initially be available via the Apple App Store in the U.K. and on The Estée Lauder brand in the U.K. will be the first to adopt and promote the technology. 

It is targeted to launch on the Google Play store within the year and across other Lauder brands and markets in the near future, the company said.

Future versions of the application will offer expanded services, with the goal of providing new features, including looks to choose from, and makeup education tools to help visually impaired users better utilize the company’s products and services.