FACE FORWARD: The Bay Area Beauty Association’s inaugural speaker last week at the Loews Regency San Francisco fittingly focused on cutting-edge technology. Solomomo cofounder and chairman Eric Engstrom presented an app launching in July that advances augmented reality for beauty enthusiasts and an in-store kiosk launching in November that employs skin measurements to improve product recommendations. Like many beauty apps, Solomomo allows virtual makeup applications, but Engstrom emphasized sharing and community-building capabilities are its main points of difference. “In the beauty industry, we’re about sharing. I want to look like this person or that person, and I want to personalize it for me. So, in the Solomomo app, you can share your own looks,” he said. Engstrom, who created the Xbox forerunner DirectX, highlighted the app also has a feature enabling users to put makeup products on themselves that they discovered on Instagram posts. “We aim to make every photo on Instagram try-on-able,” he said, adding, “No one can do that today.”
Engstrom detailed the in-store kiosk measures thousands of points on customers’ faces, neck and décolletage. The measurements help assess the effectiveness of skin-care regimens and produce a three-dimensional model of the shopper’s face for sophisticated makeup experimentation. “We’re analyzing your skin just like a dermatologist would. So, a dermatologist uses their eyeballs and light and a magnifying glass. We use multispectral light. We have a lot of magnification and we can see you in 3-D, and we can also see you over time, which dermatologists don’t see. All that for walking into the store and looking in the mirror. With that, we can tell you things that you don’t know about yourself and can’t as a human being know today,” he explained. For example, the device pinpoints skin-care ingredients causing breakouts, and shows how treatments like Botox and fillers would appear if customers received them.
“We give you a report that doesn’t look like a dermatologist’s, [which] would say, ‘Hey, you need to spend $30,000 on a whole bunch of treatments and your face is going to fall off,'” said Engstrom, noting the kiosk’s technology analyzes fat, collagen, blood flow and more. ‘We just say the skin cream you are using doesn’t work for you.”