L’oreal
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“Technology and beauty may seem like unlikely bedfellows, as most people like to smell a perfume or try on a lipstick before making a purchase, but L’Oréal, the largest cosmetics and beauty company in the world, believes they are a perfect match.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - L'Oreal
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“Beauty business L’Oréal USA has its sights firmly set on the latest tech innovators, tapping into a different source from the norm.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily -  L'Oreal

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Tech and the perfect Pout
Image source:szifon.com

As the fashion industry grows increasingly smitten with wearable technology, a previously overlooked aspect to the commercial potential of these technologies is gaining traction. The cosmetics industry – including those beauty arms of global fashion brands that are now as vital to revenue as handbags and shoes – has started to embrace new technologies in a bid to harness customer loyalty and boost business. From Google Glass as make up tutorials to facial mapping beauty apps, the new beauty brand initiatives all share a common objective: to attract a digitally savvy customer, who wants her online/offline shopping experience to be as seamless as her go-to red lipstick.

One such cosmetics brand that is keeping ahead of the pack this season is YSL Beauté, the L’Oréal-owned subset of the fashion powerhouse. Launched in London’s Selfridges last week, the brand are hoping to transform party season beauty routines with their Google Glass collaboration – which will give Glass to YSL make-up artists in order to capture the make-up application through the eyes of a professional. Does it work? Take it from one who has tried it – and who doesn’t know the first thing about a five-step smokey eye – this is an equal parts fun and useful service. Once the application process is fully recorded, you get a personalised email package once you get home: including ‘Before’ and ‘After’ pictures, the personalised Glass-recorded tutorial in full and, of course, a customised list of products to purchase.

Other whisperings of tech in the beauty industry have come direct from L’Oréal, Makeup Genius is the brand’s beauty app for iPhones and iPads (Decoded Fashion reported). Using a facial mapping technology, the app is a virtual make-up tester that allows you to layer beauty looks onto your face using your device’s front facing camera. These looks might be your own creations or curated by make-up artists, but they all use purchasable L’Oréal Paris products as standard. Thanks to the app’s sophisticated algorithm that is able to spot up to 64 data points on your face, the app moves with you as you turn your head or change your expression.

From multi-national corporations to a less established name on the scene, MiniLuxe is a chain of beauty salons that is set to disrupt the big players of the industry. The high tech company, which aims to do for beauty what Starbucks did for the coffee world, is increasing its physical locations throughout the US as well as employing high tech point-of-sale systems. MiniLuxe’s large data mining and collection system can respond to changes in the environment that might lead to higher or lower bookings of manicures and pedicures – for example, better weather will lead to more bookings, and that will require more staff in store. This responsive approach extends to the customer experience, with the company recently announcing a new booking app for customer’s smartphones (and a $23 million round of investment).

The key reason why these three different business models of the beauty world are going about implementing tech in the right way? Rather than trying to directly recreate the invaluable in-store experience of trying on make-up, they’re adding dimensions to the process of purchasing make-up at every possible point of contact. When it comes to attracting make-up lovers, it’s this combination of online and offline integration that makes for the real lesson in beauty.

Reported by Claire Healy

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Decoded Fashion Westfield Future Fashion Hackathon

Last weekend saw the world’s first hackathon in a shopping centre: From September 20th to 21st, London’s Westfield Shopping Centre (and it’s shoppers) bore witness to a 24 hour hackathon. A group of sixty elite hackers from varied backgrounds teamed up and worked through the night to find solutions to the fashion, beauty and retail industries’ problems.

Participants included developers from the likes of fashion retailer ASOS and augmented reality agency Holition; marketing minds such as senior lecturers from the London College of Fashion; and designers with backgrounds in fields such as UX design for large retailers. The competition was filled with winner from past hackathons, such as the Salesforce Hackathon, the LinkedIn and EE Hackathon, BBC News Hack and Google Chrome Drone Hackathon, along with members of Women Who Code. It was sure to be competitive!

On both Saturday and Sunday, industry experts from Google, Twitter, AllSaints, Front Row I/O were on hand to mentor teams and help them tweak their concepts. The event was accompanied by an exhibition of new technologies around the fashion, beauty and retail space. Westfield shop goers were able to test out the L’Oréal Makeup Genius, try on Google Glass, find the perfect coat using the Fashion 3D augmented reality mirror, and use vrAse to turn their smartphone into a virtual reality headset. Also available to try: the touch-responsive Displair air display; the award-winning 3D controller Leap Motion which requires only your hands, the world’s first bracelet that can charge a phone upon a mere touch, by QDesigns; and a Sound Chamber by NudeAudio. Children were also provided coding classes by FireTech Camp, London’s only tech focussed day campus for kids aged 9 – 17, and CuteCircuit held a fashion show to showcase their innovative designs.

On Sunday, the teams pitched their ideas to our panel of judges: Caroline Rush, CEO of the British Fashion Council; Myf Ryan, Marketing Director UK & Europe, Westfield; Lisa Bridgett, Director of Global Sales & Marketing at the Net-A-Porter Group; Lee Epting, Vice President at the Samsung Media Solution Centre Europe; Pia Stanchina, Senior Industry Manager at Google; and Millie Mackintosh. They judged the concepts according to four criteria: Is it innovative? Would it excite consumers? Is it cool/beautiful? and Does it solve a real problem?

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Decoded Fashion Westfield Future Fashion Hackathon Winners SkipQ

And the winner? SkipQ, a system that works as an automatic check-out for fast fashion retailers: using unique removable security tags and detachers that only allow the removal of security tags of items that have been paid for, it allows users to pay for an item of clothing on their phone in-store, and leave the store. The SkipQ team will fly to San Francisco for three nights, to receive mentoring from industry leaders of Silicon Valley, including Westfield Labs’ Global Chief Digital Officer Kevin McKenzie. Congratulations!

The audience pick was ShopAID(E), which was designed to enrich the personal shopping experience through allowing users to shop with friends and influencers around the world by way of donating to charity. Check out all the highlights here.

Reported by Anna Abrell

Decoded Fashion - News - Sephora Augmented Reality 3D Mirror

Augmented reality has many applications in the fashion industry, predominantly it has been used to create interactive shop windows or responsive mirrors in-store. Uniqlo, for instance, implemented their so-called ‘magic mirror’ in some stores to help customers choose the ideal colour for their garment. In luxury fashion, Hugo Boss created an augmented reality game for their shop window in London. The jewellery industry has also found practical uses for augmented reality. Boucheron, for instance, created MyBoucheron, which allows customers to preview what a piece of jewellery could look like on them using their webcam at home.

It’s no surprise that the beauty industry is now turning a hand to AR. Last year, Bobbi Brown launched a print-to-mobile campaign using an app named Blippar that allowed customers to rate and purchase products on the brand’s mobile site when they scanned a campaign image that appeared in print (more about that here). The year before, Maybelline launched a campaign which enabled customers to try on different shades of nail polish virtually using the Blippar app and a photo taken of their hand.

This year, we have seen a lot more innovation within the industry. In collaboration with ModiFace, Sephora have introduced 3D augmented reality mirrors which show customers what different types of makeup will look like on them. ModiFace have also developed an anti-aging augmented reality mirror whose purpose is to show the effect of anti-aging and general skin care creams (more about this here). They also recently launched an app named Beautiful Me, which detects its users’ skin tone and eye colour and recommends products suitable to these (an article about this can be found here). Meanwhile, L’Oréal have also created an augmented reality mirror, but one that can be used anywhere, using just a smartphone – the Makeup Genius app. It also lets customers try out different shades of product.

The entertainment factor in augmented reality is significant, especially in the beauty industry, it allows users to play the “make-over” game without the hassle of smudges. Brands using augmented reality can be confident that it will create considerable press buzz, but whether these measures drive conversions can be questionable. Customers may enjoy using augmented reality, but it remains to be seen whether many of them will buy makeup based purely on a virtual preview.

Reported by Anna Abrell

 3circle

“L’Oréal digitally enhances its beauty offering with Makeup Genius, the brand new app that lets you virtually try before you buy.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - L'Oreal Makeup Mirror App

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