The next time you spot a lip color that you like, you can quickly use AI to find a corresponding shade in Chanel’s range of lipsticks. The company is announcing today its new Lipscanner app that lets you use your phone’s camera to identify a hue — whether it’s on someone’s lips or just the color of your favorite purse. Then, it’ll suggest a match from Chanel’s “lip universe,” which includes more than 400 products encompassing different finishes and shades.
This isn’t the first time a beauty company has made an app to identify lipstick shades — YSL’s Perso system will even print out the exact color you scan, making it more sophisticated. Lipscanner will also allow you to virtually “try on” the lipstick to see if you like it. To be clear, digital makeup try-on features are also not new — Sephora, Benefit and many other big brands in beauty and cosmetics have made their own versions.
That’s not even counting the numerous selfie-editing apps out there like YouCam Makeup with tie-ins that let their users try on and buy makeup. But Chanel said that its algorithm “saves users the task of trawling through large ionline inventories by seamlessly doing the colour recognition and matching for them,” calling this a “world-first for smart beauty.” I’m not sure that claim is true, given the examples I’ve already cited, but Chanel is one of the biggest brands in the world and has a massive fanbase that will likely appreciate finding the exact product number for something they’ve coveted after spotting it on Instagram.
As the beauty and tech industries continue to collaborate and intersect, personalized skincare and cosmetic products are becoming increasingly common. That’s good news for people with specific needs, and should hopefully foster more inclusion and diversity, though companies must be careful to not alienate customers by making their customizable products too expensive.
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