Smashbox debuts AI-powered makeup try-on technology

© Just_Super / Getty Images
© Just_Super / Getty Images

Related tags Artificial intelligence Estée lauder

Estée Lauder Companies-owned Smashbox has extended its partnership with global beauty tech provider Perfect Corp to become the first ever beauty brand to be paired up with the YouCam Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered face analyzer technology.

The technology will be combined with Smashbox’s Shape Matters Methodology and eye products for the launch of the Smashbox Eye Genie in the YouCam Makeup App.

Artificial Intelligence is increasingly playing a big part in color cosmetics buying decisions, because the technology is helping consumers to virtually try-on and experiment with makeup effects and new products from the comfort of home.

The pandemic has created more demand for online makeup try-on

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the color cosmetics category significantly, partly because lockdowns have shuttered many brick-and-mortar retail stores, meaning consumers have been unable to try-on and experiment with products in stores.

But advances in makeup try-on technology such as the one offered by Perfect Corp are helping to turn the tide, allowing consumers to try-on products, switching between a wide range of different colors, textures and combinations in a matter of seconds.

The tool has been developed to be highly interactive, helping Smashbox customer’s to be more creative with their makeup, experimenting with new looks to an extent that would be hard to achieve by other means.

Creating a more personalized makeup try-on experience

The highly defined technology builds on Smashbox’s Shape Matters Methodology, which was the result of extensive research that included the analysis of eye shapes to find the best eye makeup match.

The technology has now been combined with Perfect Corp’s AI deep-learning technology with 3D face mesh, which helps to identify individual facial attributes to create the even more personalized Smashbox Eye Genie tool.

“Through this easy-to-use digital tool, our consumers can access Smashbox’s proprietary Shape Matters eye makeup expertise to receive personalized makeup recommendations based on their own unique eye shape,”​ said Glenn Evans, senior vice president and global general manager of Smashbox Cosmetics.

“We are excited to take another step on our mission to bring the magic of Smashbox Studios to makeup lovers everywhere.”

Bringing the offline experience online

The launch of the new try-on tool is part of Smashbox’s move to bring an in-store experience, or offline try-on experience, online, by combining both Augmented Reality (AR) and AI technologies.

“Perfect Corp.’s AI technologies help us build on strong digital connections with consumers, despite the physical divide,”​ said Tatiana Sana, Global Brand Technologies at Estée Lauder Companies.

“Smashbox always had a sweet spot for eyes and had conducted extensive research over the years to support their Shape Matters Methodology. Now combined with YouCam’s AI-powered eye shape recognition engine, we’ve made it seamless to create a soft, bold or smoky eye look at the touch of a button.”

Smashbox is key to the ELC makeup portfolio

Smashbox was acquired by Estée Lauder Companies in 2010 as a means of connecting with a new and younger customer base.Back then the company was already leading the way in the digital and social media space, so the acquisition also served to boost the company’s footprint in that area.

In 2020 Estée Lauder Companies revenue fell by 3% to reach $8.52 billion, a figure that was impacted by a significant hit to its color cosmetics portfolio, as consumers shunned the category during the pandemic lockdowns.

The dip in sales has resulted in the announcement that its Becca Color Cosmetics brand will be permanently closed in September of this year. Other color cosmetics brands in the portfolio include MAC, Tom Ford, Bobbi Brown and Too Faced.

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