In 2021, French cosmetic and personal beauty care product company L’Oreal submitted a patent for an innovative device that was recently published earlier this year. The unique patent design offers consumers the opportunity to formulate and produce blended cosmetics that are shade matched to the user’s exact skin tone and coloration via phone app assistance.
Utilizing proprietary cosmetic color cartridges, the design has since been used to create two products for consumer use: Perso 3-in-1 personalized home beauty device by L’Oreal, and Rouge Sur Mesure Custom Lip Color Creator by YSL. As detailed on the L’Oreal website, Perso is a six-and-a-half-inch beauty tech device which “delivers personalized on-the-spot skincare and cosmetic formulas.”
Using a combination of consumer interface and AI, Perso offers unprecedented levels of user personalization to create and dispense customized lip and skin care colors that perfectly match user skin tone and coloration. The device works through Perso's mobile app, which analyzes the users face and geographic environment as well as personal preference information targeting specific concerns like dry skin and fine lines. The device then factors in all of these inputs to formulate and dispense a single dose of perfectly matched and formulated product for consumer use.
Rouge Sur Mesure, in contrast, is informed using the same technological developments in a more compact model that solely dispenses customized lip color options for users. As detailed on the YSL website, the device allows users to “create thousands of custom shades with YSL color expertise and cutting edge PERSO technology.” Utilizing the same basic functionality as Perso, consumers select their preferred color cartridge set and then use the YSL mobile app to shade match the lip color that is the best fit for their coloring and can also use the app to analyze and dispense a lip color that matches their outfit using the Shade Stylist.
To learn more about the device technology development and launch, CosmeticsDesign spoke with the patent’s inventor Guive Balooch, L’Oréal’s Global Head of Research and Innovation's Tech Incubator. Balooch explained the background behind the device concept, the process in which the technology was developed, and how the technology was applied to launch these innovative products for consumer use.
As the cosmetics and personal beauty care industries continue to modernize and integrate AI technology into their product offerings, these devices are excellent examples of how this process can be applied successfully to meet consumer needs for more personalized beauty product options.
CDU: What is the inspiration for the patent design?
GB: We worked with Branch Creative, an industrial designer based in San Francisco, who was inspired by various shapes and objects. Together, we decided a variation of a cylinder was best and most ergonomic for the consumer.
CDU: Did L’Oreal do consumer market research into the demand for a device with these capabilities?
GB: Absolutely! As more and more tech-savvy consumers enter the marketplace and technology continues to evolve, a few trends we’re leaning into are personalization, inclusivity, and sustainability. Personalization is only growing and isn’t limited to the luxury space – it’s only becoming more and more precise.
We’ve found an increasing number of consumers want less shade and product waste, and at the same time, they want to be more expressive through beauty. This device encourages self-expression and inclusivity, which is always at the heart of our work.
CDU: How does the device function?
First, the user downloads the app, which can be installed on a phone or tablet, where they can explore and virtually try on looks. He/she can create lip shades in three different ways:
Shade wheel: to select an everyday shade and then easily dial it up for an evening look.
Shade match: to match a standout outfit or favorite accessory with a simple photo capture.
Shade stylist: a proprietary algorithm infused with Yves Saint Laurent Beaute’s color expertise, designed to recommend coordinating lip shades with any outfit.
Next, the user presses the dispense button, which dispenses the shade selected in a perfectly portioned, single dose for an easy and clean application. The user then applies the lip shade with the accompanying brush (which magnetically attaches to the device). The user can remove the compact for an on-the-go re-touch of the selected shade.
CDU: Is there a learning curve to using the device, or is it relatively user friendly?
GB: The device is very user friendly and designed to be set up easily with step-by-step instructions within the app.
CDU: What types of cosmetic products can be dispensed from the device – makeup only, or also topical products?
GB: The device has the capability to dispense lipstick, foundation, and skincare. We’re working on various applications and will expand offerings soon.
CDU: How are the cartridges be sold?
GB: The cartridges will be sold separately. The user purchases the device, and separately purchases their preferred cartridge color, of which there are nine options: pinks, reds, nudes, oranges, two multi-color, warn reds, warm nudes or cool nudes.
CDU: How are the cartridges be changed out, and how long will they typically last with regular use?
GB: It depends on the individual usage, but we’ve found cartridges typically lasts at least a year. To change the cartridges, you can easily pop them out with a push of a button and replace with other colors.
CDU: What does device maintenance look like for consumers?
GB: There is no specific maintenance regime, but we recommend to thoroughly clean dispensing dish of the compact and applicator with a cotton pad or clean tissue to wipe excess formula. Weekly hygiene maintenance is recommended to preserve optimum performance & hygiene by cleaning the compact with rubbing alcohol.
CDU: Were there any challenges that the development team had to overcome when designing the device?
GB: There were several challenges during the development of this device. First, we had to create the perfect luxury formula, which was challenging for compatibility reasons with the dispensing technology and materials. Second, the compact design was challenging as we need to have good airtightness and it needs to be hygienic. Lastly, we worked very hard to perfect the dispensing to ensure 100% accuracy.
CDU: Are there any future plans to develop similar AR/AI devices for L’Oreal consumers?
GB: Absolutely. We’re always working on various projects and devices that use AR/AI to enhance our offerings to consumers.
CDU: Although there is an initial upfront cost, is this potentially a cost-saving device for consumers over time?
GB: We hope this device allows consumers the opportunity to try out different shades / colors and have the chance to save on waste of product and packaging.
CDU: Anything else to add?
GB: At L'Oréal, we believe that personalization is the future of beauty. This technology builds upon L'Oréal's years of expertise building innovative, personalized beauty experiences, and underscores the importance of using technology to bring value to people’s everyday lives.
This device delivers on that promise and for the first time, allows people to create their own lipsticks to match trends, their wardrobe or build a new shade entirely from scratch within minutes, wherever they want, whenever they want. This use of ultimate personalization perfectly aligns and elevates the brand’s mission and legacy.
For more information on L'Oreal's Perso device, be sure to check out CosmeticsDesign's previous coverage: