The idea that robots could play a role in our everyday lives and even help solve all our beauty dilemmas — from getting the right shade of foundation to ensuring our skincare regime is just what the doctor ordered — might sound far-fetched.
But machine learning — or artificial intelligence (AI) — is already behind some of the biggest beauty brands in the business, and can be used for anything from helping you to match colour shades from a selfie to giving you a personalised haircare prescription.
So, are these clever new services a gimmick that falls short of a human recommendation — or the future of putting your face on?
PICK FOUNDATION USING A SELFIE
dcypher.me, £3.99 for a 4ml sample
Getting the right shade of foundation is particularly tricky in a pandemic when you can’t try a tester in the shops. New website Dcypher claims to use AI to analyse your selfies and create the perfect shade in seconds, from a choice of more than 20,000 hues.
You choose your preferred coverage (sheer, medium or full), finish (matte or natural) and skin type (oily/combination, natural or dry). Then you take three selfies, ideally in different light sources. I opt for a natural finish and medium coverage and, just days later, my sample arrives on the doorstep.
I’m amazed by the colour — it is bang on, almost indistinguishable from my own skin tone. (And if it hadn’t been, I could have returned it for a full refund.) However, the coverage didn’t seem great and the ‘natural’ finish lacked the glow that I get from foundations I love from Charlotte Tilbury, Guerlain and Revolution.
There’s no doubting the tech here will be a godsend but I’d love to see Dcypher partnering with a brilliant foundation brand.
SUPER-SMART HAIR SCANNER
SalonLab Smart Analyser, available at selected salons, schwarzkopf-professional.co.uk
This handheld scanner looks like a set of straighteners and is run over the hair in a similar way. Its optical sensor can assess damage deep within the hair shaft. Data from the scanner is combined with information you enter into a linked iPad app to give you a bespoke prescription of treatments to rectify any problems.
So, I tell the app about the length, density and type of my hair, as well as whether I colour it, and what products I use at home.
Then stylist Suzie McGill runs the analyser through three different sections of my hair and the results flash up on the iPad.
Gallery: 16 of the