Step aside Kylie Jenner Cosmetics. The latest trend in the beauty industry is technology. And it has staying power. From new technologies such as virtual apps to intelligent facial mapping, here are three ways that prove the future of beauty, is smart.

Beauty in a Modern World

The beauty world has been late to the technology game, but it’s coming on strong thanks to advanced platforms that help shoppers analyze their skin, hair, makeup, and try it all on before making a purchase. In addition, intuitive equipment can help skin specialists treat and perfect your complexion, with a telltale peek at your skin’s future.

Virtual Reality

Let’s take a trip somewhere.

Altered realities transform the way we experience life. While women have long been shopping in department stores for their  cosmetic products,  Nielsen data revealed US consumer shopping trips for beauty products online rose 15.4% year over year in June 2014 compared with a decline of 2% for the industry as a whole.

To remain relevant to future consumers, virtual reality is making its way into the beauty niche and taking customers into digital beauty stores where they can shop, try on cosmetics, and speak with a beauty advisor, all while wearing pajamas and sitting on the couch. (No judge!)

Consumers can now digitally alter their skin to the desired perfection, and then purchase those products that work for their customized skincare routine. Some of the top names in the cosmetic world have already begun to pave the road for innovation.

L’Oréal created Make-Up Genius – an iOS app which allows users to scan their face and virtually apply make-up from their catalogue. It was designed to help shoppers see a product on their own face, rather than rely on the advice from reviewers. And it didn’t stop there.

In 2016, L’Oréal launched virtual hair education, where salon stylists can watch demonstrations without having to attend costly training seminars. The room-scale volumetric VR experience features photo-realistic holograms, enabling the feeling of being present in the classroom. Early tests have concluded that hairdressers love the virtual courses, which makes L’Oréal’s plan of going global with their virtual education platform a soon to be a reality.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is similar to computer-mediated reality. Unlike virtually where the real world is replaced with a simulated one, augmented reality modifies perception through the use of a computer, graphics, video, or data. Instead of being taken somewhere like virtual reality, augmented reality offers an overlay of content that’s not anchored.

It’s no surprise that Sephora is leading the pack in augmented reality with their Modiface technology platform. Sephora’s mobile and digital strategy is built around the idea that when people know how to use a beauty product, and what tools are needed to complete a look, they’re more likely to buy it.

And the same rings true for beauty services. When a customer can view a new hairstyle, hair color, or anti-aging treatment, they can see the results prior, and make educated decisions before committing. This is pretty smart before opting for that post-breakup haircut. (That you probably shouldn’t get.) Augmented reality has taken the guesswork out of changing personal appearances. This means no more bad haircuts or coloring services. You can try on eyebrows, plump your lips, and opt for fillers before you invest.

Technology has also welcomed new cosmetic solutions such as microblading, where brows are drawn on using a pen that achieves natural results that last up to a year. Offering the option for women to see how they’ll look with full and healthy brows makes the commitment to semi-permanent ink an easy one.

Artificial Intelligence

Other-worldly technology that’s by far smarter is Visia’s facial mapping artificial intelligence. The Visia analyzes everything from your Truskin Age to the health and density of your eyelashes.

This specialized equipment visualizes the skin’s surface in three levels and provides meaningful comparisons and graphs that help specialists determine the next course in skin care. Whether it’s to improve the appearance of fine lines or wrinkles or to help communicate the benefits of resurfacing and injectables, Visia offers an in-depth look at your skin, and even simulates age progression so you can see how you’ll look in 5-7 years if you continue caring for your skin in the same manner. The results can be enough to send any consumer right into the treatment rooms in an effort to preserve their youth.

As the world continues to embrace technology the lines between the real vs. virtual world will continue to blur like smoke and mirrors. Skincare companies, salons and spas, and beauty brands will need to make technology the centralized focus of their brand. They’re no longer the exception.

Where will technology lead us next? There are truly no limits in what we might explore, or how far we’ll travel.

There’s beauty in that.

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