For many, perfect skin may sound like the best holiday gift you could get this season, and that is exactly what beauty powerhouse Procter and Gamble will soon offer with its latest product, the Opté Precision Skincare System. Using 3D printing, the beauty device covers and fades hyperpigmentation spots through facial scanning and a bespoke serum with skin lightening and anti-ageing properties. Combining science, technology and beauty could finally be the answer to reaching a filter-like face.
You may be rolling your eyes at yet another perfect skin-matching device for your ever-growing beauty table. We’ve all heard it before, but this time it might be the real deal. Procter and Gamble has teamed up with its development partner Funai Electric Co, a Japanese electronics company known for printing, and pioneered a new product combining innovative cosmetic 3D inkjet printing, facial recognition and LED light technology.
The skin wand will analyse your complexion, identify hyperpigmentation like freckles, scars, and acne spots, and aim to precisely cover them with shade-matching serum. This will leave the rest of your skin bare, leading to the most naturally perfect skin ever. Or so it seems to promise. In talks since January 2019, the Opté Precision Skincare System will finally be available in January 2020. Say goodbye to the dreaded demarcation line where your foundation ends because soon, you’ll have the same skin with or without Instagram filters.
Already being touted as a sort of skin saviour to the beauty industry, how will this device change our beauty routine? Time in front of the mirror can significantly be dwindled down depending on your patience. The application process of a sweeping motion across your face could either be effortless or completely cumbersome. Who knows, if you don’t sweep the device just the right way, it may not work as perfectly as it could, leading to tears of frustration over a ruined makeup look—which we’ve all been through.
The device supposedly paints on very little product, so when you go for that end of the day makeup removal wipe you’ll be surprised to see how little is left. And for those who worry about their carefully curated 10-step skin regimen, let me reassure you, you will be able to print your new filtered face right after your skincare. The Opté wand also means that we will be able to save major coin on our makeup budget. At £464 for 3 months of serum, broken down to £154 per month, the beauty tool can be considered reasonable for most ‘beauty addicts’. Think of it this way, if you only need to apply it once a day as it claims, then this will result in a £5 a day application, excluding those needed no-makeup days. Keeping in mind that this beauty wand could allow you to forego expensive foundations, BB creams, and serums, not to mention the amount of time wasted while trying to find the perfect shade, it sounds like a good deal to me.
But the Opté could be more than the perfect beauty tool, it could also alter the way we perceive beauty. The wand is promoted as an inclusive product for all genders, ages, and skin colours. It could even reach people that are already skittish about the idea of wearing makeup, because technically, it isn’t makeup. It’s a much lighter formula than a foundation, one that is more similar to your skin colour than any other foundation.
The wand comes in 3 different skin cartridges in light, medium, and dark which is intended to work for about 98 per cent of skin tones. Until now, critics chastised Photoshop and other beauty editing apps for smoothing over our imperfections and promoting fake beauty but with this device, could that ‘fake’ beauty become our new reality?
Not needing a full mask to feel beautiful could be 2020’s revelation. This Facetune on a stick might also promote mindfulness by forcing us to slow down with each swipe. The application process will take between 3 and 5 minutes—it is up to you to make this moment more about loving your skin than it is about masking it.
It is too early to tell, but hopefully, there are no short-term or long-term side effects that come with the device, while LED light has had its controversial moment, being thought as a link to skin cancer and at the same time FDA approved as it uses small doses that prevent age spots, treat acne scars, and stimulate collagen.
When the Opté wand was first announced, everyone thought it was too good to be true. So let’s wait a few more weeks until January 2020 to see its true colours. Am I signing up for the waiting list? Absolutely. Am I deleting all my mobile editing apps with furious vigour? Not just yet, I will have to wait and be sure that the Opté wand means that #nofilter will be my everyday setting.
On May 15, one of the beauty industry’s most controversial makeup brand, Lime Crime, disrupted the internet once again, this time in a positive way (from identity theft to racism, and many other lawsuits, the company has done it all), with the debut of its first augmented reality app. The app is the first in producing interactive beauty packaging and could possibly change how we use AR in retail. Thinking beyond the makeup box, the brand wanted to give its customers an experience where products’ packaging would come to life in a way no one has seen before. Reimagining the in-store shopping experience by marrying tech, retail, and product into one cohesive experience is something the world was missing and frankly, I wish it came sooner.
The cruelty-free and vegan makeup brand was born on the internet in 2008, founded by Doe Deere, an influencer before influencers became a thing. Its ultra-bright shades and unicorn ethos of standing out from the crowd made Lime Crime one of the first internet cult beauty brands of its kind. The brand decided to create this augmented reality app as a way to reach out to their customers in a new and cutting edge way.
Using the app, makeup lovers can scan over the latest Venus XL 2 palette, where they are immediately greeted by the mascot of the palette, a green-haired Botticelli Venus who comes to life and talks you through the ‘highlights’ of the 18 buttery shades. Makeup tutorials by high profile beauty influencers like Lina Assayed and Lauren Rohrer pop up above the palette, showing you different eye looks using the grungey earth-toned shades as well.
Another product that possesses the same technology is the Softwear matte blush. Here again, you scan your phone over the graphic compact where holographic orchids bloom and you can then digitally swipe through the 12 matte shades—all while butterflies and gold fairy dust cascade down the packaging.
So what does this app really change in the beauty world? According to Business of Fashion, experiential retail has been on the lips of retailers, fashion, and beauty brands since 2018. While using digital makeup filters to swatch the latest products, or using facial recognition algorithms to tell you what’s the best skin care for you is innovative, it doesn’t really help when it comes down to actually putting it on your face. But Lime Crime showed it is aware of the fact that makeup is tactile and in spite of technological advancements, tech just isn’t—something that can’t be changed for now.
What makes this app a game-changer is that it’s showing a future for tech and beauty where YouTube, the go-to platform for the makeup community at the moment, could be cut out of the equation. Eliminating the middleman means unifying the brand, product, and customers at the same time. The app’s simple and straightforward design allows the consumer to interact immediately with the brand and turns objects into installations.
Many retail brands are now making their way into AR through the obvious routes of pushing for e-commerce purchases. Unlike other retailers using AR apps with an e-commerce approach, Lime Crime is sticking to its internet ethos of customers first and using its app to entertain, educate and offer its customers an advanced Lime Crime experience.
By foregoing the shopping cart icon altogether and focusing on telling the brand’s story, Lime Crime promotes a more organic way of buying beauty products to millennials and Gen Z customers. In a world where everyone is savvy to marketing and purchasing algorithms, Lime Crime is not force-feeding ads and products to us. By providing information, entertainment, and experience for customers, it brings meaning to its products and connects you to the brand in a way that hasn’t been done before. This is the future of retail and the future of how products should be presented—where buying products is secondary, but buying into the world and the story of a specific brand is far more important.