Robots custom-make lipsticks with photos, bath bombs with brain waves
Cosmetics companies are becoming tech savvy, using smart devices and robots to offer customization services for customers.
L'Oreal's Yves Saint Laurent Cosmetics released Rouge Sur Mesure Powered by Perso on Feb. 14. The device finds the optimal color based on skin tone or clothing and dispenses a small amount of lipstick that can be applied once.
People only have to take a photo of their face using a camera on the cosmetics company's application, then the device will automatically find the best-matching shade. According to the company, the device has four color cartridges that can create over 1,300 shades.
The gadget was made available at Shinsegae Department Store's Gangnam branch in southern Seoul for a week before the product was released, but all sessions were fully booked in just two days.
Other cosmetics companies have been using smart devices to offer personalized products.
At CES 2022 in January, Amorepacific introduced a robot named the Mind-linked Bathbot. Through head gear worn by the customer, it analyzes brain waves to create a bath bomb with a scent and color that matches their emotions.
The so-called beauty tech market is expected to grow even bigger. According to local market tracker P&S Intelligence, the global beauty device market was $9.57 billion in 2020, and is expected to grow 25.1 percent on year to $89.5 billion won in 2030.
The Korean market is big. The local market is expected to grow to 1.6 trillion won this year, according to LG Economic Research Institute. The figure grew 220 percent compared to 500 billion won in 2018, the last time the same research was conducted.
LG Household & Healthcare announced in late January that it will soon introduce Printly, a small temporary tattoo printer. The product will be sold in North America sometime in fourth quarter.
The pandemic is another factor that drove growth. Many people have been avoiding in-store beauty services, and are becoming more positive on gadgets. Staying at home made people put more emphasis on self-care as well.
"More people have been staying at home due to Covid-19, and ritual trends, a term referring to people regularly doing at-home beauty routines to make themselves feel relaxed, have become important in the market," said Jin Jeong-im, CEO of cosmetics consulting firm BeautyStreams Korea. "Consumers have high expectations for beauty devices, and acquiring customer data related to beauty product usage through connected applications is another plus for companies."
BY YOO JI-YOEN, LEE TAE-HEE [firstname.lastname@example.org]