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L’Oréal’s New Makeup Genius App Brings Hollywood Tech to Consumer Beauty Sampling

Posted: June 18, 2014

Forget smudging a lipstick tester on the back of your hand or waiting to get home to try out a new eye shadow color. Get ready to experience beauty in an entirely new way, thanks to L'Oréal Paris. The global beauty brand is introducing Makeup Genius, a game-changing app that uses advanced facial mapping technology to turn the front-facing iPhone and iPad camera into a virtual mirror that allows women to try on products in real-time.

Based on technology previously only used in Hollywood and the gaming industry, Makeup Genius allows consumers to scan a L'Oréal Paris product or advertisement to detect a color match, virtually try on individual products or test out curated looks from expert makeup artists, and share with friends and family on Facebook. The Makeup Genius app is available beginning today for free download in The App Store.

Makeup Genius was born out of L'Oréal USA's Connected Beauty Incubator, a new business division based out of L'Oréal's Research & Innovation labs in Clark, New Jersey, dedicated entirely to technology innovation. The incubator is driven by collaborations with emerging companies, entrepreneurs and experts in a diverse array of fields, cultivating mutually beneficial partnerships that simultaneously drive innovation at L'Oréal while bringing these external businesses into the beauty sphere for the first time. For Makeup Genius, the brand enlisted the expertise of Image Metrics, a company known for its advanced facial mapping technology in movies and video games and whose team of data scientists worked on the animation for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

"At L'Oréal, we are committed to bringing beauty to all women through the development of breakthrough technologies and cross-industry partnerships that complement our scientific expertise and add value to our consumer's digitally connected lives," says Marie Gulin-Merle, CMO of L'Oréal USA. "Our ambition for Makeup Genius was to create a game-changing digital experience that was on par with the same best-in-class standards as our product portfolio."

Unlike existing beauty apps that can merely render colors onto a pre-uploaded static image, Makeup Genius uses a highly advanced facial mapping algorithm that allows women to try on eye shadow, eyeliners, lip colors and blushes and play with different looks, all in real time. Makeup Genius captures 64 facial data points and 100 different facial expressions, making it intuitive enough to discern between the skin of the lips, eyes and other facial contours, allowing the virtual makeup to move with you as you turn your head, change your facial expression and test out new looks at various angles and lighting conditions.

The app also works in more than 400 different lighting conditions and takes into account all ethnicities to ensure the resolution and performance of the makeup including texture, finish and color are all accurate. From trying out Eva Longoria's smoky eye or Liya Kebede's nude lip to testing out one of the many trend-driven looks created by the L'Oréal Paris' celebrity makeup artist Billy B., women can have fun experimenting with a variety of looks.

"With this app, women don't need a professional makeup artist because they can become their own makeup designer," says Billy B. "It was so much fun creating the different looks and after months of working on this app, I am so excited it's now available for everyone to play with and experience."

Makeup Genius is the latest expression of the brand's Makeup Designer Paris platform. This new platform, which will be communicated in advertising, on packaging and more, goes beyond just a new signature for the brand. It was created to highlight the expertise and creativity of every woman. It will change the way women are inspired by makeup, the way women interact with makeup and the way women shop makeup.

"Through our new cosmetics platform, our mission is to empower all women to effortlessly reproduce the art of makeup from Paris and bring out the makeup designer in her," says Malena Higuera, senior vice president of marketing, L'Oréal Paris. "Makeup Genius perfectly brings this mission to life by offering an instant, effortless and personalized beauty transformation that is accessible to women everywhere right at their fingertips." Makeup Genius is available in The App Store for the iPhone and iPad. An Android version will be available by 2015.