App set to transform makeup routine for the visually impaired

App set to transform makeup routine for the visually impaired

Based on artificial intelligence and augmented reality, the makeup ‘assistant’ can help them make the necessary touch-ups or modifications

Estée Lauder has launched an app to help visually impaired people apply makeup.

WILL 2023 be the year of inclusivity in the cosmetics sector? Probably not yet, but innovations are proliferating in the industry to make beauty accessible to as many people as possible.

The latest takes the form of a voice-controlled makeup assistant to facilitate makeup application for visually impaired users.

Inclusivity is about making sure that people who might not fit with society’s usual norms – norms linked to stereotypes and preconceptions – can enjoy the same ‘privileges’ as everyone else.

This notion has become a major marketing point in recent years in response to public demand, especially from younger generations, to change social norms and customs.

And to make sure they, in turn, don’t find themselves excluded, brands are now taking diversity into account to make minorities visible, and to offer products and services that are useful and accessible to all.

The body-positive movement has helped change the game in the fashion and beauty industries, with collections that are better suited to the diversity of women’s bodies. But inclusivity doesn’t stop at body shape and size.

Skin colour, gender, culture, origin, illness and other health issues, age and disability must also be taken into account to make these industries truly inclusive.

Making beauty accessible to all

Little used before the pandemic, the term ‘inclusivity’ is now everywhere in fashion and beauty – perhaps too much so for some, who see it more as a way to curry favour with consumers than as a firmly rooted and long-lasting reality.

Either way, it does appear to be driving change. The first steps in this more inclusive direction were taken by expanding offers in terms of sizes, cuts and foundation shades, for example, or by creating gender-neutral ranges.

Now, disability seems to be the focus of brands’ attention. Change is still in its very early days, but the world’s largest minority has recently been benefitting from clothing, equipment and other services that are better tailored to their daily lives.

This has been seen in fashion, with the launch of collections designed for wheelchair use, prostheses or reduced mobility, and more recently in the beauty industry, with innovations designed to facilitate the routines of those affected.

The latest was unveiled by Estée Lauder, and is entirely dedicated to blind and visually impaired people.

Based on artificial intelligence and augmented reality, this new makeup application assistant is capable of analysing a user’s makeup routine and giving them voice instructions to help them make the necessary touch-ups or modifications.

“The first of its kind, this innovative, AI-powered app assists visually impaired beauty lovers with their foundation, eyeshadow and lipstick application, offering feedback along the way and supporting the visually impaired community to more confidently apply makeup and enhance self-expression,” states Estée Lauder on its UK Instagram page.

This technological advance is synonymous with independence for blind or visually impaired people who previously had to rely on other senses, such as touch, or help from others to enjoy an optimal makeup routine.

The very first version of this application, called Voice-enabled Makeup Assistant, is available in the UK via the App Store and esteelauder.co.uk.

It will be enriched with new services and features in the coming weeks and months, before being rolled out to other countries and on Android. The service could prove a significant help to the 2.2 billion visually impaired or blind people worldwide, according to WHO data.

Making beauty disability inclusive

The beauty industry has been lagging behind on the inclusion of people with various forms of disability, but it now seems ready to catch up.

At the last Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the L’Oréal group stood out with the presentation of Hapta, an intelligent makeup applicator developed to help people with reduced arm or hand mobility to apply lipstick, mascara or eyeliner, for example, but also to handle their cosmetics packaging more easily.

Currently under development, this innovation will be launched in 2023 via one of the group’s flagship brands, Lancôme, in the form of a lipstick applicator. It is then expected to be extended to other makeup applications, such as mascara, for example.

Other brands have previously tried to launch such tools and accessories, but these are potentially the two most accomplished innovations in the beauty sector for people with disabilities. What’s more, they are accessible on a large scale, given the size and reach of these two cosmetics giants.

source – ETX Daily Up

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