Artificial intelligence (AI) is – or will soon be – impacting every area of our lives, from driving our cars and tailoring our shopping to monitoring our social media scrolling. Depending on your views, it’s either coming to take your job or going to make your life a whole lot easier.

And this AI revolution has hit the beauty industry, too. Whether it’s whipping up bespoke formulas or generating trends by computer, technology is being used to influence how we choose our beauty products and treatments.

Made-to-measure make-up

Picking the perfect foundation can be a bit of a stab in the dark, especially when shopping online, with seemingly endless shades, undertones and finishes to choose from and often no option to return the product if you get it wrong.

Hoping to remove this confusion is Dcypher, the world’s first AI-powered make-up brand that uses a precise facescanning tool to analyse the exact tones in your skin. Customers then select their finish and coverage, and a bottle of bespoke foundation that matches your skin perfectly is whipped up. Dcypher’s My Custom Foundation costs £42, and there’s also a £32 concealer.

And if you’ve always struggled to find the right shade of lipstick, YSL’s clever Rouge Sur Mesure Device might be the answer. This nifty gadget lets you select from 1,000 shades via an app and virtually try it on before it whips up a single measure of creamy lipstick.

YSL's Rouge Sur Mesure Device will help you find the perfect shade of lipstick but will set you back £260

The smart technology can also match a real-life colour (for example, a dress or a nail polish), and even generate a shade that will complement your skin tone, hair colour and outfit. The downside is that, at £260 for the device plus £90 for a set of cartridges, you might need the bank balance of a tech entrepreneur to afford it.

Trend forecasting

It’s been a little over a year since online chatbot ChatGPT launched, and since then the innovative AI programme has shown that it can hold a decent conversation, generate essays and write songs – and even predict what we’ll be asking for at the hair salon this year.

Ask ChatGPT for 2024’s hair trends predictions and the answers it cheerily responds with sound remarkably accurate. Suggestions include “short haircuts”, “retro styles” and “accessories”, which – judging by the popularity of bobs, 90s-style ‘dos and ribbon bows we’ve seen in the hair world recently – seem spot on. It’ll be a while before we trust a robot with the scissors, though.

Bespoke skincare

With so many products to choose from, even the most skincare-savvy shopper can find it hard to know what’s right for them without a dermatologist on speed dial. Today’s tech is here to help.

There are derm-to-your-door companies such as Skin + Me that help to provide bespoke skincare

Derm-to-your-door companies such as Skin + Me and Klira create personalised formulas of prescription-strength ingredients, while many big brands (including La Roche-Posay, Cetaphil, The INKEY List) have online tools to help you find your perfect products.

For a more human touch, check out Sourcerie, an online beauty retailer that matches your profile to data from thousands of customers’ product reviews to find the best ones for you.

AI injectables

Opting for an injectable tweakment is a big decision, and AI can help to show you what results might look like before you go under the needle. A number of clinics offer online face-scanning tools that let you virtually try cosmetic procedures such as Botox, dermal fillers and tear trough treatments before you commit.

Many clinics allow you to virtually try cosmetic procedures such as Botox and dermal fillers with their online face-scanning tools

However, this is no alternative to a real life consultation with a medical professional, says Dr Asha Chhaya, senior medical injector at sk:n Clinics. “If an AI tool is going to be used, it needs to be part of a consultation. You really don’t want to lose the human touch.”

Smart scents

Technology can pick out your new signature scent, too. Describing itself as “the world’s first virtual perfumery”, online fragrance company Fiole brings the experience of a personal perfume shopper to your fingertips.

Customers simply complete a short questionnaire and Fiole’s algorithms create a discovery box of six scent samples matched to the answers (£19.95). We tried it and were really impressed by the robot’s recommendations.

By Editor