Seymourpowell has unveiled an intelligent make-up printer concept, which allows users to recreate their favorite looks from social media in real-time. Élever is designed to envision the future of the beauty industry, based on a study carried out by the agency in which early adopters from around the world were surveyed.
"Social media has accelerated the speed at which beauty trends spread globally. This new velocity is fuelling a consumer desire for immediacy," commented Mariel Brown, director of futures at Seymourpowell. "Throughout our research we witnessed users harvesting social media for inspiration as the first step in their make-up regime. One respondent even searched the hashtags of the event he was heading to that night, as part of his getting ready ritual, with the intent of optimizing his chances of creating impact; effectively responding to style trends in real-time.
"Yet the growing consumer desire for immediacy is currently frustrated by the realities of the physical world. Traditional product development cycles, existing supply chain restrictions, and retail channel norms are fated to run at a much slower rate than the online world of beauty culture. Our research indicates that to successfully meet the demands of tomorrow's beauty consumers, we need to challenge these established systems and become more agile."
By building on this behavior and exploring the possibility of digital printing straight on to the face, Élever makes it possible to immediately reproduce the make-up looks found in online beauty content.
Just as the ubiquity of digital cameras has allowed for the spontaneous and instant uploading of beauty images to social media, Élever would allow for the spontaneous and instant downloading of beauty images back into the physical world. This service bridges the world of digital beauty content and the physical world of make-up, allowing consumers to achieve their desired look immediately, without having to learn new skills or buy new products.
Élever enables consumers to become the perfect mirror image of the content they find on social media and provokes debate around homogenization and originality.
The physical product has been consciously designed to give consumers an elegant and premium beauty experience. The familiar design references a classic handheld-mirror, whilst tactile materials and soft lighting embedded into the device allow the intimate and glamorous ritual of applying make-up to be retained, whilst avoiding a time sink. Meanwhile, the device UI has been designed to facilitate graceful and unobtrusive interactions with technology that fit effortlessly into everyday life.
The continued evolution of digital 3D technology, as well as increasingly sophisticated facial recognition and AI-powered image analysis, will continue to blur the boundaries between the physical and digital worlds, making the development of Élever like products ever more likely.
In contrast to the many current applications of facial recognition surrounding security and privacy that restrict user behavior, Élever aims to harness facial recognition to create a seamless luxury consumer experience enabling make-up to be applied to a professional standard, effortlessly.
"Élever helps us imagine possible futures in which make-up artists, cosmetics brands and beauty influencers are able to sell make-up looks online and either the social media channels on which their images are accessed become e-commerce platforms or new platforms are created specifically," said Robert Cooper, designer at Seymourpowell. "Alternatively, as with the digitization of any art form will the plagiarism of professional make-up artist work become prevalent? Élever presents exciting opportunities for the future of the beauty industry itself as brands, influencers, make-up artists and magazines could seek to monetize their make-up looks and set up a new brand and product partnerships centered around the device."
Élever is the second of three concepts to come out of Seymourpowell's 'Understanding Beauty Consumers Of 2020' a 2-year global research project. The first concept, Identité, was released in 2018.
Images: Courtesy of Seymourpowell