WATCH: The beauty makeover, AI's influence on the beauty industry

Nars Cosmetics digital avatar Chelsea embodies dusty rose lipstick shade American Woman. Picture: Nars Cosmetics

Nars Cosmetics digital avatar Chelsea embodies dusty rose lipstick shade American Woman. Picture: Nars Cosmetics

Published Apr 17, 2024


In the quest for a more personalised customer experience, beauty brands are offering customers everything from games to product demonstrations and master classes.

One trend in particular stands out however - the overt use of artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

Nars Cosmetics's AI-generated ambassador, Maxine, is an eerily lifelike figure who can answer customers questions on everything from what her role is to what colour lipstick she thought would look good on them.

Brand leader Sephora first introduced an AI generated virtual make up app eight years ago - Virtual Artist.

Benefit Cosmetics is another beauty brand that is utilizing AI to help customers gain information about its products.

The brand launched an AI-powered pore analysis tool that detects and analyses a person's pores in real time, which helps customers better understand how its products work.

@aylennpark The 3D technology at this facial clinic in Korea is unmatched😱 My mom and I went to Individuel Geneve in Seoul, Korea📍 (@IndividuelGenève_kr_official ) - it’s actually a facial clinic based in Switzerland but they are killing it in Korea! #korea #facial #koreanfacial #spa #koreanskincare #skincare #kbeauty #glassskin #microneedling #koreatips #fyp #koreabeauty #koreantreatment ♬ original sound - Aylen Park

While artificial intelligence dates back to the 1950s, until recently its role has remained the same - the use of machines to mimic human intelligence, not to replace it. It’s new role, however is drastically changing the face of the beauty industry.

We explore this trend in more detail.

What are the positives of AI in beauty?

Many companies are harnessing artificial intelligence for a better user experience, using it as a tool to customise consumers choices, making shopping even more personal.

The downside of AI in the beauty industry

The use of AI in beauty also has its negatives. It has become increasingly difficult to distinguish between what's real and what's not.

As social media influencers and beauty brands applaud AI’s ability to allow people to experiment with beauty products just by owning a smartphone, there are other pitfalls when it comes to the widespread use of AI in the space.

According to research by the Europol Innovation Lab, by 2025, 90% of the images that you see online will be AI generated.

This can skew people's perception of reality, leading to unrealistic beauty expectations and damaged self-esteem.

Going forward, the responsibility lies with the beauty brands that use AI to be authentic.

Experimenting when it comes to beauty, and the integration of AI into the sector is no different to any other industry.

The outcomes of using technology will likely only be realized in the future, but it’s inclusion in the beauty industry, for the better or worse, is already here and going forward we can certainly count on seeing more of it.