Friday, November 18, 2016

NEW WORK: Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO TRIBUNE, High-tech Beauty Solutions for the Modern Girl

With technology entering every aspect of our lives, as you might expect, it's now infiltrating the beauty industry. This year sees two major brands using advanced technology to give its customers a more specialized experience and products.

I decided to test them both out to see if they were all hype or actually useful.


After becoming a Lancôme brand ambassador in 2014, Lupita Nyong'o had trouble finding a foundation color from the company's 35 shades that would match her skin. That's when Lancôme realized this was a problem not only for Nyong'o but for thousands of other women.

With that in mind, Lancôme created Le Teint Particulier Custom Made Makeup. Developed using state-of-the-art digital technology, women can now create a foundation color made specifically for their skin tone.

My olive skin isn't always the easiest to match, so I'd thought I give it a go. The process starts with a one-on-one consultation. A beauty adviser uses a small color scanner, no bigger than a smartphone, to capture your skin color in three photos, and these are analyzed against a database of 20,000 shades.

You also choose type of coverage (sheer, medium or full), the finish and whether you want an additional moisturizer added to the formula. Now for the cool bit, right at the counter, you get to watch your foundation being made in a machine that uses eight peristaltic heart pumps for color accuracy and airtight dispensing. Then the formula is shaken at high speed for thorough blending.

You get to take away your tailor-made foundation in a refillable bottle personalized with your name and a complexion ID. This number represents your unique color, allowing you to re-order the foundation anytime.

When I first applied the foundation, it didn't seem like the perfect shade, but once blended, it was a good match. What I liked about the service is that everything can be adjusted to your needs at no extra cost. As the consultation is free, I can get re-scanned in the winter when my skin is paler. I can even add more moisturizer when my skin tends to be drier.

The custom-made makeup is $80 for 1 ounce and is available at select Nordstrom stores. To find the nearest location, visit


Personalized in-salon hair treatments aren't new for Kerastase, but the company has upped the ante this year by adding a high-tech hair and scalp profiler camera to the process.

The camera is a smartphone that uses a high-power magnification lens specially designed for Kerastase. The process allows the stylist to zoom into the hair fiber at 600 times magnification and analyze how oily your scalp is, your hair density, dryness and hair loss. You are able to view the hair fiber and scalp images on an iPad as the stylist is taking the pictures.

Finding out details like this was incredibly eye-opening as it helped me understand what products I should be using to achieve optimal results.

Once the diagnosis is complete, it's time for the fun part, your bespoke beauty treatment. The treatment consists of two components.

The first is called the Concentre, which addresses your primary hair concern: nourishment and softness, color radiance, reconstruction or density. The second component, known as the Booster, tackles a secondary hair issue: nourishment, radiance, reconstruction, density or anti-frizziness.

After the analysis, the treatment gets blended by the stylist and then applied to your freshly washed hair. Like a conditioner, the treatment is left on for five minutes before it's rinsed out.

After the treatment, my hair was definitely less frizzy and softer, but like all treatments, the results, unfortunately, aren't permanent. But it's a great temporary solution to perk up your hair for a special event. For me, getting a better understanding of my hair was the most valuable part of the process.

Prices start at $30 at over 75 locations nationwide. Visit to find a salon near you.

You can see the original Chicago Tribune article here

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