Bringing digital innovation into the bricks-and-mortar arena, the beauty arm of French luxury megabrand Dior has introduced an iPhone-like device to help its sales staff gauge shoppers' skin tones – creating perfect colour matches.
The Foundation Shade Analyser's high-tech camera sensor scans consumers' cheeks to determine their skin colour and, subsequently, the most suitable foundation shade. The tool is so accurate that measurements can even be taken without the benefit of natural light. The device also makes other corresponding product suggestions, including matching blush and lipstick colours, enabling assistants to create (and sell) a total look.
The move taps into the thriving global market for beauty devices – a sector forecast to grow 19% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) by 2020 (P&S Market Research, 2015). See also E-Beauty: Digital Device Boom.
Such tools may cause whispers of the possible diminishment, or even elimination, of the role of the in-store beauty adviser. However, other store concepts such as Sephora's TIP flagship in San Francisco and Mac's Pro Beauty Store in London suggest the value of humanised, tutorial-focused expertise means these innovations are better framed as highly beneficial support tools. There is also the possibility of the concept becoming a direct-to-consumer, branded product.