Cosmetics and skin care products are inherently personal. Technology has allowed us to make our beauty routines even more personalised over the recent years and as it develops, the opportunities for brands to step up their personalisation increases. In this post we look at the personalisation technology has already afforded us and what we can expect in the future.


Over the last year more and more beauty brands are coming out with apps to help Millennials try before they buy on their phone. This has been a necessary step as online cosmetics sales decreased between 2014 and 2016 in favour of in-store purchases where testers are available.

Boots No7 App allows consumers to take a photograph of their skin and match it to the perfect shade, an experience that previously was only available in store. Using a match-made card, users can get the perfect match and redo it as many times as they like, important when skin shades change throughout the year.

Picture of the Number7 MatchMade App which analyses users' skin tones so they can choose the perfect foundation.

Smashbox recently released their Try-On Studio which features 13 different types of products you can try on from eyeshadow to blusher. Smashbox is the first beauty brand to make its full product lineup available on this type of tool.

RimmelLondon’s Get the Look app allows users to snap a picture of their favourite celebrity look and then try it on themselves. It also has the option to buy the looks from Rimmel London and there is a leaderboard for people to vote up their favourite looks.

Picture of the Rimmel London app which allows users to try on makeup looks using augmented reality

Meanwhile, EX1 Cosmetics made a big splash when it was revealed that Britney Spears wore their foundation onstage and it only cost £12.50. The brand was founded by former biochemist Farah Naz for people with yellow skin undertones. It was a welcome addition to an industry where traditionally “different” foundation colours cost a lot more than the more available, paler colours.

An image showing two EX1 products that were created for yellow skin undertones, with a model in the middle wearing EX1 foundation.



Mixed reality is a hybrid of augmented reality and virtual reality, it works by scanning the space you are in so the device knows where to realistically place digital content into that space so you can interact with it. This technology is going to be so important over the next five years but in the beauty sector, a place where augmented reality has already become so important for personalisation, we see mixed reality as the next step, a place where users can see what makeup looks like on them from all angles through the use of a hologram.



If you want to get really personalised you could always pay for GeneU to analyse your DNA and predict how your skin is going to age and provide you with serums to combat your specific anti-aging needs. Of course, it will set you back £600 for the test and £300 pounds thereafter for a week’s worth of customised problems, a cost that is inhibitive to most! Skin DNA at Beautopia costs slightly less, £495, and includes data on more biomarkers than the GeneU test.

But as DNA testing costs reduce all the time, we predict DNA testing for beauty will become the norm in the not so far off future, as well as for health, fitness and nutrition. It is currently possible to sequence the entire genome for under $1000 and as this price comes down, more biomarkers can be tested and the outlook on what will happen to your skin will be even more comprehensive.