L’Oréal’s new makeup applicator uses AR to give you the perfect brow

L’Oréal is no slouch when it comes to gadgets. Like Dyson, L’Oréal has been pushing the game in beauty tech for the past few years, announcing neat gizmos like wearable UV and pH sensors. This year is no different. For CES 2023, the company is announcing two makeup gadgets: Brow Magic, which uses AR to create and draw your perfect brow, and HAPTA, an accessible lipstick applicator prototype.

Brow Magic was developed with Prinker, which makes a temporary tattoo printer. Brow Magic works similarly. It’s got 2,400 tiny nozzles that can print up to 1,200 dots per inch. And when you think about it as a tattoo printer, it makes sense given popular brow procedures like microblading and microshading are also semipermanent tattoos. The ultimate goal is to reduce the number of products you need to achieve a look. (Yours truly uses a brow pencil, brow gel, and sometimes brow powder.)

To use the device, a user opens the Brow Magic app and scans their face. From there, you can view various shapes, thicknesses, and effects using augmented reality. Brow Magic also recommends different effects akin to microblading and microshading. After selecting a lewk, users brush a primer through their brows before swiping the printer across their eyebrows, then follow up with a topcoat finish. The neat thing is that, unlike semipermanent tattoos, Brow Magic looks can be immediately redone with makeup remover.

This mix of AR and high-tech printing is something L’Oréal’s dabbled with before. At CES 2021, L’Oréal introduced Perso, a gadget that could print a custom mix of lipstick, foundation, and skin care. It also had an AR element that let you try on looks before hand. That culminated in the YSL Rouge Sur Mesure, a lipstick printer that lets you try on shades via AR before mixing them yourself with replaceable cartridges.

Meanwhile, L’Oréal also debuted HAPTA, a smart lipstick applicator for people with limited hand and arm mobility. The device was developed with Verily Life Sciences, an Alphabet-owned company that makes electronic utensils with stabilization tech to help people with tremors eat more easily. L’Oréal says its aim with HAPTA is to apply that technology to makeup, which can be challenging to apply even if you have full mobility. (See: the several years of practice I needed before I could reliably freehand my winged eyeliner. I still fail frequently.)

Woman using HAPTA lipstick applicator

HAPTA is a prototype lipstick applicator that’s designed to help people with limited mobility.
Image: L’Oreal

The HAPTA prototype combines smart gestures and a magnetic attachment, enabling 360 degrees of rotation and 180 degrees of bending. Users can lock the device into place once they figure out the right settings as well as save it for future use. HAPTA can also run on battery for about an hour, or roughly 10 applications.

It’s encouraging to see devices like HAPTA put accessibility at the forefront. Accessible technology has gotten better over the years but often still falls short when it comes to everyday actions that undisabled people take for granted. Stabilized utensils might be a more “practical” application, but makeup is also an art form and type of self-expression that everyone should be able to partake in if they want to. And while this first iteration focuses on lipstick, the company says it’s open to additional forms of makeup down the line.

The Brow Magic is expected to launch in 2023, but there’s no word yet on pricing. Meanwhile, L’Oréal plans to pilot HAPTA under its Lancôme brand this year as well.

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