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Connect: Technology is now making beauty more personal

Little mix: HyLab
from Romy lets you
blend personalised
skincare formulas

LONG gone are the days of limited foundation shades, a handful of blonde hair dyes and one-size-fits-all moisturisers. You can now get beauty products that are developed for you and only you. From serums matched to your DNA to live chats with professional make-up artists and hair analysers, beauty companies are using the power of AR, AI and all kinds of tech to create formulas that suit your exact needs and colourings.

What’s even better is that you don’t have to leave your house to get them. Due to Covid-19, many of these personalised services are now available online, meaning that even during lockdown your bespoke beauty regime can be on point.

Hylab personalised skincare lab

Perso, L’Oréal’s mini-skincare lab, hit headlines at the CES global tech convention last year for promising personalised skincare formulas at home. And while we wait for a release date, there is a skincare lab already on sale. Called HyLab from Romy, the lab lets you mix personalised formulas using capsules. These target specific skin problems such as redness and blemishes, and you can mix and match them to suit your changing skincare needs throughout the seasons.

The Inkey List Recipe Builder

The Inkey List has transformed skincare, proving that great products needn’t cost the earth. In addition to its #askINKEY live chat consultations, The Inkey List now offers a Recipe Builder. Answer a handful of questions about your skin concerns and current routine, and the brand will build you a personalised skincare package. Recipe Builder free, products from £4.99,

Vichy SkinConsult AI

Since lockdown, loads of beauty brands have launched online skincare tools but few are as detailed as Vichy’s SkinConsult AI. Marketed as a ‘dermatologist at your fingertips’, SkinConsult AI uses machine learning to analyse your skin from a selfie. It compares your face to its skin ageing atlas, built using readings taken from more than 10,000 people, and plots your strengths and weaknesses on a skin matrix. Vichy then compiles a skincare regime designed to target your specific problem areas. Free,

Nomige DNA-based skincare

This ingenious DNA kits creates skincare based on your genetic make-up. Developed by Belgian bioengineer Dr Barbara Geusens, Nomige uses your DNA, stored securely, to uncover your skin’s unique ageing process before creating serums and creams to target your very specific needs. From £439,

Garnier’s ColourMatch app

Instead of just letting you virtually try on hair colours, Garnier’s ColourMatch begins by finding the shades and dyes most likely to suit you. Tell the app your current hair colour, what colour you’d like it to be, and whether you’re going grey or not and Garnier will find a ColourMatch. You can then tap Try It to see what these recommended colours look like ‘live’ or via a photo upload. Free, products start at £6.99,

Chat live to a Bobbi Brown make-up artist

Keep your eye in: Bobbi Brown’s make-up artists offer free live chat advice

Since lockdown, an increasing number of brands now offer consultations with make-up artists and also video tutorials — No7, SpaceNK and bareMinerals, to name a few. Yet many require advanced booking or come with a fee. If you’re after bespoke and (most importantly) free advice, we recommend Bobbi Brown’s Live Chat. It allows you to dive straight into a conversation with an artist, any time of day. You can upload photos, ask questions or get general advice. Free, live-chat-landing

Il Makiage AI-based make-up matching tool

Cult New York make-up brand Il Makiage recently launched in the UK and brought its machine learning PowerMatch make-up quiz with it. Using a bespoke algorithm, the foundation finder asks a series of questions before recommending one of the company’s 50 shades without ever looking at a selfie. Il Makiage claims its tool is over 90 per cent accurate and we can vouch for it. Having typically struggled to find a shade that suits us, this tool nailed it. Il Makiage is so confident, if it does mismatch your tone you can return the foundation or swap it for free. Powermatch quiz free, Woke Up Like This Foundation, £36,

Find your perfect make-up matches with Slapp

Whereas Il Makiage’s quiz only focuses on foundation, and only recommends its own products — as do many brands including in-house shade finders like Urban Decay and Trinny London — the Slapp app aims to broaden your options. It uses AI to first identify your skin tone from a selfie, then recommends hundreds of shades of foundation, concealer, powder, lipstick, highlighters and more from dozens of brands, among them Charlotte Tilbury, MAC and Benefit. You can buy the recommendations directly from the app too. Free,

Function of Beauty

By answering questions on your hair condition, concerns and which fragrances you prefer, Function Of Beauty’s team of MIT scientists and engineers can develop a bespoke shampoo and conditioner formula. The bottles can be bought on subscription or as a one-off. From £29 for a single bottle up to £39 for a shampoo and conditioner bundle. Various subscription options available,

Noughty Hair Quiz

A cheaper way to get a personalised haircare plan is to take Noughty’s Hair Quiz. Once you’ve answered seven questions on the brand’s site — from what your hair goal is to how you like to style it — Noughty builds you a regime. This includes shampoos, hair masks and serums. Quiz free, products start at £2.59,

Réduit One & Hairpods

Instead of spraying heat defence formulas or treatments at your hair, the Réduit One uses ultrasonic diffusion and sonic pulses to mist your locks with products, increasing how much is absorbed. You can’t use it with your current products — you need to buy specially designed Hairpods. These are available in a deep conditioning or strengthening formula and coat the hair as the Réduit One is moved above and around the head. Réduit One, £189,

Virtually try on…

BareMinerals lipstick

Finding the perfect shade of lipstick is almost as tricky as finding a foundation match. To make it easier, bareMinerals’ AR-powered tool lets you virtually try on shades of its Mineralist Hydra Smoothing Lipstick on a ‘live’ image or uploaded photo. It’ll help find your ideal red. Free, lipstick costs £20,

Urban Decay eyeshadow

Using a live image or a photo, you can virtually experiment with 64 eyeshadow shades in Urban Decay’s collection. Filter between matte, shimmer, sparkle and duotone, and sample nude shades to bold. The tool’s only on the US website but once you’ve got a match you can buy from the UK one. Free, eyeshadow, £15,

MAC mascara

MAC’s Virtual Try On tool lets you test out lipsticks and glosses, eyeshadows and even mascaras. Upload a selfie, try it on a live image or see what the colours look like on a model with similar colourings to yourself before you spending a fortune on various products. Free, make-up from £12,

Redken hair colour

Looking to mix up your locks during lockdown? Redken’s salon-based hair range has a host of hues, from brunettes to pinks, and you can try each via the company’s Virtual Try-On tool. Upload a photo, pick a shade and voila! You can see what each colour looks like on live image too.Free,