Voice-enabled make-up assistant: Estée Lauder launches app for visually impaired users

by | Jan 11, 2023

Estée Lauder (ELC) has announced the launch of a new app for visually impaired make-up users. The voice-enabled make-up assistant is designed to help people apply products more easily and accurately 

Industry conglomerate Estée Lauder has announced the launch of its voice-enabled make-up assistant. Debuting in the UK, the assistant provides feedback on whether users’ lipstick, eyeshadow, or foundation is evenly applied.

On hearing the news Helena Grzesk MBE, COO of the Council and DEI lead, said: ‘The beauty industry empowers and inspires individuals to develop a positive relationship with how they look, encouraging greater self-esteem, self-worth, and confidence building.

‘Estée Lauder’s new app is a wonderful example of how beauty brands can embrace technology to boost inclusivity and independence in the tech age to support people with sight loss, who may have been unable to access make-up before.’

The innovation is set to enable more self-expression and self-empowerment through beauty. In the UK alone, the National Health Service estimates that more than 2 million people are living with sight loss, of whom 340,000 are registered as blind or partially sighted.

Speaking to Vogue Business, Monica Rastogi, executive director of corporate cultural relevancy and inclusion and diversity at ELC UK & Ireland said: ‘We spoke to individuals within the visual impairment community, and what became very clear was that they didn’t have the independence they wanted when it came to using beauty and makeup products and they had to rely on others.’ 

The first-of-it’s kind app uses pioneering smart mirror technology. Upon an initial scan, the voice-enabled make-up assistant can identify areas where make-up is inconsistent to provide instructions to users on where – and how – they need to touch up. 

For example, when scanning for an even foundation coverage, the app identifies seven areas of the face and recommends that users apply their foundation from the centre of their face, blending outward. 

‘We are committed to building innovative technology solutions that make beauty truly inclusive to everyone. We are thrilled to bring the experience of independently applying makeup to the millions of people that are visually impaired,’ said Michael Smith, Chief Information Officer, in a press release. ‘Technology is a powerful tool to drive inclusion and we are delighted to be first to market with this pioneering app.’

The beginning of 2023 has been characterised by launches dedicated to making beauty more inclusive so far. This release comes after the launch of L’Oréal Brow Magic and HAPTA

The voice-enabled make-up assistant app is available via the Apple App Store in the UK and esteelauder.co.uk. It is targeted to launch on the Google Play store within the year and across other ELC brands and markets shortly.

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