From smart hair brushes to AI-powered skincare apps, the technological revolution has truly arrived in the beauty industry. Makeup artists and users the world over are blending tech into their work and daily regimen. One trend that is setting the industry abuzz is a smart upgrade of one of the industry’s mainstays—the mirror.
A smart makeup mirror is more than an accessory. Mixed with technology on the leading edge of The Internet of Things, smart makeup mirrors are your one-stop hubs for everything on beauty. It can help you relax, stay connected, and most importantly, help your makeup stay on fleek, from primer to highlighter.
Here are five reasons why you should consider giving your old vanity mirror a smart makeover:
Lighting that rivals high-end salons
The best smart mirrors make you look like you’re bathed in sunlight, even with the curtains drawn. Natural lighting is the best for makeup application, because it allows you to apply just the right amount of product and not overcompensate for dim or bright lighting. Applied under natural light, your makeup will look good outside as well as in the warm glow of your home lighting.
Lighting on vanity mirrors need to register high on the color rendering index (CRI). The index defines how close a light source is to approximating the color of daylight. The industry average for a good bulb is 85 CRI.
For makeup artists and enthusiasts, a high CRI is a must. "We realized that women, when they apply makeup, always go near the windows because they want natural sunlight," said Fred's founder Jonathan Yuan in an interview with Straits Times. Allure, Fred’s own smart makeup mirror, comes equipped with LumiereMax lighting, which registers at an above average 96 CRI.
A learning resource on the go
In the beauty industry, few carry as much influence as vloggers and YouTubers. Xiaxue, one of Singapore’s foremost beauty bloggers, attracts an average of 100,000 views on each of her makeup videos. Pro makeup artist Roseanne Tang broke a million views on one of her product review videos. Even brands acknowledge and leverage the power of these influencers. Garnier and Maybelline have both worked with influencers for sponsored reviews.
But for all the beauty content we consume, our watching habits don’t necessarily align with the actual task of putting on makeup. We often switch through a myriad of devices—sometimes hopping between tablet, smartphone, and desktop for a single search query.
The habit can prove cumbersome when you’re applying your makeup, because both of your hands are often busy. A smart makeup mirror provides a convenient, hands-free experience that lets you follow your favorite YouTuber, step-by-step, easily.
The best tried and tested routines, a click away
Social media is deeply rooted in the beauty industry. People reach out to brands on Facebook to book in-store appointments, consult friends for beauty tips, and use social media platforms to showcase and promote self-image positivity and confidence.
Consumers also rely heavily on social media and their smartphones to inform their buying decisions, even though most makeup purchases still happen in-store instead of online. Women particularly tend to log onto Instagram for beauty inspiration and new products. Nearly half of all beauty consumers say their smartphones are invaluable tools for shopping.
With a smart makeup mirror, beauty consumers can easily pull up peer reviews from social media, have a direct line to brands for product inquiries, and chat up friends for advice before heading out the door.
Beauty apps: Tech and beauty, the best of both worlds
Smart mirrors leverage the latest in tech to optimize your beauty regimen. Augmented reality, for instance, is helpful for makeup artists and enthusiasts, and beauty brands like L’Oreal and Maybelline are already meeting the demand with their own virtual try-on apps.
Digital trial apps can save you money, product, and time. Sephora’s Virtual Artist lets you mix and match eyeliners, eye shadows, lip gloss, and lipsticks, allowing you to try on looks before putting them on. The feature is important in an industry where a single eyeliner can cost you S$44. And these apps aren’t just gimmicky flashes in the pan. Bridget Dolan, vice president at Sephora’s Sephora Innovation Labs, says her team dedicated years to polishing app performance. “We weren’t interested in just buzzy. A lot of things like technical accuracy and timing had to come together,” says Dolan in an interview with Glossy.
Apps also enable creativity. Users can be as experimental or as crazy as they want to be. With augmented reality, you can experiment to your heart’s content, without stressing your skin out, or wasting product! Beauty apps like Sephora’s are also an easy way to shop for new products without clicking through endless pages on a website.
Turns getting ready into a relaxing, rewarding experience
For women who wear makeup, putting together their look has become an integral, familiar part of their daily routine. Some even feel relaxed just by watching makeup application videos.
A smart mirror enhances the experience by playing your favorite music to get you pumped and in the right mental space to face the day, so you not only end up looking good, but feeling good as you contour your face for the gods. Music also helps makeup artists with creativity. “Those who have work with me know how particular I am about lighting and how it is mandatory for me to play some music when I work,” shares makeup artist Vera from Lovebrush.
Fred’s smart makeup mirror Allure brings all the perks of a professional makeup studio—the lighting, the freedom to try on different looks, and expert advice—into the comfort of your own room, or wherever you are. At 31.5cm by 23.2cm and weighing in at a little less than two kilograms, Allure is compact and portable, perfect for the makeup artist on the go.
The Allure retails for $399.99 USD, a price tag that may be too much for some, especially since quality makeup products already cost a pretty penny. That’s why we at Fred offer an Allure smart makeup mirror installment plan, because looking good shouldn’t break the bank.