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Mirror, Mirror: Smart Technology in the Beauty Industry

Smart Makeup Mirror Technology - Frednology

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 mainstaysthe 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.

Combining Make Up Kit and Smart Mirror - Frednology

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 devicessometimes 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.

Allure Smart Mirror Makeup Reflection - Frednology

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 studiothe lighting, the freedom to try on different looks, and expert adviceinto 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.

DON’T Buy a Smart Mirror—without this Smart Mirror Buyer’s Guide

DON’T Buy a Smart Mirror—without this Smart Mirror Buyer’s Guide

What’s that? You don’t have a smart mirror in your bathroom? Dear me, where have you been?

It seems that anyone who’s into lifestyle tech wouldn’t be caught dead without a touch screen smart mirror in at least one or two places in the house. Chances are you already have a couple or so hanging in your bathroom and your walk-in closet, or sitting on your nightstand or dressing table.

But in case you were thinking of getting another one for your kids’ bathroom, or you’d like to see whether you’ve picked the right high tech mirror for your home, here’s our handy-dandy smart mirror buyer’s guide. We’ll show you what to look for in a smart mirror, what other smart home devices go well with it, and why you’re much better off buying one than building one on your own.

No, it wasn’t Snow White’s stepmother.

But if she didn’t invent the touch screen smart mirror, then who did?

The answer to that begins with the definition of what a smart mirror is. Students at the Illinois Institute of Technology describe it simply as a two-way mirror with an electronic display behind the glass. Widgets are used to display information such as news, weather, date and time.

Google engineer, Max Braun is said to have begun development of his smart bathroom mirror in 2015. Commercial availability for smart mirrors might be traced back to just a couple years or so ago, when one US manufacturer was said to have released “the world’s first smart mirror” in 2016.

This relatively early smart mirror could be said to be a “glorified selfie mirror” thanks to its on-board camera, but it also came with the usual widgets along with your daily agenda. It also provided access to social media, email, text and video.     

It may be noted, however, that one Japanese electronics manufacturer introduced its smart, “makeup-adding” mirror earlier in 2014, and that a Chinese smartphone company was one of many to adopt the application not long afterwards.

Knowing the origins of smart mirrors can give you a rough idea of what’s “standard” and what really is new or cutting edge in smart mirror development, which is why we put this guide together for you.

With the plethora of smart mirrors, Bluetooth mirrors and Android mirrors manufactured in Asia and Europe, as well as the US, a guide becomes invaluable in figuring out which mirror is—aesthetically and technologically—the fairest of them all. After all, you deserve nothing less.

Yes, you could use a touch screen smart mirror.

  • You’re busy. You haven’t got five seconds to spare, so any time you save figuring out your schedule, catching up on the headlines and checking your messages while brushing your teeth or shaving would be a great help. (Just don’t cut yourself.)
  • You’re house-proud.  You’re into every little detail of your designer home, smart or otherwise, so anything you put into it has to be fashionable as well as functional.
  • You’re a techie. It’s not that you want to be one of the first to own the latest (although there’s no harm in it if you do), but that technology and all its myriad applications and newest developments genuinely fascinate you.
  • You believe in putting your best foot forward. You invest a lot of time and effort into the way you look, and you appreciate (and bloody well deserve) anything that can help you look your best.
  • You’re into healthy living. You’re not a fast food fan, are likely to be found in the gym or taking in the great outdoors, and likely to make anything that can help you count steps or calories your new best friend.

No, you probably shouldn’t build a smart mirror yourself.

Unless you were Bruce Wayne, Tony Stark or Artemis Fowl (or fancy yourself as their long-lost twins), leaving the sourcing of your materials and the motherboard, parts assembly and overall aesthetics to the professionals would probably be more prudent.

Not that the DIY touch screen smart mirror isn’t possible—for several tech and electronics enthusiasts out there, the development of their own smart mirrors and other devices is an overriding passion. They’ll give you several reasons why building your own smart mirror is the smarter way to go, which include being able to make it:

  • As big or small as you want. There’s not much you can do with a factory-built smart mirror’s size, except perhaps frame it.
  • As colourful or as understated as you want. If your smart mirror was bought off the shelf, as it were, there’s also probably not much you can do about things like font size or colour, or exactly where you want the display to appear.
  • As smart as you want. This part, of course, will depend on how well versed you are in coding, UI design, hardware, software and so on.
  • As expensive as you think it has to be. Price tags for pre-built Bluetooth mirrors, Android mirrors and the like run into the thousands, compared to their DIY counterparts that cost way less when you buy parts—particularly used ones.
  • As fun as anything you’ve ever enjoyed building by yourself. If you were one of those kids who enjoyed shop class or taking your gaming console apart, you’re definitely going to enjoy putting your own smart mirror together, as opposed to just buying and hanging one up.

You can’t beat the feeling of being able to step back and look with pride at your very own finished creation, and as creative leaders who believe in innovation, Frednology will be among the first to applaud your efforts. But allow us to make a few arguments in favour of our own, homemade article:

  • They come in two sizes. Our flagship, wall-bound Mirror is 800 x 500mm, while our desktop smart makeup mirror Allure has a 256-mm screen.
  • They’re designed to suit the most stylish interiors. Mirror comes in sleek black with slim gold trim, while Allure’s svelte silhouette comes in rose gold.
  • They’re as smart as they come. Mirror boasts an Android 5.0-powered quad core MediaTek chipset, while Allure’s quad core RK3368 chipset runs on Android 5.1.
  • They’re available via several purchasing options. Mirror is available via instalment plan in Singapore, while Allure may be pre-ordered.
  • They’re fun and easy to use. As touch screen smart mirrors, using Mirror and Allure is just like using your tablet—only bigger (in the case of Mirror) and prettier (if you’re using Allure).

And unlike building a DIY smart mirror, owning Frednology technology means you’re not alone—you’ll have all of us behind every smart mirror you acquire from Frednology. And that’s a promise.

Yes, your smart mirror should be sporting these features.

  • An actual mirror. You should be able to see yourself as clearly as you do the display.
  • Touchscreen, gestural control, voice activation. You should be able to interact with your mirror.
  • Fingerprint-resistant surface. You should be able to enjoy a dust-free surface, too.
  • Easy-to-use interface. You shouldn’t have a hard time navigating or figuring out how to use it.
  • High resolution performance. You should enjoy clear, steady visuals that don’t blink or shake.
  • Connectivity. You should be able to access anything on the web.
  • Compatibility. You should be able to link to other smart devices.
  • Convenience. You should be able to turn it on and off without too much trouble.
  • Power saving functions. You should be able to save on your power bill by placing it on standby.
  • Security. You should be able to restrict access to any personal information you have on it.
  • Warranty. You should have recourse to the manufacturer when necessary.
  • All the little extras. You should be able to focus on what matters more to you.

If you’re a gentleman, you’ll probably want to be able to link your smart mirror to your smart razor, or download apps that let you try on different facial hair styles.

If you’re a lady, you’re more likely to want apps that will let you try on makeup, or other features that will help make makeup and styling easier for you. There are other apps that can help you identify skin problems like wrinkles or dry skin, and suggest what you can do about them.

No, your touch screen smart mirror doesn’t exist in a vacuum.

As the crown jewel of a beautiful smart home, the smart mirror has been singled out by industry observers as one of the ideal hubs or master control centres for linking every smart device in the house. After all, what better place is there to begin setting up your home’s systems for the day than the first place you’re likely to head to after getting out of bed?

Your high tech mirror is the perfect complement to these other gems of smart home technology:

  • Toilet, tub, toothbrush, shower, bathroom scale, pill dispensers
  • TV, gaming consoles, home entertainment systems
  • Kitchen appliances
  • Lighting
  • Temperature control
  • Doorbell
  • CCTV, home security systems

Yes, you ought to own a smart mirror if you don’t already.

If you’ve decided to get your very first smart mirror, there are just a couple of things you would do well to bear in mind:

  1. Don’t be distracted by all the bells and whistles. Smart mirrors are wonderful, and can do all sorts of fantastic things many of us only thought possible in the movies. But once you get over that first-encounter euphoria, try to look beyond the techie jargon and into the fundamentals: is it well-made, will you be able to rely on it, and will it fit in with the rest of your home?
  2. It will do, if it does what you want it to do. Spare a moment to think about what you see yourself doing with your smart mirror. Are you going to use it for putting on makeup? Do you plan on using it with other devices you own? Is it going to be your new personal assistant? If the high tech mirror you’re considering has all the right capabilities, you’re going to be one, happy smart mirror owner.

No, you shouldn’t wait— own a Frednology Mirror or get the Allure smart makeup mirror by taking advantage of one of our attractive payment options today.