Initially launched in 2016, customised foundation Le Teint Particulier by Lancôme was blended in-store after precise skin tone measurements were taken by a consultant using a patented shade finder device that used smart algorithm technology to create matching formulas. Le Teint Particulier could customise foundations by shade, coverage and skin type, matching 8,000 skin tones and offering 72,000 different formula possibilities.
Consultations and in-store blending were currently available in select stores across the UK, some European countries and the US, including Harrods, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Galeries Lafayette. Four years on, L’Oréal was now primed to scale reach by going digital.
Digital Lancôme Shade Finder powered by AI
“We’re going to extend what we’ve done with Lancôme to offer this service beyond just the counter solution, also digitally,” said Guive Balooch, head of L’Oréal’s Technology Incubator – the business division brains behind Le Teint Particulier.
Speaking to CosmeticsDesign-Europe, Balooch said: “The actual Le Teint Particulier machine is in hundreds of stores now; the online version of it will launch in the upcoming months.”
Asked for further details on the digital version, he said the digital Lancôme Shade Finder would be available on the brand’s website and would start by offering consumers current shades as a first step. This would then be extended “over time” with personalised offerings of “tailor made” foundations as the algorithm behind the online tool strengthened, he said.
The technology behind the upcoming Lancôme Shade Finder – an algorithm that accurately measured skin tone using artificial intelligence (AI) – had already been trialled and used under L’Oréal’s Maybelline brand in China with great success, he said, seeing “really high engagement” from consumers.
‘Reaching as many people as possible’ with inclusive beauty
The rollout of a digital tool for Le Teint Particulier by Lancôme, Balooch said, was part of L’Oréal’s wider goal to improve inclusivity in beauty. Whilst blending customised foundations was important, he said “reaching as many people as possible” with these was then also of huge importance.
“We have hundreds of [Le Teint Particulier] machines on the counter, how can we get to millions of people? That’s when we realised, we had to extend what we did with Teint Particulier.”
L’Oréal started the Le Teint Particulier project focusing on high quality rather than reach, Balooch said – perfecting the skin tone measurement tool, getting the right algorithm and making formulas that worked. The company now wanted to “cascade that platform” into the digital world to reach more people now it had the data to do so, he said.
“There will never be enough skin foundations as there are skin tones of people; we’ll just never be able to do it. So, this is a real necessity for personalised beauty to address.”
“…Inclusivity is something that has been a responsibility that we have to our consumers, forever. And now, I think even more than ever, it’s important that we use digital to be able to bring that inclusivity to people,” Balooch said.