It doesn't always seem like beauty and technology make natural bedfellows. After all, there's something wonderfully old-fashioned about makeup; for all the light-enhancing pigments and ground-up diamond additives that today's cosmetics often boast, you dab your powder and line your lips in the same way women have for generations. And that feeling of history and connection with women who came before you is kind of great — but there's also definitely plenty of room for innovation. Which is where these eight excellent beauty buys for technology lovers come in.
Beauty's having a tech rebirth right now. There's amazing work being done in the field of wearable technology for cosmetics lovers —for example, fake eyelashes that can control drones, televisions and computer actually exist right now. And that's just the beginning. Sure, today we have embedded nano-particles in our moisturisers that function like sunscreens, which is pretty amazing — but one day, we may be able to buy special robots designed to clean our faces for us. Maybe the makeup gun from The Simpsons might not actually be such a pipe dream after all (though hopefully, in real life, it will be executed with a bit more, erm, finesse).
So if you're a beauty aficionado who also loves being on the cutting edge of innovation, here are 8 tech-based beauty buys that will add a little futuristic flair to your makeup routine.
1. Makeup Genius App
The Makeup Genius app is a pretty simple system — upload a photo, and then use it to "try" products before you actually buy them — but it's a time-saver for people who don't have the time or money to spend strolling around cosmetics counters being indecisive. Plus it can solve that all-important question: can I really pull off purple lipstick? (Yes.)
2. Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System
Beauty mavens know all about electric skin-cleaning systems; Clarisonic is one of the most famous. The Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System, however, is getting a lot of accolades for its face-cleaning mastery and multiple heads and settings. It can exfoliate, remove your makeup, polish your skin, and tickle particularly annoying roommates.
3. Zeno Mini Acne Clearing Device
This one just seems like fun — and is definitely the kind of thing starlets apply before red carpets. The Zeno Mini Acne Clearing Device uses focused, low-intensity heat to kill the bacteria in pimples, and is designed to work via two or three brief "treatments" with the device over the course of 24 hours. Just make sure you get in while the pimple's still fresh.
4. LumiDeco Smart Nails
Trust the hyper-innovative Japanese beauty market to come up with a product that's incredibly high-tech and decorative (if perhaps a bit useless in application). LumiDeco LED nails are fake nails with an LED light attached. The light blinks every time it comes near an NFC wave, which are transmitted by stuff like smartphones or touch-tap credit cards. You'll sparkle when you take a phone call. Don't ask why, but it sure is pretty.
5. 3D-Printed Makeup
The Mink printer may genuinely change the face of the beauty market. It's a printer designed to let you make your own cosmetics at home via 3D printing technology — and the first run of 250 prototypes has just arrived on the market. You load the custom printer with ink and powder, find your perfect color using the attached app, and print a powder that can then be mixed into lipstick, face or body makeup. Nothing suitable for eyes is available yet, but still: how cool is this?!
6. JeNu Ultrasonic Infuser
The JeNu Ultrasonic Infuser actually functions using a fairly basic concept: use ultrasound to increase the skin's absorption capacity. If you use it after you've put on your moisturizer/serum/facial oil made of yak's milk, it's supposed to increase the rate of absorption by three times. It's designed so you get more use out of the skincare stuff you've got and see faster results.
7. Living Proof Hair Treatments
OK, so this one is cheating because the product itself does not strictly involve technology — but it is based on some fairly hefty technology research conducted by the folks over at MIT. Living Proof was launched by MIT scientists after they discovered a way to distribute polyfluoroester, a molecule that resists humidity change, through hair. Technology wins the day (and Jennifer Aniston's endorsement).
8. Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser
Hair removal sucks. So if you're going to do it anyway, why not do it yourself with a laser? OK, that's not the best sales pitch in the world — but the Tria laser is actually pretty cool. It's the first FDA-approved laser for home hair removal, and is designed to produce permanent results (as you'd expect for that price range). Just don't throw it around on a dare; this is Serious Technology, people.
Images: Living Proof, Tria, Zeno, LumiDeco, JeNu, Olay