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Would You Take Beauty Product Recommendations from a Bot?

Beauty Bot

Typically, when you need to replace (or swap) your moisturizer or mascara, you head to your nearest department store or beauty boutique and pick the brain of a staffer. (Hey, how can anyone make product recommendations if they can’t examine your skin tone and complexion up close, right?)

But what if you didn’t have to leave your home to get to the root of a skincare problem and simultaneously receive beauty product recommendations that are tailored to you?  I’m talking about the latest crop of beauty bots, each one delivering personalized skincare advice via A.I. that’s a lot like talking face-to-face with a human—with equally impressive results.

Hello Ava

Think of this beauty bot as though you have your very own aesthetician on speed dial. OK, so you can only text back and forth, but the Q&A format (accessible through text message or Facebook Messenger) allows you to introduce yourself and talk through the skincare issue you’re trying to resolve. For example: A dry complexion. Ava will ask you about the issue you’re hoping to address and take you through a skin care evaluation to do a deeper dive into your concerns. Once she collects the info she needs, Ava will dispense a handful of product recommendations from reputable brands that includes detailed info about what the product actually does. In addition to the Q&A, you can set up a profile that includes your photo, past product history and more—all info that can help Ava narrow down your results and her advice. 

Allure’s Beauty Assistant

This bot from the editors of Allure is a lot like Hello Ava. The big difference? It allows you to put a face to the “robot” dispensing skincare advice. In this case, the face is the range of beauty editors on staff at the magazine. And by texting with Allure’s experts, you automatically tap into their highly researched makeup and hair recs—taken straight from the results of their annual beauty awards—to address your beauty needs. It’s less open-ended than Ava, but also the perfect bot to access when you’re searching for the perfect product and overwhelmed by the range of brands. The fact that each recommendation has been vetted and given the green light helps give you the confidence that your investment is sound. 

L’Oreal’s Beauty Gifter

So, you want to give a beauty-themed gift for a birthday, the holidays or—my favorite—just because. The problem with beauty is that it’s so personal and the likelihood that you know the exact skincare or makeup needs of the recipient is rare. L’Oreal’s Facebook Messenger bot aims to address just that. After inputting your price range for the gift and the recipient’s age, the bot actually gets in touch directly with the recipient to ask them a series of questions about their beauty preferences like their skin type and which color combinations they prefer. From there, the bot sends the gift giver a series of product ideas, all tailored to the recipient. Sure, some might say this ruins the surprise, but keep in mind: With L’Oreal, you’re tapping into 30+ brands. This means, your gift is still a total mystery, but the chances are greater that the recipient will actually use it. A win-win. 

Sephora’s Virtual Artist

Tap into the vast range of Sephora products without going to the store thanks to this bot, which makes product recommendations through Q&A, but also through virtual color matching. Simply send through a selfie and the lipstick you wanted to try in-store will be applied to your face, so you can see exactly how it might compliment your skin tone in real life. Don’t love the result? Go back to the drawing board and try another option. You can narrow the results by price range, color and more—then shop straight from within the message exchange. Of course, to really know if the shade is a perfect fit, you might need to play around with the light in profile shot you send through. Still, it’s a much more effective way to shop online and get results.

Would you take beauty product recommendations from a bot? Would you try one of these bots out the next time you empty your moisturizer? Let me know in the comments.

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