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AI is Revolutionizing The Beauty Industry

New AI technology is taking the world by storm. From virtual try-ons to beauty robots, we’re all left wondering: What’s next?

Woman letting robot arms do her makeup.
AI is a powerful, new technology that companies are using to make products and services more streamline and user friendly. Credit:Shutterstock/MONOPOLY919

When most people hear about artificial intelligence (AI), they think of apps and chatbots. While AI virtual try-ons and analysis have become a popular way for companies to enhance user experience and inform customers about their products, that’s not all AI can do. It’s only in the past couple of years, that AI has been able to jump out of our computer screens and into functioning robots.

Clockwork

What do you think of getting a manicure in ten minutes for just ten dollars? If you said ‘finally!’ CEO Renuka Apte agrees. Apte co-founded and spent two and a half years creating Clockwork, a manicure robot, because she wanted a solution for lengthy beauty treatments.

This bot uses AI and 3-D technology to capture the unique size and shape of your nail for a quick and precise manicure. Apte told CBS Mornings correspondent Anna Werner she wants these manicures “to be like grabbing a cup of coffee”— quick, efficient, and reliable— “and that could be anywhere from apartment complexes, corporate offices, or retail stores.” 

@xwellrewards

Ever had a robot do your nails? Now you can, because we’ve partnered with Clockwork to bring you robot manicures! If you’re traveling through JFK, come in for an automated manicure in minutes. Just pick your color, slide your hand into place, say “”ready”” and the Clockwork robot will begin painting. The fully autonomous robot couples artificial intelligence with 3D-camera technology to take pictures of each of your nails, painting them safely, quickly and accurately. Hands down, it’s the fastest way to get an expert manicure. You’ll find your favorite new nail-painting robot in our spa at JFK Terminal 4, B Concourse, near Gate B22.

♬ original sound – XWELL – XWELL

Currently, Clockwork has a selection of 25 colors, including some classics from OPI and Essie. Apte is working on expanding the color menu and adding an option for basic two-tone nail art. The company has already installed Clockwork robots in select airports, Targets, and plazas in seven states. You can check here to see if a robot is near you. If not, never fret; Apte is always looking to expand. 

Nimble Beauty

For those of you who don’t want to wait and have some extra cash to spend, Nimble Beauty founder Omri Moran has created an at-home manicure robot. 

Moran was inspired to create his AI manicure device after his date showed up very late to dinner due to her manicure being ruined after leaving the salon before her nails were completely set. His robot is quite popular, having sold more than 5,000 devices on Kickstarter, well exceeding his expectations. 

His bot can give you a four-coat manicure in an hour. Or, if you want something quicker, there is an option for a two-coat express manicure in twenty-five minutes. Currently, Nimble Beauty has 31 polishes to choose from, so finding a color for every occasion won’t be difficult. 

Women using the microwave size Nimble Beauty robots.
In an effort to make beauty more accessible and efficient Omri Moran turned to robotics for answers. Credit: YouTube/How artificial intelligence and robotics are transforming the beauty industry

After trying both the Clockwork and Nimble Beauty robots, Werner found that Clockwork’s 3D printer method of painting nails resulted in a more precise manicure than Nimble Beauty’s traditional brush application. Although, both robots will continue to learn and improve over time using AI.

Luum

AI robots aren’t just for nails. In fact, robotics engineer Nathan Harding thinks eyelash extensions are perfect for AI. In a recent 2024 interview with Fox News, he said Luum is using robotics and AI to “completely transform the experience of eyelash extensions.” 

The machine is quite large and can look intimidating to some, but safety is a top priority for Luum. The soft-tipped robotic arms that apply the extensions are tiny, light-as-a-feather, and attached to the machine with incredibly weak magnets. This means that if you move or bump into the arms, they will immediately become detached from the machine and stop working.

Also, this robot is human-operated. A lash artist will be supervising and in control of the robot the entire time. Harding told Fox News Luum “is going to be super fast, super comfortable, and super consistent.”

@perolikeofficial

Would you let a robot do your lashes? @LUUM Precision Lash #lashextensions #robotsontiktok

♬ original sound – perolike

This robot is much more efficient than a human lash artist, as a full set of new lashes can be done in just twenty-five minutes. Additionally, a full set of lashes with Luum only cost 51 dollars. This is a huge difference compared to the 90 minutes or more it takes a human in a salon. The price tags also differ quite a bit. Lash artists charge around 120 dollars plus a tip for a full set of lashes.

But this bot wasn’t created to replace lash artists. Harding told Fox News, “The people who work in the industry are fantastic,” and “they need better tools.” Jo Lawson, the President of Luum, also told Fox News this bot is great for both clients and lash artists. This innovation “allows the machine to do all the tedious work while the lash artist really focuses on the artistry without the backbreaking work they normally have to deal with every day.”

Lawton continued, “It feels safer, it feels cleaner, it’s faster, and the clients are loving it.” She reported that this bot is so popular and well-liked because the process feels like “butterfly kisses and there’s nobody leaning on your forehead with these super sharp instruments, literally a millimeter from your eyeball.” 

Woman getting her lashes done by Luum robot
The AI Luum eyelash extension robot is more than four years in the making. Having gone through rigorous safety tests, they are ready to start taking pre-orders for their exciting new bot. Credit: YouTube/AI eyelash extension robot gives beauty industry a boost.

So far, the company only has a couple of robots in California. Although, Ulta is one of their investors, so don’t be surprised if you see one pop up in a location near you.

Will these robots replace lash artists and nail technicians? 

The main concern surrounding new AI technology is that these machines will replace people, putting them out of work. The creators of these bots are well aware of the skepticism and worry. However, they are confident humans can’t be replaced so easily.

During Apte’s interview with CBS Mornings, she addressed this issue, saying, “I don’t think we are going to put nail salon techs out of work . . . That’s like saying a vending machine would put a chef out of work.” She continued, “What we’re going for is express services; get in, get out. There’s just a whole gamut of things that humans can do, and this is not that.”

The lash bot also doesn’t pose a great risk of replacing lash artists. The robot was created as a tool for lash artists to use. Harding told CBS Mornings, “I like robotics applications where you’re augmenting what a human can do, not really replacing them.” He created this robot to lower the tedious and demanding part of a lash artist’s job. This frees them to see more clients and increase their revenue.

The President of the National Association of Lash Artists, Levi Shepard, also weighed in on this issue. She told LiTT during a 2023 interview that, “Robot services may be an option for those who currently don’t get lash extensions because of the time and cost of the human experience.” She speculates this new technology could bring in a wider range of clients, growing the industry. She added, “There’s space for both of us.”

What does the future of AI Beauty Look Like?

Woman with a grid on her face.
Many experts believe the future of AI beauty is about custom, immersive, and user-centric services and products. Credit: Shutterstock/Max Acronym

These eyelash extension and manicure bots just scratch the surface of AI in the beauty industry. You are probably familiar with virtual try-on applications that started in 2012, but have only become more sophisticated. 

Recently, Galderma launched an interactive consultation app, FACE by Galderma. This will allow patients to see the potential results of 19 injectable cosmetic treatments. Treatments such as botox, filler, Sculptra, and more. Additionally, Haut AI’s new product, SkinGPT, uses AI to virtually simulate the effects of products. It uses a personalized skincare quiz and clinical data. There are also similar applications for haircare and styling, such as Revieve, AI Hairstyles, and L’Oreal’s Style My Hair.

AI is already a multibillion-dollar industry, and experts only expect to see it grow. In fact, Arbelle Beauty Tech, a company specializing in AI and AR innovation, predicts that AI-driven 3D printers are coming soon. These printers will be able to “concoct personalized makeup products right in front of consumers. Based on skin analysis, these machines might soon provide tailor-made lipsticks, eyeshadows, or even skincare serums – ensuring the product is as unique as the individual.”

Written By

Ella Shauman has recently graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature. She loves to travel, write, and spend time with family and friends.

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