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High-tech toys want to give you a makeover

These new makeup and beauty tools use NFC, 3D modeling to help you look your best.

07 Nov 2014, Kigali, Rwanda --- A model does her makeup backstage before the gala night at Kigali Fashion week on November 7, 2014 held at Kigali City Towers in Kigali, Rwanda. Designers and from Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda showed their latest collections at the yearly event. The event was held at a parking lot at a popular shopping mall in Kigali. --- Image by © Per-Anders Pettersson/Corbis
Per-Anders Pettersson/Corbis

Beauty and tech are both wildly popular things we spend our money on, so it was only a matter of time before the two worlds collided. In fact, this year's CES threw its first ever Beauty Summit to show off the new ways technology is creeping into makeup bags and medicine cabinets.

This isn't about better makeup brushes, new skin creams or a lipstick robot. We're seeing practical, bizarre and downright cool products that will keep you looking beautiful and healthy, with or without makeup.

Smarter sun care

After a few nasty sunburns from overcast days, sun care became a huge deal to me. Truth be told,I don't always use enough protection when I head outside and I'm willing to bet you don't either.


L'Oréal's My UV patch measures sun exposure, but looks like a temporary tattoo.


At CES 2016, makeup company L'Oréal debuted something to fix that. It's called the My UV Patch and it's a stretchable skin sensor that measures UV exposure. The best part? It looks like a cool temporary tattoo and you can stick it anywhere on your body. Even better, the patch will be free -- yes, free -- and available later this year through L'Oréal's La Roche-Posay skin care line.

The photosensitive dyes in the patch change colors when you're out in the sun and after a few hours soaking up rays, you can take a photo with your phone's camera using the forthcoming My UV Patch mobile app which will tell you if it's time to reapply sunscreen or head inside. And, the Android version of the app will use NFC to analyze the patch's UV exposure.

Mirrors that transform your looks

Today's mirrors can give you a makeover without lifting a finger. At CES 2016, we checked out Modiface, a mirror for trying on new makeup looks that will eventually end up in beauty stores. You'll be able to try on makeup styles, like a smoky eye, check out specific shades of eyeshadow or lipstick, and even adjust your eyebrow shape all by looking at the mirror.

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It uses an HD camera and projector to record your face and show it in real time. The tech is still early, but it's a glimpse at the future where you'll no longer need to use germy makeup samples to try out a product before you buy. If you can't wait for this arrive in stores, Modiface has a free app for iOS that shows you live makeup looks, just like the mirror.


The MODA machine applies an entire face of makeup in seconds.


Also seen at CES this year was the SimpleHuman sensor mirror, which turns the lights on when you approach it and uses the SimpleHuman app to record different lighting environments so your makeup looks perfect in every situation. For instance, the app can determine the lighting in your office and then set the mirror to mimic those conditions while you're applying makeup at home. The mirror is available now for $400.

Machines that do your makeup

Applying makeup is a real art, requiring brushes, sponges and tools to master a look. But this new machine wants you to go completely hands-free. The MODA "digital makeup artist" is a machine that applies an entire look, from face to eyes to lips, in just 30 seconds -- that's at least four and a half minutes faster than it takes me to just put on foundation.

You merely pick a look, then align your face with the chin cradle and forehead rest. The MODA claims to use 3D modeling and 3D printing to detect your facial features and apply a flawless face of foundation, blush, eyeshadow and lip color. It's not available yet, but it could dramatically cut down on the time you spend with your makeup if it comes to fruition.

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Now that your face looks flawless, what about your nails? At CES this year, we saw Inail, a machine that prints literally any design you can imagine directly on your fingernails. It's not cheap to buy for your home though -- it's around $2,899 -- but it may spring up at a nail salon near you one day.