While I was in New York City for the Indie Beauty Expo last week, I was able to check out another skincare-related event in the Big Apple. The week-long K-Beauty in New York Pop-Up featured over 40 brands curated by the Korean Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) and was hosted at super-trendy fashion shop Lucky Selectism in Chelsea. The selection of products on offer — and the manner in which they were presented — were definitely eye-catching. However, I was particularly intrigued by the piece of skincare technology on display, the Lululab Lumini AI Skincare Assistant.
What’s the Lululab Lumini AI Skincare Assistant?
Lululab originally began as an internal project at Samsung but spun-off from the conglomerate in 2017 to become its own brand. Its flagship device is the Lumini, which is described as:
…the first in the beauty industry to use the artificial intelligence technology to digitize the skin. With one photo shoot, it analyzes your skin accurately within 10 seconds and recommends the best product.
Lululab has been celebrated for this advancement in skincare tech, garnering accolades and awards at Cosmoprof, Viva Technology, and even CES 2019.
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My experience with the Lumini
When I first saw this device, I thought it was either a cleansing brush or blackhead extractor. As soon as I found out that it was a way to map and analyze my skin, I was all in. I had never tried anything like this before and was curious to see if it could pick up on what I felt were my most pressing concerns. (I low-key hoped it wouldn’t find anything else too damaging, either.)
Answering some questions
Before using the Lumini itself, I had to answer a short survey about the state of my skin. These questions centered around how my skin felt upon washing it (or not). Once the device had recorded that information, it was on to the fun part.
Scanning my face
The clerk at Lucky Selectism held the Lumini device up to my face. Fortunately, it didn’t have to touch my face — it was at a comfortable distance, about six inches away. The Lumini uses face detection and light correction to capture what it needs for analysis. The entire process took about 10 seconds.
Presenting an overview of data
The Lumini had combined the results of my questionnaire and the face scan to produce a full report on my skin. It began with an overview, which detailed the following:
- Skin Age: Mine was 32, two years under my actual age. (Yay?)
- Skin Score: I received an 8.1/10, which I suppose is awesome. It’s based on six criteria, which I’ll detail below.
- Worst Problem: I was completely not surprised to learn that it’s my pores.
- Skin Type: Lumini detected that my skin is oily — it certainly was that day.
Next to those data points was a map of a face pointing out where my trouble zones are. I had one: on my forehead, right between the eyebrows. That’s what I consider Big Pore City and the device knew it.
The Lumini grades skin on a scale from 1 to 10. That cumulative figure comes from these six categories:
- Wrinkles: According to Lumini I have no wrinkles. (You bet I loved this.)
- Pigment: Lumini detected no discoloration on my face.
- Redness: No signs of flushed skin to be found, per the device.
- Pores: This is where it starts to go downhill. After a string of perfect tens, Lumini rated my skin a 6 in this category. In addition to my forehead — where the Lumini claimed to be the worst area — the device also picked up that I was particularly porous on my nose and cheeks.
- Sebum: I scored slightly higher here (6.4), but again, the most porous areas were also the most greasy.
- Trouble: The Lumini picked up that I had a pimple on the right side of my chin.
According to the Lumini, my water-oil balance was bad (yay!). Both my T-zone and U-zone were deemed oily.
After the analysis it was time for Lumini to make like a visual novel and offer me a Good Ending and Bad Ending. It projected an outcome in which I successfully addressed my most pressing skin concerns, as well as a glimpse at what could be if I didn’t do anything about them. (MORE PORES.)
At its core, the Lululab Lumini AI Skincare Assistant is a sales tool. It’s an easy way for beauty counter clerks to not only help customers pin-point their skin woes but also make the best product recommendations possible. Based on my issues, the Lumini suggested I buy the following items, all available to purchase at Lucky Selectism:
- SIORIS Cleanse Me Softly Milk Cleanser
- By Wishtrend Mandelic Acid 5% Skin Prep Water
- Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop Serum
- SIORIS You Look So Young Night Cream
- SIORIS Time Is Running Out Facial Mist
- Cosrx Shield Fit Snail Essence Sun SPF 50 PA+++
- Wish Formula C200 Bubble Peeling Pad
What did I end up buying? The Cosrx sunscreen…which I had already planned to buy before the skin analysis! (It was an impulse purchase, to be quite honest. I just want to try it, even if I love my Klairs sunscreen.) Maybe somewhere down the line I’ll be ambitious enough to buy the rest of these products to see if the Lumini is on the money with its recommendations.
A totally perfect reading?
Full disclosure: I was wearing makeup at the time I used the Lumini device. In fact, I had on a bb cream that produced fuller coverage than what I normally use. Of course, this was mid-day and the New York heat and humidity were brutal. Chances are some of that bb cream I applied in the morning melted off, although I did try to touch up every so often with my adorable cushion foundation. However, the clerk at Lucky Selectism explained that the Lumini was able to scan my face underneath whatever makeup was left. Which means everything it analyzed was apparently 100% me (and my giant pores).
And to reiterate, it was dreadful outside. I hailed a cab from Midtown and had no air conditioning to cool me off on the way to Chelsea. I don’t deny the fact that I have an oily facade, but I reckon some of those readings were exacerbated by the fact that I was already sweaty and gross.
I’d love to try another Lumini analysis bare-faced and much less sweaty to see if the readings differ much, if at all. As my makeup was not totally fresh, perhaps this was an accurate assessment of the state of my skin, or damn well close. But I’d love to know for certain.
Where to try the Lululab Lumini AI Skincare Assistant
Outside of trade shows and this pop-up event, I haven’t been able to find info on anywhere else in North America that offers this service. Earlier this year, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that “cosmetics counters such as Sephora” would feature Lumini devices starting this summer, which is now pretty much over. (Have you seen it at a beauty or department retailer near you? Let me know!)
The clerk at Lucky Selectism informed me that another K-Beauty in New York Pop-Up is scheduled for September, and will once again feature the Lumini. Hopefully more information will be available about this event in the near future. I’d love to bring my bare face back to New York City and go for another skin analysis.
Now over to you…
What do you think of the Lululab Lumini AI Skincare Assistant? Or skincare tech in general? Share your thoughts down below.
Watch my Lumini IGTV video here
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I am not a professional. All opinions are my own.
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