Here’s What It’s Like to Have Brows Printed Right Onto Your Face with L’Oréal Brow Magic
I sat on Zoom this week transfixed to my screen while I watched a small printer — not much bigger than my iPhone — draw perfect eyebrows right onto someone’s face in less time than it took me to log onto the Zoom. The words came tumbling out of my mouth — “whoa, that’s like magic” — before I regained my journalistic composure.
“That’s why we called it Brow Magic!” said Guive Balooch, global vice president of L’Oréal’s Technology Incubator, who was dialing in from CES, the tech convention to end all tech conventions, in Las Vegas. He was showing me a demo of L’Oréal Brow Magic, a handheld printer, stocked with cosmetic-grade ink, that prints perfectly arched eyebrows right on top of your real brows in seconds. The inked-on brows I saw looked just like they were made up of actual teeny brow hairs — there was nothing block-y or in-your-face-fake about them. That’s especially impressive because “it’s difficult to print makeup onto the face with any real accuracy,” Phill Dickens, a professor of manufacturing technology at the University of Nottingham in England, has previously told Allure.
The eyebrow printer was made in collaboration with a Korean company called Prinker that also makes a handheld temporary tattoo printer, which is already available in Korea. But printing makeup onto the face has its own set of complications. Inside L’Oréal HQ, a team of AI (artificial intelligence) experts, makeup artists, and R&D specialists including “face evaluators” (pretty much what it sounds like) spent two years nailing the brow-perfecting tech. That meant studying 700 faces from around the world (the U.S., Europe, and Asia) to determine what brows best suit different face shapes. That data powers “proprietary AI-based algorithms to tell you, based on the shape of your face, what brow shapes [are] best [for you], and you can see them in real time [on your own face] with augmented reality,” says Balooch.